Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay RetrieverChesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever also developed on the East Coast of the North American continent. Like the Labrador, it is also a determined, strong swimmers and retrieved game, especially ducks like the dog pictured.

History of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay RetrieversChesapeake Bay Retrievers

Situated on the east coast of USA, Chesapeake Bay is well south of the Canadian Island of Newfoundland. But in 1807, an English sailing ship returning home fromĀ  Newfoundland became wrecked somewhere off this rugged icy coastline. Two pups, Sailor and Canton puppies were rescued along with crew and other cargo somewhere near the area of Chesapeake Bay. They fell into the hands of Governor Lloyd and Dr James Stewart.

Progeny of these were owned by market gunners living along the bay who made a living supplying birds to markets. They needed dogs that were strong swimmers, determined, fearless and had the perseverance to retrieve large numbers of ducks. These would have been bred to the hounds and working dogs that were in that area at that time[12].

Despite the severe winds that blew off the icy ocean, these dogs became so efficient as retrievers of wild duck and waterfowl, that many local nondescript bitches were bred to them. Over time, they developed into the the strong Chesapeake Bay Retriever we know today with its distinctive brown coat. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was recognised by the American Kennel Clib in 1918.

History of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever in Australia

Chesapeake Bay RetrieverChesapeake Bay Retriever

In Australia the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was introduced in 1979 when Hank and Betty Dobrowolski from NSW brought Ch Arnac Bay Buzzard from UK. Then in conjunction with Margaret Wedgwood and Trevor Lodder from Queensland, Ch Arnac Bay Daybreak followed with the first live litter born in 1983. From these beginnings the 'Chessie', as he is popularly known, has earned a distinct place among our Gundogs[11].

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever Today

Chesapeake Bay Retriever in MudChesapeake Bay Retriever in Mud

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a powerfully built athlete standing 53.34 to 66 centimetres (21 to 26 inches) high and weighing 25 to 36.32 Kilograms (55 to 80 lbs). His double coat which can be any shade of brown and about one and can be a half inches long in places but always comprising of an oily outer coat and thick undercoat. The skull is broad and round with a medium stop and about the same length as the muzzle which should have sufficient strength to carry large game birds and close with a normal scissors bite or level bite. The wide set eyes are medium large and are of a yellowish or amber colour. The ears are small and set high.

Chesapeake Bay RetrieverChesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake has a medium length of neck which should balance his medium length of body and medium length of leg. Unusually, because his hindquarters are so powerfully built to enable the dog to swim, they may tend to make the topline look slightly higher at the rear. This dog also unusually has good sized hare feet which have webbing between the toes also to enable him to swim. But on land, his free and effortless movement gives the impression of great power and strength with balanced reach and drive.

Comparison between the Labrador and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Labrador Retriever Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Labrador Retriever (Yellow)Labrador Retriever (Yellow) Chesapeake Bay RetrieverChesapeake Bay Retriever
General Appearance Strong, agile and extremely good tempered Powerfully built equally proficient on land and in water
Size 55 - 57 cms (21.5 - 22.5 inches) 53 - 66 cms (21 - 26 inches) and weighing 25 - 36 Kilograms (55 - 80 lbs)
Colour Black, yellow or liver/chocolate Any shade of brown
Labrador RetrieverLabrador Retriever Chessie With DuckChesapeake Bay Retriever
Head Broad with a well defined stop Broad and round with a medium stop
Eyes Medium size, brown or hazel Medium size, yellow or amber
Ears Not large or heavy set rather far back and carried close to the head Small but of medium leather, set well up on the head and hanging loosely
Muzzle Sufficient width to carry a bird or hare Sufficient strength to carry large game birds
Mouth (Bite) Normal scissors bite Normal scissors bite preferred but level bite acceptable
Neck In balance with body with a clean throat Medium length but strong
Body Wide and deep with level topline Strong, deep and wide with topline which can look slightly higher at the rear
Labrador MovingLabrador Retriever (Black) Chessie GaitingChesapeake Bay Retriever
Movement Free covering adequate ground Smooth, free and effortless, giving the impression of great power and strength.
Feet Round, compact feet Well webbed hare feet of good size
Tail Otter shaped Of medium length, heavy at the base
Coat Short, thick, dense double coat Double coat about one and a half inches long comprising an oily outer coat and thick undercoat

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