6 Types of Retriever Dogs – Get To Know All About This Breed

retriever dogs

Owning a dog is an amazing experience, but we mustn’t forget that they are living beings who rely entirely on us for their well-being. Not only do dogs need food and water, but they also require our time and attention. There are over 340 breeds of dogs in the world, so it’s important to choose the right one for you. One of the most popular types of dogs is the retriever. The word “retriever” means someone who takes back or retrieves something. Retrievers were originally bred to help hunters retrieve the game that had been shot.

Retrievers are loyal, intelligent dogs that are ideal family companions. Popular for their sweet demeanor and energetic personalities, retriever dogs are known for their gentle nature, shining coats, and charming smiles. They come in six different varieties:

  1. golden retrievers
  2. Labrador retrievers
  3. Chesapeake Bay retrievers
  4. Flat-coated retrievers
  5. Curly-coated retrievers
  6. Nova Scotia duck Tolling retrievers

There are several retriever breed varieties, each with its own unique characteristics. In this article, we will cover all the different types of retrievers so that you can make an informed decision about which type would be best for you if you’re interested in adopting one.

What is Retriever Dogs?

Retrievers are a type of gun dog, bred specifically for their ability to fetch a game that has been shot. These dogs have soft mouths, which prevents them from damaging their prey and making them perfect family dogs. Most retrievers also have water-resistant coats and webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers and divers like other sporting dogs.

All retrievers share certain key characteristics, no matter their breed. These include being highly intelligent, food-motivated (making them easy to train), and most importantly, a desire to please their owners, and all of them need special puppy training classes to achieve the best.

1. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever, originally a Scottish gundog breed, is now one of America’s most popular dog breeds. They are known for their hunting and field work abilities, as well as serving as guides for the blind or in search-and-rescue missions. When they’re not working, however, they enjoy obedience training and other competitive events – all while maintaining an endearing love of life.

Goldens are the perfect family dog– outgoing, trustworthy, and easy to train. They take a joyous and playful approach to life and maintain this puppyish behavior into adulthood.

Size and Shape

The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized dog that is muscular and sturdy. The breed gets its name from the dense, lustrous coat of gold fur. Other noteworthy features of this breed include the broad head with intelligent and friendly eyes, short ears, and a straight muzzle.

These gundogs have a lot of energy and were bred to retrieve waterfowl for long periods of time. Their webbed paws give them better swimming ability than other dogs.

AKC standards reveal that goldens move with a seamless, robust gait, and the fluffy tail is carried in what breed fanciers describe as a “merry action.”

Coat & Colors

Golden Retrievers have a double coat that keeps them warm and dry in cold weather. The outer coat can be harsh or soft to the touch, while the undercoat provides insulation. These dogs require high grooming needs, including regular brushing and combing to prevent matting, as well as frequent dog hair fall.

Golden Retrievers can be either light or dark golden in color. Some have white markings on their chest, toes, or chin.

Weight, Height & Life Span

Male Golden Retrievers typically weigh between 65 and 75 pounds and are 23 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. Females are usually smaller, weighing 55 to 65 pounds and 21.5 to 22.5 inches in height.

The average lifespan of a Golden Retriever is 10 to 12 years, though some have been known to live up to 15 years.

2. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever, often characterized by its sweet face and loveable demeanor, is America’s most popular dog breed. If you’re looking for a medium-to-large-sized companion who is outgoing and high-spirited, a Lab may be the perfect fit for your family.

Labs are social creatures that enjoy being around the whole family, as well as other dogs and humans. They make great housemates. However, don’t be fooled by their easygoing personality—Labs need a lot of exercises to stay physically and mentally fit. Activities like swimming and playing fetch are perfect for them.

Being natural athletes, Labrador Retrievers also make great service and therapy dogs. They are also often used in the detection of drugs or explosives, water rescue missions, and search and rescue.

Size and Shape

The Labrador retriever is a regularly-sized dog breed that has short fur and a strong build. Labradors have webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers.

The head is broad, with thick ears and a friendly expression. Additionally, the tail of the Lab is strong and powerful, as it was originally used to help guide boats to shore.

Coat & Colors

The dense, hard coat comes in yellow, black, and luscious chocolate. Some Labradors may also have a slight silver or red tint to their fur.

Labs shed moderately year-round, but regular brushing can help control the shedding.

Weight, Height & Life Span

Male Labrador Retrievers can weigh between 65 and 80 pounds, while females tend to be slightly smaller at 55 to 70 pounds. Males are 22.5 to 24.5 inches tall, while females are 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall at the shoulder.

The average life expectancy for Labradors is 11 to 13 years.

3. Flat-Coated Retrievers

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a gun dog of recent origin that, like Peter Pan, never seems to age. They’re happy dogs that exude assurance and always want to please their owners–whether it’s retrieving a duck or winning at a show.

The flat-coated retriever’s personality is typically friendly and positive. They often get along well with kids and dogs, too. Additionally, this breed usually has a lot of energy which makes them enjoy playing relatively frequently.

They mature slowly; some owners say that they never grow up at all, retaining a puppyish taste for rambunctious mischief into old age. Depending on your level of tolerance, this can be either delightful or exasperating. since This highly energetic breed requires lots of outdoor exercises, an owner must be prepared to provide this type of activity.

Size and Shape

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a medium-sized dog with a strong, athletic build. One of the most notable features that make Flat-Coats stand out among other retriever breeds is their long head, which gives them a regal and noble expression. They are comparable in height to Labrador Retrievers but have a slimmer silhouette overall.

Coat & Colors

The Flat-Coated Retriever has a lustrous and flat-lying coat that is either black or liver in color. This dog breed also has feathers on its legs and tail.

Flatcoats closely resemble golden retrievers; however, coming in an array of golden hues, they are mostly black or liver-colored.

Weight, Height & Life Span

Male Flat-Coated Retrievers can weigh between 60 and 70 pounds, while females usually weigh about 10 pounds lighter. Males are generally 23 to 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder, while females are 22 to 23.5 inches tall.

The average lifespan for this breed is 8 to 10 years depending on health and care.

4. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, an American original and peerless duck dog of the Mid-Atlantic, embodies classic retriever traits: loyal, upbeat, affectionate, and tireless.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, also known as the “Chessie,” is a rugged water dog that excels at hunting and swimming in rough waters, making it an excellent retriever for duck hunters. They have an affectionate personality and are fiercely loyal to their families, making them great companions as well.

Although Chessies quickly adapt to training, they are independent thinkers and often stubborn. They bond closely with their family and can be aloof with strangers, making them good protectors. Usually high-energy, Chessies excel in many sports and activities. With proper socialization, and dog treats they make great companions for hunting or between events at the dog park.

Size and Shape

The Chesapeake is a dog breed that looks similar to the Labrador Retriever but with a wavy coat instead of a straight one. They are a medium to large-sized breed and have a strong, muscular build.

Coat & Colors

The Chessie is most well-known for his coat, which is waterproof and has a distinctive wavy texture that is oily to the touch. Chocolatey brown, sedge, or dead grass are the three solid colors Chessies can have. Their Keen yellow-amber eyes complement their coat well.

Chessie coat length varies and can range from short to medium-length, but they do shed seasonally.

Weight, Height & Life Span

The average weight for a male Chesapeake Bay Retriever is 65-80 pounds, while a female will weigh 55-70 pounds. The height of males ranges between 23 – 26 inches, while females range between 21 – 24 inches tall at the shoulder.

The average lifespan for this breed is 10-13 years.

5. Curly-Coated Retrievers

The Curly-Coated Retriever, which is often called the “Curly,” is a reliable and Brainy dog that does great in hunting, agility contests, and water sports. Englishmen bred this retriever centuries ago; it’s one of the oldest breeds in its category.

Bred as a versatile gun dog, the Curly-Coated Retriever is an excellent swimmer with a proud expression. With its poised stance and independent nature, the Curly looks like a dog that thinks for itself–and it will never give up before you do.

Curlies are similarly loving and Gauzy as Labradors and Goldens, but they don’t require as much attention. They tend to be independent yet playful with family while being wary of strangers–which makes them better watchdogs. Curlies need plenty of opportunities to run outdoors since they’re high-energy dogs that become restless when bored.

Size and Shape

Curly-coated retrievers have floppy ears, athletic bodies, webbed feet for swimming, and a signature curly double coat. These dogs look like they could be a cross between two other breeds – poodles and labradors – but they’re actually their own distinct type of dog. They’re even-tempered by nature and make great companions.

The Curly is a large, tough gun dog breed, but more graceful and nimble than other retrievers. Another prominent trait that makes Curlies stand out from the rest of retriever breeds is their tapered, wedge-shaped head.

Coat & Colors

The weather-resistant, curly coats of black or liver Current-Coated Retrievers keep them protected while working in difficult areas like thorny bushes and icy lakes.

Their coats are made up of both a waterproof outer coat and a wooly undercoat.

Weight, Height & Life Span

The average weight for Curly-Coated Retrievers is 60-95 pounds. The height at the shoulder ranges between 25 – 27 inches for males and 23 – 25 inches for females.

The average lifespan for this breed is 10-12 years.

6. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, also known as the “Toller,” is a small-medium-sized breed that was developed in Canada to toll (or lure) and retrieve waterfowl. They’re known for their high intelligence, intense play drives, and love of water.

The smallest of the American Kennel Club retrievers, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is intelligent, affectionate, and eager to please. Play fetch with a tireless Toller until your arm falls off from exhaustion, and he will still want you to keep going by throwing left-handed.

Smaller in size than Golden Retrievers but with just as much personality, Little River Duck Dogs (now simply called Ducks) were originally bred for their love of water and sports training. These cheerful canines make great family pets and are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Size and Shape

Tollers are agile and strong dogs of medium size, with medium-length bone structure and coat. Their almond-shaped eyes give them an alert expression.

The dog, with its similar appearance to a fox and white markings, piques the curiosity of ducks and geese as it engages in unusual activity. Swimming over for an investigation becomes commonplace for these fowls.

Coat & Colors

The Toller is characterized by its stunning crimson coat, which can range from golden red to a dark coppery color. They are strong and agile dogs of medium size, with medium-length bones and coats.

Grooming a Nova Scotia Duck Toller is not significantly different from other retrievers. They shed twice per year, so brushing them more frequently during these seasons will lessen the amount of fur around your house.

Weight, Height & Life Span

The average weight for Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers is 35-50 pounds. The height at the shoulder ranges between 18 – 21 inches for males and 17 – 20 inches for females.

The average lifespan for this breed is 12-14 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Retriever Dog Is the Best?

The compatibility between an owner and their canine companion largely depends on the dog’s breed and energy. Some people might prefer a calmer dog, like a Labrador Retriever, while others might enjoy a higher-energy pup, such as a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. However, one of the most popular breeds in America is the Labrador retriever because they are known to be friendly and excitable.

Do Retriever Dogs Shed?

All dogs belong to the retriever family shed, but it differs by dog breed and individual dog. By frequently brushing them and taking care of their coat, you can reduce shedding. Even though a Golden Retriever doesn’t lose much hair throughout the year, like all other dogs with double coats, they let go of their undercoat twice yearly in massive amounts.

Do Retrievers Bark a Lot?

Retriever dogs are not known to be excessive barkers. However, like all dogs, they bark when necessary for communication or protection. Golden retrievers are not a yappy breed of dog; they will only bark when they have a good reason to do so. Golden retrievers are gentle, great with children, and make loyal friends.

Final Thought About Retrievers

Retriever breeds are known for their high intelligence, trainability, and affectionate nature. Whether you’re looking for a hunting companion or just a beloved furry friend to cuddle with, there’s sure to be a retriever breed that’s perfect for you.

So, the next time you’re thinking about getting a dog, consider bringing it home with one of the above six retriever breeds. With their playful personalities and loving nature, you’ll never regret choosing a retriever as your new best friend.