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BaxterBoo Blog
March 10, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Chesapeake Bay Retriever

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  • Height: 21"- 26”
  • Weight: 55-80 pounds
  • Historical function: Hunting, retrieving
  • Modern function: Hunting, retrieving, companion
  • AKC classification: Sporting group

Physical Characteristics:

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a medium to large athletic dog that somewhat resembles a Labrador Retriever. Like the Labrador, it is well suited to hunting and retrieving. Not only is this dog muscular and agile, but also has a unique wavy, oily coat that sheds water like a duck. The eyes are distinctive amber or yellow. The coat comes in various shades of brown and other earthy colors.

History of the Breed:

The Chessie has a unique story about the foundation of their breed. In 1807, two Newfoundland (or Lesser Newfoundland) pups were rescued from a shipwreck in Maryland and were bred with area dogs including the English Otter Hound, Flat-Coated Retriever and Curly-Coated Retriever due to their skills as retrievers. The male rescued dog, Sailor, had peculiarly light-colored eyes that are a trademark of today's breed.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a happy, active, water-loving breed.

  • Best suited for: Active and experienced dog owners.
  • Preferred living conditions: These dogs need a lot of exercise that includes swimming if at all possible.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: This dog is a moderate shedder. Brush regularly and bathe rarely so as not to remove the waterproofing oils. The oils have a musky fragrance.
  • Exercise needs: Daily vigorous walk and swimming, if possible.
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems.

Breed Club Links: American Chesapeake Club Perfect Pairings: Groomer's Edge Unleashed Dog Coat Cologne

Have any stories about a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Brian Black.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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