is Max in front and Mistee in back.
For committed dog owners with active, head strong dog experience.
Average Life Span:
12 to 14 years
Breed standard is: Females 55 to 70, Males 65 to 80. Some dogs tend to run
heavier with males sometimes seen over 100 pounds.
Females 21-24 "; Males 22- 26" at the withers
Color And Coat:
Color is anything from a light wheaten color called dead grass, through the red
tones, called sedge, to any color of brown from light to dark. White appears on
breast, toes, belly, and a spot above the large pad on the back of the feet, the
less the better. Some light toned dogs will have
mixed colors in the coat resembling a brindle pattern or some will have masking
on the top of the head. However, it is important to note that there is no black
pigment in the breed so any black fur, a black nose, or black spots in the mouth
would suggest a mix. Eyes should be a pale yellow to dark amber- not brown. The
coat is quite unique. It is short but thick with a tendency to wave on the neck,
back, and rump only. The coat should not be curly all over nor be longer than
1.5 inches anywhere. The coat contains quite a bit of oil, should have a good,
downy undercoat, and should be springy to the touch. Those coat qualities are
what keep the Chessie dry in water. The Chesapeake was bred for endurance
swimming in rough, icy conditions. Coat quality will vary greatly, depending on
genetic factors as well as living conditions. Outside dogs will keep a more
proper breed type coat than indoor dogs.
Chesapeake's should be groomed as little as possible. Bathing strips the
protective oil off the coat and excessive brushing pulls out the undercoat.
Regular swimming should keep the dog odor free. Never use wire hard brushes on
the coat. Chessies blow coat twice a year and shedding can be quite
dramatic if the dog is heavily coated. Between these times, shedding is very
light. Although Chesapeake's are not typically listed as
"hypoallergenic", their coats do not tend to bother allergy prone
Typical Health Problems:
Fortunately, the Chessie tends to be a healthy breed overall. The following are
some issues that have been seen in the breed: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis
(affecting shoulder or hock); cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, Von
Willebrands disease (clotting disorder) and DM (degenerative myelopathy)
History and Personality:
Chesapeakes are an American breed, developed around 1830 and recognized by the
AKC in 1880. They are traced back to two early Newfoundlands, Canton and Sailor.
These two dogs, rescued as pups from a shipwreck off the coast of Maryland in
1806, developed into outstanding retrievers. Canton and Sailor were not bred to
each other but were bred to the local stock and their progeny were bred to water
spaniels, hounds, and setters to develop the retrieving and hunting ability, the
unique coat, and the tremendous endurance required of a dog who would accompany
the market hunter. Market hunters supplied meat and feathers to the food and
millinery trades. In the early days, there were no bag limits and the dogs would
be in the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay for hours at a time retrieving bird
after bird and literally just tossing them over the side of the boat.
is Max and Mistee
instinctively knew to chase down cripples first and developed an independent
streak that would serve them well in conditions that required a dog to think
rather than simply obey. When the hunt was over, these dogs were also expected
to guard the daily catch. The dog that developed from these early demands is an
animal of great endurance and physical stamina who is driven, intelligent,
protective, and active. Chesapeakes are extremely loyal, affectionate, clownish,
and love to play games where they can figure things out. They have engaging
personalities punctuated by their "smile"- a greeting that is a
grimace with all teeth bared as well as their unique vocalizations - a happy
"woo woo" sound that is somewhere between a growl and a howl. They
learn obedience commands easily with consistent training but may not obey
consistently if the owner is lax. They need to be challenged and trained. They
need a regular exercise program with retrieving and swimming to be happy and
stay out of mischief. They tend to be inactive indoors and make great house dogs
as well as hardy outdoor dogs. Their strong desire to be near people requires
that they be in a situation where they will have sustained contact and
"outdoors only" is not recommended. Some people regard them as
stubborn but they are rather easy to motivate if the owner takes the time to
find out what motivates them. They do not tolerate harsh treatment and will shut
down or bite if abused. They tend to be dominant dogs and require an owner who
will be firm, fair, and consistent or they will "take over". Some
dominant dogs become overly possessive of objects, people, or property and may
be somewhat aggressive if challenged. Stay away from dogs who are overly
possessive or who have not been properly socialized. Chesapeakes are a lot of
dog. They inspire great and fierce loyalty from the people who love them and
have taken the time to understand and work with their complex personalities.
People who prefer dogs who are more obedient and submissive tend not to like
Chesapeake at all.
Who should own this breed?
Easy, laid back dogs can go with a committed, educated novice owner. But
generally, this breed is active and somewhat headstrong. As a result,
experienced owners and owners who have a strong commitment to training and
exercising the dog do better with a Chesapeake. They are a breed that should be
contained, due their protective nature.
Is this breed good with children?
Yes and no. Some Chesapeake's are great with children. Early socialization to
children is extremely helpful. Overly dominant or possessive dogs may not be
good with children and caution is recommended. They can also be exuberant or too
large and active for smaller children if not trained well. No child should ever
be left alone with any dog.
Mistee and my son Morgan.
How easy is training and house training with this breed?
Chesapeakes housebreak very easily and learn obedience commands quite easily, if
clear consistent methods of training are used. Due to their independent decision
making nature and a tendency to like to work things out for themselves, they are
not as reliable on commands as some other retriever breeds. Their exuberance and
drive can also interfere with commands in situations of high excitement. The
owner must be consistent to get a consistent performance from the Chessie.
this breed good with other dogs in general?
If well socialized to other dogs, Chesapeake's are generally fine with other
dogs. Some may be dog aggressive without socialization. Overall, Chesapeakes
don't really gravitate to the company of other dogs and, although they may get
along with them just fine, they don't really interact beyond a cordial greeting.
Dogs in the same household will play and interact much more.
Socializing this breed?
Socializing is a must. The Chesapeake who has been introduced to all kinds of
people, animals, and situations from a young age is usually a stable and
well-adjusted individual who will be curious, outgoing, and friendly. Dogs
without socialization are often the fearful or suspicious characters who end up
on the aggressive side. Socialization, exercise, and good training are key to
Chesapeake Bay Retriever successful ownership.
Source: RescueEveryDog.org and written by