Chesapeake Bay Retriever Facts

Chesapeake Bay Retriever – In A Nutshell

The Chesapeake Bay retriever was bred in Maryland, USA, and is used as a hunting dog. It has an average height of about 25 inches and weighs between 60 to 80 pounds. The AKC recognized the Chesapeake Bay retriever in 1878.

Life Span

The average life span of a Chesapeake bay retriever is 10-12 years old; however, there have been reports that it can live up to 18 years old or more.

Overall Appearance-Size:

It has an athletic and well-proportioned build with good bone strength measuring around 50 cm tall at the shoulders for males while females are slightly shorter, reaching 45 to 47 cm at their shoulders. In addition, male Chesapeakes grow from 60 to 65 pounds while females weigh around 55 to 60 pounds.

The head is wide and robust with a broad brow, round skull, large nose black in color that has wide nostrils, and drooping lips on the lower jaw. The eyes are dark brown or hazel brown and almond-shaped, while the medium size is set somewhat far apart. The ears are thin, triangular, long with rounded tips. They should be carried erect at all times but hang down when relaxed, giving it a distinctive look.

Its coat is short to medium length with a dense undercoat, a wiry topcoat that is close-fitting yet quite hard, making it waterproof while protecting from harsh weather conditions like frigid winds. It can come in varying shades of chestnut, ranging from light ones to darker colors such as mahogany. However, black or colored coats are considered a fault in the breed standard.
The tail is set low on the hocks and long-reaching up to the hock joint but is well furred at its tip. It carries it slightly curved at all times but rises when it’s excited, such as during play.


The Chesapeake Bay retriever has a gentle, dependable temperament with a balance of playfulness and stability, which makes it excellent for families with children but makes sure you socialize and train them both young so they can develop a strong bond and relationship that will last them for the rest of their lives.

It is both a playful and affectionate dog that will get along great with all other family members but is reversed with strangers it meets in its daily activities outside the home.
It has an innate hunting instinct that can be used for retrieving games or just for playing; however, this needs to be kept in check by training; otherwise, it may run after small animals like cats or birds when letting off-leash while walking outdoors.

Thus, owners need to establish themselves as alpha individuals if they want to keep their Chesapeake Bay retriever under control at all times, especially when out walking them on a leash.
This dog requires some playtime or daily activities like walking to relieve energy, especially when left alone for too long without any exercise. It may also help serve as a good means of mental stimulation, which can treat certain forms of dog behavior issues such as separation anxiety (SA) with regular application, so they don’t become serious problems down the line. In addition, playing fetch using a ball is one of the most common ways owners usually fulfill their pet’s need for physical activity/exercise each day, serving as its favorite form of recreation.


The Chesapeake Bay retriever is generally quite hardy with an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years, and a few cases have reached 15 years or older. However, they may suffer from health issues such as hip dysplasia, ectropion, entropion, cataracts, hemophilia A and B, which are all common in dogs. Some of these conditions are treatable, while others require surgery that cannot always guarantee a 100% success rate at relieving the condition.

However, keep in mind that all dogs are prone to health issues no matter how good their breed is. Thus, if you expect your dog to live a long life without any serious or even mild health problems, then be willing to spend much more money than the average person for his care and prevention from potential diseases.

However, this breed is prone to chronic dry eye syndrome which can cause irritation and even infection if left untreated so be sure to take it to see a veterinarian as soon as you notice any symptoms in your dog such as redness, pus, or excessive tears since it can spread very quickly without immediate treatment. Suppose your pet has his eyes checked regularly at the vet. In that case, they should detect any signs of the condition early on before it becomes severe, making treating him easier on your wallet. Still, most cases of dry eye are rather easy to cure through a series of shots administered by a professional vet, plus he may need oral medications for further relief.


Be sure to control your dogs’ diet regularly since it tends to have a rather large appetite which can cause them to become overweight by just feeding them too many treats when they do something good such as playing with their favorite chew toy. You can quickly remedy this situation by restricting how much your dog eats at mealtimes and giving them a daily exercise routine to control their weight.

A Chesapeake Bay retriever’s diet should consist of mainly fresh foods like lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits combined with some essential vitamins and minerals added through commercial supplements specifically formulated for dogs. These can help enhance its immune system and mental faculties so it can maintain optimum health throughout its entire lifetime. Avoid feeding him large amounts of dairy products because he is not meant to digest them properly, which may only cause stomach upset or even diarrhea.

Spicing up his meals with lots of lean meats, vegetables and fruits can help keep him from getting bored and experiencing weight gain/lack of appetite.

This breed is very intelligent and easy to train. They pick up basic commands like sit, down, heel, stay and come relatively quickly, especially if trained early on while being consistent in your approach – training a Chesapeake Bay Retriever takes time and patience.

Is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever a good family dog?

You will notice that this breed is also really social with children and loves playing games such as tug-of-war and fetch; This dog gets along exceptionally well with children but makes sure you socialize and train them both young so they can develop a strong bond and relationship that will last them for the rest of their lives.

Moreover, this dog does not require much exercise but needs some playtime and daily activities like walking to relieve energy – especially when left alone for several hours each day to prevent obesity, build their lean muscles and strengthen their bones as well as improve their mental alertness through interaction with the owner. A good amount of physical activity will also keep his mind occupied during periods of rest at home, giving him a purpose each day when interacting with his master. However, avoid forcing the dog into playing if he is not feeling up to it that day, especially if it has been particularly active recently due to the high energy level this breed possesses.
Just be careful while walking this dog in crowded places because he may become nervous around strangers and try to run away.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has an excellent pedigree to pick from if you like training dogs with outstanding swimming skills. Still, most of these dogs require a good bit of intense training, which is very important for them to listen and obey their master. These animals will typically respond best to positive reinforcement when it comes to training so try using treats or stroking them during playtime as opposed to shouting at them or forcing them into submission because that can make your Chesapeake Bay Retriever feel uncomfortable around you and your family members which is not what you want for yourself nor his health in the long run.

Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers shed a lot?

Chessies are heavy shedders, especially during certain seasons, and require regular grooming, brushing, baths, and more to keep their coats healthy and clean. In addition, their thick double-skin involves a lot of maintenance, so you will need to brush his hair daily or at least every other day with a stiff bristle brush to remove any loose particles that have accumulated on top of the surface, which can become tangled in his fur – this way your pet won’t be uncomfortable after running around playing all day. You must also frequently trim his nails to avoid them growing too long, which could hurt him when he walks around your house or on concrete surfaces outside, such as sidewalks.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever And Cats

Due to his strong hunting instinct, this dog does not do well around unfamiliar cats and other small animals. However, they usually get along with cats when raised together or introduced slowly.
A Chessie might want to play aggressively with your cat. She’s most likely going to try fighting back against your dog by clawing him or biting him due to feeling threatened, which could cause him to retaliate even harder, resulting in injuries for one of the two pets involved; therefore, it would probably be best if you placed some kind of barrier between them like a high wooden fence or gate inside your house just to make sure that they do not hurt each other while you’re not at home.
If you want your dog to get along with your cat, it would be best to introduce both pets when they are still young; most dogs get along with cats they have lived with since they were tiny puppies.


If you want an intelligent dog that is easy to train, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever might be the right dog for you! They’re pretty good with children but not that good with other animals. Be sure to watch your pet closely if you take him out into the yard because he might dig up some of your plants.