Chesapeake Bay Retriever

At a quick or distant glance, the Chesapeake Bay may be mistaken for a chocolate Labrador retriever. Although both dogs are hunters of waterfowl, the Chesapeake Bay retriever is a much less prevalent breed whose primary focus is on the hunt and the guarding of its master. This American water dog was developed in Maryland to hunt waterfowl. In 1807, two Newfoundlands, Sailor and Canton, were rescued from an English shipwreck along the Maryland coast. After demonstrating their excellent retrieval skills, the dogs were subsequently bred to other local hunting dogs that included flat-coated retrievers, curly-coated retrievers and English otterhounds to develop the tough and determined Chesapeake Bay retriever. The resulting dog was used to hunt and retrieve ducks and other birds in the icy waters of Chesapeake Bay, hence the breed's name. The American Kennel Club recognized the Chesapeake Bay retriever as a member of the sporting group in 1878.

The Chessie is an athletic, powerful dog that was bred to withstand cold waters and temperatures while retrieving birds. They have strong legs and webbed feet. It has high, long hindlegs, which allow it to run with great speed. It has a short and curly outer coat, which is slightly oily and a dense wooly undercoat. Its grooming needs are low but it needs regular brushing. Bathing may remove the oil from its coat, which it needs for swimming. The powerful, muscular, medium-sized frame of a Chesapeake Bay retriever stands 21 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 55 to 80 pounds. The toes are webbed to facilitate swimming. The Chesapeake Bay retriever has a double coat. The undercoat is dense and wooly to keep him warm when navigating through cold waters, and the outer coat is dense and oily. The oils of the coat repel water from penetration, which helps the dog to dry rapidly and stay warm. The color of the coat may be brown, red, dead grass or sedge, with or without white markings on the chest, abdomen or paws. The eyes are amber or golden, the ears hang downward and the tail is medium in length. Personality: The Chessie is a fun-loving dog that loves to swim and play. It needs daily physical exercise in the form of running or swimming. It is a calm dog breed that is independent and the most strong-willed of the retrievers. It is good with children and friendly but reserved towards strangers. Unlike most other retrievers, the Chesapeake Bay retriever is a hunter first and foremost. While the dog is devoted to its family and gets along with children, it is reserved with strangers. The breed is obedient, brave, intelligent and protective. The Chesapeake Bay retriever is not a good choice for apartment life. Bred for endurance, he requires plenty of physical exercise. The water dog loves to swim and retrieving is instinctual, so it will be happy to spend an hour repeatedly fetching a ball from the water. Chesapeake Bay retrievers are capable of learning quickly, but they have a willful streak that can quickly dominate an inexperienced dog owner.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
United States
Family
Function
Life Span
10-13 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Chessie, Chessy, Chess, Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Build Information

Size
Medium
Length (Male)
22-27 in.
Length (Female)
22-24 in.
Weight
> 65 lbs
Litter Size
5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

The Chessie is an athletic, powerful dog that was bred to withstand cold waters and temperatures while retrieving birds. They have strong legs and webbed feet. He has high, long hindlegs, which allow it to run with great speed. He has a short and curly outer coat, which is slightly oily and a dense wooly undercoat. His grooming needs are low but it needs regular brushing. Bathing may remove the oil from its coat, which it needs for swimming. The powerful, muscular, medium-sized frame of a Chesapeake Bay retriever stands 21 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 55 to 80 pounds.

The toes are webbed to facilitate swimming.

The Chesapeake Bay retriever has a double coat. The undercoat is dense and wooly to keep him warm when navigating through cold waters, and the outer coat is dense and oily. The oils of the coat repel water from penetration, which helps the dog to dry rapidly and stay warm. The color of the coat may be brown, red, dead grass or sedge, with or without white markings on the chest, abdomen or paws. The eyes are amber or golden, the ears hang downward and the tail is medium in length.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Chessie is a fun-loving dog that loves to swim and play. He needs daily physical exercise in the form of running or swimming. He is a calm dog breed that is independent and the most strong-willed of the retrievers. He is good with children and friendly but reserved towards strangers. Unlike most other retrievers, the Chesapeake Bay retriever is a hunter first and foremost. While the dog is devoted to its family and gets along with children, he is reserved with strangers.

The breed is obedient, brave, intelligent and protective.

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is not a good choice for apartment life. Bred for endurance, he requires plenty of physical exercise. The water dog loves to swim and retrieving is instinctual, so it will be happy to spend an hour repeatedly fetching a ball from the water. Chesapeake Bay retrievers are capable of learning quickly, but they have a willful streak that can quickly dominate an inexperienced dog owner.

Appearance

Colors
Light Brown Red
Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
Low Maintenance
Coat Type
Water-Repellent

The outer coat of a Chesapeake Bay retriever can be easily brushed out to remove surface dirt and debris that he collects outdoors. The undercoat will shed heavily each spring, so daily brushing during this shedding period will minimize the accumulation of hair in the home, on clothing and on furniture. If the dog is used as a hunting dog of waterfowl, only bathe it when absolutely necessary in order to maintain the waterproof quality of the coat.

Rinse any salt or residue from pond water from the coat with fresh water after hunting expeditions.

Inspect the ears weekly, and keep them clean and dry to prevent ear infections. Brush the teeth three times a week to maintain oral health.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy
Hunting Companion
Yes
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
Yes
Retrieving Skills
Yes
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
Yes
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
No
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
Yes
Possible Schutzhund Work
Yes
Trainable for Tricks
No
  • The Chesapeake Bay retriever originated in Maryland
  • The Chesapeake Bay retriever is also known as a chessie or a chessy dog
  • The water-loving Chesapeake Bay retriever is a protective watchdog and skilled hunter who is loyal to his family, but he is reserved with strangers
  • The Chesapeake Bay retriever stands 21 to 26 inches tall and weighs 55 to 80 pounds
  • Chesapeake Bay retrievers have a high energy level
  • Chesapeake Bay retrievers require minimal grooming
  • The average lifespan for a Chesapeake Bay retriever is 10 to 13 years

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever Training

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is known for his great hunting skills as it has extreme stamina and ability in this aspect. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a fast learner and highly intelligent making him highly trainable. Consistent, daily obedience training with play time in between training will make training this dog simple.

Common Health Conditions in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Chesapeake Bay retrievers live an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. Some of the health conditions that are commonly seen in the breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, hypothyroidism, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy and von Willebrand disease.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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