A large and powerful water retriever with similar size and shape to Golden Retrievers and Labradors.
The History Of The Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is originated in USA during the 1800's.
The breed was started in 1807 from a pair of Newfoundland puppies rescued from a shipwreck off the Maryland coast. Which dogs were crossed with the original two is now unknown but resulted in a wild fowling dog, able to work in cold water.
Considered by many to be the best duck retriever of all time, fetching as many as three hundred ducks a day from the icy water. Those abundant days of game are sadly gone but the dogs undoubted qualities as a water retriever and a companion have kept the breed alive.
Description Of The Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The thick tapered tail is unaltered. The hanging ears are not altered.
This is a powerful, muscular retriever with slightly wavy, rather short coat. Colors come in shades of brown, red or tan ranging from a straw color to dark brown with red overtones. Solid colors are preferable, with some white permitted on the chest and feet. The rough outer coat and thick wooly undercoat are oily to repel water. The head is round and broad with a medium stop and muzzle. Lips are thin and the small ears hang down. Eyes are yellowish. The tail is 12 - 15 inches long and the forelegs should be straight.
Dogs are 23 - 26 inches tall at the shoulder, with bitches a little smaller at 21 - 24 inches. Dogs weigh in at 65 - 80 pounds, with bitches at 55 - 70 pounds.
Coat & Grooming
The coarse, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush to remove any loose hairs. Needs the occasional bath to prevent any noticeable odor, but not so often that the oily texture is washed out as this helps protect it from icy waters. This breed is an average shedder.
These are friendly, intelligent and obedient dogs with a strong will. They are brave, willing, loving and can be trained if somewhat slow to learn. They are good with children. They are in their element when swimming and retrieving. This breed will get along with your cats but may chase your neighbors. Not recommended for an inexperienced new dog owner. The handler needs to be confident and authoritative because these dog like to have their own way. A consistent and gentle approach is the best way to handle these dogs.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span is around 10 - 12 years.
Reported health problems are hip dysplasia, a bleeding disorder known as von Willebrand's disease, cataracts and other hereditary eye diseases, eczema and related skin disorders. Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
Not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and need at least an average sized yard. They like to sleep outdoors. They prefer cool unless there is a body of water nearby where they can cool off.
TThey require plenty of vigorous activity, including swimming if possible. If not exercised enough they can become troublesome through boredom.
For More Information on the Chesapeake Bay Retriever
To get more information, check out the Chesapeake Bay Retriever website:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
The feet are webbed on this water retriever. Intelligent, willing to work and plenty of stamina have made Chessies useful as Guide Dogs for the Blind. The only negative aspect is a streak of stubbornness. Not suitable for apartment living. This is an outdoor dog.
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