Adopting A Chesapeake Bay Retriever

History and origin: The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is of the British origin and was perfected in 19th century Maryland.  This breed filled the need for a dog that could retrieve ducks all day in the cold, turbulent waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  His greater size and strength gave him an edge over the Labrador Retriever.

Description: The Chesapeake Bay Retriever stands approximately 21 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 60 and 90 pounds.  He has a powerful medium- to large-boned structure.  His shedding, water-resistant wavy coat, which is relatively short and easy to maintain, does an excellent job of insulating the dog against cold water.  Regular brushing should keep the coat in good condition.  The color may be brown or tan.

About the breed: This is an intelligent, hardy breed who is an excellent retriever and devoted to his owner.  He is a big, strong dog with great courage and stamina.  He is also an extremely dominant, obstinate dog that requires a strong, no-nonsense leadership.  He is very stubborn and territorial and can be dog-aggressive.  Chesapeakes are not recommended for families with young children because of their physical, controlling demeanor.  They are very suspicious of strangers and are excellent watchdogs.  The owner of a Chessie should start obedience training and socialization as early as possible.  Those who wish to avoid some of the breed’s inherent dominant aggressive behavior would do well choosing a female.  They can suffer from hip dysplasia and bloat.

Feeding:  Recommended feeding for this breed is 1 ½ — 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal amount or 5 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: The owner of this breed must be a strong, consistent leader from day one. These dogs will quickly fill any lack of leadership, and a spoiling, nurturing owner may be overwhelmed by the time the dog is six months old.  This is not a dog for the elderly or the disabled.  Chessies quickly perceive physical weakness or lack of confidence in an owner andwill soon take over.  A house with a fenced yard is mandatory.

If left alone too long, this breed may bark excessively and be very destructive.  Obedience training and socialization with people and dogs should start from the time the puppy arrives home.  If you want a good watchdog that will be affectionate, intelligent, and athletic, and if you have great leadership skills and time to socialize the dog, then you may wish to consider this breed.