Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Breed History

Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an American Retriever that specializes in duck retrieving. Second to none in this specialty and they are notorious for being one of best in the Chesapeake Bay.

Medium size dog that can retrieve multiple ducks in different weather conditions on water or on land. Most notably they can cross water that is frozen while breaking the ice or traveling in difficult terrain.

Strong jaws that can carry a duck of substantial size in comparison to their size. Powerful in the hindlegs they can do this activity all day long if given the opportunity.

Their name comes from the area of Chesapeake Bay that is close to Virginia and Maryland in the Mid Atlantic area. Waterfowl area features at least 20 different birds and ducks. Being named after one of the most popular duck attractions in the country is significant.

Once the bird is shot, they will gently bring the bird, or duck, back to the owner. Gripping the bird while never causing extra damage is one of their strong suits.

Extremely cold temperatures lead to icy water and the area is one of the most popular for duck hunting. Regardless of the weather conditions this gun dog is ready to go all day.

Legendary in the space they are known to carry a few hundred birds in one day of work. They have multiple jobs they can conduct due to their high intelligence levels.

Almost every competition known to the American Kennel Club will host one of these dogs. Absolute rock star in the games and are winners of many awards.


1878 was one of the first dogs to ever receive recognition with the American Kennel Club. Only nine dogs hold the honor of being this group of the original dogs to receive registration. It took another seven years before any other dogs were added into the Kennel Club.

Top 40 in registration this dog is extremely popular in the United States. East coast states host this dog more often than the west coast. They are one of the few dogs that can still do the same job they were bred for from day one. Most of the other breeds don’t enjoy the same fate.

Sporting dog, but mostly gun dog in any major Kennel Club around the world.

Here are the major kennel clubs and their breed standards.


Male Height: 23-25 inches

Female Height: 21-22 inches

Male Weight: 70-80 pounds

Female Weight: 60-70 pounds

Boys and girls are not the same size in this breed and the males will look bigger than any female on average.

Litter Size

9-10 puppies are the average litter size for this breed which is a large average. Breeders need to be aware of the influx of puppies they will have coming in to take care of for the first eight weeks.

Mothers don’t have any concern with giving birth and will deliver naturally unless the situation becomes and emergency. Visit the vet to make sure the health is good enough to deliver without assistance.


  • Brown
  • Light Brown
  • Dark Brown
  • Deadgrass
  • Light Deadgrass
  • Dark Deadgrass
  • Tan
  • Markings – White

These colors are acceptable and full black coats are unacceptable with this breed.


$1,000-$5,000 is the average price you will pay for this breed. Prices vary due to a large range of factors that include location, supply, demand, currency exchange, and many more. Getting a puppy from one of the champion bloodlines will cost significantly more than one that doesn’t.

Dogs with papers will ensure that you get one that is the most likely to be full blood. Both parents must feature papers in order to get your puppy papers.

Without papers you can expect to pay a smaller price. Few hundred bucks will most likely be the price someone without paper can command. Remember there can be a lot of dogs that are not full blood in the blood line and somewhere along the way they were unable to get papers for their dog.


Before every grooming session that is done by you or a professional groomer make sure you exercise your dog for at least one hour to make the process smooth and seamless.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing this double coat will require you to buy a brush that can get all the way to the skin. Frequent brushing will help with this dog because of the high shedding year around.

Combing is important to keeping the double healthy as well. During shedding season, you will see that brushing and combing from the skin will remove tons of loose hair and speed with the shedding process without the huge mess.

Bathe the dog at least once per month but not more. Owners will choose to do it on a schedule or when the dog is dirty. When the dog is dirty will be the best bet because their coat shouldn’t be washed all time.

Ears are something that should be paid close attention to. Infections will cause the owner to pay vet bills that they can avoid. Cleaning the ears once per week can reduce the chances of paying these bills with little effort on your part.

Nails should be trimming by daily exercising with the dog. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, you will need to cut them with clippers.

Professional help is a recommendation unless you have experience in grooming.

Life Span

10-12 years is the lifespan for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. That’s a long time to own a dog and you should be aware of how long your dog will live.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – bigger dogs should always get a check on their hips at around 24 months of age. Any time you get the check before that the dog should be limping, favoring, or showing a disinterest with exercising. X-rays will show you how bad the damage is or if it is minimum.

Elbow Dysplasia – growth of the elbow can cause stiffness and discomfort when exercising. Another issue that affects bigger dogs more than smaller dogs. Get a check up around the same time as the hips to see if the condition is mild or severe.

Eye Exam – different eye problems like cherry eye, cataracts, glaucoma, and other conditions can affect this breed. Having a specialist look at the eyes will help you get early detection of any problems. Partial or complete blindness can result in some of the issues.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Gun Dog, or Sporting Group, and they are known to help hunters track down prey and brin​g it back to them. Although they use to do it in a different capacity, they are in use more for games and competition.

Not the most popular dogs that are in the middle of the pack overall in popularity.

Here are some of the dogs that are in the Sporting Group, or gun dog group.

Exercise Needs

Chesapeake Bay Retriever needs a lot of exercise. All dogs need a lot of exercise, but the tricky part is understanding how much exercise they need daily.

Don’t play the guessing game and don’t insert your opinion. For example, I walk them to the mailbox and take them to the bathroom they get plenty of exercise.

Here is a simple method we can use to remove all doubt. Let’s look at the dog’s behavior and determine if they’re getting enough exercise daily.

When a dog is digging, excessively barking, over excited, getting aggressive, nipping and biting then you can remove your opinion and understand this dog is suffering from boredom.

Receiving a daily outlet is the most important task for any dog owner accomplish with consistency. Once you start to give them enough exercise all bad behavior will come to a halt quickly.

Here is a basic outline every owner should follow everyday

Morning: Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening 30 min (run, walk, or treadmill)

Younger dogs will need an abundance of exercise and two sessions can do the job. Although that is a lot of time and effort your dog will benefits from these sessions when they get older.

Adult dogs need a lot of exercise but less than they will at a younger age. Balancing the runs and walks will help tremendously. At some point they will not need two sessions per day, and one will be enough.

Seniors dogs will need one session and a walk will be the best because of slow recovery times. Needing runs at this age will result in the owner skipping an entire week and giving them a grand finale on
Sunday. Avoid these pitfalls with older dogs and walk daily.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every house is built on a solid foundation and no foundation is more solid than a daily exercise program. Imagine going from no exercise to 365 hours in one years. Although it may sound like a lot can you imagine going from zero to 700 hours of exercise with two sessions a day. Take the long view and recognize that this investment in time will result in a dog listening to your command 365-700 hours per year. I will fall short of words describing the type of control you will have over your dog in comparison to someone who skips this step.

Commands are such a small part of training it is crazy how many people obsess over it. They never teach the dog to behave and don’t do anything for excitement. Teaching the dog to sit, stay, and lay are inferior to exercise in every way. Repetition can be taught to a dog by a teenager and done effectively.

Socializing should be done after a good exercise session. Tiring the dog out will help them socialize closer to how they would in the wild where they exercise all day and then become social and play around afterwards.

Correcting the dog is a natural part of the dog’s life. Verbal, on leash, and by hand off leash are all ways to correct the dog. Using the leash amount of force to get the dogs attention is what we recommend. Making the dog sit or lay after the correction is the most effective method you can use.

Do Chesapeake Bay Retriever Shed A lot?

Yes, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a heavy shedding dog and it will happen twice per year. The rest of the year they will shed moderate, but they will shed all year long. Expect to have fur in the couch, car, and everywhere else they will be at.

Additional Resources