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Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Breed Profile

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Other Names
Chessie, Bay 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Chesapeake Bay is a member of the gundog group. They were originally used for retrieving waterfowl and today are used as gundogs and companions. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
The feeding of this dog can be quite considerable, they are good eaters, making them have a tendency to become overweight if not given adequate exercise 
Other Expenses
Puppies will cost between £350 to £600. 
9 - 15 years
The Chesapeake can live to 12 years of age as it is a relatively healthy breed. 
Average Litter Size
Litters can vary from 1 to 16 puppies, but the average is around 8 or 9. 
General Physical Description
They are very muscular and powerful dogs that have a distinctive coat. The Bay has webbed feet, and a broad head. The hind quarters are slightly taller than the shoulders. The chest is deep and wide.

Height Min Max
Bitch 53cm (21") 61cm (24")
Dog 58cm (23") 66cm (26")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 25kg (55lbs) 32kg (71lbs)
Dog 30kg (66lbs) 36kg (79lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs measure 58.4-66cms at the withers and weigh between 29.5-36.4kgs. Bitches measure 53.3-60.9cms at the withers and weigh between 25-31.8kgs. 
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever appears to be strongly resistant to most diseases. However not much Veterinary research has been carried out on this breed, but some of the more common ailments have been recorded. 
Common Ailments

Eye - Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Eye - Entropion
Bones (Developmental) - Hip dysplasia
Bones (Developmental) - Elbow dysplasia
Ruptures/Hernias - Umbilical hernia
Haemolymphatic - Bleeding disorders - Von Williebrands disease
Eye - Cataract - Hereditary
Ear Infections  
Susceptibility To Illness
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an American breed of dog that was developed from British dogs. They were developed by the settlers to work in the water, retrieving duck and other fowl. There is a story that says a ship was wrecked off the coast of Maryland in 1807 with two Newfoundland puppies. The puppies were given to the rescuers as a thank you. Both the dogs were mated to local dogs, never to each other. The resulting puppies were crossed with other retrieving and hunting breeds, Flatcoated and Curlycoated Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniels and Coonhounds are thought to have been used. Eventually the Chesapeake that we recognise today was produced. The breed standard of the Chesapeake Bay was established in 1885. They were recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1933. They first arrived in Britain in the 1930ís. In the 1970ís they started to become more popular as a gundog breed. 
The Bay is a relatively intelligent breed of dog that does have a mind of its own and likes to have its own way. They are not the best breed of dog for the novice owner. Training and socialisation can, and should, start from an early age, as they can be quite dominant. They do offer good protection if in a situation where they feel they or a family member is threatened.< 
Show Characteristics
The Chesapeake Bay should have a broad head. The eyes should be of medium size, set well apart and be yellow or amber in colour. The ears should be small and set well up on the head. The mouth should have a complete scissor bite, a level bite will be allowed though not preferred. The neck should appear muscular and blend into the well laid back shoulders. The chest should be wide and deep with well sprung ribs. The hindquarters should be higher than the shoulders, therefore the topline will not be level. The feet are quite large and webbed. The tail should be straight or slightly curved. The coat should be short, no longer than 1.5inches, and thick. The outer coat will be oily, harsh and dense while the undercoat will be fine and woolly. The coat tends to wave on the neck, shoulders, back and loins, it should never be curly. Self coloured Bays are preferred in dead grass, red/gold or brown shades. Some white is allowed on the chest, stomach and feet. 
Country Of Origin
United States 
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
> 2 hours per day.
The Chesapeake Bay requires a lot of exercise, and can become somewhat badly behaved if not given enough exercise. They love water, swimming and retrieving, being their favourite sports, so make sure they have access to water on their walks. They are not the ideal dog for towns or the idle. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
The Bays have an independent streak and will think for themselves but at the same time are affectionate. They love children, although they can play a bit roughly at times. The Chesapeake loves the outdoors, especially water. They have a bright, cheerful and alert outlook on life and enjoy the companionship of other dogs and people. The Bay when it matures, about 3 years of age, can actually be quite a calm dog. They are protective by nature, not showing this until about 9 to 18 months old. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
< Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
The coat of the Chesapeake is thick and short with a dense woolly undercoat. The coat can be wavy but is not generally curly, feeling oily when touched. It is advised not to wash this dog as damage can be done to its waterproof coat. Also take care when brushing, which should only be necessary when the dog is moulting. Brushing will remove the dead and loose hairs. Bathing and excessive brushing could damage the texture of the coat. 
The colour is described as'dead grass' which is a colour between straw to bracken, they can also be red/gold or brown. Some white can appear on the coat too, this is usually on the chest, stomach or the feet. 
Suffers From Allergies

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