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 1930’s. In the 1970’s they started to become more popular as a gundog breed.



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.


Size Medium
Colour 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.
Coat Length Short Medium
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.

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.

Feeding & Ownership


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


Food Cost $10 to $15



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.


Intelligence 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.
Energy High
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark Low
Overall Exercise Requirement 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.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Low
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Low
Other Animal Compatibility High



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.


Grooming Requirements Up to once a week
Amount of Hair Shed Little

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