Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Group 3: Gun dogs
Male: 58.5 – 66 cm
Female: 53 -61 cm

Energy Level:  Moderate – high
Original Function: Retriever
Lifespan: 12 – 15 yrs

Recommended for: Active people & families.

Note: Not many in Australia.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

About This Breed

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an American dog from Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of America. The local hunters expected their dogs to plunge into icy waters and retrieve ducks and geese. These dogs have no worries with such conditions their oily wavy coat protects them from the elements. They have a natural love of the water and will retrieve from the sea, rivers or lakes.

They have an independent streak and will think for themselves but at the same time are affectionate. They love children, although they can play a bit roughly at times. The Chesapeake loves the outdoors, especially water. They have a bright, cheerful and alert outlook on life and enjoy the companionship of other dogs and people. When it matures, about 3 years of age, can actually be quite a calm dog.

They are protective by nature, not showing this until about 9 to 18 months old. They are an intelligent dog and easy to train, however owners need to maintain strong persistence in training. They are quite sensitive so don’t respond well to harsh training.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Large sized body. Well proportioned, active worker with a distinctive coat and intelligent expression. Strong muscular appearance.

Temperament: Bright and happy disposition, alert and intelligent and showing a willingness to work.

Characteristics: Independent, affectionate, and courageous, with a great love of water. Makes a good guardian and companion, especially with children.

Coat: A distinctive feature. Coat should be thick and reasonably short, not over 3.8 cm, with harsh oily outer coat and dense fine woolly undercoat covering whole body; hairs having tendency to wave on neck, shoulders, back and loins. Hair on face and legs only should be very short and straight.

Moderate feathering on stern and tail permissible. Curly coat not permissible. Texture of coat very important as dog is used for working under all sorts of adverse weather conditions, often working in ice and snow. Oil in harsh coat and woolly undercoat of extreme value. The coat should resist water.

Colour: Dead grass (straw to bracken), sedge (red gold), or any shade of brown. White spots on chest, toes and belly permissible. The smaller the spot the better.

Grooming: The coat can be wavy but is not generally curly, feeling oily when touched. It is advised not to wash this dog as damage can be done to its waterproof coat. Also take care when brushing, which should only be necessary when the dog is moulting. Brushing will remove the dead and loose hairs. Bathing and excessive brushing could damage the texture of the coat.

Exercise: Require a lot of exercise and can become somewhat badly behaved if not given enough exercise. They love water, swimming and retrieving, being their favourite sports, so make sure they have access to water on their walks.