Hailing from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever (Chessie for short) was bred to assist hunters in retrieving ducks from the extremely cold water. Their strong build and thick coat made them perfect for such a task, however nowadays it is a lot rarer to see these dogs used for hunting. Fine companions, Chessies have a happy disposition and are considered to be a fairly intelligent breed. Similar in appearance to the Labrador Retriever, the Chessie’s coat is the main point of distinction. Unlike Labradors who’s coats are smooth, Chessies have a wavy coat, again adding to its suitability as a water dog.
Lifestyle and Living Environment
Chessies require a substantial amount of exercise, and so it is recommended that only people with significant backyard space consider this breed. Failure to provide between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day will result in these dogs expending their energy in a destructive fashion, exercise essential to keep these dogs physically and mentally stimulated. These dogs are also ideal for people who live near the ocean or a lake/river, as they are water dogs after all. It is advised that families with young children consider other breeds, as these dogs can get rather possessive at times (usually over food or toys). If they are irked during such an episode, these kids could be placed at risk. Chessies are also renowned for maturing quite slowly and therefore will require extensive training. As such, they are not recommended for first time dog owners.
Common Health Issues
Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Von Willebrand's Disease, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat), Epilepsy, Chondrodysplasia.