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An Introduction to the Different Breeds

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Are you in the market for a new dog but don’t know what breed to pick from such as the German shepherd, the Springer spaniel, the Cocker spaniel or the Irish setter? If so, look no further than a retriever! These dogs are loyal, loving, and fantastic dogs for anyone.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are six basic types of retrievers such as the Labrador Retriever. Each one has different temperaments and needs.

Let’s take a look at these different retriever breeds and see which one might be the option for you. Read on to learn about their characteristics!


Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dogs out there. These medium-sized dogs are loving, affectionate, intelligent, and sociable. They are a great dog for any family.

There are two types of Labradors: English and American. The English variety is slightly smaller and more trainable than the American variety. The American variety also has more energy so it’s a great running or exercise partner.

Labradors have short coats that come in three colors: yellow, chocolate, and black. This coat is naturally dry and oily, but it is also water-resistant.

Labradors are extraordinarily intelligent. This makes them one of the most popular disability assistant dogs. They can learn to open doors and halt, for example. They can be trained to be obedient partners.

This intelligence also makes them rowdy dogs though. They need lots of mental stimulation; otherwise, they can get into trouble. You will have to make sure that they have plenty of toys and exercise to keep them happy!


Golden Retrievers are one of the gentlest breeds out there. They recently caused a splash on the Internet for their ability to gently hold an egg in their mouth.

This dog is the perfect family dog. They are energetic but also relaxed. This comes from their history. They were bred to both retrieve game and sit silently in a hunting blind for hours. As a result, they need ample exercise, but don’t be surprised if your Golden curls up on the couch right after.

Goldens are known for their long, wavy coats. They do shed copiously and they need a daily brushing. They come in a wide range of colors from white to almost-red.

A Golden Retriever will be a part of your family for 11–12 years. They are lovable and kind and will bond fast with love and attention. They are easy to train with positive reinforcement.


Flat-Coated Retrievers are similar to Labrador Retrievers in their temperament and attention span. They are smart and athletic but bored easily.

This breed looks like a black or liver-colored Golden Retriever. They are also smaller and more agile than the Golden and they have significantly more energy. Unlike Goldens, which are happy curling up on the couch, these dogs need plenty of exercise.

Your Flat-Coated Retriever will be a member of your family for 8–14 years. They don’t mature for 3–5 years, though and their energy lasts throughout their life.

They are also stubborn dogs that like to play and roll around in the mud. Their independence can make them hard to train.

Because of this, this breed might be a bit of a handful to take care of. This means they might be better suited for families with older kids.

Overall, though, the Flat-Coated Retriever is an excellent pet. They are outgoing and sociable and make a fun long-time companion.


If you like interesting-looking dogs, look no further than the Curly-Coated Retriever. This breed’s characteristic dark curly hair is sure to start conversations!

“The Curly,” as this breed is known, is a family-friendly dog that is loyal to its owners. This breed is not the most outgoing or social but once it bonds with people it is loving and affectionate.

This independence makes this a difficult breed to train. It gets bored easily with repetitive tasks so you have to ensure that there is plenty of stimulation for it.

If you give this dog enough exercise, it will be happy and docile in the home. As a result, this is a great dog for anyone who is active outside but can’t give their full attention to a dog in the house.

This breed of dog loves to swim and this is a great form of exercise for them. As retrievers, their perfect day is a round of fetch at the beach or the lakeshore!


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are hearty dogs. Bred in Canada for duck hunting, these fast and excited dogs are good for active families.

The Nova Scotia Retriever is smaller than the other retrievers we mention. It only weighs in at 30–50 pounds. That small size doesn’t mean that this dog isn’t full of energy, though. In fact, it is one of the more active ones on this list.

This breed looks sort of similar to a Golden Retriever, but it has a more red tone to its coat. It also might have some characteristic white markings on the nose, feet or tail.

This dog is a bundle of energy. They need plenty of daily exercise to be happy. They also might not be as calm in the house as a Curly or a Golden.

Socialization is also very important to these dogs. They have a strong prey-drive so they might chase after smaller animals like cats or rabbits. If they are exposed early on, though, they will treat other pets just fine.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an All-American breed. This medium-to-large sized dog was bred in the Chesapeake Bay region in the 19th century. It was officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1918.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever looks similar to a Labrador, but with a shaggier coat. It comes in three basic colors: brown, sedge, and dead grass. This means that it will range anywhere from a tan color to dark brown to a rusty reddish.

This breed usually lives about 10–12 years. They are very stubborn and independent. When combined with the fact that they are slow learners, they can be somewhat difficult to train.

Even though this dog won’t be performing fancy tricks, it is a great family dog. They are happy, courageous, and extremely loyal. They are protective of their owners and are cautious of strangers. They love to play and enjoy swimming as a form of exercise.


At the end of the day, there is a retriever out there for everyone. Whether you are a seasoned pet owner or a newbie, one of these types of retrievers would be the perfect fit for you.

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