Born and bred in the USA, the Chesapeake Bay retriever is the quintessential wildfowler’s dog and the largest, most athletic retriever. The breed was created in the early 1800s after two Newfoundland dogs were saved from a shipwreck and then crossed with local dogs.
The Chessie is a strong, muscular dog with a naturally camouflaged oily coat and yellow to amber eyes. It is similar in shape to the labrador but with a personality all its own: independent, courageous and highly focused at work, with an innate guarding instinct. Loyal and affectionate with its owners, it tends to be wary of strangers and other dogs. It is considered good with children but requires plenty of socialisation and leadership in the home.
The breed of choice for wildfowlers, the Chesapeake also excels at retrieving on land and can be used for rough shooting or picking up at shoots. Some are used in Scotland to track deer.