Chesapeake Bay Retriever Information

Overview

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, commonly called "Chessie" is a true American sporting breed. It has been hailed as the state dog of Maryland. The breed was developed after an English brig wrecked off the coast of Maryland in 1807.Two Newfoundlands were rescued from the shipwreck and later bred with local retrievers. The Chessie was bred to retrieve on later and water. The original Chesapeake Bay Retriever often retrieved several hundred birds per day from rough,icy waters. Loving and intelligent, the Chessie is best suited for families that love outdoor activities.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Basic Info
NameChesapeake Bay Retriever
Other Name Chessie, CBR, Chesapeake
OriginUSA
Size Type Large Dog Breeds
Breed Group Hunting Dog Breeds
Life Span 10 - 12 years
TemperamentQuiet, Dominant, Protective, Happy, Affectionate, Intelligent
Height21 to 26 inches
Weight55 to 80 lbs
ColorsLight Brown, Deadgrass, Sedge, Tan, Brown, Dark Brown
Puppy Price$700 - $900 USD

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Physical description

Body Type

Male Chessies stand between 23 and 26 inches tall and weigh from 65 to 80 pounds. Females measure 21 to 24 inches and weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.For AKC standards, height from the shoulder blades to the ground should be slightly less than the length from the breastbone to the buttocks.

The skull is broad, round and has a medium stop. The eyes are amber-colored, medium-large and set wide apart with an intelligent expression. The ears are smallish, of medium leather, set well up and hang loosely. The nose is rather short. The muzzle is about the same length of the skull and tapers to a point that is not sharp. The lips are thin and the bite is either level or scissors.

The medium-length neck is strong, muscular and tapers to the shoulder. The hindquarters are a bit higher than the shoulders for AKC approval. The back is short and powerful. The chest is deep and wide with a round and deep rib cage barrel. The medium length tail is either straight or slightly curved and heavy at the base.

The forequarters are strong with legs medium in length, straight and well-boned and muscled. Medium length pasterns are slightly bent.

The hindquarters are especially powerful for swimming. Hind legs are straight, muscular and well-boned. The stifles are angled. Webbed hare feet are large with close and well-rounded toes. By AKC standards, dewclaws from the hind feet must be removed.

Color

The Chessie's coat is short and thick with a dense, fine and woolly undercoat. The hair on the face and legs is very short and straight. Hair on the neck, shoulders, back and loins tends to be wavy. There may be moderate feathering on the back of the hindquarters and tail.

The oils in the Chessie's outer and undercoats protect the dog from icy water. It resists water in the same way that a duck's feathers does. After the dog shakes off water, his coat is merely moist.

The Chessie's coat color blends in with the dog's surroundings. Colors include brown, sedge, deadgrass or self-colored. Some Chessies may have a white spot on the breast, belly, toes or back of the feet.

Coat

The Chessie's coat is short and thick with a dense, fine and woolly undercoat. The hair on the face and legs is very short and straight. Hair on the neck, shoulders, back and loins tends to be wavy. There may be moderate feathering on the back of the hindquarters and tail.

The oils in the Chessie's outer and undercoats protect the dog from icy water. It resists water in the same way that a duck's feathers does. After the dog shakes off water, his coat is merely moist.

The Chessie's coat color blends in with the dog's surroundings. Colors include brown, sedge, deadgrass or self-colored. Some Chessies may have a white spot on the breast, belly, toes or back of the feet.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  No

Grooming

Although the Chessie's coat is short, frequent brushing is necessary since both the outer and undercoat have essential oils to protect the dog in water. Use a firm bristled brush to remove dead hairs. This breed is an average shedder and shedding increases in the spring and fall.

The oils in the coat have a distinct odor and can be controlled with infrequent bathing. Bathing too often should be avoided in order to prevent stripping the important oils.

Chessies are prone to hot spots. To help prevent them, remove dead hair from the undercoat so that air can get to the skin.

Trim nails and clean the ears once a month. Take care not to clean the ears any further than you can see.

History

The Chessie's story begins in the winter of 1807 when an English ship wrecked off the coast of Maryland. All the passengers were rescued, including two Newfoundlands. A family of dog lovers took in the Newfoundlands. They were later mated with local retrievers including the Flat-coated Retriever, Curly-coated Retriever and the English Otter Hound.

Over the years, careful breeding produced an outstanding retriever with incredible endurance. The Chessies were used to hunt waterfowl in the Chesapeake Bay. They have been known to retrieve hundreds of birds in a single day from icy waters. Water rolls off the dogs much like it does off of a duck.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was recognized by the AKC in 1898. Some of the breed's talents include hunting, retrieving, tracking, guarding, field spots and obedience competition.

Temperament

Chessies are brave, intelligent and obedient dogs. They tend to mature a little slowly and may be a little slow to learn in the beginning. They are affectionate, friendly and good with children. They will likely get along with cats already in the household but may chase other cats.

The Chessie has a profound passion for the water and will be the happiest and best behaved with outdoorsy type families. Owners must make sure to be the leader of the pack in this dogs eyes. Any weakness perceived may result in a domineering and stubborn dog. Professional training is recommended.


Interesting Chesapeake Bay Retriever Facts

  • The Chessie was declared the official state dog of Maryland in 1974.
  • The Chessie is the University of Maryland's mascot.
  • Notable owners include George Armstrong Custer and President Theodore Roosevelt.