Chesapeake Bay Retreiver - Breed and Grooming Tips

Developed along the Chesapeake Bay and named the state dog of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a truly American sporting breed and the toughest water retriever. He is a strong, powerfully built medium-sized breed with yellowish or amber eyes and a distinctive coat - a short, harsh, wavy outercoat with a dense fine wooly undercoat. His color can be brown, sedge or deadgrass and must be as close to that of his working surroundings as possible.


A Look Back


In 1807, an English brig shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland and two Newfoundlands were rescued from the cargo. When bred to local retrievers, including the English Otter Hound, Flat-Coat and Curly-Coated Retriever, the "Chessie" type developed. Bred to work on land and water, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever originally hunted waterfowl in rough and icy waters, often retrieving several hundred birds per day.


Right Breed for You?

The Chesapeake is a happy and intelligent breed whose courage, working ability and love of water mesh best with active, outdoor-loving families. His coat is short, but owners must brush and maintain it regularly, as both the outercoat and undercoat contain oils for protection in harsh conditions.


Source:  American Kennel Club - www.akc.org


Grooming

General: The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a medium length dense double coat that is water resistant for retrieving waterfowl in harsh weather conditions. Due to seasonal shedding, grooming requirements may change depending on the season. Extra grooming is needed during the spring and fall shedding periods. Nails should be clipped and ears cleaned every 4 – 8 weeks. 


Ears: Monthly ear cleaning with Ear Care is advised to be sure no ear problems that might need vet attention arise. Never clean the ear further than you can see.


Eyes: Optisoothe Eye Wash can be used daily to help flush foreign matter.


Bathing: Frequency of bathing your Chesapeake will depend on the time of year and the shedding cycle. The Chesapeake requires 2 baths, The first bath should be a general bath to get off the dirt and grime; like our Energee Plus Shampoo. The second bath is targeted for the need of your dog , if your dog has allergies or sensitive skin we would suggest a Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo and follow it with a Tea Tree & Aloe Shampoo or Luxury Tar and Sulfa Itch Relief Shampoo. During the spring and fall shedding seasons we recommend Simple Shed Shampoo and Simple Shed Treatment, the oat proteins help strengthen the hair shaft and help remove dead undercoat. If you live in a temperate zone you may need Simple Shed shampoo year around.


Common Problems: Hot spots are a common problem for this breed, especially during the summer months. To prevent hot spots you must remove the dead undercoat so the air can get down to the skin, if not moisture will cause irritation and form hot spots; keep Hot Spot Foam on hand just in case.


Coat Care: Aloe Hydrating Spray should be used during the dry winter months as well if you live in a dry climate. Simple Shed and Static Spray between grooming is a great help to keep the shedding under control.



Paws: Paw Balm should be used weekly to keep paw pads soft and pliable. This makes the pads less likely to dry and crack.


Tools: During shedding season an Undercoat rake is the tool of choice to help remove unwanted dead hair and help prevent hot spots. A brush and a comb should be used between shedding cycles to keep the coat in good shape.


Show Dog Tips: Add Freeze! Styling Gel while fluffing for that extra volume where needed. High Sheen Finishing Spray before entering the ring to add a shine without leaving a residue.

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