Did you know?
Chessies become vocal when happy. They can sound like they’re growling but they are really just happy! They can also ‘smile’ when happy by baring their front teeth.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
You can order a Lab, ask a Golden, but you must negotiate with a Chesapeake. – Anonymous
When a British ship was wrecked off the coast of Maryland in 1807, two of the survivors, a pair of Newfoundland dogs, swam ashore and helped found a new breed of dog. The Newfs, Sailor and Canton, bred with local sporting dogs including setters, pointers, and spaniels, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever evolved, taking his name from the Chesapeake Bay area where he was developed.
The “Chessie” was created to function as well on land as he does in the water. His quarry are waterfowl and he’s got the stamina and endurance to do that under the worst weather and water conditions. This dog has to do his job in the face of bitter winds, strong tides, and long cold swims during which he often has to break ice to retrieve his bird. The Chessie is a powerful and tireless swimmer and duck retriever.
Today he is still primarily a family pet and hunting companion. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are known for their love of water and their ability to hunt. They possess a bright and happy disposition, courage, willingness to work, alertness, and intelligence. His dominant personality and territorial instincts make him an excellent watch and guard dog.
Photos displayed courtesy of Kristine Dunham
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever stands up to 26 inches (66 cm) tall at the shoulder. Capable of swimming for hours in frigid waters, the Chessie can dry his coat with one vigorous shake! He has a thick, short, oily coat with a dense undercoat that is almost waterproof. It varies in colour from dark brown to “dead grass” (faded tan) and helps the dog to blend in with his surroundings. The Chessie “blows coat” twice a year, a process that generally takes about 3 weeks. Except during this time, grooming is minimal.
A strong, territorial dog, the Chessie is not a good choice for an inexperienced dog owner. His owner must be an equally strong and consistent leader capable of firm training and good management. He will coexist with other dogs but he will dominate them. As far as the family goes, the Chessie is affectionate, devoted, responsive, and particularly fond of children – probably because they have the energy to keep up with him!
A highly intelligent dog, the Chessie learns fast and once he does, he’s not willing to “break the rules” by doing something he was taught not to do!
Best in an active household, the Chessie needs lots of exercise and activity including swimming. As with all retrievers, he will retrieve sticks or balls from the water all day long!
Retrievers ONLINE Magazine (field trials/hunting)
theRetriever News (field trials)