Welcome to Petfinder.com!

Check us out on:

Download our iPhone app
Petfinder at Twitter
Petfinder at Facebook
Petfinder at YouTube

Adopt a Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


gundog, retriever

Area of origin:

United States

Original function:

water retriever

Average size of male:

Ht: 23-26, Wt: 65-80

Average size of female:

Ht: 21-24, Wt: 55-70

Other names:


  • ••••


  • ••••


  • ••••


  • •••••


  • ••••

    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

  • •••

    Friendliness towards strangers

  • ••••

    Ease of training

  • •••••

    Watchdog ability

  • ••••

    Protection ability

  • •••


  • •••••

    Cold tolerance

  • ••••

    Heat tolerance

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Chesapeake Bay Retriever dogs available on Petfinder

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Temperament

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.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Chesapeake Bay Retrievers ready for adoption:

Pet Videos

Adopting the Right Dog for You

Adopting the Right Dog for You

How to find the right dog for you and your family

Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

Why adopting an older dog has many advantages

Preparing Your Home for a Puppy

Preparing Your Home for a Puppy

Prepare in advance to make sure your home is safe for your new pup