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Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

In the world of dogs, retrievers are a wide and varied group.

Many people look to the retrieving group for a family dog or companion.

If you are interested in a loving and loyal retriever who works hard, look no further!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is just the breed for you!

This pup ranges on the medium to large side of things.

His attentive eyes will always be looking to you for encouragement and guidance.

The chessie thrives on doing a job well done.

Experts recommend this breed for anyone looking for a working dog.

Anyone looking for a companion dog only should not consider this breed.

The chessie needs to work and will be unhappy if not given the opportunity to do so.

So, what do you need to know about this breed before finding a puppy?

This article will cover personality, appearance, training, and the history of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

We will also take a look at any potential health issues and grooming needs you should be aware of.

If you are ready to learn more about this amazingly loyal and hard-working pup, keep reading!

Let’s meet the chessie!


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

This beautiful water retriever is perfectly built for his job as a duck dog!

The breed typically stands between 21-26 inches tall and weighs 55-80 pounds.

One key element to this pup is his coat.

The chessie boasts a medium length coat that is soft underneath and wiry and wavy on top.

It often feels oily to the touch, even when your pup is freshly bathed.

This oily layer helps your chessie to shed water and insulate against the frigid temperatures of the Eastern seaboard.

Usually, a purebred Chesapeake Bay Retriever will be a solid color.

There is the possibility of small white markings on your pup.

A variety of colors are available, ranging from brown to tan, deadgrass to sedge.

Deadgrass is a shade of color that takes its name from the yellowish colors of dead grass, and often mistaken for white.

This breed is built similarly to other retrievers, with one notable difference.

The chessie’s hindquarters stand very high, sometimes higher than his shoulders.

This enables the chessie to use extra leverage while running and swimming.

This beautiful dog has a noble and proud bearing that comes from know he did a job well done.

As long as you take care of your pup, he will take care of you!


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

The chessie is a gregarious pup who loves people…just give him some time to get used to you!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever may treat newcomers with suspicion until he becomes better acquainted with them.

Generally speaking, this breed is very friendly and does well with children and other animals.

Some experts have noted that the chessie may exhibit aggressive behavior towards other dogs.

This makes early socialization training imperative for this breed.

Once you have integrated your chessie into your family, he will be unfailingly loyal to you.

Like most retrievers, the chessie thrives on training and wants to do everything you ask.

However, this breed is known to have independent thinking skills, which can make him strong-willed.

For this reason, the chessie might not be the best breed for a first-time dog owner.

The chessie is one of the most even-tempered dogs out there.

It takes a lot to get him riled up.

This breed is not known for a lot of barking or making noise.

If he does bark, you know something must be wrong!

With this pup’s loyal and hard-working personality, you couldn’t ask for a more steadfast companion!


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

One of the most important things to know about this breed is that the chessie is both extremely intelligent and energetic.

This is a very high energy dog.

If you have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, you should plan to spend at least 30-40 minutes a day giving your pup a decent workout.

Going on runs and hikes are perfect for your pup’s mental and physical stimulation.

Playing at a dog-park is also an option.

Remember to properly socialize your chessie before taking him to a dog-park!

This breed can be suspicious of other dogs at first, so proper training is key!

Originally bred as a working dog, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever loves having a task to complete.

You will find he’s completely inexhaustible while working!

Give your pup extra mental stimulation with agility training and puzzles.

This will help him burn off his excess mental energy as well as physical energy!

Once your pup has expended some of his energy, he will happily chill with you!

If you are unable to commit to daily mental and physical activities with your pup, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever might not be the breed for you.

A wonderful companion dog, this chessie will be mellow and content as long as he gets enough exercise!


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

The chessie is a shorthaired pup, sporting a soft undercoat and a harsh topcoat.

This was bred into the Chesapeake Bay Retriever to help insulate him from the cold waters of the bay.

Generally speaking, this breed does not shed much.

If you can dedicate about 10-20 minutes a week brushing out your pup, that should suffice.

This weekly brushing will help remove any dead hair that you would otherwise have to vacuum out of your carpet.

Other than that, the chessie is very low maintenance when it comes to grooming.

The harsh topcoat repels dirt and debris, so your chessie won’t need to get a bath very often.

Bathing can be done once every few months, or if your pup decides to roll in something particularly stinky!

Beware of over washing your pup!

This can result in the protective oils in his coat being stripped away.

Additional grooming needs include teeth, nails and ears.

Be sure to brush your chessie’s teeth at least twice a week to prevent a buildup of tartar.

Double check your pup’s nails once a week and trim them promptly when they get too long.

When you are brushing him, check your dog’s ears and clean them gently if you find any irritation or dirt buildup.

Consistency and thoroughness will help you maintain a beautiful and healthy dog!


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

The most important part of training your Chesapeake Bay Retriever is consistency.

Your pup will learn to respect you if you maintain a stable expectation for his behavior.

Start your puppy as early as possible with obedience and socialization training.

This will help set him up to be a courteous and respectful pup for the rest of his life!

The chessie can be a very independent thinker, so continuing obedience training is a must.

This breed can also be naturally suspicious of other dogs.

Some experts warn that the chessie can be aggressive toward other dogs if not trained properly.

Pay special attention to your pup’s socialization training.

Make sure you expose him to plenty of different environments, situations, and people.

You are not only helping him learn how to be calm in all sorts of situations, but you are doing yourself a favor.

Another aspect of training that is important for this breed is speed and agility.

Because the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was originally bred to be a working dog, he thrives on mental and physical challenges.

Even getting puzzles for your pup to work on will help him burn that mental energy.

Do yourself and your chessie both a favor and take the time to train him.

Both of you will be happier and better able to enjoy the rest of life together!


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

Just like many breeds, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is generally healthy but can be prone to certain medical issues.

Always ask your breeder what medical screenings they do for their breeding stock.

There is no way to predict if your puppy will develop any of these conditions.

However, the possibility can be lowered by ensuring that your pup’s parents don’t have any history or proclivity towards any medical condition.

A responsible breeder will not breed any dogs that have questionable medical history or test results.

Here are some common health issues to ask your breeder about.

First and foremost is hip dysplasia.

This condition occurs when the hip socket forms improperly.

As the dog gets older, his joint will pop out, causing pain and difficulty walking.

Another potential health concern is eye problems, particularly progressive retinal atrophy.

If this condition manifests, it always results in a permanent loss of vision.

A very rare condition that may pop up is degenerative myelopathy.

Untreatable and incurable, this illness attacks the dog’s limb strength, eventually resulting in paralysis.

As stated above, there is no way to predict if your puppy will develop this condition.

There have even been some dogs who tested positive for degenerative myelopathy never manifested any symptoms.

The best means of prevention is screening your pup’s parents to ensure there is a lower likelihood of the disease showing up.

Find a reliable and conscientious breeder and you’re halfway to finding a healthy pup!


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

As hinted by his name, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever originated in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland and Virginia.

The bay is well-known as a duck-hunter’s paradise.

It is located in the migratory path called the Atlantic Flyway, utilized by ducks and geese every year to travel to and from their summer homes.

However, the bay boasts frigid waters from early winter through the spring.

In the 19th century, the owners of local duck-clubs put their wealth to use developing a breed to meet the duck retrieving demand.

Using Newfoundlands, Irish Water Dogs, and other hounds of undocumented heritage, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was created.

The chessie checked all the boxes that the duck-hunters needed.

His coat is both waterproof and insulating, perfectly protecting against the freezing waters of the bay.

The chessie’s broad chest and webbed feet help him swim strongly while retrieving.

Above all, this breed has an indefatigable energy and drive that allows him to put in long days working with no complaint.

Since the breed’s development, the chessie has also gained respect working in the fields of therapy, search and rescue, and drug and bomb detection.

He just wants to do a good job and make his owner proud.

The state of Maryland named the Chesapeake Bay Retriever it’s official state dog in 1964.

No matter where he goes, this pup is well-loved.

Where Can I Find Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppies?

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

As always, your number one priority should be to find a reliable breeder.

Puppy mills and internet scams are out there waiting for you to fall prey to their wiles.

Talk with your breeder and don’t hesitate to ask them questions.

A reputable breeder will not hesitate to answer any questions you may have.

They will be more than happy to provide any paperwork you ask for.

One thing you should not hesitate to ask about is your pup’s medical history.

Check his parent’s medical clearances and ask your breeder about any medical concerns they might have.

There is no bad question, and it is always better to ask too many questions than too few.

If you are unsure of how to choose a puppy, you can ask your breeder for recommendations.

Many breeders provide a personality quiz that can help you pinpoint which puppy will work best with your family.

Try to spend as much time with your puppy as possible before you take him home with you.

You want him to be accustomed to you so that when you take him home, he is not overly frightened by the change.

Are you ready to look at Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies?

Head over to our puppies to start browsing!


Q: Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers make good apartment dogs?
A: Not generally. They have a lot of energy and need more space than what an apartment can generally provide.

Q: Is this breed good with young children?
A: Once your pup becomes acclimatized to your family, yes. Socialization training is important to accustom your pup to children outside your family.

Q: Does this breed need a lot of exercise?
A: The chessie does need more consistent exercise. He has a lot of energy, so plan on at least 30-50 minutes of activity each day.

In Closing

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed

Bred for duck-hunting, this breed is now known for so much more!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is well-known and loved around the United States as a companion as well as working dog.

Well, what do you think?

Have you fallen in love with the chessie?

If so, you can check out some adorable puppies here!

Thank you for learning about this hard-working breed with me!

Until next time!


American Kennel Club. (2022, 4 8). Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Retrieved from American Kennel Club:

Dogtime. (2022, 4 8). Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Retrieved from Dogtime:

Hillspet. (2022, 4 8). Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Retrieved from Hillspet:

Maryland Manual Online. (2022, 4 8). Symbols. Retrieved from Maryland Manual Online:

Orvis. (2022, 4 8). Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Retrieved from Orvis:

Vetstreet. (2022, 4 8). Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Retrieved from Vetstreet:

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