The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the most powerful of the retriever breeds.
Body: Medium size with a strong, muscular back, broad, deep chest, and well-sprung ribs.
Coat: Short, harsh, oily, wavy, and water-resistant outer coat with a dense, woolly undercoat.
Color: All shades of brown, sedge (reddish yellow to a bright red or chestnut), deadgrass (wheaten or a faded tan to a dull straw color).
Ears: Small, set high and wide apart, and loosely hung.
Eyes: Wide set and clear with a yellowish, amber hue.
Feet: Hare-like and webbed with well-rounded toes.
Head: Round and broad with a medium stop and short, pointed muzzle.
Legs: Forelegs are straight, muscular, and well-boned. Hind legs are straight and very powerful with strong bone and muscle.
Neck: Well-muscled and tapered from head to shoulders.
Weight: 55 – 80 pounds
Height: 21 – 26 inches
Tail: Straight, moderate in length, and lightly feathered with a thick base and slight curve.
Recommended for experienced dog handlers
Not recommended in a home with other pets
Good with Children.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was bred to hunt fowl. He became famous during the nineteenth century for his ability to retrieve large daily quantities of ducks from the cold, icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Along with his hunting abilities he is a superior watchdog with unsurpassed devotion to children and to his family.
The Chessie is not only known for his loyalty, stamina, and courage, but is also distinguished by his clear eyes with a yellowish, amber hue, and for the growl-like sound he makes when he is happy.
He is a naturally dominant dog best suited for a home without other pets. This is not a kennel dog. He prefers to be outdoors, regardless of weather conditions. His oily, harsh outer coat and thick, woolly undercoat will keep him warm and dry.
The Chesapeake is affectionate, serious at work, good with children and with strangers. He is easily house trained and obedient but has a tendency to chew on furniture and other household items if not kept busy.
Michele Welton, author of Your Purebred Puppy, says “You must control his tendency to chew on objects and to mouth your hands-provide a box filled with toys so he can carry something around in his mouth.”
Training and socialization should begin early as this breed will not break the rules. Once he has learned, it will be difficult to teach him new commands in his adult years. An experienced dog handler is best. The Chessie is a self-confident and dominant breed of dog who will take control, seeing himself as top-dog, if his master allows him to.
AKC Group: Sporting Group
Originally bred to hunt waterfowl under adverse weather and water conditions. They are also used for search and rescue missions, as therapy dogs, and for bomb-detection.
Care and Grooming
Exercise: High amount of exercise is required for this tireless outdoor breed. He is best suited to an owner who loves hiking, biking, swimming, and other sport-like activities.
Grooming: Brush lightly each week. Brush thoroughly and deeply during shedding season.
Life Expectancy: 12 – 13 Years
PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy – eye disease)
Country of Origin
United States – 1900s