- In 1807, an English ship foundered off the coast of Maryland. Its crew and cargo were rescued, and in gratitude, the crew gave their rescuers two puppies that were presumably Newfoundlands of the time. These dogs grew to be talented water retrievers, and as such, their offspring were sought after.
- Many types of dogs were bred with them, and eventually a distinct type of dog emerged. They were a hardy retriever that could mark the fall of many ducks or geese and swim repeatedly through chilled rough water to retrieve all of them.
- By the mid to late 1800s, the breed had developed a reputation for its retrieving skills. It was called by several names, including the Chesapeake Bay duck dog, Newfoundland duck dog, and brown Winchester.
- The AKC recognized the breed in 1878.
- In the 1930s, the Chessie was the most popular retriever in America.
- In 1964, the Chesapeake Bay retriever became he official dog of Maryland.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Behavior Concerns
- Makes an adventurous and loyal companion.
- Playful and generally good with children.
- Eager to please, but can be oblivious to corrections.
- More independent than other retrievers.
- More protective than other retrievers.
- Aloof toward strangers.
- Gets along fairly well with other pets and dogs.
- Loves to retrieve, to the point of seeming compulsive.
- Loves to swim.
- Quick to learn, but can be stubborn.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food or retrieving.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Suggested Exercises
- Can be a calm housedog if given adequate exercise.
- Needs daily walks, jogs, hikes or play sessions.
- Swimming and retrieving are favored methods of exercise.
- Also needs mental exercise in the form of training or games.
- Chessies enjoy hunting, and many owners compete in field events with them.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Grooming
- Coat is made up of a dense wooly undercoat with a harsh, wavy and oily outer coat.
- The oiliness makes the coat waterproof. Bathing removes the oil, so is not recommended before cold weather hunting that may require swimming.
- Brushing once a week is adequate; more during shedding seasons.
- Shedding is average.
Suggested Chesapeake Bay Retriever Nutritional Needs
- Chessies have a tendency to become overweight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet that does not allow them to become overweight.
- Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.