The Chesapeake is a strong, muscular dog with a short, thick wavy coat. He comes in any shade of brown and has yellow or amber coloured eyes. Compared to the Labrador, he is slightly bigger in stature, and has a very different personality.
A Chesapeake is a very devoted dog, and is totally loyal to his owner and family. He will make friends with others but he will always follow his owner. If left alone, he will guard your home or car and has been known to protect his human family from threat.
The Chesapeake has been bred for generations as a working gundog and he excels in his job, especially in water. Dogs of this breed have also been trained for other jobs: obedience, working trials, agility and even drug and explosive detection dogs.This is one of a few breeds where the work and show side are not at all different, and most of the UK show dogs work in one way or another. The breed standard describes a dog fit for work, and it is this standard that dogs are judged on in the show ring.
Because the Chesapeake is a strong dog, he needs the right kind of home and owner. His main need is an owner who he will admire and look up to. He is NOT suitable as a pet dog treated as an equal. If he admires you then he will work for you and love you as only a dog can. Whilst he can be a devoted housedog, it is best combined with an active lifestyle or a working life where both his brain and body are exercised. He craves company and should not be in a home where he is left alone for much of the day.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club recommends that anyone contemplating buying a Chesapeake should meet some adult dogs and their owners and be sure that this breed is suitable for them and their lifestyle.