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"One reason a dog
can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue
is that he doesn't try to find out why."

Author Unknown


Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have a distinctive wavy coat that feels slightly oily. It is this oil that helps the coat repel water.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a breed of dog that was developed along the Chesapeake Bay. It hunts under adverse weather and water conditions, even if having to break ice during the course of many strenuous multiple retrieves. The breed is very protective of its people and property. Many owners refer to this breed as the "Chessie".

Distinctive features include eyes that are very clear, of yellowish or amber hue, hindquarters as high or a trifle higher than the shoulders, and a double coat that tends to wave on shoulders, neck, back and loins. This "waterproof" coat feels slightly oily compared to other members of the same family, which is often associated with a slight musky odor. Three basic colors are generally seen in the breed: brown, which includes all shades from a light to a deep dark brown; sedge, which varies from a reddish yellow through a bright red to chestnut shades; and deadgrass in all its shades, varying from a faded tan to a dull straw color. The breed standard states that white may also appear, but it must be limited to the breast, belly, toes, or back of the feet. The head is round and broad with a medium stop and muzzle. The lips are thin. The small ears hang down. The tail is 12-15 inches (30-37 cm) long. The forelegs should be straight with good bone. The hindquarters are especially strong and the toes webbed since excellent swimming ability is important for the Chesapeake. This breed is also known for their large, and powerful chests; used to break apart ice when diving into ice-layered water while duck hunting.

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is valued for its bright and happy disposition, intelligence, quiet good sense, and affectionate protective nature. Some of them become vocal while happy; while this can be mistaken for a growl it is only a sign of happiness and not intended to create alarm. In addition, some dogs will 'smile' when happy by baring their front teeth in a peculiar grin; again this is not a threat but a sign of joy.

The Chesapeake is naturally dominant and, while usually won't start a fight over dominance, the breed will defend his position as the alpha dog. Obedience training is a must with this breed.



Nicknames: Chessie
Country of origin: Chesapeake Bay Area United States

The Chesapeake tends to recognize only one person in its family as master. All other people are considered by the dog to be either equal or subordinate. Willful, this breed can be prone to dominance problems if not properly trained and socialized. The Chesapeake is different than other retrievers in that he can be more aggressive, willful and reserved with strangers. They may be combative with other dogs. These are strong dogs and have a tendency to be territorial, so they require firm training and good management. Chesapeakes are usually slow to mature.

Training is a necessity with this breed. The trainer must exercise more patience than with most other breeds as this breed is usually not willing to change its behavior.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a very intelligent breed and learns at a high speed. Once a Chesapeake learns what is expected, he will act accordingly from that point on. A Chesapeake is not willing to break the rules and will attempt to enforce the same rules on subordinate dogs.

There is a phrase: "You can order a Labrador; ask a Golden; but you must negotiate with a Chesapeake."

The breed is subject to a number of hereditary diseases. These include, but are not limited to:

Hip dysplasia
Progressive retinal atrophy
Type 3 von Willebrand disease
Regional Alopecia in both sexes

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers trace their history to two Newfoundland dogs -- the male "Sailor" and female "Canton" -- who were rescued from a foundering ship in Maryland in 1807. They were to breed with various dogs creating the line.

In 1964, it was declared the official dog of Maryland.

It is the mascot of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.