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May 24, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Do you live an active lifestyle that would be able to include an active dog? Love the idea of friendly, easy grooming, and ready to go at a moments notice? The Chessie may be your breed!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever (aka Chessie) is a United States breed, dating back to the early 1800's from a shipwreck off the coast of Maryland. Two Newfoundland puppies were found on the ship and were bred with other retrievers, creating the breed. They were bred to have a strong desire to retrieve ducks, and a love of water. The breed was named after the area they originated from, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

Running Dog

Muscular, Hard-Working, and Friendly

This breed is muscular but medium to large in size. The Chessie enjoys a job, and is only happiest when working for their family. They would be a great partner as a Therapy Dog. Consider Dock Diving or other agility type competitions to keep the Chesapeake Bay Retriever smiling all the time!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever loves everyone and everything! They are good with cats, especially when raised with them, but will enjoy chasing them as well. The breed is known to be very tolerant around children; but, unlike the Labrador Retriever, if continuously provoked, they may react negatively towards them.


Can be stubborn to train

They are extremely clever, intelligent, and can have a stubborn streak when it comes to training.

Starting a young puppy early with obedience training and proper socialization will help. A patient pet-parent that has a good set of rules and structure in place will keep the Chessie mindful with good mannerisms.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever will not do well in a household that does not provide a mental and physical outlet. They will quickly get bored and can become very destructive or develop behavioral problems such as: counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, nipping, digging, and much more.


High Energy, Always on the Go!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a very active dog that will require a pet-parent who is also active. Their LOVE for water is over-the-top! Living near water, or having a pool for the Chessie will make this breed very happy. They are excellent swimmers.

Hiking, running, or walking are all great exercises to do with the Chessie. A 15 minute walk will not be enough for this spirited breed. A 45 minute walk twice a day is best. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a great candidate to carry a dog backpack. The backpack is a great tool that gives dogs a job, as well as helps to drain energy much quicker. A backpack shouldn't be worn until they are 1 years old to prevent injuries to developing joints.

If you work, and desire this breed, Doggy Daycare will be a must. Doggy Daycare is a great way for a dog to burn off energy all day long by playing with other dogs. Many Doggy Daycares have little kiddie pools too!


Some Grooming Required

Their curly coat is short to medium length, dense with natural oils that provide a natural barrier towards water. This helps the Chesapeake dry quickly after a swim. They do a quick shake, and will be dried shortly after.

A regular brushing once a day is all that is needed. Be careful not to overbathe, as this can strip their natural oil which helps keep their skin dry.

Check their ears regularly, as being in the water frequently can cause ear infections.


Health Concerns

Unfortunately, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has the typical retriever problem of hip dysplasia. They are also prone eye problems, dwarfism, entropion, and epilepsy. The average life span of the Chessie is 10 - 12 years.

Does the Chesapeake Bay Retriever sound like a good fit for you?

Adopt First

As you begin looking for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!


Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

Dog Breed Info

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