Chesapeake Bay Retrievers


Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

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Breed Notes

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, as the name suggests, comes from the Chesapeake Bay of the United States. Duck hunters find him to be unsurpassed as a water retriever. It is believed that his ancestry may have begun with a pair of Newfoundlands who were rescued from a British ship in 1807 and who were then bred to Flatcoat and Curly-Coated Retrievers. He is one of the few breeds that was developed in the United States.
As a hunter, the Chessie is physically and mentally tough and extremely independent. These characteristics give him the reputation of being a stubborn dog. He is a relentless worker with great courage and power. He is a devoted family dog who loves children. Because of his instinct to hunt, he requires adequate exercise.
The Chessie's skull is broad with a medium drop from skull to muzzle (the stop). the ears are set at the top of the head and hang loosely along the neck. The eyes are medium large and yellow or amber in color. The neck is strong, as are the shoulders and chest. The chest is deep. The body is of medium length. The legs are straight with good bone and muscle. The feet are webbed to enable him to swim better. The tail is either straight or slightly curved and hangs to the hocks. The coat is double with a dense, fine, woolly undercoat that helps keep icy water from reaching the skin and a short, thick outer coat that is about one-and-one-half inches in length. The outer coat has a dull rather than shiny look and an almost oily texture which sheds water and aids in insulating him from the wet and cold. The coat tends to wave on the shoulders, neck, back and loins. It is straight on the head and legs. Coat color ranges from dark brown to tan to straw color. Average height is between 23 and 26 inches and average weight is between 65 and 75 pounds.


grahamkl@bellsouth.net of Pomaria, SC writes:

Friend, entertainer and faithful guardian.
I have had the fortune of owning my Chessie for two wonderful years. I invested many hours of research before I decided on the breed, but I could not love another dog or breed any more! He has the heart of pure affection and love, as well as a firm protective streak, which I appreciate. He is a true entertainer ... all eyes must be on him when he dives into his three-foot deep plastic pool. If you have had a long day, he makes you laugh by chasing his tail. He even smiles at you when you say his name. He loves children and any activity that involves water and retrieving. My career as a contractor allows me to take him to work with me. He is a very friendly dog, loving to all people and other dogs. On the weekends, we hunt and hike. He also has an extrordinary sense, one that I am still trying to figure out. It seems that he can sense my diabetic mother's blood sugar drop. The first time it happened, her blood sugar dropped so quickly, there was little time for her to notice. He began whining, and pacing around her and would not stop. A few minutes later, she told me that she needed juice, she checked her blood sugar and it was 28! Since this incident six months ago, we have had two more bad diabetic crashes, and he has picked up on both. Although Chessies are not for all dog owners, they are perfect for avid outdoor lovers and active people like myself. He is energetic, loving, and dedicated to his family. He is eager to learn. When he brings in a bird, his strut and expression shows pure pride and love for the sport. I feel grateful to be blessed with such a gifted and beautiful creature!


Hankgator@msn.com of Houston, TX writes:

An all-American classic.
I had several dogs growing up and a Bull Terrier that I loved but was forced to give up a few years ago. Last year, I decided we needed a good family dog for the kids and started doing some research. I decided upon the Chesapeake and could not be happier. Our Chessie is so lovable. They may be a bit stubborn to train in some respects, but once trained they never forget and they are both affectionate and intelligent. Ours ran away on New Year's Eve and the kids &shyp; not to mention my wife and I &shyp; were very sad. He was found a few days later and we realized how important a part of the family he had become. Walking him is a treat, as there is a pride and patriotism in ownership of a Chessie that is hard to describe. People are always curious and complimentary of this proud and beautiful canine. An all-American dog for the all-American dog lover.


brackenandfamily@hotmil.com of Minnesota writes:

My best friend.
When I was twelve I had a Chessie; she was my best friend. My family lived in the country near a lake and we would go swimming together. My family never felt safer in our home; she was a good-natured protector, very loyal, smart, active, good with other pets, all-around the best dog I ever had. I am looking forward to the arrival of another Chessie from a reputable breeder in my area. I have no fear that she will be every bit as good of a dog as my first. I recommend a very active family for this dog; they will go and do just about anything with their family.


ckayebra@hotmail.com of Osceola, IN writes:

Big baby boy.
We are the proud owners of a nine-month-old Chessie. This breed loves water. If my seven-year-old daughter doesn't let the water out of the tub he goes and gets all of his toys throws them in and then jumps in! He also likes to pick up rocks and throw them in a bucket of water, then he sticks his head in to get them out. He has been a true delight. His size does intimidate people (85 pounds), but he is a big baby with an even bigger heart. I recommend obedience training for Chessie owners. It will make the time that you spend together much more enjoyable if you have a dog that knows how to control himself. He is a very protective dog, I've heard this about other Chessies also. I don't find them to be aggresssive, they are great with children and the people who come to our home, but if someone is out of place he will take a very protective stand. This is a great breed for people who intend to invest the time and money it takes to take care of this very active dog. They love to be around you and will assume that they can still sit on your lap even when they've gotten bigger than you. They require a lot of attention, this is a must! Believe me, you'll find yourself rushing home to see your baby.


susanhagaman@aol.com of Huntersville, NC writes:

Big hearted, human pleasing, intelligent breed.
I have had dogs nearly 50 years, Terriers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labs, and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. I have raised Chessies for the last fifteen years, until the last pair died of old age. After two years without one, I just couldn't wait to get another, when a pair of littermates arrived, out of a son of our big male. They are four months old now, and they are every bit as wonderful as all the others who came before them. They are eager to please, easily trained, generally delightful to have around. They want to do what is asked of them, they are retrieving bumpers out of the lake, taking to obedience training very quickly. They are happy, generous, likeable, friendly, companionable, and obedient. They are not perfect, they are still puppies and love to chew and drag things around! But they are wonderful, and I am not disappointed with their personalities at all. They are not for everyone, they need a lot of exercise and attention, but they respond better than any other dog I have ever had.


rhinomn@hotmail.com of Centerville, MN writes:

Tough but big and friendly.
I am from Minnesota. We have tons of Labs and Goldens around here in my area. I have a 90-pound male Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He is a tank that loves kids. I adopted him at one year of age. When I first got him he was mouthy and would jump up on me a lot. He kept on doing the jumping thing until he learned that I am the boss. He was like a 90-pound six-week-old puppy in his WWF way of thinking. It took awhile but now he has settled down a lot. He is very gentle with kids and will not do WWF with them. My baby girl is one and a half years old and she piles shoes on him when he is laying down resting in the house. She will crawl right over him and he barely notices it.
If you talk nice to them and treat them right they are just as good as any Lab or Golden. I told my wife that when I'm gone to make sure my Chesapeake is in the house before opening the door for a stranger. He is friendly but he would protect my family if the chips were down.
He is a great water dog and likes clearing out things under the water. He pulled a tree stump out and it was almost his size. He gets along well with other dogs. I have a Shetland Sheepdog and he is friends with my Chesapeake. Don't get a Chesapeake if you will leave it in an outdoor kennel and just ignore it. They are too smart for that. Give them attention and talk to them; they love it. I put mine in a headlock and give him a kiss on his head and that makes his day.


XO_KISS_KISS_XO@HOTMAIL.COM of Round Rock, TX writes

A perfect dog for everyone.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are one of the best breeds I have owned. It doesn't matter if you're a first time owner or experienced, they are great with everyone. They have a very mild temper unless they sense their owner is in trouble. They are excellent pets for children because they will take anything including roughhousing. They are very easy to groom because they are not longhaired; just brush their coat every once in awhile and they will be fine. They are beautiful and wonderful dogs that everyone should know about.


leb@midsouth.rr.com of Memphis, TN writes:

Chessies prove to be great.
I have not had a Chessie until a year ago, I took him in because he was not fit for hunting because of an accident. I am used to black Labs, and I was worried the Chessie would not mingle well with my other two Labs, but he proved me wrong! The Chessie is one of the best dogs I have ever owned, they are loyal, gentle, and very playful, they mature very fast physically, but I think that mentally, it takes them slower to mature, yet all in all I love my Chessie and would recommend owning one to anyone who is able to devote time to such a wonderful breed of dog.


Name withheld by request of Cincinnati, OH writes:

One-hundred-pound Chessie.
I do not own a Chessie, but my hunting buddy does. This dog out-retrieves all the local hunting dogs. He does not stop. We hunt the Ohio River and he will retrieve no matter what the river condition. The Ohio gets very rough and the current is very swift. He retrieved eight ducks last week and the last retrieve he brought two back. My first dog will be a Chesapeake.


chessieguru@hotmail.com of Minnesota writes on 2/25/01:

Excellent hunters and companions.
I must say right off that my love for Chessies will never die. I have been an owner of Chessies for about eight years now. Some people have spread this rumor that Chessies are mean dogs, however my guess is that the person who started this rumor was never a Chessie owner. They do need to be trained in their own little way just like all breeds. With Chessies you must let them think that it is their idea to do what you want them to. They have undying devotion to please their owners and they will guard your belongings just by their size. Many people are afraid to approach my truck when I have my Chessie along. Many times you hear them talking about him as they walk by the pickup. They LOVE the water but work on land as well. They are definitely more suited to water as they do get quite warm when working upland for any extended period of time.
I became the owner of my first Chessie at the age of 18. I must tell you that not only was this my first Chessie but also my first dog, I have learned much since then. I had her for three years then I joined the military. When I returned from training four months later my parents would not let me have her back. Now she is spoiled rotten. I currently have a male Chessie. He is about 10 months old at this time. I took him duck hunting for the first time this past fall, when he was about six months old. We snuck up to a small puddle of water in the woods of northern Minnesota. There were two wood ducks sitting on the water and I was trying to get them to jump up so that it would take the dogs mind of the roar of the shotgun but they continued to sit there. My dog walked up to the waters edge and looked at these two ducks sitting in the water so I decided I would shoot one of them on the water. I shot the one on the water and the other, of course, took flight. On my second shot at it, the duck tumbled to the ground. My dog swam across the small pond and looked at the duck. He had never seen one before. It bobbed in the water and he was not sure what to think of it. He grabbed the tail feathers with his front teeth and gave it a little pull. The duck floated into his nose and he jumped back barking at the duck. I crossed the pond and called my dog over to the duck that had fallen on land. He sniffed it intently and decided it would not harm him. He picked up the duck and brought it directly to my hand. I had only worked with my dog for a couple of months with a training bumper, so you can see how instinctively they hunt. He then decided the one in the water would not hurt him as well so he retrieved that one too me. I decided to make a miniature training session out of the deal to I threw one of the ducks to the far side of the pond. He leaped from shore, which was about 2 feet higher than the water, and swam directly to the duck. He again delivered it to hand. I set the two wood ducks on the trunk of a fallen tree so that we could go over the next ridge and see if any ducks were on the next larger pond. I walked about thirty yards and looked to see where my dog was. He was sitting next to the fallen tree where I had placed the ducks with one of the ducks in his mouth. He was looking at me as if to say, "Where are you going da, you forgot the ducks!".


name withheld by request of Virginia writes on 1/15/00:

Exceptional in the right home.
I love Chesapeakes, having spent a chuck of my youth with them, but I think they are definitly not for everybody. Chessies are high energy especially at 8 months to two years old, when they have their full physical growth but haven't yet matured mentally. They shed, but no more than other retrivers. They can be aggressive with other dogs if not socalized with strange dogs when young. Since they were a guarding breed as well as working retrivers, they are reserved with stranger. They aren't Goldens or Labs! They have a much more intense personality, less silly or goofy. Since they are big dogs and the breed has a fairly high rate of hip dysplasia, it is very important that parents have their OFA xrays certified excellent good or fair. They are exceptional working retrivers, especailly on geese. They are not harder to train than a Lab, but they do train different than a Lab. They don't do as well with repetition. They get bored easier. But they have excellent marking ability. I would recommend chessies to a home with experienced dog owners who lead an active life style.


Btk993@cs.com of Tennessee writes on 12/27/99:

Big Chessies.
Although this is a fairly unknown breed to most people, my experiences are nothiiiing but magical. This is a large breed, but it is a very lovable and lumbering little giant. They can and are a very headstrong breeed, they are very receptive to commands and good old lovin'! Any more serioous questions contact me.


Name withheld by request of Colorado writes on 9/5/01:

The alligator of dogs.
I have been a proud Chesapeake owner for two and a half years, but have been around dogs for twenty years. I have never seen a dog float around in a pound or any body of water and look for prey. Sampson, the dog, is the most incridible dog in the entire world as are all Chesapeakes. This breed with their unique beginning has developed into America's dog. Thier hard work and dedication is exactly what they expect out of their owner. If a owner is kind, gentle, and strict, a Chesapeake will be a important member of society.


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