The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has lots of energy, loves to swim, loves to run, and is very strong.  The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, also called a Chessie, is Maryland’s state dog.  The Chessie truly represents the state of Maryland because they are dogs that will jump into very icy water and swim for a long period of time.  Chessies are very powerful, well muscled, durable, and intense.

An interesting history fact about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is that General George Custer took his Chessies into battle with him and President Roosevelt’s Chessie was a descendent of Custer’s dogs.  President Roosevelt’s Chessie was named Sailorboy!

Back in the 1800’s, an English ship with two Newfoundlands on board wrecked off the coast of Maryland.  Everyone was saved and the two dogs were given away to a family.  Later they were bred with local retrievers.  Careful breeding over the years has created what we call the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Chessies were bred to hunt water foul in the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  Because of this, the Chessies had to be the toughest and most independent of all Retrievers.

They have a broad and powerful chest which allows them to break through dense ice.  The Chessie has a  double coat.  It’s undercoat is soft and very dense.  It’s topcoat is oily and waterproof.  This double coat repels the water and makes the Chessie a great water dog.  The Chessie only has to shake once and he is almost dry.  Their waterproof coat comes in three basic colors that blend in with their working environment.  The three different shades are brown, sage, and deadgrass.  Their eyes, nose, and lips tend to be of a similar shade.  They have muscular hind legs which make them remarkable swimmers.  They are fast swimmers and they can swim for long stretches of time.  They have powerful and wide muzzles.  This lets them carry large waterfowl gently and thus it lets them carry the large waterfowl without harming them.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Ash – Our Chessie

The Chesapeake is often stand offish around strangers and other dogs.  Of all of the sporting breeds, the Chessie is probably the one with the hardest or strongest temperament which makes them one of the

best of the working dogs.  They excel in obedience, tracking, and they make great explosive sniffing dogs.

Chessies require a lot of activity.  They love to chase balls and would probably rather retrieve balls than go for a walk.  These dogs should be raised out in the country or in the suburbs, not in an apartment.

Chesapeakes don’t need much grooming.  They have a short coat so brushing them once a week should be enough.

They need firm, consistent training and are best for experienced dog owners.

Chessies are awesome dogs. They are very loyal, intellegent and territorial. They work hard to understand and perform what their masters want them to do. I have a Chessie and she is the best!

Filed under: Dog Breeds

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