The origins of the dog (Maryland USA) are supposedly two newfoundland dogs were mated with English Otter Hounds, Flat-Coated Retrievers and Curly-Coated Retrievers – hence the regular retriever look. But that was back in 1807 and we are two hundred plus years on since the development of that breed.
It is believed that it is the breeding of these source breeds for bird hunting enthusiasm and endurance that has made such a specific bird hunter.
The dog was primarily trained to retrieve waterfowl in the rough and icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay about 200 KM south of Washington (capitol).
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Hunting skills Plus
- tracking, hunting, retrieving,
- guarding, watchdog, Personal protection
- Field spots and competitive obedience.
The reason for its ability to withstand such cold climates is not such much a thick coat is its continual movement and OILY coat/ skin that repels water to keep it warm once out of the water. The coat is variously described as: dense, harsh, short-haired with a distinct oily smell.
These dogs are known as intelligent, brave and obedient dogs which makes them a great family pet.
However understanding their original breeds and abilities will have you understand that they need a lot of daily exercise to be happy and healthy and not be disruptive – meaning urban environments with busy families might be the least best place to have these dogs.
The other truism is that like all great hunting dogs, that are single minded and able to be very independent on the hunt, they also take a little while to train. You can not get true independence and decision making without some resistance to listening to the owner in learning new things, but once trained they are one of the greatest disciplined dogs (as long as you can separate bird excitement, from acting on it when you don’t want them to). A firm and fair instruction is required in case the become more dominant than you would like.
They are good with children and the house cat, if given enough time and training, but all other smaller rodents are on the retrieve menu.
If you are sure that you have the time daily and training skills then daily socialization is also important as these are the most dominant of the retrievers. Without understanding how to communicate socially with other dogs and have play with them they can become quite territorial or aggressive and in the least ‘willful’ which again is code for independent.
If you want to tire this dog out swimming almost any time of the year is an ideal exercise. They are a strong dog with amazing endurance, and most of your time, if you are not using for hunting will be figuring out how to tire them out.