Updated 07-06-2023

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

A water dog, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was first developed in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay to hunt and retrieve waterfowl. For this purpose, the dog's robust body, dense coat and stamina made them ideal.

Dog owners who can provide them with the necessary structure and exercise can continue to enjoy these dogs as hunting companions and excellent companions. People who are new to owning a dog, as well as those who live in apartments, should be aware of the dangers.


Swimming can be an excellent form of fitness while playing chess. A lack of physical activity can lead to destructive behaviour.

Inexperienced or first-time dog owners should avoid getting a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

If they aren't properly socialised and trained, they can develop dominance issues. Strong leadership without harshness is required from you.

Compared to other retrievers, Chessies can be more aggressive, stubborn, and reserved around strangers.

In some cases, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can be aggressive towards other dogs.

Strong dogs with a predisposition to be territorial, Chessies are slow to grow. They require professional instruction and supervision from a business.

Never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy dog. If you're looking for a puppy that's free of hereditary illnesses and has a healthy disposition, you should look for a respected breeder.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


55 to 80 pounds


10 to 12 years


1 foot, 9 inches to 2 feet, 2 inches tall at the shoulder


With its fascinating and lucky past in dogdom comes the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Off the coast of Maryland, an American ship rescued a crew and cargo from a sinking English brig in 1807. Two pups, presumed to be Newfoundland’s, were among those rescued and given to the rescuers. As their reputation increased, many local retrievers of questionable pedigree were bred to these two pups (one black and one red). They later proved to be skilled water retrievers.

Another theory holds that the breed's origins can be traced back to local hound hybrids such as the Irish Water Spaniel, Newfoundland, and Bloodhound. An entirely new breed of dog was created in the area: the Chesapeake Bay retrieving dog, which was bred to swim through the frigid waters of the bay and bring back one duck after another. 

As of 1885, the breed had gained widespread acclaim and was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Even though the Chessie is one of the oldest AKC-recognized breeds and one of the few American-made breeds, its popularity remains low.

Personality and Temperament

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is not as social as other retriever breeds, but they do get along with other dogs. Despite this, most of them are kind to outsiders and enjoy spending time with children. Although some Chessies have shown hostility toward other dogs, they generally get along with other animals.

Chessies are not known to be extremely excitable or bark excessively. The breed, in reality, is regarded as even-tempered.

Chesapeake Bay retrievers have a reputation for being easy to train and housebreak, according to some breed experts. However, there are many who argue that the Chessie may not be the greatest choice for first-time dog owners because of its reputation for stubbornness, the need for rigorous obedience training, and the difficulty of housebreaking some of these dogs.

When it comes to freezing water, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is more than capable of coping. He enjoys swimming and catching things that are thrown to him. Although he leads a very active life outside, he tends to be more mellow inside. Despite his desire to learn, Chessie prefers to be left alone. While he is wary of strangers, he is also capable of being aggressive when confronted with a stranger's dog. This breed of retriever is the toughest, most determined, and most protective of them all.


A few things to keep in mind when you're thinking about adopting a Chesapeake Bay retriever. Because of the chessie's unique set of health issues, dietary requirements, and temperament, its care must differ from that of other breeds.


As with all dog breeds, the Health Chessies are susceptible to various illnesses and ailments. If you're planning to buy or live with a Chessie, it's crucial to know about these diseases because not all Chessies will be affected by them.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)

Large, deep-chested dogs are more susceptible to bloat, which is a life-threatening illness that occurs when they are fed one large meal a day, eat quickly, drink a lot of water quickly, or run intensely after eating. When gas or air fills the stomach to overflowing proportions, it causes bloating and dizziness. 

There's no way for the dog to expel the extra air in his stomach by belching or vomiting, and this reduces blood supply to the heart. The dog's heart rate lowers and it enters a state of shock. The dog could die if not given quick medical assistance. 

If your dog has a bloated tummy, profuse drooling, and retching without vomiting, you should be on the lookout for bloat. The patient may also be agitated, despondent and feeble with a high heart rate. As soon as you observe any of these signs, take your dog to the vet immediately.

Hip Dysplasia

The thigh bone does not fit securely into the hip joint in this hereditary disease. When a dog has hip dysplasia, it may or may not show any signs of pain or disability in the back legs. Arthritis can occur in a dog as he gets older. 

The University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals both provide X-ray screening for hip dysplasia (PennHIP). In order to prevent the spread of hip dysplasia, it is best to avoid breeding dogs with this condition. Buying a puppy from a breeder? Make sure the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are clear of any issues before purchasing. 

However, environmental variables, such as rapid growth due to a high-calorie diet or injuries inflicted by jumping on slippery floors can also contribute to the development of hip dysplasia.

Von Willebrand's Disease

Humans and dogs both suffer from this blood condition. Because of the decrease in von Willebrand factor in the blood, it has an effect on the clotting process. Symptoms of von Willebrand's disease include nose bleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding after surgery, and prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after whelping in dogs with the illness. 

Blood has been discovered in the faeces on rare occasions. As a rule of thumb, if your dog is between the ages of 3 and 5, he or she has this condition. However, it can be treated by cauterising or suturing wounds, receiving von Willebrand factor infusions prior to surgery, and avoiding certain drugs, among other things.

The progressive degeneration of the retina's photoreceptors, known as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), finally results in blindness. It is possible to identify PRA years before a dog begins to lose his or her vision. Even when a dog is blind, he or she can still lead a normal life thanks to his or her remaining senses. Do not, however, make it a practice to rearrange the furniture. The eyes of their dogs are annually certified by a veterinary ophthalmologist and this ailment is not bred by reliable breeders.


"Dwarfism" is a common misnomer for this inherited condition. Those dogs with the malformation have limbs that are shorter than normal for their breed. It might be mild or severe, depending on the severity. Even in milder cases, dogs with chondrodysplasia or those who have been found to be carriers should not be bred in order to avoid passing the disease's genes onto future generations.


Epilepsy, a disorder that can produce mild or severe seizures, can affect chessies. Hereditary causes of epilepsy include metabolic problems, viral disease that affects the brain, tumours and exposure to toxic substances; it can also be caused by traumatic events such as concussion or serious head traumas (referred to as idiopathic epilepsy). 

An uncharacteristic activity, such as running furiously or hiding, may indicate a seizure is taking place. The long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is often fairly excellent, despite the terrifying nature of seizures. Medication can help manage epilepsy, but it will not cure it. Because this condition is properly managed, dogs can have long and happy lives. Take your Chessie to the vet straight away if he is having seizures for a diagnosis and treatment suggestions.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  4. PRA Optigen DNA Test
  5. EIC DNA Test
  6. Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test


High-quality dog food is the foundation of a Chesapeake Bay Retrievers healthy diet. Consider your dog's age when making your purchase, and opt for a food that is appropriate for their life stage (puppy, adult or senior).

A high-protein diet is ideal for Chessies because they are usually on the go. In other words, this does not mean that individuals are free to consume as much as they want whenever they want. Meal times should be set at specified times of day and Chessie size guidelines should determine portion amounts for optimal health and weight management. The use of treats as a training tool is acceptable, but it should be kept to a minimum in all other situations. Triathletes, like the rest of us, must keep an eye on our weight. Who would have guessed?

Consult your physician about the special requirements of your Chesapeake Bay Retriever. As a matter of fact, they are in the ideal position to advise you on the appropriate diet for your dog's needs.


This is a dog breed that sheds only a little bit. Brushing your dog on a weekly basis will help keep matting at bay. As the weather warms up and the seasons change, you may notice an increase in shedding that requires more frequent brushing to keep up with the loose hair.

Chessie should be bathed every few months, depending on how unclean it becomes. Due to its oily coat, this breed naturally has a musky scent. Trimming the nails on a regular basis is a good idea. Check for wax buildup, debris, and irritation in the ears at least once each week. Make careful to thoroughly dry your dog's ears after a swim or other damp activity. Brushing your dog's teeth should be done at least once a day.


If you're considering getting a dog of this type, be sure you have the time and energy to keep it active. Chessies are a high-energy breed, and they require frequent exercise to maintain their stamina. Hiking, swimming, running, and hunting are all favourites of these dogs. Tracking, agility, and other dog sports can also be taught to this dog breed. They're also excellent hunting dogs who can accompany you on a hunt or out in the field for labour.


In order to raise a well-behaved Chessie, proper training and socialisation are required. This breed has a keen mind and a quick memory. It can, however, be stubborn and self-reliant. As a result, it's essential to keep up your exercise routine to avoid developing unhealthy habits. Using severe corrections may make the pup shut down and stop learning, therefore always use positive training methods on this breed.

As early as possible, begin socialising your dog with a variety of people, canines, and environments. If the dog has had favourable experiences, it will be less likely to become too protective of its family.

Children and Other Pets

As a general rule, Chessies have a soft spot for children, but they'll move away if they're being harassed. There are some drawbacks, though, including their tendency to be possessive of food and toys, which may not be ideal for families with little children. They are protective of youngsters, yet they can misread their play with their peers and respond in an improper manner. Families with children under the age of eight often cannot purchase a Chessie puppy from a breeder, for this reason. A household with young children would benefit from having an older Chessie who has experience with children.

Always teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and small children to avoid any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Make it clear to your youngster that approaching or attempting to grab food from a dog while he or she is eating is never a good idea. A dog should never be left alone with a child, no matter how old they are.

Unless socialised from an early age with other family pets, chessies can be hostile against strange canines.


If you're interested in adopting a Chesapeake Bay retriever puppy, make an appointment to meet the available puppies. Puppies should be playful, but not aggressive toward the other dogs in their environment.

Make sure your home is puppy-proofed before bringing your new puppy home. Anything that could be harmful to your new puppy, as well as anything that is valuable to you, should be moved. Make careful to begin teaching your new puppy as soon as you get it home. Training and socialisation at an early age will assist ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-behaved and pleasant dog.

The puppy should also get lots of exercise and play time from you. Toward the end of the six-month mark, you can also begin teaching your dog to swim.

Dogs similar to Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Labrador retriever

In terms of gun dog size, the Labrador Retriever and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever are both giants. Both breeds weigh roughly 70 pounds and stand between 22 and 24 inches tall on average, making them comparable in height. Both dogs also have above-average intellect and are relatively simple to train. There are some differences between Labrador retrievers and chessies.

Golden retriever

Golden retrievers are a gun dog breed, therefore they, too, were developed to aid in the pursuit of game. Golden Retrievers are golden brown in hue, whereas Chesapeake Bay Retrievers tend to be a darker shade of brown. Golden retrievers and Chesapeake Bay retrievers can both be quite playful, but Goldens require more socialisation than Chesapeake Bays do.

Curly coated retriever

Large-breed gun dogs include curl-coated retrievers. Both breeds weigh roughly 70 pounds and are about 1 inch taller than a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Although their coats are very different, both dogs are very easy to groom and shed a little, but not a lot. Compared to chessies, curly-coated retrievers are more loving and less intellectual.