The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an athletic dog breed known for their love for water. Also called Chessie, this dog is a good collector of waterfowls, and moreover, an awesome swimmer. It is no wonder it is classified as a retriever and a sporting type of dog.
One of the few breeds originally developed in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has some unique traits, which many people find endearing.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dogs and Puppies
What is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever?
This energetic and huggable walking (or swimming) slab of chocolate creature might just be the lovable furball you are looking for. Learn more about this awesome breed in this post.
Where does the Chesapeake Bay Retriever come from?
Chessies come from the Chesapeake Bay area, a large inlet within Maryland and Virginia. They could be the descendants of the two Newfoundland dogs rescued from a sinking boat in Maryland in the 1800s. Their names were Sailor, male, and Canton, female. The Newfoundland dogs (good water dogs, too) may have bred with the local dogs and started the Chesapeake Bay Retriever line.
The line became popular for being good retrievers of waterfowls and were used by hunters to collect game from the water. Today, many Chessies are family pets active in sports, even hunting.
What does a Chesapeake Bay Retriever look like?
You can spot a Chessie by remembering these trademark qualities: the yellowish or amber-like eyes and the wavy hair which covers the neck, shoulders, and back. The coat on the face and legs are short and straight.
The breed’s body structure fit well to Chesapeake Bay’s terrain (lots of areas are surrounded by water) and weather (cold and can be icy in winter). Chessies have strong limbs and webbed feet, which are ideal for swimming. They have a double coat to keep them warm and dry after swimming and being exposed to cold weather. The outer coat is harsh and oily while the undercoat is denser, finer, and more wooly.
A lot of Chessies are brown, in different shades of brown, actually—light brown to deep chocolate brown. But the color of the breed’s coat can also be like sedge (colors in shades of red) or dead grass. These colors allow them to camouflage in their surroundings when they hunt or retrieve game.
They can weigh between 30 to 45kg and stand at 22 to 26 inches.
What is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever like?
Chessies are happy dogs but in a quiet sort of way. They are affectionate and can be protective of the people closest to them. Retrievers are generally easygoing but Chessies have a more rugged nature and can be quite stubborn. They are more reserved around strangers as well, with tendencies to be aggressive. To counter this, Chessies need to be socially exposed.
As they are intelligent and independent, it may be a challenge to train them, especially for first-time owners. They can be dominant, too, so owners really need to be good leaders around them.
Chessies are energetic and require high-level exercise on a daily basis. If they can’t vent their energy, they might mess with their owners’ stuff. They also need to be exposed to activities that require them to do ‘work’ like fetching. Swimming is one of the things they naturally love to do; so, they must be given the opportunity to do it. With all these to consider, it is easy to point out they probably won’t do well living in an apartment.
They get along with other pets in their owner’s household but can be aggressive towards other animals. They’re alright around kids as well. But it is better they live in families with older children.
When is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever fully grown?
A Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s puppyhood can last longer than other dogs. According to Dog Breed Plus, Chessies are slow in gaining maturity. Usually, they take three years to be sensible enough.
When do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers shed?
Chessies “blow their coat” twice a year, which means they shed more heavily than usual. They shed lightly for the rest of the year. But even if they do, longhaired dogs still shed more.
It is important to note Chessies don’t need to be bathed often. Bathing them more frequently than needed can strip off the natural oil in their hair, making its coat less resistant to water.
Why do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers smile?
Chessies might look a bit weird when they smile. When they’re very happy, they tend to bare their front teeth, which can appear threatening. This is how they express their happiness, as peculiar as the smiles would seem.
Are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers good guard dogs?
Chessies can be protective around strangers. But it does not mean they’re guard dogs. They’re known for their ability to swim and retrieve waterfowls, not guarding.
How much are Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies?
In Puppy Find, Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies cost around US$ 900. PetBreeds meanwhile states that the average price for this breed is US$ 800. Adoption can cost less, amounting to USD$175 for fees. According to PetPlanet UK, Chessie pups cost between £350 to £600.
Is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever a good family dog?
Yes, they can be good family pets. Chessies can lighten up people’s home as they are cheerful and affectionate. They have tendencies to be aggressive but any dog not raised properly can be aggressive, regardless of their breed. Give a Chessie frequent opportunities to socialize and it can do well around people and animals.