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Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Personality:Bright, sensitive, perceptive; affectionate and family-oriented

Coat & Grooming:The Chessie’s oily double coat is unique; real easy keepers, they require just occasional brushing and bathing

Energy Level:Somewhat Active; Mellow around the house, rugged and indefatigable at work; Chessies love outdoor exercise, especially swimming

Originally: United States

Nicknames: Chessie

Size: Medium

Meet the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

​Chessies are strong, powerfully built gundogs standing anywhere from 21 to 26 inches at the shoulder, with females occupying the lower end of the range. A good-size male can weigh up to 80 pounds. The distinctive breed trait is a wavy waterproof coat that’s oily to the touch. Chessies are solid-colored, either chocolaty brown, sedge (red-gold), or deadgrass (straw). The keen yellow-amber eyes draw attention to an eager, intelligent expression.

What's Their Story?

​The Chesapeake Bay is a 200-mile estuary surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. Because the bay is relatively shallow, it has a low capacity for storing heat: Water temperatures get down around freezing in early winter and stay there till spring. The bay hosts a third of all migratory waterfowl wintering in the East. Sportsmen exploited this hunter’s paradise by breeding a retriever whose insulated coat, powerful body, and large webbed feet enable him to swim tirelessly against ice floes and slashing winds.

What are they Like?

​Chessies exhibit many traits that make retrievers popular pets: they’re loyal, happy, and affectionate. But Chessies are more emotionally complex than the usual run of gundogs. Chessies take to training, but they have a mind of their own and can tenaciously pursue their own path. They’re protective of their humans (especially kids) and polite, but not overtly friendly, to strangers. They make excellent watchdogs and are versatile athletes. A well-socialized Chessie is a confident companion and peerless hunting buddy.

See more Chesapeake Bay Retriever photos here

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