History & Overview
This retriever owes his name to the large inlet on the Atlantic coast of the United States, just to the south of Washington, DC. The breed was created by crossing Newfoundlands and local Maryland retrievers along with Flat-Coated and Curly-Coated retrievers as well as coonhounds.
Back in the 19th century in Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was famous for its endurance while retrieving hundreds of ducks from icy waters. The Chessie, as it is often affectionately called, is probably superior to any other dog in his ability to withstand icy water thanks to his thick, oily coat that protects him “like a duck’s plumage.” Even heavy seas do not deter him. He also has great stamina, along with a remarkable memory.
Today, the Chesapeake is valued for his bright and happy disposition, intelligence, quiet good sense, and affectionate, protective nature. Very reserved with strangers, the Chessie tends to bond closely with one member of the family but is friendly and affectionate with the entire family. He is always calm, steady, loyal and trustworthy with kids, and there have been several cases of Chesapeake Bay retrievers saving drowning children.