Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Other names: Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chessie

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Courageous and determined, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is armed to face difficult climatic conditions both mentally and physically. This medium to large sized dog is, in fact, endowed with a powerful and solid constitution, as well as a double coat giving him a very good protection against the cold and the humidity. In addition to its skills developed through a long history of waterfowl hunter / reporter, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an excellent companion for the whole family, including children with whom it is playful and energetic.



Photo: Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed dog on Woopets
Hair type Short
Origin United States
Template Big
Head shape Long
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 25 kg to 32 kg From 53 cm to 61 cm
Male From 29 kg to 36 kg From 58 cm to 66 cm
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History of the breed

A shipwreck in 1807 is believed to be the origin of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed. The ship in question came from Great Britain and had run aground off Maryland, in Chesapeake Bay (eastern United States). Among the survivors were a couple from Newfoundland: a male named Sailor and a female named Canton .

Both showed excellent swimming skills and waterfowl report, in particularly difficult conditions: cold water, layers of ice, tides, winds … to the point that local duck hunters began to to set up breedings by crossing these dogs with different reporters of waterfowl originating from the region or from other regions, to give litters of resistant, determined and enduring animals. The Curly Coat Retriever, the Flat-Coat Retriever and the Irish Water Dog are among the breeds involved in the development of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Development continued throughout the 19th century, leading to the recognition of the breed by most major kennel clubs. The AKC (American Kennel Club) did so from its creation in 1884. The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) recognized it definitively in September 1964.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Pictures

Photo of Charlie, Chesapeake Bay Retriever

View all Chesapeake Bay Retriever photos from Woopets members

Physical features

His hair : tight and short. The outer coat is coarse and associated with a high density undercoat and a woolly texture, together providing the dog with effective protection against water and ice.
Its color : preferably single-colored, in all shades of brown, rush or dead grass. With or without a small white spot on the chest, abdomen, fingers or back of the feet.
His head : the skull is broad and rounded, the stop medium and the jaws powerful.
His ears : small, hanging, set high and with a moderately thick pavilion.
His eyes : light in color, ranging from yellowish to amber, moderately large and displaying an expression of intelligence and liveliness.
His body : moderately long and well proportioned. The back is short and powerful, the chest strong and broad.
Its tail : of medium thickness and length, straight or slightly curved, never rolled up on the back nor carried on the sides.

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

Awake and intelligent, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a hard worker who loves to stay active, play, and please his owner. His joie de vivre is communicative and his affectionate character is expressed towards all his family, especially the children for whom he is an excellent playmate. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever also has a flair of great finesse and a protective instinct well marked, without being aggressive. He takes great pleasure in moving in the water. Outside of play sessions, outings and exercises, he knows how to stay calm and composed. His balanced temperament and his great capacity for adaptation make him a first-rate family companion.

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Naturally focused on work and play, the The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is easily educated when exploiting these aspects by relying on patience and positive methods . Rewards and encouragement go a long way in making them an obedient dog. Just as important is a socialization process started early enough in life, as is learning to recall. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, like all its congeners besides, should not undergo any form of brutality in its education.

Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a very good family dog that adapts to all living conditions . However, he has a clear preference for environments close to nature : countryside, woods, water points, etc. He can adapt to city life if he is walked and stimulated enough. It would therefore be best for this dog to live in a house with a large fenced garden, rather than in an apartment.


Ease of gaining weight

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a healthy dog. Thanks to its dense and protective double coat, it is resistant to cold and bad weather . Its dress also allows it to dry quickly after moving in the water. There are, however, certain predispositions to disease in this breed. These are mainly hip and elbow dysplasias, certain eye damage (progressive retinal atrophy), exercise-induced collapse and degenerative myelopathy.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size

Between 7 and 9 puppies.

Major concerns
Hip dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia
Minor concerns
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Occasional concerns
Exercise-induced collapse
Degenerative myelopathy
Suggested tests
Exercise-induced collapse
Degenerative myelopathy

To protect yourself from these risks and insure your companion in case of health problems, Woopets recommends a Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

Minimum: 10 years

Maximum: 13 years

The life expectancy of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever is, on average, between 10 years and 13 years.

Calculate the Human Age of Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever!

To choose… 1 year 2 years 3 years Four years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10 years 11 years old 12 years 13 years 14 years old 15 years old 16 years old 17 years 18 years old 19 years old 20 years 21 years old

Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

Outside of moulting periods, when this dog can lose a lot of hair, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever does not require complex maintenance work .

A weekly brushing session is sufficient to maintain the beauty and health of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s coat and skin. During shedding, these treatments become more frequent to effectively manage hair loss. Baths should not be frequent so as not to alter the natural oily film that protects their coat and skin. Brushing teeth, inspecting and cleaning the eyes and the inside of the ears and pest control treatments are, of course, essential for his health and well-being. If they do not wear out naturally, its claws need to be cut. If you are new to this, it is recommended that you seek advice from a veterinarian or groomer.

Price and budget

Purchase price

800 €
1200 €

The purchase price of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever is between € 800 and € 1,200.

Annual maintenance cost

Max € 500
600 €

The annual maintenance cost of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever is between $ 500 and $ 600.

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The first quality kibbles, rich in proteins and ensuring complete contributions (vitamins, minerals…), are recommended for this athletic dog that is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. It is important to ensure that the quantities given to him remain reasonable and adapted to his real needs, in order to prevent any risk of overweight. The veterinarian is best placed to advise the master on this point.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever cannot be satisfied with short walks. It needs long and frequent outings , ideally in spaces where it can evolve without a leash in complete safety (hence the need to learn to recall). All complemented by games , especially those appealing to his natural instinct as a reporter dog: thrown, hidden objects …


Classifications & Standards
(AKC) American Kennel Club
(ANKC) Australian National Council Kennel
(CKC) Canadian Kennel Club
(FCI) Fédération Cynologique Internationale
(KC) The Kennel Club
(NZKC) New Zealand Kennel Club
(UKC) United Kennel Club


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

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FCI Information



FCI Group

Group 8: Retrieving game dogs – Game-raising dogs – Water dogs

Recognized by FCI

Since 1964


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