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Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever dogs are medium to large sized sporting dogs. They were developed from Newfoundland dogs and later cross bred with various local retrievers around the Chesapeake Bay area in Unites States. The breed is also referred to as CBR, Chessie or Chesapeake.

Characterized by a great amount of enthusiasm and endurance, Chesapeake Bay Retriever dogs were originally used to retrieve ducks in rough and icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

They are also good at tracking, hunting, field sports and competitive obedience. In addition, these hard working dogs serve as excellent companion dogs too.

Physical Appearance

Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog breed is quite similar to Labrador Retriever in appearance and temperament. These dogs are athletic and muscular in build.

The eyes are set wide apart and are usually yellow to amber in color. The skull is round and broad. The loosely hanging ears are small in size and set high on the head. The medium length tail is straight or slightly curved. It tends to be heavy at the base.

Color: Common Chesapeake Bay Retriever colors are dead grass, brown, sedge or ash. White markings may also be present on the chest, belly or feet of the dog.
Height: The average height of these dogs is generally 23 to 26 inches. Female Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are a bit shorter, that is, 21 to 24 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of these dogs ranges between 65 to 80 pounds. On the other hand, the bitches are usually 55 to 70 pounds in weight.

Health Problems

Some common health problems in Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog breed are Bloating, Bleeding disorders, Degenerative Myelopathy, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia and other related health issues. They are also prone to bloating and various eye diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Entropion, Cataract etc.

Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers is usually around 10 to 12 years.
Litter Size: Chesapeake Bay Retriever average litter size is about 7 to 8 puppies.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed dog

Grooming Requirements

Chesapeake Bay Retriever grooming requires weekly brushing and combing of the double coat. However, it should not be over brushed. The short double coat is characterized by a slightly wavy, harsh outer coat and dense and woolly undercoat.

The easy to groom hair coat tends to have a distinct smell due to the presence of natural oils on the skin that help protect the dog from icy waters. In fact, the coat should be of such water repellent texture that it should not hold any water and should merely remain moist after the dog shakes it off.

Trim the dog’s nails and clean his eyes and ears on a regular basis to avoid infections. However, do not bathe the dog frequently so as to retain the natural protective oils on the skin and maintain the natural water resistant quality of the hair coat.

During the shedding seasons, Chesapeake Bay Retriever dogs tend to shed moderately. When choosing the grooming products, avoid choosing a slicker brush. Instead, go for a firm bristle brush.


Chesapeake Bay Retriever temperament is lively, cheerful, affectionate, brave, trustworthy, protective, alert and highly intelligent. Occasional stubborn streaks of behavior are also common.

They are usually friendly yet suspicious of strangers. The attentive and courageous Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed dogs make for excellent watchdogs.

They are playful with children, provided the children do not handle them roughly. When properly introduced and socialized, they also get along well with other pets. Proper training and socialization right from puppyhood can help avoid a number of dog behavior problems.

Negligence in this regard may give rise to overly aggressive, shy or dominating behavior. The intelligent Chesapeake Bay Retriever dogs tend to get bored of repetitive training. Still, they can be trained with firm, consistent and tactful training methods, carefully avoiding harsh methods.

Key Points

They need to be taken for daily long brisk walks and given sufficient space for play in moderate to large sized yard in order to fulfill their physical exercise needs. The delightful Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed dogs love water and hence can be exercised through swimming as well.

These dogs are usually not recommended for first time dog owners, especially the ones with sedentary lifestyle. Being relatively inactive indoors, Chesapeake Bay Retriever dogs are not considered suitable for apartment situation. They do well in cooler climates.