The Chesapeake Bay retriever is hardy enough to not only withstand, but also relish, repeated plunges into icy water. He loves to swim and retrieve. Despite an active life when outdoors, inside he tends to be calm. The Chessie tends to be independent, although eager to learn. He can be reserved with strangers and can be protective. This is the hardiest, most strong-willed and protective of the retriever breeds.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Care
The Chessie is a large active dog that needs a daily chance to exercise. He enjoys a good walk or swim and more than anything, prefers to spend time with his family. The oily, wavy coat needs weekly brushing but is generally easily maintained. He seldom needs washing; in fact, it's hard to get a Chessie wet! Bathing destroys the coats oils and thus,
its water resistance.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Health
Major concerns: CHD, gastric torsion
Minor concerns: PRA
Occasionally seen: entropion, OCD, elbow dysplasia, cerebellar abiotrophy
Suggested tests: hip, eye
Life span: 10-13 years
Interested in the history of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog breed?
The history of the Chesapeake Bay retriever is one of the most fascinating and fortunate, in dogdom. In 1807, an American ship rescued the crew and cargo from a shipwrecked English brig off the coast of Maryland. Among the rescued were two presumably Newfoundland pups that were given to the rescuers. These pups (one black and one red) later proved to be skilled water retrievers, and as their reputations grew, many local retrievers of uncertain background came to be bred to them. It is also thought that Irish water spaniel, Newfoundland, bloodhound and other local hound crosses added to the development of the breed. Gradually a distinct local breed emerged, a dog that would repeatedly swim through the rough icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay and unerringly retrieve duck after duck. Even today, the Chessie is renowned for his remarkable ability to mark and remember where a bird has fallen. His reputation spread well beyond the Chesapeake Bay area. By 1885, the breed was thoroughly established and recognized by the AKC. Despite being one of the oldest AKC recognized breeds, as well as one of the few breeds that can boast of being made in the United States, the Chessie's popularity has remained modest.