Friday, December 20, 2013

FitDog Friday- Meet the Chesapeakes

Today I'm combining FitDog Friday with the Pet Blogger Gift Exchange!


Pet Blogger's Gift Exchange is co-hosted by Something Wagging This Way Comes and I Still Want More Puppies. In the gift exchange, I was paired with  JoAnn Stancer  at Sand Spring Chesapeakes. I was so excited because I'd get to meet a blogger, and learn more about a great breed of dog. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are great-looking dogs, and the ones I've met have a lovely temperament. I've been visiting the blog, communicating with JoAnn and learning about her and her dogs. I'd like you to meet them too!

The Blog: Sand Spring Chesapeakes
Sand Spring Chesapeakes participates in Monday Mischief, Wordless Wednesday, This and That Thursday, FitDog Friday, Follow up Friday, and Black and White Sunday.

The pets:
Nellie, Gambler, Glory. And recently beautiful Norman crossed over the rainbow bridge. Since we recently lost Brooks and can relate to the recent loss of a dear pet, I feel JoAnn and I were matched up for a reason.

Gambler and Glory are certified therapy dogs!
Marsh Kitty has the coolest cat tree:

The person:
JoAnn and her husband run a small kennel in Wisconsin and breed Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
JoAnn is an avid hunter
JoAnn competes with her dogs in hunt tests and field trials.

Because I know so little about hunt tests and field trials, I asked JoAnn some questions to learn more about her and her dogs.

1. How do your dogs stay fit?
I have three Chesapeake Bay Retrievers that love to train for Hunt Tests during the summer as well as compete in them and love to hunt in the fall. We hunt waterfowl as in ducks and geese and upland as in pheasants. They do go turkey hunting with us also. Each fall they get to go to Saskatchewan for a snow goose hunt where they get many retrieves in a weeks time.

2. How much exercise do they get every day?
I work part time so usually have 2 days off during the week and then the weekends so that is when we do our training and hunting. This fall when we are pheasant hunting we have gone for 2 hrs to 4 hrs to 6 hrs one day. We go as long as it takes us to get our limit which lately has been a minimum of 2 hrs. During the summer months they do get to be trained more as it doesn't take as long. Each dog I would say gets 10-20 minutes of training a day depending if we are doing land or water work.

3. What is your biggest challenge in keeping them fit? 
I would say my biggest challenge is time. In the summer have more time so have more time to work with them but in the winter days are shorter and days are colder so don't have as much time to stay fit. Food goes along with that challenge as we have to make sure we adjust the food allotment for the time and training we are doing to keep them fit.

4. What is involved in a hunt test?
There are two organizations that  recognize hunt tests the UKC (United Kennel Club) and AKC (American Kennel Club). Your dog needs to be registered to be able to compete. You train for different levels and clubs host hunt test events during spring-fall months. The levels in UKC are Started, Seasoned and Finished. Started you need to have your dog retrieve two single land marks and two single water marks and deliver the bird back to you. Seasoned is a double retrieve (one bird thrown one way and one bird thrown another way), your dog goes and retrieves one mark then has to remember where the other mark was and go get that and deliver it to hand. There is also a blind retrieve which is a bird placed in the field that the dog didn't see and you have to use a whistle and hand signals to guide them to the bird. Finished is a triple retrieve with a blind. You have to pass each level to gain points towards a title in each level. AKC Hunt Tests are basically the same but have different levels. Their levels are Junior Hunter, Senior Hunter and Master Hunter. They have to do the same retrieves and blind work but the bird has to be delivered to hand. You have to pass 4 junior hunter and senior hunter tests to get a title and pass 5 master hunter tests to get a title. The titles show up on their pedigree.

5. What is involved in a field trial?
Field trials are only recognized  by AKC. They are similar to hunt tests in the retrieving aspect and blind work but you stretch out the distance by 150-600 yards. It is all about the straightest line to the mark without help. The dogs are all competing against each other their is only one winner in a field trial. It's not a pass/fail like hunt test.

6. What qualities make a good Chesapeake Bay Retriever?
Drive, desire and dedication I feel make a good Chessie. You have to have a dog that wants to do the work and has the desire to do it. Every Chessie has it's own personality and needs a good foundation and good training. Knowing how to train a Chessie, which is different than a lab, is also what makes a good Chesapeake.

JoAnn is a great person and a great blogger, who cares so much about her wonderful pets. I am honored to be paired with Sand Spring Chesapeakes in the Pet Blogger Gift Exchange. Check out more great blogs on the Blog hop! (The first linky is the Pet Blogger Gift Exchange hop, and then keep scrolling for the Fit Dog Friday hop!)

And I learned a lot about Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and field trials and hunt tests for FitDog Friday.

FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog With Love. Join the hop!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!


  1. Love the Sand Spring gang. They work so hard at staying fit so they can works their tails off!

  2. Nice insights into these super fit & adventurous pack. Happy Fitdogging

  3. Gorgeous dogs! I agree - time is my struggle too when it comes to keeping our dogs fit. I'm thankful for our property, because even when time isn't on our side, we can go outside and walk around and through the woods and the dogs are happy.

  4. Peggy, this was marvelous, what a great Christmas present to remember for many years to come. This was a great hop and I'm so glad I got paired with you, may Norman and Brooks run free and have their own little Christmas party up in heaven and look down on us and how we've come together and smile! Peace

  5. Tenacious Little TerrierDecember 20, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Lovely tribute. I learned a lot about hunt tests.

  6. I loved your interview with JoAnn - what a great idea and a great way to feature her blog here. So glad you joined us for the gift exchange!

  7. Pamela | Something WaggingDecember 27, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    My sister lives in the Chesapeake Bay region and she sees a lot of fat CB retrievers. Unfortunately, most of them do not get the attention, training, and exercise that the Sand Springs Chessies get.

    I loved reading the interview and learning more about all the work that goes into hunting and field tests with the dogs.

    Thanks so much for your generous entry in the Pet Blogger's Gift Exchange.

  8. Very interesting read! :) I knew someone who had a Chessie when I was in High School but they never did anything with their dog. It's cool to see what they can do!


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