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The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a recognized breed and belongs to FCI Group 8 Retrievers – Scouts – Water Dogs. There the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is listed under Section 1, Working Trial Retrievers.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Breed Information

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Size: 53-66cm
Weight: 25-37kg
FCI Group: 8: Retrievers – Search dogs – Waterdogs
Section: 1: Retrievers
Country of origin: United States
Colours: brown, dark brown, light brown
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Suitable as: hunting dog
Sports: –
Personality: Happy, Affectionate, Intelligent, Calm, Dominant, Caring
Leaving requirements: high
Medium drool potential
Thickness of hair high
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: dense, short with a dense, fine, woolly undercoat
Child-friendly: rather yes
Family dog: yes
Social: no

Origin and breed history

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The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an exotic breed among retrievers. This not only refers to the guard and protective instinct and the unique phonetic language, but also to its origin. The dog belongs to the only retriever breed that originated in the USA. Although the exact history of its origin has not yet been scientifically clarified, a particularly unusual and beautiful legend is conveyed.

This states that the four-legged friends were created by two so-called St. John’s Newfoundland dogs, which arrived in Chesapeake Bay – Maryland – by ship in 1807. These two said dogs were named Sailor and Canton. According to legend, ‘Sailor’, a male, and ‘Canton’, a female dog, spent hours in the frigid water before being discovered and rescued by the local coast dwellers. The people were so impressed by the extraordinary stamina of the two dogs that the dogs were promptly trained as duck retrievers. And although the two dogs were never used to breed each other, the dogs are still considered the origin of the current Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed.

Cynologists suspect that this dog breed, which was registered in the American Kennel Club in 1878, is an actual crossbreed of several dog breeds, such as the Flat-Coated and the Curly Coated Retriever, but also the Irish Water Spaniel and other set breeds and coonhounds.

Nature & temperament of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever turns out to be a real dream for every dog ​​owner. He has a large portion of passion, determination, and perseverance. The dogs spread a real joy that is almost contagious. No task is too difficult for him and no undergrowth is too narrow for the four-legged friend. A natural worker, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a passionate and useful hunting companion. In addition, he has always been used and valued as a courageous watchdog and protection dog and an extraordinarily talented rescue dog. As a hunting dog, he can put his skills to the test, especially in a water hunt. The Chessie bravely breaks through the ice and even swims in the icy water after the hunted prey – The Chesapeake never gives up. In addition, the pedigree dogs, who are willing to work, are excellently suited as sturgeon dogs and bloodhounds.

At work, he is hard and independent, but the Chesapeake is all the more sensitive to his family because he builds a very close bond with his reference people. The four-legged friend is considered friendly, good-natured, and very fond of children – like all retrievers. At the same time, he has a particularly stubborn character. This corresponds to a trait that one would not necessarily attribute to a typical retriever. His original attitude as a pure working dog has enabled him to work independently and, in particular, to make his own decisions. The high level of intelligence and the strong self-confidence of the animals makes him doubt the usefulness of some educational attempts. It sometimes happens that Chesapeake Bay Retrievers very often go their own way and question the ranking between humans and animals. An owner who always recognizes his eagerness to work and entrusts him with his own tasks will nevertheless enjoy this truly lovable breed.

Is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever a family pet?

The Chessie can be kept as a family dog, but only if the dog is fully utilized mentally and physically.

The appearance of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

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The Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s past as a working dog is also visible on the outside. The dog has a height at the withers of approx. 66 cm for males and approx. 61 cm for females. The weight is over 36 kg or 32 kg. Thus, this breed is clearly one of the larger dog breeds among retrievers. The well-muscled body has adapted to the working conditions over the years and different types have emerged within this breed.

The fur color and texture of the fur has also adapted well to the area of ​​application. As with the other retriever breeds, the Standard prefers a solid color coat. However, the range of colors that the fur can show in different nuances is large. This ranges from a grass tone to a lighter red and a greyish brown to various shades of brown. The hair is short and dense and often a little oily. Due to its structure and dense undercoat, the fur of these dogs is extremely water-repellent. This allows the Chesapeake to swim in freezing water. The dense coat of hair is wavy from the neck to the back to the tail. On the other hand, the four-legged friend has smooth fur on the head, stomach and legs.

How big does the Chesapeake Bay Retriever get?

The males reach a height of 66 cm at the withers and the females about 61 cm.

Training and husbandry of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever – this is important to consider

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever will always be a working dog. Dog beginners or even families who are basically looking for an uncomplicated dog should refrain from this breed. The Chesapeake is certainly willing to learn and obedient, but only as soon as he is fully utilized physically and mentally. He needs a clear hierarchy, which the owner should consistently train in puppyhood. In addition, the Chesapeake is a “one-man dog” that is particularly fixated on a reference person. He tolerates the other family members and would also protect them in an emergency, but he does not always accept orders from them. A transfer to another dog handler is therefore difficult.

In addition, the retriever does not like to wait and he must first learn that the owner determines the daily routine. By adhering to a regular daily routine and fixed times, the four-legged friend is shown a structure and this helps him to keep his strong temperament in check. Early socialization is necessary in order to curb his instinct to guard and protect. The more constant the dog has contact with other dogs and people, the less the dog will be suspicious of strangers later.

How Much Does a Chesapeake Bay Retriever Cost?

Reputable breeders charge around $1,000 for a puppy of this breed.

Diet of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

One of the most important factors in dog health is proper nutrition. Improper nutrition causes a variety of diseases. In addition, a healthy diet prevents many diseases and has a positive effect on the well-being of the dog. Like other large dog breeds, the Chessie is prone to all sorts of joint problems. Especially as a young dog, he should definitely be given food that corresponds to his age and level of activity. Feed that is too high in energy can lead to premature growth in length. The cartilage and ligaments are not developed enough to support the increasing weight of four-legged friends. Later skeletal diseases will be the result. If a dog’s diet consists largely of meat, attention should be paid to the freshness and origin of the meat.

In order for owners to be sure their Chesapeake is getting the right amount of nutrients, it’s important that they understand their dog’s needs. If masters or mistresses have doubts, they can always seek advice from the breeder or a veterinarian.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

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Buying a puppy should always be done from a reputable breeder, as this affects the health of the animals. Before the dogs are approved for breeding, the animals must pass a character test, take a companion dog test and pass a dummy or higher hunting test. With a reputable purchase, various hereditary diseases, such as widespread hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, can be ruled out. Before the puppies move in with their new family, the puppies are vaccinated, dewormed, and chipped several times.

But since the dog breed has so far been spared from many hereditary diseases, the animals have a long life expectancy of up to 13 years.

How Old Does a Chesapeake Bay Retriever Get?

The average life expectancy of dogs is 13 years.

Grooming the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Caring for a Chesapeake is fairly easy, as Chessies are hardy and hardy. The short and very dense coat, which repels dirt and water, requires little care. Regular brushing is essential to reliably remove all dead hair. In addition, the eyes, ears and paws should be checked regularly and cleaned and trimmed if necessary.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Activities and Training

Compared to grooming, keeping a Chesapeakes Bay Retriever takes a lot of time. As a born “workhorse”, it is essential that this pedigree dog is allowed to carry out meaningful tasks that keep him busy for several hours. He needs both a physical and mental challenge. Extensive walks and bike tours together prove to be important, but are not sufficient. Owners who cannot provide the dog with hunting training should definitely be able to offer the four-legged friend other comparable alternative activities. With regular retrieval training or even training to become a rescue dog, the animals can be kept busy. Dog sports such as agility, dog dancing or obedience are also possible.

Good to know: Peculiarities of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

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The facial expressions and the range of vocalizations are particularly striking in this dog breed. Some dog lovers even call the dogs “talking” Chesapeakes. The four-legged friends draw special attention to themselves because of the strongly raised lips, which are reminiscent of a wide grin.

The loud tones, which sound like the pedigree dog is cooing, humming or even yodeling, are typical and unique to this breed.

Disadvantages of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Keeping this dog breed is only recommended for homeowners, because the hunting dog needs a lot of space. Also, never underestimate the retriever’s hunting instincts.

In addition, the four-legged friends particularly like to be in the water and will not miss any lake, pond or lake, so owners have to be prepared for a lot of dirt. Owners should have enough patience to accept such actions.

Is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever right for me?

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The Chessie suits active families who want to spend a lot of time with the dog and keep it busy. He is very friendly with children, but they need to know how to handle a dog. Seniors and beginners could be overwhelmed with this quite demanding dog breed.

A house in nature with a particularly large garden is ideal for species-appropriate husbandry. However, the property should be well fenced. It would be particularly nice if the dog had a body of water near its territory in which the four-legged friend could cool off. A Chesapeake, on the other hand, is not made for a pure city attitude. Due to its pronounced protective and watchful instincts and the constant impulse to “report” all passing neighbors, there will be some problems in urban areas.