Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Breed Facts & Information

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Lovers of the water, listen up! Here is a beautiful doggo that thrives in water and is ready to be your next swimming partner.


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Chesapeake Bay retrievers are originally hunting dogs with high intelligence, willful spirits and loads of energy. They make perfect companions for experienced dog owners who can provide their pup with sufficient physical activity. This doggy is ready to work and play!

The Basics

These powerful dogs hail from the sporting group breed and have strong, large bodies. Males are 23-26 inches and 65-80 pounds. Females are a bit smaller with average sizes of 21-24 inches and 55-70 pounds. Chesapeake Bay retrievers are athletic and loving companions with a life expectancy of 10-13 years.


The History

The Chesapeake Bay retriever, or Chessie, is one of the few breeds that can claim the U.S. as their place of origin.

The breed is believed to descend from two Newfoundland dogs named Sailor and Canton, who were known as excellent water dogs with a knack for duck hunting. Their puppies inherited their hunting and water skills, as well as their unusual amber-colored eyes.

Once the offspring were intermingled at the Carroll Island Kennels, the breed spread throughout the region. The American Kennel Club has recognized this breed from the club's beginnings in 1878 and The American Chesapeake Club was formed in 1918.


Chessies are Maryland's favorite dog, and if you ever take a visit to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, you will be greeted by two cast-iron Chesapeake Bay retrievers.

The Personality

Chessies are known for their happy disposition, intelligence, bravery, and obedience. They require firm and consistent training from an experienced dog owner. Obedience classes serve them well in order to establish proper canine to human communication.

Dominance issues can arise without establishing early who the pack leader is. Make sure to socialize them young and make it clear that you are in charge with a firm but loving hand. Otherwise, Chessies can become territorial, aggressive, and willful.


Chessies are, however, loving and gentle with the children of the family as well as with other pets. Supervising them around small bodies is recommended. These dogs can be quite playful with a goofy sense of humor.

While at home, Chessies are calm and reserved but do require a healthy amount of exercise. They love the water and thrive there but will also settle for a large grassy field to call their playground for the day.


The Appearance

This beautiful, muscular-bodied breed comes with a water-resistant coat, perfect for his swimming and duck hunting activities. The coat is meant to help the Chessie blend into his surroundings and can be any shade of brown, sedge or deadgrass (a dull tan color).

Like most retrievers, Chessies shed heavily and should be brushed weekly. This breed should be bathed as little as possible, however, to avoid stripping out the protective oils of the coat that make it water resistant. A warm bath once or twice during shedding season should suffice.


Mostly, this breed is known for their impressively beautiful amber eyes. One look is sure to melt your heart.

Chesapeake Bay retriever essential facts:

  • *Personality: *Intelligent, playful, affectionate, willful, obedient
  • *Energy Level: *Somewhat Active; Chessies love outdoor exercise, especially swimming
  • *Barking Level: *Barks when necessary
  • *Good with Children: *Better with supervision
  • *Good with other Dogs: *With supervision
  • *Shedding: *Seasonal
  • *Grooming: *Weekly
  • *Trainability: *Responds well
  • *Height: *23-26 inches (male), 21-24 inches (female)
  • *Weight: *65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
  • *Life Expectancy: *10-13 years

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