Chesapeake Bay Retriever Resource

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

In 1807, a British brig was shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland. Among the survivors were two dogs, Sailor and Canton, a male and female who grew up to become excellent water retrievers. Each was bred to local sporting dogs and in time a new breed had been created, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The resulting dog was a powerful swimmer in rough water and an excellent retriever of duck. The breed’s most distinctive feature is the coat that insulates its body from freezing temperatures. Thick and short with a dense undercoat, the coats vary in color from dark brown to faded tan, described as the color of dead grass. It feels oily to the touch and is water-resistant. Sportsmen claim that after a plunge into water, one good shake almost dries the Chessie’s coat. The coat sheds heavily and should be brushed daily. Males stand 23 to 26.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh 65 to 75 pounds; females are 2 inches and 10 pounds less. The breed is fond of children and many a toddler has been saved from drowning by a Chessie’s quick-thinking bravery. Cheasapeakes have high energy levels and do best in country settings with lots of outdoor action.

Related Articles

Bred for a Reason: Best Dog Breeds for Swimming

Some dogs are more sink than swim, find out which dog breeds have traits that will keep them afloat. …

“Underwater Dogs” Splash into Book Stores

See pictures of dogs underwater from photographer Seth Casteel and his book “Underwater Dogs.” In February 2012, photos of dogs…

All About Gun Dog Breeds

Active and affectionate, the dogs in the gun dog group make wonderful companion pets.   These are the quintessential family companions….


Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Shades of brown from dark brown to faded tan. Colors are known as deadgrass, sedge, brown and chesapeake.

Thick and short with a dense, wooly undercoat.


Brush daily.

Life Expectancy:
10 to 13 years
AKC Group:
Sporting Group
UKC Group:
Gun Dog
21 to 26 inches at the shoulder
55 to 80 pounds
Use Today
Retrieving field trials, companion