Chesapeake Bay Retriever

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The Full Chesapeake Bay Retriever Description

The Chesapeake has always had a cheery disposition but a seriousness of purpose toward his work. He faces the winter harshness with courage and an eagerness to perform his retrieving duties. He is a bold, strong, active dog, so he needs plenty of exercise every day. He especially likes swimming, so retrieving games are ideal throughout the summer and fall.

Did you know?

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever originated in the United States.

The breed is known for its prowess in rough, icy water.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever can be brown, sedge or deadgrass in color.

So you want to own a Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a thick short slightly wavy coat that sheds profusely in the spring and requires daily brushing.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever's specialty is to swim through icy water to bring in downed ducks and geese.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers love to run and swim and require supervised exercise.

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Well proportioned, active worker with a distinctive coat and intelligent expression. Strong muscular appearance.


Independent, affectionate, and courageous, with a great love of water. Makes a good guardian and companion, especially with children.


Bright and happy disposition, alert and intelligent and showing a willingness to work.

Head and Skull

Broad and round with medium stop. Medium-short muzzle, pointed but not sharp. Lips thin, not pendulous. Nostrils well developed. Nose and lips of colour to harmonise with coat.


Medium size, very clear, of yellow or amber colour and set wide apart.


Small, well set up on head, hanging loosely and of medium leather.


Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite tolerated.


Of medium length with a strong muscular appearance tapering from head to shoulders.


Forelegs straight, with good bone of equal length to depth of body and showing good muscle. Shoulders well laid back, long in blade with upper arm of equal length placing legs well under body with no restriction of movement. Strong. Pasterns slightly bent. Dewclaws may be removed.


Chest strong, deep and broad, with well sprung ribs. Body of medium length, short but not cobby. Flanks well tucked-up. Back well coupled and powerful.
Topline not roached, but rather approaching hollowness.


Should be as high or a trifle higher than shoulders. Powerful to supply power for swimming. Stifles well angulated. Good hindquarters are an essential requirement for this breed. Hocks of medium length. Dewclaws, if any, must be removed from the hindlegs.


Of good size, hare feet well webbed. Toes well rounded and close.


Should extend to hock. Medium heavy at base and strong. Should be straight or slightly curved. Moderate feathering is permissible.


Powerful with no restriction of movement. Correct conformation will lend to single track movement.


Coat and texture. A distinctive feature. Coat should be thick and reasonably short, not over 4 cms (11/2 ins) long, with harsh oily outer coat and dense, fine woolly undercoat covering whole body; hairs having tendency to wave on neck, shoulders, back and loins. Hair on face and legs only should be very short and straight. Moderate feathering on stern and tail permissible. Curly coat not permissible. Texture of coat very important as dog is used for working under all sorts of adverse weather conditions, often working in ice and snow. Oil in harsh coat and woolly undercoat of extreme value. The coat should resist water.


Dead grass (straw to bracken), sedge (red gold), or any shade of brown. White spots on chest, toes and belly permissible. The smaller the spot the better. Self-coloured dogs preferred. Colour of coat and its texture must be given every consideration when judging.


Height: dogs: 58-66 cms (23-26 ins); bitches: 53-61 cms (21-24 ins). Oversized or undersized dogs highly undesirable.

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