Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppies & Breed Information

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Breed Characteristics

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  • Good With Dogs:
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Breed Information

Breed Group: Sporting

Weight: Mle: 65-80; Female: 55-70 lbs

Height: Male: 23-26 Female: 21-24 inches

Color(s): any color of brown, sedge, or deadgrass


Originating in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is often referred to as the Chessie. An avid hunter of fowl on both land and water, this breed was the first retriever breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. Although not as well known today as the Golden or Labrador Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers make a wonderful family and field companion.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the most rugged and powerful of the six retriever breeds. This breed is a true nature lover. They are alert, intelligent, courageous, and extremely versatile. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is independent, tough, and possesses stoic determination. They are tenacious workers; bold and athletic.


Intensely loyal and deeply devoted, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a strong protective nature. This breed is friendly, loving, and affectionate. They do best in a home with older considerate children. They will generally get along with other dogs they have been raised with but have a tendency to be combative and aggressive with dogs they do not know. They do not do well with cats or other small household pets. This breed thrives on family interaction and will become destructive if ignored, lonely, or bored. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is not recommended for the novice, apathetic, or sedentary owner.


This breed requires once a week brushing to remove dead hair. It is important to not over groom, as this will damage the coat. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary to preserve the integrity of the water repellant coat. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is prone to such health issues as elbow and hip dysplasia, Von Willebrands Disease, PRA, and cataracts. They prefer cooler climates.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a double coat breed. The outer coat is dense, slightly wavy, short and harsh. The under coat is thick and wooly in texture. The coat is water repellant. The color of the coat comes in various shades of brown, red, and tan. This breed is an average shedder.


Slow to mature, willful, and stubborn, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever must have an experienced owner. Early socialization and obedience training are an absolute must. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with firmness, fairness, patience, respect, and consistency. This breed displays talents in tracking, hunting, competitive obedience, schutzhund, field spots, and hunting.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever requires daily vigorous exercise. They enjoy swimming and make excellent walking, jogging, and bicycling companions. This breed must have physical and mental stimulation. They are not suited for apartment or city dwelling. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers do best in a home where they can run and romp freely in a safely fenced area.


Help reduce the number of dogs in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.

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Updated: 11/28/2014

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