The Chesapeake Bay Retriever!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a powerful, hearty dog with a distinctive, wavy coat. It has a wide head and strong limbs with hind legs that are just higher than its shoulders. It has a deep chest and webbed feet. The coat is short and is usually brown-colored or reddish yellow. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever needs plenty of time outside and is not properly kept as an indoor only dog.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
10-12 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Great outdoor dog. Sensitive to heat. Not for apartments.


Exercise Needs:
Multiple free runs and yard play each day. Chance to swim preferred.

Breed Group:


21 – 26 inches

55 – 80 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Brown, sedge

National breed club:
American Chesapeake Club

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Skills

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever can trace its origins back to the 17th century in Maryland, where it survived a shipwreck and was immediately taken in by a family. They were later crossed with local retrievers and the puppies from that breed were also crossed with other breeds such as spaniels and hounds. The breed standard was finalized in 1885 and recognized by the American Kennel Club nearly 50 years later. Although bred for hunting, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever still holds these skills today and excels in guarding, tracking, retrieving, and hunting.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Personality

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is known to be an intelligent, friendly dog that responds well to obedience training. They are affectionate with children although they can be reserved and even aggressive to strangers and other dogs. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is also highly territorial and is not really recommended for the beginner dog owner.

Exercise Needs

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever needs a lot of exercise; at least two hours a day. If it has access to a swimming pool or a lake, even better. They tend to behave badly when they are not exercised enough.

Living Conditions

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever should not be forced into apartment living for it will not thrive well there. They will also need a medium-sized yard for them to play and sleep in, for they do like to sleep outside. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is not well-suited to a hotter climate except if there is a lake, river, or ocean nearby.

Grooming Requirements

Grooming is minimal for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Its coat is thick with a curly underside. Since the coat is oily and waterproof, it is advised not to wash the dog often so as not to damage the coat. Brush it only when the dog is shedding.

Health Issues

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, while a relatively healthy breed, can have inherited hip and elbow dysplasia and problems with the eyes (cataracts, etc.). They can also become overweight if they are fed too much and do not exercise.

If you liked this dog…

...try looking at the Flat-Coated Retriever, a member of the same breed group. They can double as both hunting companion and family companion at the same time. It is intelligent and friendly and is also fantastic with children.


Chesapeake Bay Retriever


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