Chesapeake Bay Retriever


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s history begins in 1807 in Maryland with the arrival of two Newfoundlands who were rescued from an English brig shipwrecked off the coast. Crossings with various retrievers and others eventually produced the Chessie, a breed that excels at retrieving waterfowl both on land and in water. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s reputation later spread beyond the Bay, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1885. The Chessie is a true working dog who requires a master who is a skilled trainer.


Large; females 21 to 24 inches, 55 to 70 pounds; males 23 to 26 inches, 65 to 80 pounds.


Brown, from straw to reddish sedge.


Hardy, intelligent, and active, with a love of water. Independent but eager to learn. Strong willed and protective; reserved with strangers.

Energy level:

Medium to high.

Best owner:

Active owner, outdoorsy family with considerate children.


Daily exercise (swims are preferred), early socialization, obedience training, fenced yard, weekly brushing of oily coat.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.