Non-sporting Breeds

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Pedigree Points
Recognized: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI, KC (GB), KUSA
Height: Dog: 23-26 in (58.5-66cm) Bitch: 21-24 in (53.5-61cm)
Weight: Dog: 65-80 lb (29.5-36.5kg) Bitch: 55-70 lb (25-32kg)
Coat: A distinctive feature; thick, not over 1 in (2cm) long, with harsh, oily outer coat and dense, fine, woolly undercoat
Color: Dead grass (straw to bracken), sedge (red-gold), or any shade of brown; white spots (the smaller the better) on chest, toes, and belly permissible

The ancestry of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is less obscure than that of many breeds. Indeed, its origins can be pinpointed to 1807, when an English brig was shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland. An American ship, the Canton, rescued the English crew and two Newfoundland puppies. One puppy was a male called Sinbad, which has been described as dingy red in color, while the other was a black bitch, which became known as Canton after the rescue ship. The pups were presented to the families that had given shelter to the English sailors and were trained as duck retrievers. In time, they mated with various working breeds in the Chesapeake Bay area. It is likely that the cross bloods added were those of the Otterhound and the Curly-coated and Flat-coated Retrievers. The matings produced a variety with the swimming ability of the Newfoundland and the duck- retrieving abilities of local dogs. Until fairly recently, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was kept strictly as a sporting dog. However, it is now finding its way into the family home and becoming a contender in the show ring. The Chesapeake is good natured and does well in field trials. It has an oily coat that needs regular brushing and gives off a slight, but not unpleasant, odor. It has yellow-orange eyes. Like all gundogs, it needs plenty of exercise and does best in an environment where it has space to roam freely.
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