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Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)

Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large, powerful and muscular dog. Slightly larger and longer in the leg than the Labrador, the Chesapeake has a very dense, thick coat. This should be short and hard, with an oily feel to it, smooth on the face and legs but wavy over the shoulders. Along with the water-resistant coat which protects the Chesapeake from the harshest of weather conditions, they have strong webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers.

  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • Great family dog
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Weight:  25 – 36.4kg
Height:  53 – 66cm
Colours:  The coat is described as ‘dead grass’ in colour, which ranges from straw to bracken,
other colours are ‘sedge’ which is a red gold shade, and any shade of brown or
ash is also accepted. They may have small spots of white on the chest and feet
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Gundog

Ratings

Family-friendly: 3/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 1/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 5/5
Chesapeake Bay Retriever with blue eyes

Personality

Bright and cheerful, playful and independent, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a big and powerful dog, and not ideally suited to the novice owner. With the right approach, and an owner who understands what makes these dogs tick and has the ability to provide for that, they can make an excellent companion, but this is a hard-working breed who really wants to work. They won’t be happy lazing around and need kind, consistent training to behave as respectable members of canine society.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever in the water

History and Origins

Country of Origin: United States

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an American breed, named for the Chesapeake Bay which stretches from Havre de Grace, Maryland, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is the third largest estuary in the world, and this huge area of wetland meant water-fowl hunters needed a very robust, powerful and water-resistant dog to find and retrieve shot game.

The Chesapeake was developed from British dogs brought over by settlers, and Chesapeake’s ancestors can be traced back to two Newfoundland’s, rescued as puppies from a ship wrecked off the Maryland coast in the early 19th century. These puppies, a brown dog named Sailor and black bitch called Canton were later mated with the local retrieving dogs and their offspring inherited the retrieving ability from their retriever parents and the oily, water-resistant coat, powerful build and webbed feet of their Newfoundland parents, giving them the perfect build and ability to work the icy waters of the Bay.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have been the official State Dog of Maryland since 1967.
  • The American actor Paul Walker, famous for the Fast & Furious films, owned a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Boone, who appeared alongside him in the film Into The Blue (2005).
  • It is claimed that a Chesapeake once retrieved over 300 ducks in one day from the near freezing waters, and that “even heavy seas did not deter them from their work”!
  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have webbed feet which is one of the many reasons they make such great swimmers.
  • These dogs are known to be extremely playful with a very goofy sense of humour.

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