Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a large, sturdy, and athletic build, and is a handsome dog that carried himself with grace and is very agile. Rugged and powerful, he has impressive muscle tone, and an eager and determined expression. The coat of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is short, harsh, and dense, with an oily outer coat that makes him waterproof, and a wooly undercoat. The weight of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is around 55-80 pounds, and the height is 21-26 inches.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Temperament
A devoted, determined, and sensible breed, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a dog that is very loyal to his family and very protective, making him an effective watchdog. These dogs can be territorial and can therefore be aggressive with strange animals and wary around strangers. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever gets along well with considerate children, and will also accept family pets that he has been brought up and well socialized with. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a confident and sometimes dominant breed, and is best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an excellent retriever, and will be thrilled to retrieve anything that he is told to. These dogs also love the water, and can spend many hours in the coldest waters. They also love to run, play, and get involved with a wide range of activities, and need plenty of exercise outdoors. Eager and quick to learn, training can vary with this breed - they are very intelligent, but their confidence means that the owner will need to be assertive and to reinforce leadership. These dogs are not very active indoors but have bags of energy to be burnt up when outdoors. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever also tends to chew a lot, so it is important to ensure that he has the appropriate outlet in terms of suitable toys otherwise he may turn to your belongings.
When grooming the Chesapeake Bay Retriever you should be careful of over-brushing as you can otherwise affect the texture of the dog's coat. You can brush his coat on a weekly basis with a natural bristle brush, and only more often if he shedding heavily.
It is believed that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed originated when a shipwreck occurred off the coast of Maryland in 1807. The story is that there were two Newfoundland dogs onboard that survived the shipwreck and these were given to a local family that was known as animal lovers. The family then crossed the Newfoundland's with local retrievers and possibly native dogs which eventually led to the development of a very hardy breed that was able to swim in the cold waters in the Chesapeake Bay. Some breeders indicate that the Irish Water Spaniel, bloodhound and other local mixed hound breeds may also form a part of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever's heritage.
The Chesapeake Bay Retrievers continued to be a popular dog in the area, and their amazing endurance and ability to tolerate even the coldest water temperatures with little concern earned them a place in duck and goose hunter's hearts. There are several claims by owners of the breed that they are capable of retrieving over a hundred ducks per day with some records of dogs bringing in up to 200 per day.
Currently the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is used as a watchdog, hunting dog, retriever, trial dog, obedience dog as well as a faithful family pet and companion dog. The watchdog abilities are more pronounced in some lines than others and knowing the personality of the parents will really help in choosing a more or less protective puppy. Their natural hunting and retrieving ability has also made them popular as a schutzhund breed. This demanding competition involves intelligence, agility and obedience as well as excellent communication between the handler and the dog.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an intelligent dog that is methodical and devoted to the family provided they are trained and socialized. The breed is not as fast to learn as some of the other dog breeds and they do require a patient trainer that will provide ample repetition to gain master of the tricks and commands. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever should only be trained by one person until they have mastered the command to prevent them from being confused and possibly detracting from the training experience.
They need to be worked using a positive training method and will do very poorly when treated harshly or punished. Typically they are very sensitive to owner's moods and tone of voice and a slight reprimand is all that is necessary to get them to stop a behavior. Socialization at an early age is extremely important with this breed as they will become more dog-aggressive as they age without socialization. Dog aggression is most noted in unaltered males so neutering is highly recommended for dogs. Females that are spayed are also less aggressive and tend to be more focused on people rather than distracted by other dogs.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a great dog for children and once trained will follow directions even from young kids. They love to swim and retrieve and will require little training in these areas. It is always important to completely exercise this breed before training sessions as they can be somewhat independent and stubborn or distracted when not properly exercised.
If you wish to house this breed with other pets including cats it is very important to work with the dog at the earliest possible stages in acceptance of other pets. They can be very good in a house with cats but are less recommended for houses with other small animals. Training should begin when the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a puppy, ensuring that the cat and the puppy get along well.
The natural independence and dominance of the breed makes it more difficult to train than other retrievers. Owners must positively and gently assert that they are the boss or this large dog will try to dominant the family. They also have an aloof presentation around strangers and should be introduced to lots of new people throughout their life to prevent them from becoming overly protective or possessive of their territory.
Although not recommended for first time dog owners the breed can easily be trained through use of a professional trainer or obedience class provided the owners are willing to practice and follow through with the lessons.
The life expectancy of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is around 10-12 years, and there are a number of health problems that are associated with this breed, including OCD, PRA, HD, elbow dysplasia, and cataracts. The parents of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.