Chesapeake Bay Retriever Color

I thought I would do a series about our breed standard. Instead of going through the whole standard at one time I will break it down into small portions.

Breed Standards give a description of the origin of the breed and describe what the qualities of a particular breed should have in order to perform the job they were originated for, like a blueprint.

Equally proficient on land and in the water, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was developed along the Chesapeake Bay to hunt waterfowl under the most adverse weather and water conditions, often having to break ice during the course of many strenuous multiple retrieves. Frequently the Chesapeake must face wind, tide and long cold swims in its work. The breed’s characteristics are specifically suited to enable the Chesapeake to function with ease, efficiency and endurance. (ACC Official Breed Standard)

They are written and developed by the National Breed Club for each breed. Our breed club is the American Chesapeake Club (ACC). These standards are then adopted as the official standard through the American Kennel Club (AKC). Chesapeake Bay Retrievers belong to the sporting group. They are considered the powerhouse of the retrievers. You might hear them called by a few  different names, Chessie, brown dog, bay dog, or CBR.

So let’s start with color*. Chessie’s coat color must closely match that of it’s working surroundings as possible. We have three basic colors; brown, sedge, deadgrass. There are variations of these colors and any shade is acceptable.

Self colored is preferred but one color is not to be preferred over another. On our positive scale of points color is only worth 4 points out of 100. While coat texture of a CBR is extremely important the color of the dog does not have any bearing on their working skills. I will talk about texture in another post.

Self color is defined as “of one color all over, with or without lighter or darker shadings of the same color.” Brown takes in all shades of brown including tan which is a light brown with golden tones. Sedge takes in reddish tones, red-brown or red-gold. Deadgrass takes in any color of deadgrass, from a dull straw color to a faded tan with sometimes the whole range on the same dog. (An Illustrated Guide To The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Color pg. 48)

The disqualifications for color are black color and white on any part of the body except breast, belly, toes or back of feet.

No matter the color Chessie’s do a good job blending into their surroundings. Here are some photos of several different colors and shades of Chessie’s in various types of terrain and foliage.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Cheyenne.Chesapeake Bay Retriever CheyenneBoth of these are Cheyenne, even a brown dog blends in the green grasses.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Misty Shores Chesapeakes (8)This is Maia, she is considered light brown and you can see how well she blends in with the dead weeds and grasses.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever~TitanTitan is considered light deadgrass and he also blends very well.

Woody (3)This is Woody coming out of cover but you can still see even though he is brown he is well camouflaged in the cover.

Aretha~Michlelle KeehnPhoto courtesy of Michelle Keehn of  Dusty Rose Chesapeakes. This is Aretha a dark deadgrass.

Nova~ Michelle Keehn.Photo courtesy of Michelle Keehn of  Dusty Rose Chesapeakes. This is Nova, he is dark brown.

Sia~Michelle KeehnPhoto courtesy of Michelle Keehn of  Dusty Rose Chesapeakes. This is Sia, he is considered ash which is a diluted shade of brown.

Bear~Gail EvansPhoto courtesy of Gail Evans of  Moonlight Bay Chesapeakes This is Bear a light sedge color. According to Gail his color would change depending on the season. Sadly Bear crossed the Rainbow Bridge this past November. Our hearts go out to the Evan’s family.

Rio~Julie ReardonPhoto courtesy of Julie Reardon of Hope Springs Farm This is Rio another sedge dog. As you can see he is a darker shade. He was bred by Dyane Baldwin of Pond Hollow Chesapeakes. If you look at the background across the water you can see how he would blend right in.

Jessie~Kerrie TatarkaPhoto courtesy of Kerrie Tatarka of Coolwater Chesapeakes. This is Jessie who is sedge and even on this terrain you can still see the tendency to blend in. Sadly Jessie crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February of this year. Our hearts go out to Kerrie.

Purl~Thora EichblattPhoto courtesy of Thora Eichblatt. This is CoolWater’s Purling Oakleaf “Purl” another shade of sedge.

Training Shiawassee River July 11, 2013 (15)Even in water Chessie’s blend in.

We also have other colors and markings that aren’t addressed in the standard, these include masking, tan points and brindle markings. These do not make a Chesapeake any less of a dog and does not affect their retrieving abilities. They still blend well in their surroundings. These are acceptable colors, although as stated before self colored is preferred.

Hailee and DutchThis is Dutch with my niece Hailee, Dutch was her favorite. Her owners are David and Michelle Keehn of  Dusty Rose Chesapeakes. She is a masked color dog and has what we call a widows peak. The area around her eyes and top of head comes to a point.Sadly Dutch crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year. Our hearts go out to David and Michelle Keehn.

Chesapeake Bay Retirever~BunsyThis is Bunsy, his owners are George and Jan Treglown of Deepwoods Chesapeakes. He has what we call tan points.

While color does not affect the working ability of this breed I think many of us have a favorite color. I love all the colors but my favorite is the light deadgrass, to me it is so striking. However I do not choose my dogs by color, I choose based on temperament, trainability and conformation, my favorite color would just be the icing on the cake or maybe that’s on the dog Winking smile

So do you have a favorite color?

*From the Official Breed Standard “COLOR- The color of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever must be nearly that of its working surroundings as possible. Any color of brown, sedge, or deadgrass is acceptable, selfcolored Chesapeakes being preferred. One color is not to be preferred over another. A white spot on the breast, belly, toes or back of feet (immediately above the large pad) is permissible, but the smaller the spot the better, solid colored preferred. The color of the coat and its texture must be given every consideration when judging on the bench or in the ring. Honorable scars are not to be penalized.

Disqualifications: Black colored; white on any part of the body except breast, belly, toes or back of feet must be disqualified.”

Tina and the Brown Dogs

MSDA’s Judges Education Seminar

Well it has been a very busy weekend for us, we helped and participated with the Judge’s Education Seminar Saturday and Sunday. For those who have never heard of this I will try to give you a brief explanation; for the past four years the Michigan Sporting Dog Association (MSDA) has held a Sporting Dog Judge’s Training Education Seminar here in Michigan, this gives judge’s the opportunity to get hands on experience judging various sporting breeds and is required by the AKC for them to earn their judging license for each breed they will be judging. This year it was held at the D Bar A Scout Ranch which is a beautiful facility and worked very well for the dogs. This is a two day event starting at 8am and ending around 4:30pm. There is also a live demonstration of these breeds doing the job they were bred for. This is most exciting and very educational for the judges; last year I over heard one judge say she had never seen water retrieves before.

The Michigan Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club (MCBRC)  (I am a member/board member) represents the Chessie’s at this event. There are four sessions each day and we do a Power Point presentation first that gives a little history ( you can see more on the history here) of our breed and then in depth information about everything in our Breed Standard. After the presentation the judges are shown the dogs in a show ring setting so they can look at them move and get their hands on them to feel coat textures, bone and the over all conformation of the dogs. Each year this is made possible by the people in the Chesapeake community volunteering their time and their dogs. We have always been able to present to these future judge’s of the breed every color and many types from various kennel’s, males, females, and all ages. The feedback from the judges’ is very positive and we have been able to debunk some of the misunderstandings they had about the breed; which is a good thing.

This was a great opportunity for me to get Maia and Titan out for some socializing and conformation training. They both did very well and by the end of the second day they were pros…well maybe not pros but they were getting in to the swing of things. I was not able to get any photos myself because I was so busy with dogs, not just mine but others as well; I showed 3-4 dogs at each session, which means I ran around the ring and stacked dogs 12-16 times each day…shew I’m tired just writing about it Winking smile I do have two pictures of Titan that my friends took for me, one is of him stacked, however his front leg and rear leg is not placed properly but over all it is not a bad photo and the second one is of him moving around the ring and this one is quite good.

Titan June 23, 2012 1

Titan June 23, 2012 3

It was a great weekend but exhausting for all of us!

If you would like to see more photos you can view them on MSDA’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.128694513936385.21715.128289133976923&type=1

 

 

On another note, I dropped Titan off at the trainer’s on Sunday evening after the seminar and couldn’t help myself so I texted her yesterday to see if he did okay and of course she said he did just fine but I needed to hear it for myself Smile I will update on his training as it progresses.

Chesapeake Coloring

A few days ago our friend Jodi over at jodistone-Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411 left a comment asking about color in my Wordless Wednesday ~ High Five post so I thought what a great idea for a post so I could explain about the coloring of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Chessies can be any shade of brown including Sedge,Ember which is a beautiful reddish brown color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Ember, she belongs to my dear friends Jan & George at Deepwoods Chesapeakes.

We have eight colors listed in our breed standard you can see here. The coloring of the Chessie is designed to blend as closely to the terrain they are hunting in, here are a few examples…

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Although the dog is brown she still blends into the grasses, this is Cheyenne doing some training.

This is a deadgrass dog and as you can see they still blend into the green/brown grasses.

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Shades of brown all blend when the dog is in the field.

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This is Dutch, as you can see she has what we call a widows peak on her head where it is darker across the top of her head. This is actually a very good color that blends into the hunting terrain with the variation of color. This is not a disqualification for showing in conformation however it is more difficult because the judges are used to seeing only solid or selfcolored dogs. Oh and by the way the girl is my niece who is my up and coming handler, she loves Dutch and vice versa as a matter of fact she tells me all the time Riva is her dog Winking smile

This is an excerpt from the Chesapeake Breed Standard

“The color of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever must be nearly that of its working surroundings as possible. Any color of brown, sedge, or deadgrass is acceptable, selfcolored Chesapeakes being preferred. One color is not to be preferred over another. A white spot on the breast, belly, toes or back of feet (immediately above the large pad) is permissible, but the smaller the spot the better, solid colored preferred. The color of the coat and its texture must be given every consideration when judging on the bench or in the ring. Honorable scars are not to be penalized.”

Cheyenne is registered as brown, Riva is light brown, Titan is light deadgrass and Maia is light brown, I debated over brown or light brown for Maia but I went with light brown because I think when she gets her adult coat she will lighten even more.

You can find more information on the American Chesapeake Club and if you would like to read a little about the breed history just click on Cheyenne and Riva’s  picture at the top of my sidebar.

You can see more beautiful Chesses’ over at 2 Brown Dawgs and Dusty Rose Chesapeakes