Chesapeake bay retriever

History of this breed:

Chesapeake bay retriever is a breed, which first appeared at the end of 19th century in the state of Maryland, on the coast of the Gulf of Chesapeake.

Ancestors of Chesapeake were bred from two dogs saved from a shipwreck near the coastline of Maryland in 1807. These dogs were similar to Newfoundland dogs. We are not sure about other possible ancestors of Chesapeake bay retriever, but most likely Irish water spaniel, Flat-coated retriever, Curly-coated retriever and some Setters could belong to them.

Chesapeake bay retriever was especially bred for hunting for wild ducks and geese, even in the most unfavourable weather conditions. In the year 1885 was the first standard for this breed established.



Strong, harmoniously balanced, robust, medium sized dog with deep and wide chest. Head broad and round. The muzzle is as long as the skull, narrowing towards the nose.

Eyes medium-sized, very bright, yellow to amber and wide-set. Ears small, high on the head, freely hanging. Mid-length neck, muscular. Back short and strong. Tail of medium length, carried straight or slightly curved, but not above the back! Limbs of medium length, strong, firm skeleton and muscular. The dog is 58cm to 66cm high and weighs 29.5-36.5kg. The bitch is between 53cm and 61cm high and weighs 25-32kg.

I would like to devote special attention to the fur, because it is the main feature that makes the dog exceptional.

The coat is strong, short (max. 4cm), with dense, fine and wavy undercoat. On the face and legs it must be very short and straight, with a tendency to waviness only on the shoulders, neck, back and loins. The character of the coat is very important for this breed because it has to resist water, just like a duck feather. The hair is oily and has self-cleaning ability. The dog, after getting out of water and shaking, remains almost dry. The color of the coat should be similar to color of the working environment of the dog. Any brown shade is acceptable, the color of „dry grass“ is typical. According to the standard of this breed, curly fur on the whole body is not accepted. Unfortunately, such dogs are often presented at exhibitions (especially in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also in the surrounding countries) – and achieve excellent results… ☹


From the standard for this breed:

Coat: Coat should be thick and short, nowhere over 1½ inches long, with a dense fine wooly undercoat. Hair on the face and legs should be very short and straight with a tendency to wave on the shoulders, neck, back and loins only. Moderate feathering on rear of hindquarters and tail is permissible. The texture of the Chesapeake’s coat is very important, as the Chesapeake is used for hunting under all sorts of adverse weather conditions, often working in ice and snow. The oil in the harsh outer coat and wooly undercoat is of extreme value in preventing the cold water from reaching the Chesapeake’s skin and aids in quick drying. A Chesapeake’s coat should resist the water in the same way that a duck’s feathers do. When the Chesapeake leaves the water and shakes, the coat should not hold water at all, being merely moist. Disqualifications: A coat that is curly or has a tendency to curl all over the body must be disqualified. Feathering on the tail or legs over 1¾ inches long must be disqualified.


Ideal representative of the breed:

 predstavitel plemena


The nature of this retriever combines plenty of pleasant features. He is loving, devoted, protective, loves children. Unlike other retrievers, they are good as guard dogs too. If any unwanted guest walked into the yard, he would not attack him, but he would block him in such a way that the invader would be afraid even to breathe until you came and solved the situation 😃. (Angry Chesapeake doesn’t look very kindly… 😃).

They need a lot of movement and activities, love water, swimming and of course – aporting. The best thing you can do for them is going for a long walk in the nature.

This dog definitely needs a training, he is not as easily trainable as Labrador or Golden retriever. He always has his own mind, but with patience you will make him the best dog that will work tirelessly to love you and obey you. You need two features for successful training of this breed: consistence and patience. This breed likes to be dominant, so you need to be careful to not let him become the head of your household 😃. That’s why I recommend proper and professional training, or experienced owner. He reaches maturity a little later than other breeds, at the age of around 2 years.

This breed is great for aporting and hunting, especially in water, has a great nose, can be used as a rescue dog (especially to search for people eg. in debris), hunting dog and also can be successful in agility. But if you do not have any of these ambitions and give the dog enough movement, he will be a great family pet which will protect you and be your best friend. 😃😃😃


Care requirements:

Chesapeake bay retriever is a breed, which doesn’t require complicated care. Obviously, you have to give him high-quality dog food in amount which is adjusted according to his activity (there’s a difference between feeding a dog which is laying on the couch and one that is running in your backyard all day). It’s also good to add joint supplements to his food to keep joints of your dog healthy and fully functional, for the first year you can also add vitamins.

Taking care of fur is not hard at all – if it is not needed otherwise, wash your dog in clean water, try to avoid shampoo as much as possible (shampoo makes the fur gradually loose it’s protective features). Brushing once in a while is enough, in spring I use furminator to brush off the undercoat.

The advantage of this breed is that it can stay outside during the whole year, in case a high-quality kennel is provided. They have no problem with cold weather, these dogs are able to jump into ice-cold water without hesitation. It could be worse in very high temperatures, during summer you have to ensure that your dog has a place in shadow to hide from sun, water to drink and a dog-pool to swim in when the heat becomes unbearable 😃.

You can live with it in a flat, but the more space it has, the happier it is 😃.

When it grows up with a cat from a very young age, there shouldn’t be a problem. Later in it’s life, the dog is most likely going to hunt for the cat ☹.

It will be reserved when meeting a stranger. These dogs love their families and people accepted by their families. It will be friendly, caressing and with a huge typical retriever smile on it’s face 😃.