Retrievers originally served to retrieve game for hunters. Considering their primary purpose of retrieval, they need to have a soft mouth, that is, carry the game without biting into it. They are also characterized by their strength and agility and their easy trainability along with their desire to please their owner. There are six types of retriever breeds which are classified as below.
Below are the 6 Types of Retriever Dog Breeds:
1. Golden Retriever
The most well-known retriever out there, the Golden Retriever is an excellent family pet. They can weigh anywhere between 25-34 kg. You can expect these adorable doggos to grow as tall as 61 cm, and have an average lower height around 51 cm. Golden Retrievers usually live for about 11-12 years. Since they’re so fluffy, they also are known to be heavy shedders, due to which they have high grooming needs.
Fortunately though, Golden Retrievers are easily trained and make for great disability assistance dogs. Not to mention, Golden Retrievers are also known for their job for hunting, detection and in search and rescue missions. Their temperament, described as friendly, kind and obedient, is the most notable feature about them. You will see them get along well with children and other animals and display a good level of sociability toward strangers as well.
2. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is commonly referred to as Chessie, Chesapeake or CBR. They are large dogs with a weight of 30-45 kg and on an average, their height can be around 56-66 cm. Chesapeakes usually have a lifespan of around 11-13 years. While they do shed, it’s still less than other dogs their size.
An interesting contrasting feature of these hounds are that they are quick learners, yet they can be stubborn and difficult to train sometimes. Being consistent while balancing it with plenty of playtime is a good way to teach them. Chessies sure are happy dogs and can be very affectionate towards their masters. Generally, you’ll see them get along well with kids, which is why they make for good family dogs, if properly socialized.
3. Labrador Retriever
A friendly working dog breed that’s the most popular dog in a lot of countries. Labradors Retrievers are certainly one of the most famous breeds globally. With an average weight of 25-36 kg, Labrador Retrievers can grow about 55 to 62 cm in height. Usually, they have a lifespan of 10-12 years. Do keep in mind that Labrador Retrievers do shed a lot, especially in winter and spring, due to their dense hair and double coat.
One thing that’s easily noticeable is their immense level of sweetness and calm temperament. A characteristic which makes them really well suited to being therapy and assistance dogs. Labs are rather easy to train but they are a very active breed. What this means is that they need plenty of exercise daily, otherwise this energy could manifest in destructive ways. While they are intelligent and can be very focused, Labrador Retrievers’ easy going with everyone makes them unsuitable guard dogs.
4. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
The smallest of the retrievers, the “Toller”, as the dogs of this breed are popularly called, was originally bred to lure the prey within shooting distance. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers generally live for about 10 to 14 years. On an average, you’ll see these hounds grow anywhere between 42 to 54 cm, with their weight being about 17-23 kg. While Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are not hypoallergenic, you can expect them to shed seasonally.
Tollers are intelligent, high energy dogs that get along well with children and are eager to please. They are a somewhat rare breed that is happiest when working. So you will need to keep your Toller busy with a lot of exercise and playtime throughout the day. When trying to bring a Toller home, keep in mind that though this breed is easy to train, they do carry an independent streak. But if respected and worked with, Tollers make for an excellent family dog.
5. Curly Coated Retriever
There’s no way we wouldn’t include the tallest of the retrievers in our list. As can be inferred from its name, Curly Coated Retrievers have a coat of mass curly hair. The females of this breed weigh between 23-32 kg and the males between 32-41 kgs. With respect to their height, fully grown females can be between 58-64 cm and the males between 64-69 cm. Curly Coated Retrievers have a lifespan of 9-14 years. You won’t see them shed much throughout the year, except during a change of seasons and when weaning off their young, which is when they are quite the heavy shedders. But it can be managed with regular brushing of their coat.
An important thing to remember is that the Curly Coated Retriever is a dog that takes its fair share of time to mature, so be patient with them during their training. Moreover, these mutts are also quite independent, which they like being respected. Since they have a longer adolescence compared to other dog breeds, it is best to start their obedience training early. Curly Coated Retrievers sure do enjoy the outdoors, so they’ll love activities with their owners like hiking, swimming or even hunting. Due to their outgoing nature, Curly Coated Retrievers also get along well with kids and other animals.
6. Flat Coated Retriever
If you’re looking for a four-legged companion to complement your energy levels, the Flat Coated Retriever might be the one for you. A highly active dog that needs ample room to run and play, these doggos were bred to fetch the hunt on both land and water. Normally, an adult Flat Coat Retriever will be 25-36 kg heavy, and standing tall at around 56-61 cm in height. They have a lifespan of 8-10 years. Flat Coated Retrievers do shed regularly, but it’s still only moderate.
Being confident and boisterously enthusiastic comes naturally to them. A fine family pet, Flat Coated Retrievers are also quick to learn. Although, they must be trained in short intervals to prevent boredom from repetition. Interestingly, these dogs reach maturity quite late, at around 3-4 years of age, and yet never quite lose their puppy like demeanour. Should come as no surprise that they’re dubbed the ‘Peter Pan’ of the canine world.
Again, these are dogs that carry their own will with them, which must always be kept in mind. Once a strong bond is established, you will be fully able to appreciate and enjoy having a Flat Coated Retriever as a pet.
Retriever breeds are quite energetic and need plenty of exercise and play. But they’re also extremely protective and affectionate. Though majorly easy to train, they tend to have an independent mind, which is better acknowledged than ignored. Make sure you bring a retriever home from a certified and reputable breeder only, unless you plan on adopting a rescue dog. When all is said and done, as long as you take basic care, you will have a dog that will most definitely change your life forever.