Chesapeake Bay Retrievers has traced back its lineage from two pups who were rescued from a foundering ship in Maryland in 1807. The male “Sailor” and female “Canton” were described as Newfoundland dogs, but were known as Lesser Newfoundland or St. John’s water dogs. These two lived in different parts of the bay area but no record was found on litter being produced together. Since they were bred with area dogs, with more consideration given to the ability to create than to breed, to create spring up the beginnings of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed. Dogs from both Chesapeake Bay shores were known as one of three types of Chesapeake Bay Ducking Dog in 1877. In 1918, a single type, called the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, was recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Eyes have a distinctive feature such as very clear, of yellowish or amber hue. The hindquarters can be high or a trifle higher than the shoulders. It has a double-coat that tends to wave on shoulders, neck, back, and loins. It has a waterproof coat feels slightly oily and is often associated with a slight musky odor. Three basic colors are generally found in the breed: brown, sedge, which ranges from a reddish yellow to a bright red to chestnut shades; and dead grass in all its shades, changing from a faded tan to a dull straw color. The breed can have a white mark that can be found on the breast, belly, toes, or back of the feet. The head is round and broad with a medium stop and muzzle. The lips are thin while the ears are small and of medium leather. The forelegs are straight with good hindquarters, and the toes webbed which are important for swimming ability. In addition, its large and powerful chest is useful to break apart ice when diving into cold water while duck hunting.
The quintessential Chesapeake Bay Retriever marks its cheerful and happy disposition, intelligence, quiet good sense, and an affectionate protective nature. Some can be quite vocal when happy, and some proudly show his ‘smile’ by baring their front teeth in a peculiar grin. This is a positive sign of joy and submissiveness.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can the best family dogs when trained properly. Some Chesapeakes are self-confident and determined and may be reserved with strangers, but others are passive and outgoing with people.
This breed has a life span of 10.75 years with an average of 9.85 years old and 9.4 years according to the survey was done by UK Kennel Club and the USA, respectively. However, Chesapeake can be susceptible to inheritable diseases such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, type 3 von Willebrand disease, cataract, and alopecia.