Developed along the Chesapeake Bay and named the state dog of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a truly American sporting breed and the toughest water retriever. He is a strong, powerfully built medium-sized breed with yellowish or amber eyes and a distinctive coat – a short, harsh, wavy outercoat with a dense fine wooly undercoat. His color can be brown, sedge, or dead grass and must be as close to that of his working surroundings as possible.
In 1807, an English brig shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland, and two Newfoundlands were rescued from the cargo. When bred to local retrievers, including the English Otter Hound, Flat-Coat, and Curly-Coated Retriever, the “Chessie” type developed. Bred to work on land and water, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever originally hunted waterfowl in rough and icy waters, often retrieving several hundred birds per day.
The Chesapeake is a happy and intelligent breed whose courage, working ability, and love of water mesh best with active, outdoor-loving families. His coat is short, but owners must brush and maintain it regularly, as both the outercoat and undercoat contain oils for protection in harsh conditions.
- Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1878.
- Average size: 55 to 80 pounds and 21 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.
- Waterdog; Retriever.
- Apartment? Not so much.
- Low activity indoors.
- Love large yard.
- Daily vigorous exercise.
- Love to swim.
- Daily brushing.
- Infrequent bathing.
- Average shedding.
- Distinct scent is normal.