In 1807, two Newfoundlands were rescued from the cargo of an
English brig which shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland. It is
believed that these two Newfoundland's were bred to local retrievers,
including the English Otter Hound, Flat-Coat, and Curly-Coated
Retriever, at which point the "Chessie" type developed.
Chessies were bred to work on land and water; thus, the Chesapeake
Bay Retriever originally hunted waterfowl in rough and icy waters,
often retrieving several hundred birds per day.
The Chesapeake Bay retriever was developed along the Chesapeake
Bay and named the state dog of Maryland. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
are the toughest water retriever and truly an American sporting
breed. This breed is physically strong, robust, and is a powerfully
built medium-sized breed with yellowish or amber eyes and a unique
coat; a short, harsh, wavy outer coat with a dense fine wooly
undercoat. Their color ranges from shades of brown, shades of
deadgrass, or sedge and must be as close to that of their working
environment as possible.
Chesapeake Bay retrievers are high spirited and intelligent breed
whose courage, working ability, and love of water is most compatible
with active, outdoor-loving families. Their coat is short, requiring
very little grooming to maintain it regularly. Both the outer
coat and undercoat contain oils for protection in harsh conditions;
therefore, bathing should be done only when necessary.
In 1878, the Chesapeake Bay retrievers were first recognized
in the Sporting Group of American Kennel Club.
The average Chessie weighs 55 to 80 pounds and is about 21 to
26 inches tall at the shoulder.
A word of caution; while the Chesapeake Bay retriever is a wonderful
breed, unfortunately, they are not a breed for every owner. This
breed is very protective and they can be naughty with other dogs.
Bay Retriever Breed Standard: