Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Breed information: Facts, Traits, & Pictures

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023

It is believed that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, affectionately known as”Chessie “Chessie”, hails from Marylandand, more specifically specifically, the Chesapeake Bay area they get their name from. They were initially used to hunt waterfowl and retrieve them and were developed to excel in this task. Chessies are tough dogs with a lot of stamina as well as a fantastic ability to swim. They have the same traits as the other dogs in the Retriever family. But, they’re not as jolly like other Retrievers and tend to be very strong-willed and determined.

However however, it is true that the Chessie is an amazing dog with a high level of intelligence and a deep affection for their families. Being the most powerful of all the Retrievers, they can be a fierce, protective dog. They are a great family member for many families who are who are willing to accept the responsibility of caring for their pets. They have a rich history which has made them loved over the short time that they’ve existed.

Are you considering welcoming the Chessie to your home and you want to learn more before you take your next steps? This guide will help you discover about the history of the breed, its the temperament and appearance, as well as everything else you’ll must be aware of when it comes to caring for them. Are you ready to plunge into the water? Let’s get into the information you must be aware of this amazing water dog!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog

Breed History

By just looking at their name, it’s not difficult to figure out where this breed originated from. The dog is from shores along the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland which makes them among the very few breeds directly from in the United States. Although this is a fact, theories about their development are contested. There are a variety of stories regarding the history of the Chesapeake.

A popular tale traces their origins back to 1807 when the wreck of an English ship was discovered in ruins near the shores of Maryland. Two puppies were aboard the ship that was destroyedThe male Sailor and the female Canton. Canton was named in honor of the ship which helped the crew. Sailor as well as Canton were believed to be dogs of Newfoundland.

It is unclear if the breed was Newfoundland breeds as well as the dying St. John’s Water Dogs is not certain, but both breeds have a love for water as well as a high tolerance to cold temperatures, that they certainly have in the same way as Chessie! Chessie! However, Sailor and Canton went into fame as water dogs of the highest caliber, and were adept at aiding in hunting and retrieving ducks.

Their skillful tasks of serving their masters, and in particular their endurance in frigid cold water and the harsh winter weather A breeding program was created to breed Sailor as well as Canton. It is unclear whether they were bred together. But, they were crossed particularly by the Irish Water Spaniel and dogs like the Coonhound.

The breeding process continued with the selection of the top pups from the litter, and then breeding them together until the puppies consistently displayed the desirable traits. These traits went beyond abilities in hunting. The Chessies predecessors were raised to be great intimidators, and were able to guard their master’s game when they went out to hunt to hunt for more. This tactic of intimidation was favored over aggression, and the pups born soon developed excellent protection instincts.

In 1877, the pups that were bred throughout the years were created to appear identical. As the breeds had been merged, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed was established. The traits that were that were bred into the Chessie during that time are still present with a responsible bred puppy.

The dog is said to have been reported to be able to retrieve more than 200 ducks in a single day! In 1878, Chesapeake Bay Retriever was one of the first breeds registered in America. Chesapeake Bay Retriever was among the very first breeds to be that were registered in America and was officially recognized by the founding of the American Kennel Club in 1884. Over a century after the recognition of their breed, efforts to improve breeding were continued to ensure Chessie’s physical and psychological traits, and has led our attention to the breed that we are familiar with and love to this day.

In the year 1964 in 1964, the State of Maryland in 1964, Maryland declared that the Chessie as their official dog. The distinction was in place since the beginning of this breed. There have been famous owners throughout the years they have been a well-established breed. The president Theodore Roosevelt had a Chesapeake named Sailor Boy whom he loved deeply. In the past the the actor Tom Felton had a Chessie named Timber. In the year 2020 the AKC discovered the breed as the fifth most loved breed within the United States. In the present, the Chessie is beloved and loved not only in the US but all over the world over.


The Chessie is an extremely expert hunter They carry the characteristics required to succeed wherever they travel. They are smart, hardworking and reliable dogs. Chessies are a lot of fun to work and, as such, require lots of organization throughout their lives. They see their work as a game and therefore training is just equally important as playing time for them.

This, along with their cocky personality, is what makes them a dog suitable for experienced pet owners who are up to take on the challenges. They’ll need an unwavering hand, a vigilant eye, and lots of patience to be determined, which they are! Chessie is your Chessie is always an independent person who isn’t afraid to share the truth.

If you can control the reins of your Chesapeake Bay Retriever, you’ll find them to be an excellent pet for your family. Their devotion to their families is quite remarkable. They are genuine, loyal dogs who enjoy being at peace with their beloved ones. CBRs don’t really require much attention. they simply love to be with the company of the people they love.

They are excellent with children within their families and also are able to get along with pets they’ve been raised with. They may appear tough however, the Chessie is a truly gentle animal and can be a little sensitive. They are meant to be treated with respect and always keep fairness in the forefront.

It is said that the AKC breed standard outlines the most significant characteristics such as “courage, willingness to work, [and] alertness”. They are extremely secure and thus make them an excellent watchdog. They’re not the best choice for guard dog duties, since they don’t typically attack strangers.

CBRs might be prone to fear of dogs that are unfamiliar to them and therefore, making sure they behave appropriately is essential. It is due to their passion for working, Chessies make fantastic service dogs. Their inherent intelligence and sturdy bodies make them well suitable for competition obedience and agility tests.

Size and Appearance

The AKC defines the Chessie as being “of average size with medium length”.Breed standard stipulates that male Chesapeakes are between 23 and 26 inches tall on the shoulders, while female dogs should be between 21 and 24-inches tall. Males weigh between 65-80 pounds while females weigh between 55-70 pounds. Chessies are strong dogs, one of the toughest Retriever breeds. They are frequently confused with the chocolate lab however, due to their similar coloration.

The heads of Chessies are large and round. Their muzzles are the same length as their skulls, and they should be tapered, but not sharp. The eyes of Chessies are wide and clear, and of an medium-sized size, and are yellowish or amber in the color. They are shrewd and intelligentwhich is the key to their distinctive “intelligent expression”: one of the most significant aspects of the breed standard. The ears of CBRs are high on their heads and hang loosely. The lips of a CBR are typically slim and not a little pendulous. These traits come together to create the elegant and refined look we have come to know and love about this breed.

Chessies are solid, well-defined, muscles. Their necks are strong and medium-length and they taper towards the shoulders. Their topline indicates the shoulders to be about the same height as their hindquarters, and if they are not slightly shorter. They have strong chests that are wide and broad, as well as an rib cage that is round. The flanks are pulled up. The Chessie’s tail is medium thickness at its beginning, and then taper to the end. The tail is flat and doesn’t curly over the back.

The hind and forelegs are extremely strong and are free of any restrictions in their movement. This is particularly true for the hindquarters as they are the ones that provide the power needed for swimming. They are good size and are well-webbed. The CBR’s gait has been described as “smooth, free and effortless, giving the impression of great power and strength.”

Coat and Colors

Chessies generally have a shorter outer coat. The undercoat of a chessiest dog is thick and wooly, which allows them to stay warm even in cold weather. The two layers of fur are both oily, which is crucial to keep your dog warm and dry while you swim. The oils block excessive water from getting to the skin of your dog, and help in drying quickly and drying. As we all are aware, oils repel water!

The Chesapeake coat is known to have an tendency to wiggle however, it only does so on the neck, shoulders back, shoulders, and the loins. Curly coats are not permitted by the AKC however they are definitely present in a few Chessies! The same is true for length of coat as well. The texture and length of coats is unique to every Chessie and you might discover an Chesapeake with fur that is a length longer than the recommended 1.5 inches. However, they shed, which makes them unsuitable for those suffering from allergies.

For coat colors We typically have three primary shades that are brown, sedge and deadgrass. Sedge is an dark reddish brown that you often observe on dogs such as the Irish Setters. Deadgrass is a yellow-brown hue that looks just like… dead grass! They come in a variety of shades. Gray or taupe colors can be seen occasionally however they are not the most popular. Colored dogs that self-color (where the hue is consistent throughout the body) are the preferred breed for the AKC. But a white spot located on the breast, belly, toes or the back of the feet is also acceptable.


Chessies are extremely energetic dogs. They require at least sixty minutes of physical activity each day, but it’s not surprising to hear them ask for more! In reality, Chesapeakes need more than the usual hour-long walk every day. They are extremely intelligent and require variety in their workout routine.

It is essential to keep both mind and body engaged because a lack of mental stimulation can result in bad behaviorsuch as chewing on things that they shouldn’t! Make games for them to engage in, like the game of fetch or tug-of-war. Making sure they are not bored is the best method to make sure they’re happy and behaved.

The Chessie performs their best workout by the pool particularly when it’s cold! They are most content when they have access to water so that they are able to splash around, swim as well as play until their hearts’ satisfaction. Therefore, it’s essential to have a pool pond, or any other body of water in which the Chesapeake is able to exercise. It’s also a great method to allow your Chessie to get active. They’ll surely be enthralled by the company of you while you travel through the woods and rough terrain.

Living Requirements

Being in a rural location means a lot of opportunities for exploring and exercise and that’s great opportunity for you and your Chesapeake Bay Retriever! But, they are able to thrive in urban environments, if they are provided with sufficient exercise. Because they’re not very loud dogs, Chessies are able to be kept in apartments, but they will require you to take them out a few times per day to walk. Chesapeakes are always happy in a space they can play in. The larger the yard, the more spacious.

Chessies are more suited to colder climates over warm ones due to the double-coats they wear. They should have no difficulty playing in cold weather however they must be kept warm when temperatures rise. Make sure to provide them with plenty of shade and water in the summer because they are susceptible to overheating. Also, they should have plenty of toys to chew and to play with throughout the year to avoid destructive behaviour.


The Chessie is a smart dog, but their training doesn’t always happen easily. As we’ve mentioned before, they have a robust, independent mind. It is essential to remain consistent and firm in your training and never allow them to be a nuisance even once. They are prone to be very impulsive and can be quite a nuisance if they are not taught as early as is possible.

It is also essential to ensure that everyone in the family participates in the training of your Chessie to get them familiar with the pecking order. Making them aware that they’re not the top dog is crucial to their behavior. However, you should not be cruel when they train. Chessies are extremely sensitive dogs that will soon become angry at perceived injustice. Positive reinforcement during your training program is the most effective method to take, since it teaches correct behavior easier.

Once you’ve established a good relationship with your Chessie You’ll be able to see their intelligence working in your favor instead of working against you. It’s time to move on to more complex tricks, which they’ll discover extremely satisfying because it offers lots in terms of stimulation for their brains. Maintain your routine and remain constant in your training for the best outcomes. You could also prepare them for agility and obedience trials if you intend to participate in any kind of competition. They are accustomed to this, as long as they’re being recognized for their efforts.

Socialization is extremely important for this breed, since they are often very shy with animals and people they don’t get to know well. The socialization program must be completed when they first enter your home. Let them get used to the new animals, people and surroundings in a secure and steady speed. This will allow them to gain confidence and avoid excessive aggression in strangers. It’s a good option to enroll them into puppy kindergarten classes so that they are taught how to behave in a manner that is appropriate for the other dogs they meet.


If you purchase a purebred dog from an accredited breeder will make sure that the dog is as fit as they can be. Breeders with good credentials will guarantee that your puppy is free of any potential genetic diseases. Chessies live a life span between 10 and thirteen years. Maintaining their health throughout the years is crucial to their well-being and happiness as well as prolonging the time they spend with you.

However, it is essential to be aware of the possible health hazards that your dog might be afflicted with. Being aware of these ailments is essential to ensure that they receive prompt treatment by a vet. Although your Chessie might not be affected by the diseases we’ve listed below, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of them, since Chessie breeds are predisposed to them.

Hip Dysplasia

It is normal for many Chessies to suffer from hip dysplasia. It is a condition that is caused by the thigh bone fails to sit properly in the socket of your hip. This causes a sloppy gait, a different posture or a limp in either of the hindquarters. It can be a painful problem as your CBR is carrying a significant amount of pressure on their legs and hips. Since this condition is usually genetic, it’s a good idea to inquire with the breeder you are using about this issue, and also if you or your Chessie is at risk of developing it. Responsible breeders will always check their pups to check for hip dysplasia.

Gastric Torsion

Because the CBR has a chest that is deep and chest, they are likely be diagnosed with gastric torsion, or the bloat. This is a serious condition and could be fatal. It happens when the stomach is filled with gas or air and then it twists. Dogs’ blood pressure decreases because they are unable to eliminate the contents of their stomach. They can go into shock. This is a condition that requires immediate vet care. The signs of bloat include a droopy stomach, vomiting but not vomiting and heart rate that increases, anxiety, and excessive drooling.

Fortunately, gastric torsion can be easy to avoid. Bloat can be triggered when the dog eats fast or drinks too quickly and excessively or exercise too quickly after eating. Making sure your dog is fed the right amount of water and food can aid in preventing this problem. For your dog’s safety, you should only let your dog take part in vigorous activities within an hour or so is passed since the last meal.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Chessies can be a sign of Progressive Retinal Atrophy in their later years. It can happen earlier in life, starting from the age of puppyhood. It is later referred to as retinal dysplasia. It is a condition where the retina’s cells are not developing properly. These conditions can lead to total or partial blindness. It’s not difficult, but it can impact your dog’s quality of living. If this happens you should address the situation with your vet to determine what options you have, and also know what you should do if vision loss happens.


Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever requires regular, healthy nutrition to establish the basis for their health. They require a high-quality diet that can sustain them throughout their entire life and include protein mostly from meat.

The most efficient method of providing them with this is also to be the most effectiveto do it – by using dry kibble that is of the highest quality. It is essential to give them the right food that meets the requirements of each stage. The puppyhood stage requires proper nutrition to ensure growth, so that they can develop into a healthy, fit body. The life stages of senior and adulthood require maintaining their body, and also maintaining their overall health.

It shouldn’t be a problem to find food items for your Chessie. But, you’ll have to keep their level of activity in mind when making decisions about the size of their meals. Chessies are extremely active dogs, and therefore they will eat more than most breeds of dogs. Puppy dogs require calorie-dense foods to ensure their growth. their portions will change as they increase in size. Adult CBRs will require larger portions of food however they will not require their food to be as nutritiously dense. Seniors are likely to eat less, but they will still require a significant amount of protein to maintain their muscle strength!

There are a variety of aspects to take into consideration when deciding the amount of food you give your Chessie. They include size, age and level of activity. A consult with your veterinarian in determining the appropriate size of portions is the best method to make sure your dog gets the right amount. Overfeeding could lead to overweight, which can open the way to many avoidable illnesses.

If your CBR becomes picky about the food they eat, then you could be finding yourself confused about what to do about the issue. A good approach is being strict about meal times. Chesapeakes require a lot of discipline in their lives. they need the same structure at mealtimes. Set their food out over a period of 30 minutes. If the food remains unopened then take it out until the time comes to eat the next meal. It is also possible to mix wet food with the dry kibble of your dog to make the food more appealing.


Although they shed a lot and shedding a lot, as Retriever breeds tend to do, taking care of the coat of your Chesapeake Bay Retriever isn’t an issue. They’ll require a weekly brushing using a rubber curry brush to get rid of excess fur and distribute the oils throughout their coat and keep the coat’s wave. This is the reason why it is not recommended to make use of a wire slicker brush because it can harm the texture of your coat.

In terms of bathing Chessies require only just a couple of baths per year. It is a good idea to take a bath when the seasons change to allow them to blow their coats out more effectively- and remove the fur that is accumulating. Overbathing is to be avoided at all costs, as this can remove the natural oils that give their coat the super water-and-weatherproofing characteristic to them. It is not necessary to trim your CBR’s coat as it is naturally short. This easy-to-maintain grooming is just among the numerous factors that makes Chesapeakes attractive breeds.

Make sure you ensure that your dog’s ears are clear. Chesapeakes don’t always require to be groomed since their ears perform well in maintaining their cleanliness. However, it’s an ideal idea to maintain regular grooming routine. Use an ear pad made of cotton and an ear cleaner recommended by your doctor. Cleanse the areas of your ear that you can see to get rid of dirt and other debris.

It is also important to clean your dog’s teeth every few times per every week to keep their white teeth shining. This can be done using toothpaste and a toothbrush designed specifically for dogs. Cut their nails frequently too to avoid injury.

Breeders and Puppy Costs

It’s a good idea to adopt an Chessie from a trusted breeder. But, it is important to conduct your own research to make sure that the breeder you buy from has conducted their breeding in a responsible manner. Responsible breeding is essential for the survival of the breed.

There are numerous breeders who have established puppy mills in which profit is the sole thing that is taken into consideration. These mills have no respect towards the dogs they raise, and they will abuse dogs in the hopes of creating the most puppies they can. The living conditions are dangerous and filthy, with no the ability to breathe fresh air or water and food that is clean. Avoid these breeders at all times. A lot of them will be offering unusual colors for the CBR’s eyes and coat.

However there are many excellent breeders who care for their dogs. It is evident if the breeders are passionate about their breed and willing to show you where their puppies are. The area will be tidy and cozy, with plenty of things that your puppy can enjoy.

Good breeders will also help you to meet your puppy prior to bringing them home. This will help them make a smooth transition to a happy family life. They are also willing with any queries you might have regarding the breed, and will also provide you with everything you should be aware of. They’ll also give you certificates by the veterinarian that detail the tests, vaccinations, as well as deworming procedures.

Finding a trustworthy, reliable breeder is not difficult. Your vet may be able to assist you with your leads if you contact them. Shows for dogs are also an excellent source of details. Finding out the truth straight from the dog lovers can make your search much easier particularly if one of them has a Chesapeake that they are passionate about!

There are a variety of forums on the internet which can direct you to the right direction and. If not you can use the AKC offers a great online resource for referring breeders. You can expect to spend between $1,000 and $1,500 for an Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy, with show-quality dogs going for more.

Rescues and Shelters

Breeders are always a great alternative to consider when seeking a puppy to adopt. We always suggest that our readers take a puppy from an animal rescue or shelter. There is a good chance of finding an Chessie available to adoption at your local shelter. A lot of dogs available for adoption are senior pets or have special needs, and so are more likely to leave the extra attention.

Shopping for versus adopting can give the dog a fresh chance to live a better life. It is estimated that there are 3.3 million animals thrown in shelters every year and a large portion of them being killed. It’s very likely you Chessie is one of those dogs So be sure to take a good look at everything!

When you are choosing the perfect Chessie to save, make sure to inquire with the staff at the shelter what you’ll need to be aware of about the dog you are getting. Having a good understanding of your dog’s complete background-everything from their temperament to health issues- will help give you a clearer picture of the care that you are supposed to give them. Understanding their specific requirements, if they have any, is much easier when you’re not required to perform all the guesswork.

Although rescuing a pet is an act of heroism to do, you should always keep in mind to be gentle with your new pet. Being the new addition to your family, they’re likely to be scared of their new surroundings and the new animals and people they will need to be acquainted with. It can be an extremely difficult moment for them and you should be certain to be kind to them when they settle into their new surroundings. A lot of them have had tough times and will require all the assistance they can receive to get comfortable. If you give them the proper affection and attention you can get your Chessie returning to feeling comfortable and content with their new home within a matter of minutes.

If you’re struggling to search for an Chessie to help There is a wonderful resource offered through Chesapeake Bay Retriever – Relief and Rescue. It will surely guide you in the right direction, so both you and your pet will be reunited in the shortest time possible.

As Family Pets

  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are the most powerful of all Retriever breeds.
  • They’re suited for work and they will appreciate it just equally as they do playing.
  • The breed is generally less private in comparison to the Golden and Labrador Retrievers..
  • They won’t be as lucky as counterparts in the Retriever breed.
  • The breed loves to be with their family.
  • They are extremely loving dogs with excellent protective instincts.
  • Chessies are great around other pets in the houseEven cats!
  • They are very active and require lots of exercise every day.
  • Chessies think independently.
  • They’ll require their owners to be in charge and establish a structure.
  • The breed is able to live in an apartment, but thrives in houses with a big backyard.
  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are not hypoallergenic.
  • Chessies prefer cooler moderate and colder temperatures.
  • The breed is recognized to have some health issues genetic to the breed that require surveillance.
  • They are simple to maintain since they require only cleaned once every week.

Final Thoughts

We hope this piece will help you understand all you need to be aware of about taking care of your brand new Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Although it’s certain you’ll encounter some challenges in raising your dog to be the best that they can be but your Chessie is well worth the effort. They have so many things to offer, and it’s crucial that we are capable of giving them the love and attention they require to flourish and live the best life they can. This is the most effective method to live a happy life together and with Chessie!

The majestic Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a loving and loyal pet for the family. They’re happy to be wherever you go, and will surely be incredible swimming and hiking buddies. They’d love nothing more than to be with you throughout every adventure. Prepare yourself to match the passion they show! With the information you’ve learned from this guide now you’re ready to start your journey with your Chessie. Now you have a head of providing them with the most healthy and happy life they can possibly live!

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