There are a number of ways to entertain a Chatham Hill Retriever with a little creativity and energy! The Chatham Hill Retriever is a hybrid breed combining the lively Flat-Coated Retriever with the elegant Cocker Spaniel breed. The result is an exuberant and playful designer pup that inherited a working mentality from both parent breeds.
Both the Cocker Spaniel and Flat-Coated Retriever have a history of hunting in their genes. Being bred initially to track and hunt game makes these dogs intuitive, intelligent and hardworking. The Cocker Spaniel is known for their elegant appearance, having a long and luxurious coat. Given the nickname of being the "merry" Cocker, expect this breed to be a playful bundle of joy who gets along with all members of the family.
Likewise, the Flat-Coated Retriever is a lively dog, known for their sweet and devoted demeanor. They easily adjust their temperament to the outside, where they're likely to be busy and rambunctious, whereas inside they tend to be calm. As a result, the Chatham Hill Retriever requires moderate grooming as well as daily exercise. Giving them a job will accommodate their hunting and working instincts, which is why some form of mental stimulation is also recommended.
Have you ever noticed your Chatham Hill Retriever sniff along the ground following what seems to be an invisible trail? It's likely they've caught the scent of something intriguing, which they can't resist following. This is tracking, and it's actually been turned into a sport in the dog world. Tracking is "pawfect" for satisfying the hunting instinct within a Chatham Hill Retriever. The sport requires both mental exertion and physical endurance, depending on the route they are following.
Tracking is similar to obedience training in that your pooch is expected to complete a task, but for this activity, they take on the role of being a leader. Typically, the sport requires a dog to follow a scent trail. This trail can vary in length, depending on ability. Once introduced to the scent track, the dog is free to go and follow the trail, with their owner behind on a long leash. Depending on your pup, they may have a quick pace, or be methodical and take their time when searching.
Flyball is a sport designed for dogs to work in teams to achieve a group goal. The activity requires endurance and focus, working both your Chatham Hill Retriever's body and mind.
You can create your own flyball course and do the sport independently; however, it's much easier and more convenient to find a dog training facility that "offurs" the sport. That way, your pooch can have access to a pack of dogs to tackle the challenge with, as the sport typically requires a team of four.
The purpose of flyball is simple: to work with a team to retrieve an object (usually a ball) at the end of a straight course with a series of jump obstacles between. After retrieving the ball from a spring-loaded box, the dog runs back through the course to release the next teammate. The team that finishes first wins. This activity is a "pawsitive" fit for Chatham Hill Retrievers by combining play with duty.
Agility training is the "pawfect" way to meet your Chatham Hill Retriever's need to please as it requires the completion of a series of obstacles, with the option of adding timed runs. Whether you're interested in building an agility course of your own or finding a facility where they can train, both options have their benefits. If you build your own course, you can modify the obstacles and make them the correct size and height for your pup. You can also change the order of obstacles and modify the space being used. Of course, you need to get creative when making the obstacles. If, on the other hand, you use a training facility, you have the convenience of no set up but must pay the price for said convenience.
Once you have established where you’re going to go, it’s time to ensure your pooch is prepared. For your Chatham Hill Retriever to be successful, they need to already have received obedience training. After this is established, an introduction to the course is necessary. Though it may take time to learn each obstacle, the activity is a phenomenal mental and physical workout.
Chatham Hill Retrievers have the innate instincts to work, hunt and please that characterize the parent breeds of this hybrid. The Cocker Spaniel is both visually appealing and a playful companion who aims to please all members of their family. Likely, the Flat-Coated Retriever has a friendly and gentle demeanor, though their energy level is much higher, requiring extensive outdoor exercise daily.
These traits combined make for a stunning companion with a moderate energy level. Intelligent in nature with a working instinct, the Chatham Hill Retriever should receive moderate to extensive exercise daily ranging from 60 to 90 minutes. To meet their exercise needs, fill their day with agility course training or register for flyball training at a nearby facility. Swimming is another way to beat the heat on those hot summer days. Try frisbee at the park or challenge your pooch mentally by tracking for fun or competitively. Remember to vary your activities to maximize your Chatham Hill Retriever's experience and have fun while exploring new ways to exert energy together!