Originally, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has his beginnings in the American colonies, specifically the Bay area, soon after the Revolutionary War. The original dogs of this area were most likely a type of spaniel or duck hunting dogs that were used to help put food on the table. The descendents of these dogs were probably crossed with another type of dog that came over from England on a vessel bound for fishing.
In fact, it is thought that the descendents of the original duck hunting dogs or spaniels were crossed with Newfoundlands that were rescued form the fishing vessel, the Canton. One of the dogs has been described as red in coloring and the other black. However, it is important to note that these Newfoundland dogs were probably much smaller and somewhat different in appearance than the ones that exist today.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is known for his ability to retrieve waterfowl from cold waters. In fact, he is capable of breaking through sheets of ice to do so. He is an excellent swimmer and his feet are designed for this purpose with special webbing between the toes that assist the dog in moving him through the water.
He needs lots of exercise to maintain his health. In fact, daily walks are probably best, especially if they are long. Additionally, games and swimming adventures can be used in place of walks occasionally to keep him healthy and content.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is wary of strangers, choosing to remain aloof from them. He is very protective of his family and home, displaying extremely affectionate behavior. This breed is very playful and friendly and makes a nice family pet. He is capable of remaining calm while indoors, although he thoroughly enjoys his swimming and retrieving escapades. By nature, he is independent and resilient.
He is a protective dog and will defend his home, family, and their possessions. He does have a tendency to show an aggressive side to other dogs with which he is unfamiliar. This means that it is important to either have some skill handling dogs before you acquire a Chesapeake Bay Retriever or to provide at least some basic training for him.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a medium size. The adult dog usually weighs between 29-36 kg or 65-80 lbs. Bitches usually weigh between 25-32 kg or 55-70 lbs. The typical height of the adult male falls between 58-66 cm or 23-26 inches. The height of bitches usually falls between 53-61 cm or 21-24 inches.
Their coloring of their coat is brown. The coat is specially designed in that it includes an oiliness that protects the dog and keeps him relatively dry while he is out and about in the water. Additionally, the overcoat is thick, wavy, and short, while the undercoat is extremely thick and wooly. The thickness aids in keeping him warm, especially in frigid or very cold weather.
The coat of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever needs little grooming and usually a weekly brushing is more than sufficient. Washing this breed is rarely necessary. Indeed, washing his coat might cause more problems than desired.
His coat ranges in coloring from various shades of brown, including sedge, deadgrass, or brown. Solid coloring is preferred on this breed, especially for showing. However, a spot of white on the dog’s toes, chest, belly, or back of his feet is more than acceptable.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a round and broadly shaped head with strong jaws that are large and strong enough to carry birds from the wild. His shoulders, neck, and back are very strongly muscled and powerful.
The eyes of this breed are large and, typically, amber or yellowish in color. His tail is usually straight with a bit of feathering to it. In some cases, it may have the appearance of slightly curving in one direction. Moreover, his tail is thick at the base where it meets the body.
Health issues that may affect the Chesapeake Bay Retriever include gastric torsion and hip dysplasia. Eye problems and hypothyroidism can occur, but are much less common. Typically, however, this breed is extremely hardy and healthy. The average lifespan of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is between ten and twelve years.
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