Fédération Cynologique Internationale

United Kennel Club

The Kennel Club

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)


ORIGIN

:
FCI
U.S.A.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
14.02.1995.
KC
July 2010

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Retriever equally proficient on land and in the water.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 8Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
Section 1Retrievers
With working trial

UKC
Gun Dog
KC
Gundog

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
UKC
The history of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever began when two puppies were saved from the wreck of an English ship off the coast of Maryland in 1807. These two dogs, believed to be Newfoundland types, were raised and worked as water retrievers. They and their descendants were crossed with other retrieving breeds and even local Coonhounds, to develop a powerful water dog that excelled in the retrieval of ducks from the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay. By the end of the 19th century, these dogs were known as Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. The breed soon became popular with midwestern duck hunters as well. Today the Chesapeake has a small but devoted following as a duck hunter and family companion. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was recognized by United Kennel Club in 1927.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Equally proficient on land and in the water, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was developed along the Chesapeake Bay to hunt waterfowl under the most adverse weather and water conditions, often having to break ice during the course of many strenuous multiple retrieves. In head, the Chesapeake’s skull is broad and round with a medium stop. The jaws should be of sufficient length and strength to carry large game birds with an easy, tender hold. The double coat consists of a short, harsh, wavy outer coat and a dense, fine, woolly undercoat containing an abundance of natural oil and is ideally suited for the icy rugged conditions of weather the Chesapeake often works in. In body, the Chesapeake is a strong, well-balanced, powerfully built animal of moderate size and medium length in body and leg, deep and wide in chest, the shoulders built with full liberty of movement, and with no tendency to weakness in any feature, particularly the rear. The power though, should not be at the expense of agility or stamina.
Size and substance should not be excessive as this is a working retriever of an active nature. Distinctive features include eyes that are very clear, of yellowish or amber hue, hindquarters as high or a trifle higher than the shoulders, and a double coat which tends to wave on shoulders, neck, back and loins only.
UKC
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a medium-sized, well-balanced dog with a distinctive outline made up of a graceful series of curves; small, drop ears; and a natural tail hanging down or carried with a slight upward curve. The length of body is only slightly longer than the height at the withers, and the front legs are about equal in length to the depth of body. The Chesapeake's coat, oily, dense and wavy, with a thick undercoat, and colored to match the dog's working environment, is an essential element of breed type. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever should be evaluated as a working gun dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog's ability to work.
KC
Well proportioned, active worker with a strong muscular appearance. A distinctive oily, double coat, which is very important. Capable of working in adverse weather conditions, including ice and snow.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
Height from the top of the shoulder blades to the ground should be slightly less than the body length from the breastbone to the point of buttocks. Depth of body should extend at least to the elbow. Shoulder to elbow and elbow to ground should be equal.
KC
A courageous and keen worker with a great love of water. Independent, affectionate, but not extrovert with strangers, he makes a good guardian of home and family.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
The Chesapeake is valued for its bright and happy disposition, intelligence, quiet good sense, and affectionate protective nature. Courage, willingness to work, alertness, nose, intelligence, love of water, general quality and, most of all, disposition should be given primary consideration in the selection and breeding of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
UKC
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a unique outline, characterized by hindquarters that are as high or slightly higher than the withers. Another essential characteristic is the oily, dense, wavy coat that enables the Chesapeake to hunt in the most adverse weather conditions. The breed comes in wide shade of brown colors that enable the Chesapeake to blend into the background of the duck ponds of eastern Maryland and the Midwest. Chesapeakes are independent thinkers and can sometimes be stubborn, but they are willing workers, with the courage to break through ice and swim in freezing water to locate and retrieve ducks. This breed has a steady, generally friendly disposition with family members but is inclined to ignore people other than the owner.
KC
Bright and happy disposition, alert and intelligent and showing a willingness to work.

HEAD

:
UKC
The head is proportionate to the size of the dog and is without exaggeration of any sort. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are about the same length and joined by a well-defined, but not abrupt, stop. When viewed from above, the head forms a blunt wedge.
KC
Broad and round with medium stop. Muzzle of similar length to skull, pointed but not sharp. Lips thin, not pendulous. Nostrils well developed. Nose and lips of colour to harmonise with coat. There should be a noticeable difference between the sexes.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Broad and round.
UKC
The skull is broad and slightly arched laterally and longitudinally. The skull is clean without prominence of orbital arches or occipital bones. Cheeks are clean.

Stop

:
FCI
Medium stop.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Nasal bridge medium short.
UKC
Nose is fully pigmented and liver in color.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Approximately the same length as the skull, tapering pointed but not sharp.
UKC
The muzzle tapers slightly from stop to nose and is sufficiently long and powerful to permit the dog to carry waterfowl of all sizes. The bridge of the muzzle is straight. Lips are thin and tight with pigment to match the nose.
KC
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite tolerated.

Lips

:
FCI
Thin, not pendulous.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Scissors bite is preferred, but a level bite is acceptable.
UKC
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth. A scissors bite is strongly preferred but a level bite is acceptable.

Eyes

:
FCI
Are to be medium large, very clear, of yellowish or amber color and wide apart. Intelligent expression.
UKC
The eyes are set into the skull, but not too deep, and wide apart. They are medium sized and slightly oval in shape, giving an intelligent expression. Eye color is yellow or amber, with no preference given to dogs whose eye color matches the shade of their coat. Eyelids are close-fitting, and eye rims match the nose pigment.
KC
Medium size, very clear, of yellow or amber colour and set wide apart.

Ears

:
FCI
Are to be small, set well up on the head, hanging loosely, and of medium leather.
UKC
Ears are small and drop, and set on high. Ear leather is of medium thickness and hangs loosely.
KC
Relatively small, well set up on head, of medium leather, and carried close.

NECK

:
FCI
Should be of medium length with a strong muscular appearance, tapering to the shoulders.
UKC
The neck is of medium length, blending smoothly into well laid back shoulders, giving a sturdy, muscular appearance. The neck is free of throatiness.
KC
Of medium length with a strong muscular appearance tapering from head to shoulders.

BODY

:
FCI
Of medium length, neither cobby nor roached, but rather approaching hollowness from underneath as the flanks should be well tucked up.
UKC
A properly proportioned Chesapeake Bay Retriever is only slightly longer (measured from prosternum to point of buttocks) than tall (measured from the withers to the ground), and length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) should approximately equal one-half of the dog's height. The topline of the Chesapeake is unique to this particular retriever. From the slightly elevated withers, the topline drops slightly then curves up over a strong back and moderately short, slightly arched and muscular loin, then curves downward over a gently sloping croup. The hindquarters are as high or slightly higher than the withers. The ribs extend well back and are well rounded, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. The brisket extends to the elbow and the flanks are well tucked up. Viewed from the front, the chest between the forelegs is well filled, deep, and wide.
KC
Of medium length, with well sprung ribs, short coupled and strong, but not cobby. Chest well developed, deep and broad. Topline level or with hindquarters slightly higher than the withers. Back strong and neither swayed nor roached. Flanks showing some tuck up.

Topline

:
FCI
Should show the hindquarters to be as high as or a trifle higher than the shoulders.

Back

:
FCI
Short, well coupled and powerful.

Chest

:
FCI
Strong, deep and wide. Rib cage barrel, round and deep.

TAIL

:
FCI
Of medium length; medium heavy at the base. The tail should be straight or slightly curved and should not curl over back or side kink.
UKC
The tail is a natural extension of the topline. It is thicker at the base and tapers to the tip. A tail of the correct length extends to the hock. When the dog is relaxed, the tail hangs down naturally. When the dog is moving or alert, the tail is carried level with the back or only slightly above level, with a merry action. The tail should never curl over the back or be carried between the legs.
KC
Of medium length, straight or slightly curved. Medium heavy at the base. Carried level or slightly higher than topline, not curled over back.

LIMBS

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FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
There should be no tendency to weakness in the forequarters. They are medium in length and straight, showing good bone and muscle. The front legs should appear straight when viewed from front or rear.
UKC
Shoulders are smoothly muscled. The shoulder blades are long and well laid back. The upper arm appears to be equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle. The elbows are close to the body. The forelegs are straight, strong, with sturdy oval-shaped bone and strong, slightly sloping pasterns of medium length.
KC
Well muscled and well boned. Shoulders powerful, well laid back, long in blade with upper arm of equal length, placing legs well under body with no restriction of movement. Forelegs straight when viewed from the front. Leg length equal to depth of body. Pasterns slightly sloping.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Should be sloping with full liberty of action, plenty of power and without any restrictions of movement.

Pastern

:
FCI
Slightly bent and of medium length. Dewclaws may be removed.

FEET

:
UKC
Good feet are essential for a working retriever. The Chesapeake has webbed, hare feet of good size with well-arched toes and thick, elastic pads. Front dewclaws may be removed. Rear dewclaws must be removed.
KC
Well webbed hare feet, of good size, with toes well rounded and close.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Well webbed harefeet, of good size with toes well-rounded and close.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Good hindquarters are essential. They should show fully as much power as the forequarters. There should be no tendency to weakness in the hindquarters. Hindquarters should be especially powerful to supply the driving power for swimming. Legs should be medium length and straight, showing good bone and muscle. The hind legs should look straight when viewed from the front or rear. Dewclaws, if any, must be removed from the hind legs.
UKC
The hindquarters are broad and muscular, with as much power as the forequarters. Both the upper and lower thighs are long, resulting in a slight elevation of the hindquarters equal to or slightly above the withers. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the angulation of the forequarters. The stifles are well-bent. When the dog is standing, the strong, medium-length rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another.
KC
Strong, well muscled and powerful, complementing the forequarters. Well turned stifles, with rear pasterns of moderate length. Hocks turning neither in nor out.

Stifle

:
FCI
Well angulated.

Hock

:
FCI
The distance from hock to ground should be of medium length.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
The gait should be smooth, free and effortless, giving the impression of great power and strength. When viewed from the side, there should be good reach with no restrictions of movement in the front and plenty of drive in the rear, with good flexion of the stifle and hock joints. Coming at you, there should be no sign of elbows being out. When the Chesapeake is moving away from you, there should be no sign of cowhockness from the rear. As speed increases, the feet tend to converge toward a center line of gravity.
UKC
When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good but not exaggerated reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the dog's head moves forward so that the head, backline, and tail are nearly even. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward centerline of balance. It is recommended that dogs be shown on a loose lead and moved at a moderate speed to reflect true gait. Because of the extra length of rear legs and slightly longer hocks, some Chesapeakes may crab just slightly when moving. Other than this, poor movement should be penalized to the degree to which it reduces the Chesapeake's ability to perform the tasks it was bred to do.
KC
Strong and powerful, with no restriction of movement, which should be smooth, free and effortless. As speed increases the feet tend to converge.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Coat should be thick and short, nowhere over 1 1/2 inches ( 4 cm) long, with a dense, fine, woolly undercoat. Hair on the face and legs should be very short and straight with a tendency to wave on the shoulders, neck, back and loins only. Moderate feathering on rear of hindquarters and tail is permissible. The texture of the Chespeake’s coat is very important, as the Chesapeake is used for hunting under all sorts of adverse weather conditions, often working in ice and snow. The oil in the harsh outer coat and woolly undercoat is of extreme value in preventing the cold water from reaching the Chesapeake’s skin and aids in quick drying. A Chesapeake’s coat should resist the water in the same way that a duck’s feathers do. When the Chesapeake leaves the water and shakes, the coat should not hold water at all, being merely moist.
UKC
The correct water-repellant Chesapeake coat is essential to its function as a retriever. The outer coat is harsh, thick, and short, never over 1½ inch long. The undercoat is soft and dense. The entire coat is oily, which prevents water from penetrating to the dog's skin while he is working. The hair on the face and legs is short and straight. The hair on the shoulders, neck, back, and loin may be somewhat wavy, but never curly. A very slight feathering on the tail and back of hindquarters is acceptable provided the hair is no longer than 1¾ inch.
KC
A distinctive feature. Coat should be thick and reasonably short, not over 4cms (1 ½ ins) long, with harsh, oily, outer coat and dense, fine, woolly undercoat covering the whole body; having a tendency to wave on neck, shoulders, back and loins. A straighter, thick coat is acceptable provided its water resistance is retained. Coat on face, ears and legs short and straight. Moderate feathering on tail permissible. Oil in harsh coat and woolly undercoat of extreme value. Coat should resist water.

COLOUR

:
FCI
The colour of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever must be as nearly that of its working surroundings as possible. Any colour of brown, sedge or deadgrass is acceptable, self-coloured Chesapeakes being preferred. One colour is not to be preferred over another. A white spot on the breast, belly, toes, or back of the feet (immediately above the large pad) is permissible, but the smaller the spot the better, solid coloured preferred. The colour of the coat and its texture must be given every consideration when judging on the bench or in the ring. Honorable scars are not to be penalized.
UKC
Without preference, all shades of brown, ranging from light cocoa to dark chocolate; all shades of sedge, ranging from reddish-yellow to red to chestnut; and all shades of deadgrass, ranging from faded tan to a dull straw color. Self-colored dogs are preferred, but dogs with the following are acceptable: masking on skull; slight light and dark striping effect through the body and on the legs; saddle markings; agouti coloring; or tan points. When judging Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, a good quality dog with minor color variations should be given preference over a lesser quality self-colored dog.
KC
Dead grass (straw to bracken), sedge (red gold), any shade of brown, or ash. White spots on chest, belly, toes or the back of the feet permissible. The smaller the spot the better. Masking and brindling in coat pattern is acceptable but not desirable. Self coloured dogs preferred. Colour of coat must be given consideration when judging but is of lesser importance compared to the quality and texture of the double coat.

SIZE

:
UKC
Standard height for males is 23-26 inches and for females, 21-24 inches. Over- or undersized dogs should be severely penalized. A correctly built Chesapeake Bay Retriever male in working condition should weigh between 65-80 pounds and a female should weigh between 55-70 pounds.
KC
Height: dogs 58-66 cms (23-26 ins), bitches 53-61 cms (21-24 ins).

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males should measure 23 to 26 inches; (58-66cm) ;
Females should measure 21 to 24 inches; (53-61cm).

Weight

:
FCI

Oversized or undersized animals are to be severely penalized.
Males should weigh 65 to 80 pounds (29,5-36,5kg); females should weigh 55 to 70 pounds (25-32kg).

FAULTS

:
FCI

Extreme shyness or extreme aggressive tendencies are not desirable in the breed either as a gun dog or companion.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC
Feet: Rear dewclaws.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Specimens lacking in breed characteristics.
  • Teeth overshot or undershot.
  • Declaws on the hind legs.
  • Coat curly or with a tendency to curl all over the body.
  • Feathering on the tail or legs over 1 3/4 inches (4,5 cm) long.
  • Black coloured.
  • White on any part of the body except breast, belly, toes, or back of feet.
The question of the coat and general type of balance takes precedence over any scoring table which could be drawn up. The Chesapeake should be well proportioned, an animal with a good coat and well balanced in other points being preferable to one excelling in some but weak in others.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Overshot or undershot bite. Curly coat. Feathering on tail or legs longer than 1¾ inch. Black color. White on any part of the body except breast, belly, toes or back of feet. Albinism.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite.
Coat: Curly coat; feathering on tail or legs longer than 1¾ inch.
Color: Black color; white on any part of the body except breast, belly, toes or back of feet.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.