The breed was developed in the United States Chesapeake Bay area during the 1800’s. They are very alert dogs with an eager-to-please attitude.
Nicknamed the “Chessie”, they are regarded as more serious and more powerful among other retrievers. Their appearance is similar to Labrador retrievers. They are large with a powerful and muscular build. Primarily, they are good hunting companions and nice family pets for fitting owners.
Chessies are superb hunting dogs very capable of retrieving fowls in icy waters. These retrievers are oozing with machismo that it is viewed as the man’s man of retrievers.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are not the type of dogs for just anyone. They are very strong-willed and independent. A Chessie owner must establish its dominance over the dog. If not, the dog will develop dominance problems if it senses the owners are passive, meek, or timid and they will be very difficult to handle. Handlers need to be confident and must assert a natural authority over Chessies.
They are very discriminating to strangers and not as happy-go-lucky like other retrievers. Chessies are very territorial and can be very aggressive when they feel that their territory is threatened. This innate characteristic makes them good guard dogs.
Chessies are trainable although they are quite slow to learn. They do just fine with basic obedience training but are very poor trick dogs.
They need regular physical and mental stimulation. Exercises are a must for this breed. Chessies need to vent their energy through play and working out. Otherwise, they will become rambunctious and bored. It is good for their well-being if they are able to use their muscles frequently.
They are also very good swimmers and love the water very much. It is a great training for them to retrieve objects from the water. They are fun to play with and their energy seems inexhaustible. An ideal dog for a large family with a lot of kids, they are rugged and will do just about anything to have fun.
Surprisingly, even with their strong temperament, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are usually slow to mature. And unfortunately, they are prone to health problems. They are likely to suffer from skin, and joint diseases.
There are numerous accounts that they are not as serious and intimidating as they are believed to be but Chessies may have varying temperaments and it largely depends on their hereditary traits.