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Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Physically powerful with conformation intended to do battle with harsh elements and mentally tough (which can also mean stubborn and independent), the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is definitely a testament to the adaptability of the dog and the ability of breeders in developing a specialized worked.  Few dogs are born with a more stoic determination or greater focus for their work than the Chesapeake Bay.  This is not a gregarious dog that is adaptable to a wide variety of lifestyles but rather a serious worker with a broad streak of loyalty.  Given the proper outlets for physical and mental stimulation, the Chessie can reach the highest potential as a companion and worker. Without these stimulations and opportunities, few dogs would be more difficult as the independence, intelligence, boredom and protective natures could take hold.  This is NOT the dog to choose as a typical family pet.  While the Chessie CAN be a wonderful family companion, it is generally in addition to being a retriever or involved in other athletic or work related endeavors.
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General Information
Group(s): SportingRetriever Height: 21-26 inches
Weight: 55-80 pounds Longevity: 9-13 years
Colors: brown, sedge or deadgrass with pigmentation around eyes and nose to be preferably the same, very minimal white if at all Coat type: self oiled harsh outer coat that tends to some wave and feathering on the legs, very dense, thick undercoat; one of the signatures of the breed is its coat and color
Recognized Registries: FCI, UKC, AKC, NCA
Overall Appearance: Tenacious worker in all conditions, the Chessie is powerful, athletic for both land and water retrieval work. Its coat provides it with the best protection nature has to offer against the elements encountered on cold windy, wintry days that include swimming and being still in a blind. This is not a dog that shies away from difficult work but rather exults in the achievement. It is important that its human companion not expect too much in the way of heroics or stamina as the dog will often overdo if left to their own devices.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate
General Nature: stolid, reliable with a streak of stubbornness and independence
  with Children: can be good but requires knowledable training, socialization and well behaved children
  with other pets: variable; generally not reliable around smaller animals
  with dogs: variable
Socialization requirements: VERY high
Ideal home characteristics: One that realizes this is NOT a Lab but a very complex and rugged personality.
Temperament Notes: Intelligent, stubborn, independent, very strong work ethic
Training requirement: HIGH; socialization, basic manners, and a
Trainer notes: Do NOT go out and get a Chessie because you like Labs but want something different.  You will be in over your head in no time!  The Chessie was developed as the companion to hermits in the Old US.  These men wanted a dog that would challenge a stranger and ask questions later.  Today's Chessie still has a strong bend toward that type of protectiveness but in the wrong home or the home that doesn't understand how to bring up such a dog, it can become territoriality even toward the family, aggression toward other dogs and inappropriate protectiveness of the family towards others.  While this may not happen more than 5 times out of a 100, it is a tragedy (and a preventable one) when it does occur.  Unless you are knowledgable and have access to others with more knowledge about training and rearing strong, intelligent, independent dogs, this is a breed best left off your list of consideration in favor of others that are more malleable.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: mid 1800s in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland
Country of Origin: USA
Original Function: companion to trappers/hermits as well as intense swimmer/retriever of water fowl
History: Two dogs swimming ashore during a shipwreck served as the starting point, the addition of Newfoundlands, Irish Water Spaniels and Pointer/Hounds ultimately produced the Chessie as we know it today.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: dentition problems, oversized, excessive white, black
Health Notes: hip dysplasia, eye problems(PRA), epilepsy, dwarfism, bloat
Health Testing: OFA, CERF,
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!
  • How long have you had Chessies?
  • Why do you have Chessies (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Chessie?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Chessie?
  • How would you describe the ideal Chessie home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Chessie?
  • Web Sites: - Chesapeake Bay Retriever Rescue and Relief American Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club Rescue Network -Chessie Rescue in NY - Chesapeake Safe Harbor (Maine)

    Other Resources
    Breed standard: - - American Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club Standard - Standard for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club of Canada

    Breeder Ethics: American Chesapeake Bay Retreiver Club Code of Ethics

  - Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club of Canada Code of Ethics

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