Breed of the Week: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chessy 2

Breed of the Week: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, or Chessie, was designed to be an all-purpose retriever with proficiency on land and in water. This means they are a medium sized dog standing at 21-26 inches and weighing 55-75lbs with males being substantially larger than females.  This breed has a characteristic curl to their coat which aide in water repellence ad can be any shade of brown from grassy to chocolate to help them camouflage when hunting.


This breed is cheerful and alert with a generally friendly disposition and a strong working drive.  Unlike some other retrievers, like labs, they have not been diluted for pet preference and still carry a high drive to work and retrieve.  Chessies need moderate exercise and do best in suburban or rural areas and make great running partners, they also tend to do well with children and other pets.

Health Concerns:

Like many similarly sized dogs, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is prone to joint and eye issues including dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and osteochondrosis dissecans.  They can also suffer from thyroid disorders.

Fun Facts:

  • The Chessie is one of America’s first dog breeds and was initially bred by combining Newfoundlands with retrievers to create the ultimate swimming retriever.
  • The oily tight coat of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever allows this breed to swim through icy water and makes them an excellent winter duck hunting breed.
  • Like many retrievers, the Chessie has webbed feet to further aid in water work.