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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Facts

  • Group
  • Sporting
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 21" - 26"
  • Weight
  • 55-80 lbs
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Red
    • Brown
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names



The Chesapeake Bay Retriever originated in Maryland, United States of America.

Date Of Origin

the breed developed in 1807


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is descended from two Newfoundland type puppies found in an English shipwreck off Maryland in 1807. The dogs, Sailor and Canton, were bred with other retrievers to create dogs who would work as duck retrievers in Chesapeake Bay. The Chessie was recognized as a distinct breed by the end of the nineteenth century.


This is a strong, medium size dog, slightly longer than it is tall. Some are taller at the loin than at the withers. It has small drop ears and yellow or amber eyes. The tail is long and hangs low, and the feet are large and webbed. The coat is short, oily, and water repellent, wavy on the body but straight on the head and legs. There is a dense undercoat and there may be slight feathering on the rump and tail.


This breed is affectionate with friends and family but wary with strangers. A courageous and eager worker, it tends to be reserved and serious. It is intelligent and highly trainable. This breed is friendly with children but may react when provoked. It enjoys outdoor activities.


This is a dog that loves the water and can be used for hunting in any weather. It specializes in retrieving from water. It will come out of a river or marsh with only a few drops of water left on its coat, and these are quickly eliminated with a shake. Today this breed has been taken into the home and has made a wonderful family companion as well as a retriever.

Health Concerns

Dwarfism, entropion, epilepsy, PRA

Additional Information

This breed does well with an experienced, active owner in a rural area.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Dogs, Dog Breeds and Dog Care

Publisher: Anness Publishing Limited, 1999

Website: http://www.southwaterbooks.com

Authors: Dr. Peter Larkin, Mike Stockman

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