The Chesapeake Bay Retriever claims an adventurous
and somewhat mysterious history. In 1807,
two Newfoundlands were rescued off the coast
of Maryland after a shipwreck. The black male
and brown female were both excellent water
dogs and were later mated. These pups were
most likely crossed with other local sporting
breeds such as the Coonhound, the English
Water Poodle, and the Curly and Flat-Coated
Retrievers. What emerged was an able rough-water
dog with excellent retrieving instincts. His
coat, in particular, is unique in that it
can withstand icy-cold water yet remain dry
underneath; sportsmen claim a quick shake
is all it takes to shed any remaining water
and ice. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was
officially recognized by the American Kennel
Club in 1873 and in 1892 in Canada. The "Chessie"
enjoys country life over city life and needs
plenty of outdoor activity.
The height of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever
is between 23 - 26" (58.4 - 58.4cm)
for dogs, 21 - 24" (53.3 - 53.3cm)
The weight of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever
is between 65 - 75 lbs (29 - 29 kg) for
dogs, 55 - 65 lbs (24.6 - 24.6 kg) for bitches
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever's water-repellent
coat is oily, straight and short; there
is a thick, downy undercoat.
colors of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever's
coat may be brown, tan or "deadgrass."
Grooming needs are minimal.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is courageous,
hard-working, and extremely loyal to its
Some of the hereditary diseases the Chesapeake
Bay Retriever is prone to include hip dysplasia,
progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts
and von Willebrand disease type 3. The average
life span of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever
is 10 - 13 years.
Although the breed does not have many followers,
and is neither popular at shows nor championed
in field trials, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever
has received several honorary awards for
saving many children from drowning. The
Chesapeake Bay Retriever is called 'Chessie'
AKC: Group 1 - Sporting Dogs
ANKC: Group 3 - Gundogs
CKC: Group 1 - Sporting Dogs
FCI: Group 8 Section 1 Retrievers
KC: Sporting - Gundog Group
UKC: Gun Dog