(Chessie, Chessy Dog) The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a strong, well-muscled retriever with exceptional swimming abilities. Their hindquarters are especially powerful and their feet are webbed. They have a round, broad head with a medium-sized stop and muzzle. Their lips are thin, their eyes are yellowish in color, and their ears are small and hang down to the level of the eyes. Their coat is rather short in length and slightly wavy in texture. It consists of a harsh outer coat and a woolly, dense undercoat. Both coat components are oily to promote water repellence. It exists in a variety of colors including various shades of brown, red, and tan. Some Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have white markings on the chest and feet.
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The standard prefers ears that are 4.5 to 5 inches in length. Ears do not hang to the level of the eyes but extend to mid-cheek or slightly longer. The color terms most often used are in hunters Language, Chocolate, Rust, and Deadgrass. The respected uniform standard states that the white markings on the Chest can’t be larger than 3 inches without disqualification from competition. White toes are fine.
Chesapeake Bay Retrivers are also extremely loyal to family and other close relationships, but they may not like new guest. They may tend to be territorial around strangers, especially if they are not trained and socialized from birth. Most are smart and not slow to learn. They can be stubborn and will sometimes get bored without proper exercise. Obedience class doesn't have to be used if owned by a confident alpha figure. Training is fun and they are quick to learn. Some Chesapeake Bay Retrivers don't always get along with other breeds without proper socialization. Introduce them to as many dogs and people as possible from a young age.
Many have a life expectancy of 10-15 years on average. Some have knee problems. Their size, strength, and need for lots of exercise is a direct cause for orthopedic knee injuries. This breed is associated with a genetic disease of a mutated gene leading to degenerative myelopathy, a disease affecting the spinal cord. A blood test is available to confirm this diagnosis. Not all Cheasapeake Bay Retrievers are affected.
This breed has a naturally oily coat that naturally repels water. If a Chesapeake Bay Retriever gets wet, it may take a few hours for them to dry. If this breed is kept outside, it may develop a more oily coat which can sometimes emit a pungent odor. Odor seems to vary between dogs. They are known to shed year round. Their coats do not mat and do not require brushing. Often times brushing with a firm bristled brush will ruin their coat; however, it may be necessary to brush them when they are in heavy shedding seasons. Chessies become very attached to their owners and may not like to live outside. They need companionship in order to thrive and should only be considered a 'backyard dog' if they also get plenty of exercise, stimulation and lots of time with their caretaker and/or other dogs.
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