History: The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is one of the few Truly American Breeds. It originated in 1807 when an English ship wrecked off of the Maryland Coast and two Newfoundland type pups were recovered from the wreck. These pups and their offspring were bred to Coonhound type dogs and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever as we know it today was formed at the end of the 19th Century. These dogs were bred to be powerful and strong with the ability to withstand the coldest winds and the most frigid temperatures during Ice and Snow in order to Retrieve the ducks and waterfowl that their owners shot down.
General Appearance: The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the Strongest and Heaviest of all of the Retriever Breeds. They are well balanced and have a distinct profile outline. The dog must have a topline the is level with a slight rise to the strong rear. This is needed for it to push itself in the ice and water as it retrieves birds. Its eye is yellow to dark amber in color, and is clear and bright. The Color of a Chesapeake Coat can range anywhere from a Dark Brown to a Very Light Tan/Cream. Black coats are a Disqualification. The Chessie has a very distinctive coat in that it is a double coat with a soft wool type undercoat and a harsh outer coat. This coat should have a slight wave that should cover the neck, extend down the shoulders, across the entire back, and over the rear, thigh, and buttocks areas. This coat should not be over 1 ¾ inches in length anywhere on the body, and it should not be tightly curled. This coat produces a natural oil that will not allow the cold icy water to get down to the dog’s skin. When the dogs gets out of the water and shakes, its coat should repel water like that of a Duck. The Chesapeake has been called the Guardian of the Sporting Dogs, as it will protect its family and property to the death. Always let a Chesapeake know that you are there, and NEVER approach from the rear.
Size: Males should weigh from 65 to 90 lbs. Females should weigh from 55 to 70lb. Males should be 24-27 inches in height. Females should be 21-24 inches in height. There is no disqualification for size. Oversized or undersized dogs should be penalized.
Head: The head of the Chesapeake should be of medium size with a rounded skull that should measure equally from ear to ear, nose to stop, and stop to back skull. When looking at the head from the top, it should be shaped like a slice of pie and not be at all snipey at the end of the muzzle. The flews should be tight and not pendulous. EARS The ears should be small in size, sit high on head and the ear leather should be medium thickness. The head should not have Hound type features. MUZZLE The muzzle length should be medium length with an underjaw that is strong enough to carry large game birds easily and carefully as not to destroy the meat.
BITE should be scissored, but level is acceptable. COAT the coat should be short and close to the skin of the head and muzzle.
Forequarters: The front assembly of the Chesapeake should be strong in stature. The shoulders should be well laid back and there should be no impediment of movement in the dog. The upper arm length should be the same length as the shoulder blade. The reach of the dog should be flowing and powerful. Dewclaws may or may not be removed off of front legs.
Body: The body of the Chesapeake should be of medium length and it should be slightly longer than it is tall at the withers. The depth of chest from withers to sternum is the same distance as the length of leg from elbow to floor. The chest should be well barreled in appearance, and should tuck up at the loin area in front of the rear legs.
Rear Quarters: The hindquarters of the Chesapeake should be well muscled and strong; as this is needed to drive the dog though the ice in order to retrieve waterfowl. The second thigh should be as long as the thigh, and the rear should be well angulated and equal to the angle in the front of the dog. The tail should be medium length and have a strong thick base. The tail should be carried level or slightly curved. A tail that curls over the back of the dog should be penalized. Dewclaws must be removed from rear legs.
Feet: The feet are hare like and webbed. The toes are set high. Flat splayed feet are undesirable.
Temperament: The Chesapeake should have a good even temperament and should show NO FEAR. When approaching a Chesapeake, make sure that the dog knows you are there, and that you approach from the front. Speak to the owner first, to allow the dog to realize that you are not a threat. Any Aggression or Biting is a Disqualification.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever should move freely and basically float around the ring. There should be good reach and drive and the angles of front and rear should match as to not let the rear overdrive the front, or the front look like it is having to pull the rear. The legs should be straight when looking from the front or rear.
When examining the Coat of a Chesapeake, one should feel deep down into the coat. You should be able to feel the natural oils on your hand and fingers when you remove them from the coat. It should not be extremely oily or dirty and should not stink. These dogs are shown in a natural state and no unnatural products or blown out coats are acceptable.
Overshot or Undershot Bite
Dewclaws on REAR Legs
Coat the Curls all over the body
Black in Color or Black anywhere on dog
White on any part of the dog except Chest, Belly, and Toes or back of feet.
Aggression or biting.