Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever At-a-Glance

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has its origin in the United States, specifically in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland. This is an intelligent, happy dog with a good disposition and a great love of water. Its waterproof coat and webbed feet make it ideal for swimming and its unique yellow eyes give it a striking appearance that will turn heads on your daily walk.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 60-80
Female: 55-70
Height (inches)
Male: 23-26
Female: 21-24
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Low Drooling
  • Protective Nature
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • Tolerates Hot Climate
  • Good General Health
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Shedding
  • Friendly With Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • Low Amount of Barking

Lowest Rated

  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone

General Overview

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are great companion dogs. With their happy nature, they make excellent and loyal family dogs but do best in families with older or no children. They are not known for patience when it comes to small children.

They have a very protective nature toward their families. This means they are not good with other dogs and are not particularly friendly to strangers. However, they are not incessant barkers, so when they do bark you know something needs attention.

Since they do love their families, they suffer from separation anxiety and do not do well when left alone.

With their thick double coats, they need regular brushing, although they are only moderate shedders. And on the plus side, they are very light droolers, so you won’t be sopping up slobber all over your house!

Chesapeakes are not the right choice for novice owners. They are stubborn and headstrong and need the firm and consistent guidance of an experienced owner. Otherwise, they will end up being the alpha and you’ll be the one who’s trained.

These are very high-energy dogs that particularly enjoy playing fetch in the water. They need lots of room to run, so simple walks around the neighborhood will not be enough to keep them happy and satisfied.

Hiking, swimming, running, or any of the canine sports, are needed to burn off their vast energy reserves. If you want a sedentary lifestyle, a Chesapeake is not the breed for you.

From an intelligence standpoint, Chesapeakes score quite high, which should make them very trainable.

And they are, with a huge caveat: they are also headstrong and stubborn, so they need strong leadership and firm training from someone experienced enough to show them who is the boss.

As to health, this is a very healthy breed. They are prone to some of the joint issues common with larger dogs, but overall they have few health issues.

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