Know Your Retrievers

Retrievers are the most popular hunting dogs in America. Their memory, swimming ability and determination make them invaluable for fetching downed birds. The American Kennel Club recognizes six retriever breeds, each with its own history and characteristics. Can you name each breed below based on its description and photograph? Answers are on page WB14.

1 Known for its "otter tail," this retriever (the most popular dog breed in America for more than a decade) can go from the hunt to the showroom to the family room with equal aplomb. Descended from Canadian dogs that worked alongside Atlantic fishermen, it was accepted into the English Kennel Club in 1903 and the American Kennel Club in 1917.

2 A popular retriever in New Zealand and Australia, this rare breed sometimes is mistaken for a kind of poodle. In fact, poodles may have been bred with the dog's ancestors (crosses of the small St. John's Newfoundland with water spaniels) to tighten the curl of the dog's coat, which is either liver or black in color.

3 Declared the official dog of Maryland in 1964, this is the largest of the six retriever breeds and the only one that originated in the United States. Two puppies rescued from a British brig shipwrecked off of Maryland in 1807 are the ancestors of today's dogs.

4 This versatile breed was the favorite of 19th-century British gamekeepers because it excelled at flushing game, working any sort of cover, locating crippled birds and retrieving from land and water. Its coat has a tendency to wave, which led to its original name, wavy-coated retriever. The standard now states only that the coat should be "as flat as possible."

5 Known for its gentle nature and easy trainability, this beautiful breed is a good choice for hunters who want a versatile dog adept at upland hunting and waterfowl retrieving. Its color ranges from light blond to dark red.

6 The smallest of all retrievers, this dog became the 150th recognized breed of the American Kennel Club on July 1, 2003. It is known for its unique ability to lure and retrieve waterfowl. Its playful antics can draw birds into the range of a hunter by piquing ther curiosity.

QUIZ ANSWERS

From page WB8 1. Labrador retriever 2. Curly-coated retriever 3. Chesapeake Bay retriever 4. Flat-coated retriever 5. Golden retriever 6. Nova Scotia duck-tolling retriever