Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Chessie
Country/Date of origin:
  • United States
  • 1800′s
  • Females:  21 to 24 inches
  • Males:  23 to 26 inches
  • Females:  55 to 70 pounds
  • Males:  65 to 80 pounds
  • Craves personal attention.
  • A loyal and devoted companion.
  • Tends to be sharper than its sister breeds, Labrador and Golden Retrievers.

This breed originated in the United States in 1807 from a pair of Newfoundland puppies that were rescued from a shipwreck off the coast of Maryland.  No one knows which dogs were crossed with the original two but the result was a water fowling dog, capable of heavy-duty work in cold water.  Considered the best duck retriever of all time, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever ruled the blinds for 150 years, fetching as many as 300 ducks a day from the icy water.  The days of plentiful game are gone, but the Chessie’s companionable qualities have kept the breed alive.

Body Type:
  • A big, powerful, water retriever with the general size and shape of the Labrador and Golden Retrievers.
  • Thick, tapered tail is not altered.
  • Hanging ears are not altered.
  • A wavy, double coat.  Coat is harsh and oily on the surface with a woolly, insulating undercoat that prevents water from reaching the skin.
  • The water resisting oil gives the Chessie a strong, distinctive odor.
  • Coat colors range from a deep brown to a light tan called dead grass.  These colors were chosen for camouflaging qualities.
Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat).
  • Entropion.
  • Metabolic bone disease.
  • von Willebrand’s disease.
  • Cataracts.
  • Atopy.
  • Bacterial folliculitis.
What you should know:
  • Feet are webbed on this water retriever.
  • High intelligence, willingness to work, and great stamina have made Chessies useful as guide dogs for the blind.
  • Has a stubborn streak.
  • Not suitable for apartment living.
  • This is an outdoor dog.
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