Chesapeake Bay RetrieverCare

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

The Chesapeake is a happy and intelligent breed whose courage, working ability and love of water mesh best with active, outdoor-loving families. His coat is short, but owners must brush and maintain it regularly, as both the outercoat and undercoat contain oils for protection in harsh conditions.

nutrition &FEEDING

Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large breed and has a lifespan of 11 to 13 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times


It has a thick wooly undercoat for protection against the cold and a coarse and wavy outer coat. Their coat is short, but owners must brush and maintain it regularly, as both the outer coat and undercoat contain oils for protection in harsh conditions. Their strong nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Their pendulous ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

coat length Medium
grooming Weekly Grooming

energy &EXERCISE

A very versatile breed, the Chesapeake can excel in a variety of activities, from hunting and field work to obedience, agility, therapy, and tracking. You can choose to participate in one or all of these and conformation as well. They love the water and are excellent markers with great birdiness and good noses. With basic and consistent training they are superb hunting companions. It is important to keep the Chesapeake's mind and body occupied. They are naturally active dogs and thrive on work. The advantage of owning a Chesapeake is that you need not settle for one activity with your dog. Solid command training with house rules firmly established form the foundation of whatever you and your Chesapeake enjoy doing together. Basic training is strongly recommended for all Chesapeakes, whether yours is to be a gun dog, show dog, or family pet. Training should begin with puppy classes, which provide socialization as well as the foundations for command training. Obedience class should be fun for both you and the pup and should continue until your Chesapeake is mature. Training must be continued at home and obedience commands incorporated into your daily life. The breed is big, bold, and active—good manners are necessary to help your Chesapeake fit well into family life.

energy level Lots of Exercise

Chesapeake Bay Retriever &HEALTH

If you do not have a regular veterinarian, now is the time to select one. Choose a vet that you are comfortable talking to as well as someone you can trust to help you make health decisions for your new puppy. You should feel free to ask your veterinarian for references, just as you did when searching for a reputable breeder. Your veterinarian will evaluate the vaccination and parasite control information provided by the breeder and formulate a continuing program tailor-made to your situation and health concerns specific to your region. The vet will conduct a physical exam to be sure that you are starting off with a healthy puppy. Your puppy's breeder should freely furnish information regarding the health status of the parents of the puppies.

As in most large breeds, hip dysplasia is a health concern in the Chesapeake. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and PennHip are two groups who use radiographs (X-rays) to evaluate the conformation of dogs' hips. The possibility of inherited eye problems is minimized by examinations by certified veterinarian ophthalmologists. Genetic testing of breeding stock should also be done for Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration (PRCD), which is the most common form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in the Chesapeake.