Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Description Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Obedient, Energetic, Loyal
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a stately hunting dog breed for ambitious dog owners. It is one of the largest retriever breeds with a shoulder height of up to 66 cm. It is particularly popular in the USA. In 1964, the state of Maryland made him the first dog ever to be a state dog. Dog lovers also know him as “Chesapeake” or “Chessie” in abbreviated form.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs

  • Size: medium
  • Weight: 25-36.5kg
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colours: tan, dark brown, tan, brown

Character Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

The Chessie was intended as a retriever for hunting ducks and geese. Its territory is the swamps and waters of the cold north of America . He should also defend house and yard and protect the family. His character is therefore described as courageous and persistent .
With a weight of up to 36 kg, it is one of the strong, muscular dogs.

The retriever’s coat colors were bred for camouflage in the undergrowth. They therefore range from dark brown to straw-colored. Light red tones (sedge) and grey-brown (tan) are also included. He is one of the monochromatic dogs, with small color nuances occurring.
His wavy, short fur is striking.

This special coat structure runs from the neck to the tail. It’s no longer than an inch and a half. The hair is smooth on the belly and legs. The Chesapeake defies snow and freezing rain with its dense, oily undercoat. It protects the skin from the wet and makes it weather-resistant.

It is capable of wading through icy water for hours.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is eager to learn and quick on the uptake . His will to work is legendary. For this reason , he is not suitable as a pure family dog . He wants to be challenged physically and mentally.

Proper attitude and training are necessary. Then he is still the ideal, good-natured playmate for children. He is loyal to his family and forms a close bond with his pack leader. He meets strangers cautiously.
Without interesting tasks, the Chessie develops excessive protective reactions.

He reacts with excessive vigilance. He also quickly becomes dominant.
Considering owning a Chesapeake? Then you have to consider that he needs consistent training. By nature he is independent and willful . Therefore, the question of hierarchy must be clearly clarified.

He also needs a balance for his stamina and his hunting and guard instinct.
Of course you can take him with you on a hunt . It can also be used as a rescue dog . If neither is an option for you, then maybe agility is the right thing for you. You also challenge the Chesapeake by retrieving dummies.

Long walks are also a good idea.
As with many large dogs, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is prone to joint problems. Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are among them. Both diseases are influenced by genetics and diet.

Diet Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

When you are a puppy, you make sure that the food suits your development. Energy-rich food leads to growth problems . The skeleton and joints suffer from too rapid growth. You are on the right track with high-quality feed. It must be appropriate for the puppy’s age and activities.

With puppies, it is particularly important to ensure that they are optimally supplied with vitamins and minerals. Lots of protein gives the lively little guy the energy he needs. So he grows up healthy and balanced.
Even with adult Chesapeake Bay Retrievers , consider age, size, and exercise . This determines the amount of feed.

This breed of dog has higher energy requirements than a common family dog . The Chessie is persistent and active. He doesn’t tend to get overweight as quickly if he travels a lot. However, small rewards with treats are expressly permitted. You can count the energy content in the main meals.

The Chesapeake needs good, quality feed . It provides your body with everything it needs. This is essential in view of the susceptibility to joint diseases . For bones and skeleton, it is also necessary to pay attention to the calcium-phosphorus ratio in the feed. Calcium is found in bones and dairy products.

There is more phosphorus in meat and offal.
Valuable food has a positive effect on the condition of your Chesapeake Bay Retriever. His fur is shiny and he has a firm chair. You will find that he is active and feels completely at ease.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s coat repels water very well due to its oily undercoat. As a result, dirt does not stick either. You can wash it with a dog shampoo if needed. Choose a mild shampoo to keep the oily wool intact. However, this will not often be necessary.

Chessie doesn’t need a groomer. You should regularly groom his fur with a brush. This will remove loose hair. This will air out the oily undercoat.
Eyes and ears are sensitive areas.

They must be cleaned at regular intervals. Also, make sure that no infections develop. The best way to check the condition of the eyes and ears is to brush the fur. So it becomes a ritual and you both get used to it.
Paws should be cleaned after a walk .

You can identify any injuries and take care of them.
If the claws grow too long, you can hear them clicking on the ground. This can lead to problems with the paws. If you have practice with you, you can shorten them yourself. Otherwise, it’s best to leave this to a specialist so you don’t accidentally injure the nerve endings.

In any case, it ensures pain-free short claws.
Healthy teeth are also important for dogs. Does he have bad breath? This is an indication that your Chesapeake has poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis is also possible. With special chewing articles and dog toothbrushes you can care for his teeth and prevent them from tartar and the like.

As you can see, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever requires little grooming . This compensates for the time you invest in his occupation.


The first time a Chessie was registered was in 1978 with the American Kennel Club. The breed standard was established in 1885. But where does the hunting dog come from?
In 1807, the story goes, a ship ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay. There were two puppies on board, both Newfoundland dogs. The legend tells that they were rescued at the last minute.

The two were native to the Bay and trained to be hunting dogs. Her job was to fetch ducks.
Although these two Newfoundlands were never crossed, they are believed to be the ancestors of today’s Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. Over time, different breeds became part of the pedigree. Today’s retriever developed from these around the bay.

Its properties were always better adapted to the harsh weather conditions.
Ancestry is believed to include Flat-Coated Retrievers, Curly-Coated Retrievers, and Irish Water Spaniels. In addition, various setters and coonhounds were probably involved.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Accessories

What dog items are part of the basic equipment for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever? Collars or harnesses and a leash are typical . A dog bed in which he is comfortable also makes sense. Food and water bowls also belong on the first shopping list. Every dog ​​needs different toys . Since the Chesapeake is a large dog, it is well taken care of in a transport box in the car .

For grooming you need a brush . It is best to choose one that penetrates into the undercoat. A brush is well suited. It removes the dead hair and removes dirt.
In order to have a lot of fun with your Chessie, you need tools.

They must be appropriate to his intelligence and ability. Hunting dog dummies are made for retrieval training . They are used for different training purposes. For example, there are water dummies for retrieving in water. A training diary helps you to keep track of working with your Chessie.

Is agility more your thing? You can get elements from the course for your daily practice at home. With different sets you can build your own track that is fun for both of you. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an incredibly quick learner and ambitious. No challenge is too difficult for him.

6.1Expert Score
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