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Breed Organization
American Chesapeake Club
Native Country
United States Of America
Other Names
Chessie, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chessy Dog
Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years
Litter Size
No Information Available
Breed Group
AKC Sporting Group
Breed Appearance
Distinctive features include eyes that are very clear, of yellowish or amber hue, hindquarters as high or a trifle higher than the shoulders, and a double-coat that tends to wave on shoulders, neck, back, and loins. The waterproof coat feels slightly oily and is often associated with a slight musky odor. Three basic colors are generally seen in the breed: brown, which includes all shades from a light to a deep dark brown; sedge, which varies from a reddish yellow through a bright red to chestnut shades; and deadgrass in all its shades, varying from a faded tan to a dull straw color. The breed standard states that white may also appear but it must be limited to the breast, belly, toes, or back of the feet. The head is round and broad with a medium stop and muzzle. The lips are thin, and the ears are small and of medium leather. The forelegs should be straight with good bone. The hindquarters are especially strong and the toes webbed since excellent swimming ability is important for the Chesapeake. This breed is also known for its large and powerful chest, used to break apart ice when diving into cold water while duck hunting.

Breed Description
Head: Broad and round. Wide, domed skull. Moderate stop. Short, pointed muzzle. Lips thin, not pendulous.
Ears: Small, hanging loosely.
Eyes: Medium-sized, very pale yellowish.
Body: Medium in length (not cobby). Neck medium in length. Deep, broad chest. Tuck-up.
Tail: Medium in length, 27 to 37 cm long (10.514.5 in). Fairly thick at the base. Feathering allowed.
Hair: Thick, short, under 3.7 cm long (1.5 in). Very short on the foreface and legs. Topcoat and oily undercoat are virtually waterproof.
Coat: From dark brown to pale tan, or deadgrass ranging from tan to straw. Small white spots on the chest and toes are allowed.
Size: Dog: 58 to 66 cm. (22.8-26 in).Bitch: 53 to 61 cm. (21-24 in).
Weight: Dog: 29 to 34 kg. (64-75 lb).Bitch: 25 to 29 kg. (55-64 lb).

This breed was developed in the northeastern United States, in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland, where he is used for his exceptional hunting skill in swampland. He is thought to have been developed by crossing the canine survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Maryland in 1807 with the Curly-coated Retriever, the Flat-coated Retriever, the Otterhound, the Irish Setter, and Irish water dogs. He was first shown in Baltimore in 1876. The first standard was written in 1890, and a breed club was founded in 1918. He is rare in Europe, despite being a fairly old breed.

Tough, very hardy, tireless, courageous, and lively, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a remarkable swimmer, even in icy waters. He is used on duck. Calm and devoted to his owner, he is rough-mannered but never brutal. He makes a good watchdog. He needs very firm training.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have been recently described with a unique skin disorder comprising trauma-induced Skin Fragility and congenital Ectodermal Dysplasia, which is similar to Ectodermal Dysplasia/Skin Fragility (ED/SF) in humans. At birth, affected puppies skin is lobster pink with blistering on the footpads. Over the first 48 hours, they develop more severe blistering and pealing of the skin on their faces, limbs, and feet. Their skin is extremely fragile and tears easily. There is currently no treatment for this disease. View a complete report and link for the DNA test. You dog can be tested to see if they are clear or a carrier. Results then can be used in a breeding program so no two carriers are bred together thus producing the disease in the offspring. They are also prone to eye problems and hip dysplasia.

He needs space and lots of exercise, as well as regular brushing.

Hunting Dog.

Horse Herd