Chatham Hill Retriever

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35-45 lbs
Chattie, Flat-Coated Cocker Retriever, Miniature Retriever

The Chatham Hill Retriever is a designer dog, the intentional crossbreed between two types of dogs originally bred to assist hunters in finding, flushing, and retrieving prey, the Flat Coated Retriever, and the Cocker Spaniel. Both of these breeds were developed to assist with hunting and retrieving game birds, so they are both bred to be on the smaller side of medium, allowing them to easily get through bushes and thickets to reach birds that had been downed. Although most of these hybrid animals end up as friendly and affectionate companion and family animals, they are also still quite capable of the job of their ancestors, finding, flushing, and retrieving game birds and other small animals.

Companion, Retriever
Date of Origin
Flat Coated Retriever and Cocker Spaniel

Chatham Hill Retriever Health

Average Size
Height: 20-23 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Height: 20-23 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Histiocytosis
Minor Concerns
  • Otitis Externa
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Pulmonic Stenosis
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee
  • Heart
  • Hips
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Chatham Hill Retriever Breed History

Chatham Hill Retriever Breed Appearance

The Chatham Hill Retriever is a cross between the Flat Coated Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel. This hybrid was first developed as a smaller sized Spaniel dog that had some of the physical traits and the retrieving nature of the Flat Coated Retriever. The Flat Coated Retriever breed is a relatively new variety of gun dog developed specifically for bird hunting in England in the 1800’s and was known colloquially as the gamekeeper’s dog.The ancestry of this dog breed is a bit muddled, but the St. John’s Dog, a now extinct water retriever, or their descendants the Labrador, are believed to have made a large contribution to the breed, along with Newfoundland, Spaniel, and Setter type dogs. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1915, they are a friendly and outgoing dog who not only excels at the job they were developed for, but due to their easy going nature, youthful vigor, and high intelligence, they are also excellent candidates for service dogs as well. Spaniels, in general, are also classified as a type of gun dog, but they have been assisting hunters since long before the gun was invented. Initially, these dogs were bred to flush game out of the deep brush for bow hunters and in some cases, to retrieve birds from where they had fallen. The first Spaniels were divided into two groups based on where they worked; water Spaniels and land Spaniels. It was sometime in the 17th century that a distinction was first made between types of land Spaniels and they began to be classified as either Springer or Cocker Spaniel, based entirely on the size of the dog. The taller Spaniels were used to “spring” game animals for the hunt and were therefore called Springers, where the smaller dogs were particularly adept at flushing out woodcocks and other such birds for their owners, earning them the name of Cocker Spaniel. In 1902 The Cocker Spaniel Club was founded in England. When the Cocker Spaniels began developing in America they changed considerably, their backs lengthened, their heads became more domed, and their prey drive was greatly reduced. The change was so great that in 1935 a group was formed for those who preferred the traditional look of the English Cocker Spaniel and were intent on discouraging interbreeding between the original English Cocker Spaniel and the newer Americanized version of the Cocker Spaniel. In 1946 the Cocker Spaniels that had developed in America were recognized as a separate breed, the American Cocker Spaniel, which is the breed most often utilized to create the Chatham Hill Retrievers.

Chatham Hill Retriever Breed Maintenance

The grooming requirements for the Chatham Hill Retriever are generally fairly simple, although there can be some exceptions. Unless your dog is tracking through the wilderness, jumping in lakes, or rolling in things they shouldn’t, they should only need a bath every two or three months. These dogs do require brushing on a regular basis, but how often will depend somewhat on which coat the particular canine inherited. The coat of the Flat-Coated Retriever only needs brushing once or twice a week, whereas the coat of the Cocker Spaniel should usually be brushed daily to prevent tangles or matting, and may need occasional clipping to keep it neat and free of dirt and debris. It is very important to check the inside of the ears on a regular basis as well as keep this area clean and dry as the long hanging ears predispose this crossbreed to ear infections. 

Chatham Hill Retriever Temperament

This alert and energetic canine is not only an excellent bird hunting companion, it is also an outstanding home and family companion. They are a friendly and outgoing dog that is affectionate and playful with family members and also get along well with most strangers. Although the Chatham Hill Retriever will bark to let you know if someone is around, they are typically too gentle and friendly to make a good guard dog or protection dog. The Flat Coated Retriever is sometimes known as the Peter Pan of dogs, for their exuberant and playful behaviors, and this tendency may be passed down to their offspring. These hybrids are typically very affectionate and playful and make great companions for both adults and older children. They are unlikely to show aggression even to the smallest of children, however, they may be too boisterous to easily interact with younger children, causing bumps or falls in their enthusiasm.

Chatham Hill Retriever Activity Requirements

Cocker Spaniels are sometimes prone to obesity due to a combination of overeating and a lower drive to exercise and they may pass this trait on to their offspring. Although this is less of a problem for the Chatham Hill Retriever due to their higher energy levels, their overall conformation should be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that weight gain does not get out of hand.

Chatham Hill Retriever Owner Experiences