The Chesapeake Bay Retriever Breed: A Good-Tempered Hunter

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chesapeake dog standing in a fieldChesapeake Bay Retriever dogs were bred to be hunting and water dogs. Their job was to retrieve ducks in the icy waters of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Their love of water and helping their owners still persists to this day. You can find a Chessie helping out in hunts, winning awards in hunt tests and field trials, or being a loving family dog.

Do you want a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? Read on to learn more about this pooch!

What is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a beloved gundog.

They have been bred to chase and retrieve game, be it in water or on land. Chessie puppies are adorably versatile and can play many roles. They can be a loving family dog who will play with children, or they can be superb hunters. Their amazing sense of smell gives them the edge over other dogs.

The History of An American Hunter!

The Chesapeake Bay in Maryland is not an easy environment to live in. But this puppy found a way to thrive in the cold waters of the bay. His toughness is no surprise once you learn about his background.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are descendent from two Newfoundland dogs who survived a shipwreck in the early 19th century. Because these two dogs had such good hunting skills, they were bred with local dogs. The result was the sturdy and focused Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

The Newfoundland’s ability to retrieve ducks from ponds and other bodies of water, as well as their love of water, was passed down. In 1877, the Chessie was considered its own independent breed. Back then, they were known as Chesapeake Bay Ducking Dog.

The American Kennel Club (AKC), created in 1884, recognized the breed immediately. They saw how unique and valuable Chessies were to their owners and classified them as sporting dogs. Some years later, the American Chesapeake Club was founded. They set the breed standard and made sure their history is passed down.

Today, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy is known to be a magnificent company dog. They love people almost as much as they love playing in water.

Appearance and Personality

The Chessie is known for its distinctive features. Their clear, yellowish- or amber-colored eyes set them apart from other retriever breeds. Their head is round and broad and the ears are small and hang loosely.

Their bodies are very muscled and well-defined. The hindquarters are strong and their toes are webbed, suited for swimming long distances. A Chessie’s body is of medium length and their strong chest springs out, designed to break thin ice when they’re swimming.

The Chessie’s coat has an oily look and gives off a musky scent. It’s thick and short and has a wooly undercoat. The oily outer coat and the feathery undercoat prevents Chessies from getting cold when they’re out working. It also allows their skin to dry faster. Their coat can be brown, sedge, and deadgrass, but it can also be a variation of these.

Personality-wise, Chesapeake Retriever puppies are loving and devoted. They are fully dedicated to their work in retrieving game and pleasing their owners. But this doesn’t mean they’re not stubborn. Once they get something into their head, they won’t rest until they do it. This is an awesome trait for work dogs to have, and it makes the Chesapeake pup excel at their job.

Chessies are also very goofy. They love to entertain the people around them. Because of this, they love meeting new people and other dogs. As long as they’re well-socialized and trained, they’ll be extroverted and easygoing pups.

chesapeake bay retriever puppies basking in the sun

How Big Do They Get?

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large dog breed. Males stand between 23 and 26 inches tall at the shoulder. Females are typically smaller, and grow to be at most 24 inches tall.

Their muscular build also means they’re not lightweight dogs. Males weigh between 65 and 80 pounds. Females clock in anywhere between 55 and 70 pounds.

5 Fun Facts You Need to Know About Chesapeakes!

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a fun breed! Here are five fun facts you might not already know about this breed.

  1. Chessies have gentle mouths. This means that they can carry things in their mouth (such as eggs) without breaking or damaging them.
  2. Their toes are special — they have a web membrane that lets them swim more efficiently.
  3. Their well-defined personalities and stubbornness mean they can be more aggressive and less friendly than other retriever breeds.
  4. This dog breed is one of the few that can claim to be made in the USA.
  5. Chesapeakes are very territorial, so they need to be trained and socialized from a young age.

Maintenance Needs of Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppies!

If you’re thinking about getting a Chesapeake, you’ll probably want to know just how to take care of one. Luckily, they’re not too demanding when it comes to grooming. But Chessies aren’t for every owner.

Grooming Your Pooch

A Chesapeake’s coat is naturally oily. You shouldn’t worry about it not looking oily. In fact, it’s that way to protect pups from the cold icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Chessie owners can expect their dogs to shed heavily, just like what happens with other retriever puppies. They should be brushed at least once a week. Try to use only rubber curry brushes. They will remove excess hair and distribute the natural oils evenly throughout the coat.

The good news is that you shouldn’t bathe your Chesapeake. Only do it if they are very, very dirty. Too much bathing strips them of their natural oils and leaves them exposed to the cold.

Prepare to Walk Them Daily!

Do you love to go for walks, jogs, and hikes daily? If so, you’ve found the perfect companion for you. The Chessie breed needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy and not frustrated.

Exercise is the best way to keep them happy. Let them run around in the yard, go to ponds and lakes with them, and play catch with your pup. As exercise-heavy dogs, you’ll need to keep them busy and occupied.

A Bright and Bold Pup! Trainability of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppy

Chesapeake pups are incredibly intelligent. It’s no wonder hunters loved to keep them around for so long. These dogs pick up on commands quickly and have very good instincts. But this doesn’t mean training them is a walk in the park. Unfortunately, Chessies are equal parts smart and stubborn.

These dogs have a tendency to want to take the reins of the household. They love being in charge and only doing something when they feel like it.

This is why it’s extremely important to be firm and assertive with your pup when training them. If they pee indoors or if they’re aggressive towards other pets, it’s important to show them that that behavior isn’t acceptable.

Novice dog owners will probably struggle to train their puppies. If this is your case, you can always enroll them in a puppy obedience training school!

brown Chesapeake retriever breeds playing in the water

Could This Dog Pass a Vet Check?

Chessies are overall healthy dogs. But just like with every other breed out there, they’re more at risk of developing certain illnesses than others.

The first thing owners should be prepared for is hip dysplasia. This genetic condition is very common among large dog breeds, and, unfortunately, the Chessie isn’t immune to it.

It happens when the thigh bone and the hip socket don’t fit snugly. It leads to the bones and tendons grinding on one another. Hip dysplasia is a very painful condition.

Von Willebrand’s Disease is also not unfamiliar to the Chesapeake breed. It’s a blood problem and it makes it very difficult or even impossible for dogs to stop bleeding on their own. Any surgery, cut, or gum disease can be fatal if not addressed quickly.

Finally, progressive retinal atrophy also runs in the Chessie’s DNA. Like the name suggests, it slowly leads to blindness. It doesn’t happen all at once, but if not treated it can leave a pup completely blind.

5 Tips for People Who Want a Chesapeake Dog

Have you fallen in love with this breed yet? Chessies are marvelous companion animals and love being part of a family. If you’ve decided to take the leap and get one, here are some tips we have for you.

  1. Be firm when training your dog. Don’t back down on your house rules and commands.
  2. Be persistent and don’t give up easily. Chessies are stubborn dogs and need someone who will be just as stubborn, if not more, than them.
  3. Walk your pup daily. They need a lot of exercise. Long, intense walks are perfect for Chessies.
  4. If you’re buying a Chessie, do it from a reputable Chesapeake Bay Retriever breeder. Here are some trusted breeders you can trust: Coolwater Chesapeakes, Whiskey Creek Chesapeakes, Pond Hollow Chesapeakes, and Eagle Haven Chesapeakes.
  5. You can also choose to adopt a Chessie. Contact a local shelter or dog rescue group for more information.

Loyal and Protective of Their Family! These Puppers Will Stay By Your Side

Chessies are amazing dogs. They’re so versatile that they can adapt to living with virtually any family. This water-loving breed yearns just as much for human love as they do for hunting in bodies of water.

Whether you’re looking for a curly-coated retriever or at flat-coated retrievers, you’ll surely fall in love with this breed.

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