Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Chesapeake Bay Retriever!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Chesapeake Bay Retriever

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever the right breed for you?

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Chesapeake Bay Retriever stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, tracking, flyball, hunt tests, field trials); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with moderate shedding
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Chesapeake Bay Retriever to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Chesapeake Bay Retriever, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Chesapeake Bay Retriever be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are fairly common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers rank 43rd. It's harder to find a Chesapeake compared to a Lab or a Golden Retriever, but it's not all that hard.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are available from Dog Rescue groups. Chesapeakes may be turned over to Rescue because they need too much exercise, or for issues of dominance, or aggression toward other animals. Other Chessies are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are sometime found here, although Chesapeake Rescue groups do try to move their breed out of shelters and into their rescue network.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Chesapeake Bay Retriever from a show breeder, who breeds Chesapeakes to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring.

Or you can buy a Chesapeake from a performance breeder, who emphasizes an energetic temperament and strong "prey (chasing) drives" for hunting, or participating in performance sports like hunt tests, field trials, dog agility, tracking, and flyball.

Some breeders are a combination of show/performance, though how they prioritize those two goals can vary greatly. You might also be able to buy a Chesapeake from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal elbows

Also, at least ONE PARENT of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy should have:

  • a DNA test proving they are Normal/Clear of a severe hereditary eye disease called PRA.

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Chesapeake Bay Retriever ends up blind, or lame from hip dysplasia.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are occasionally found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.