Chesapeake Bay Retriever Health Issues that Ring the Alarm!

The Chesapeake is a very hardy dog. As part of the breed standard, Chesapeake should have a strong body that can handle a full day of work. The shape and breed features are not distorted in any way. But some diseases are passed down from parent to child. This can happen to both pedigree and non-pedigree dogs. 

The following complications have been reported. Despite their limited prevalence and the fact that they are not typical of the breed. You can make these problems less likely to happen by giving tests and exams. The CBRC advises puppy buyers to ensure that both breeders have been tested.

The Chesapeake Bay retriever can be a wonderful pet and companion dog. Those who enjoy spending time in nature will benefit the most from it. Also, it would be good for it to have a dog friend that likes the same things, especially if hunting is a hobby.

The History of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

In 1807, a British ship sank off the coast of Maryland. The Newfoundland dogs were among the things that were saved. The two dogs, Sailor and Canton, were put to the test and found to be the best at retrieving. 

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can be traced back to these dogs. It was mixed with other dogs and bred by people in the area. The Flat-Coated Retriever and the Curly-Coated Retriever may also be in the Chessie’s genes.

The result was a hardy retriever that survived despite the harsh conditions of the Chesapeake Bay. It could bring back anywhere from 100 to 200 ducks every day. Previously, only dark brown dogs were available. Today, sedge and dead grass brown are also acceptable.

In 1878, the first Chessie, named Sunday. It was added to the AKC’s registry. In 1932, they hosted their first trial after being founded in 1918. The Chesapeake has dropped from 41st to 48th place in the AKC’s rankings of dog breeds over the past decade.

Breed Characteristics

Most of the time, a Chesapeake Bay retriever is friendly and loyal to its family. They are generally reserved around new people since they have a protective streak. Also, their high levels of activity and intelligence make them excellent guard dogs.

  • Flexibility
  • Trainability
  • Conditioning
  • Inviting Apartments
  • Conducive to Children
  • Even Shedding
  • Supportive of Dogs’
  • Necessity Physical Activity
  • Hostile
  • Barking Behavior

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers: A Primer on Their General Health

This book talks about the most important genetic traits for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and gives general information about dog health. To better prepare for your pet’s individual medical requirements. We need the details you provide here. We’ve included some tips for keeping your Chessie healthy and beautiful towards the booklet’s conclusion. Once you know what to look for, you and the rest of us can rest easy knowing that your friend is in the best hands possible.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Common Health Problems, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Golden retriever breeders should check their dogs and puppies for genetic diseases. Keep detailed records that they are happy to share with new owners. There is no reason for breeders to avoid genetic testing just because it costs money.

If you buy a dog of a breed that is prone to certain diseases or illnesses. You will almost certainly have to pay a lot of money to the vet. Having a dog that needs a lot of medical care can be hard on your wallet and your heart.

Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s Health

Due to your love for your dog, we have no doubt that you want the best for her. This is why we have listed the various medical conditions that can arise. We will cover you throughout the course of your CBR. Chesapeake Bay retrievers have their own health risks. Knowing what they are will help us come up with a complete plan to keep them healthy.

The breed of your pet can make it more or less likely to get sick or have other health problems. Geneticists and Veterinarians concur that these disorders are widespread and/or serious. That only means your dog is at a higher risk than average for developing these conditions. 

So you can have some idea of the possible hardships she may face in the future. We’ll go over the most typical problems seen in Chesapeake Bay retrievers. Some cases may be different than the norm. So if you encounter an issue that seems out of the ordinary. 

      Sterilization of Pets is Necessary

Spaying your CBR is a good idea for her health and well-being (for neutered males). In women, the ovaries and uterus are surgically taken out. In men, the testicles are taken out. Pets that have been spayed or neutered have a reduced risk of developing cancer. Also, there is no chance of getting pregnant or fathering litters of puppies that aren’t wanted. 

While your dog is under anesthetic for this procedure. We can also check for and treat any preexisting conditions that may pose a future health risk. It’s an ideal time for procedures like X-raying your pet’s hips or having a puppy’s teeth pulled, for instance. This is practical for both you and your pal. 

Blood tests are usually done before surgery. To help find and stop common problems that can make anesthesia or surgery more dangerous. Don’t worry; we’ll go over what we’ll be looking for in detail.

How Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Are Predisposed Genetically

Here are some of the traits that are more likely to be present in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers due to their genetic composition. Read this to gain further insight.

       Optical Distress

When your dog’s eyes are healthy, he or she will have a much better time of it. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers tend to get or pass on painful eye diseases. Some of which can lead to blindness if they aren’t treated quickly. At each checkup, we will pay special attention to his eyes for any warning signs of trouble.

Blindness in older CBRs is typically caused by cataracts. When we check him, we’ll search for signs that the lenses in his eyes have become opaquer. It makes them appear foggy rather than clear. Many blind canines learn to adapt and live happily independent lives. In some cases, cataracts can be surgically removed to restore vision.

       Bone and Joint Problems

As a breed, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have been linked to a variety of musculoskeletal issues. The sheer number of possible health problems is scary. Fortunately, they are all simple to identify and treat, allowing people to avoid unnecessary suffering. If you are careful at home and know about the diseases that can affect your friend’s bones, joints, and muscles. You may be able to take good care of him for the rest of his life.

Hip and elbow dysplasia are both forms of the same inherited disease. It causes the joints to grow in an abnormal way and can lead to arthritis. Your CBR may have trouble moving around as he ages because of stiff elbows or hips. His legs may become limp, and he may have trouble standing up from a reclining position. 

Treating arthritis as soon as possible will reduce symptoms. By X-raying your dog’s skeleton, we can detect issues early on. In extreme and potentially fatal circumstances, surgery can be a viable treatment option. Remember that painful arthritis can start in overweight dogs several years before it does in normal-weight dogs.

       Dental Abnormalities

It’s common in dogs, even purebreds like your CBR. Having one or more misaligned teeth at birth. The term “poor bite” is used to describe an overbite or underbite. Oligodontia refers to the absence of many teeth. 

The misalignment of teeth is another common problem that can be solved by using braces or removing teeth. (Orthodontic treatment is also available for canine companions!) If your friend wants to maintain a healthy set of teeth. We intend to monitor their progress very carefully.

      Disorders of the Thyroid

Dry skin and fur, baldness, and a higher risk of getting different skin diseases. The higher body weight, nervousness, hostility, and other changes in behavior may be signs. A yearly blood test will be performed to check for the illness. Hormone replacement therapy typically consists of just taking a tablet.

       Bleeding Disorders

Dogs can develop a number of different inherited bleeding diseases. Their severity might be anywhere from barely noticeable to life-threatening. Most of the time, a pet will appear healthy until they sustain a major accident or need major surgery. Therefore they may start to bleed heavily. 

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are more likely than other breeds to get von Willebrand’s disease. A condition that makes it hard for the body to stop bleeding. Before the surgery, we will check for this problem with diagnostic tests. It is like a blood clotting time test or a DNA blood sample for Von Willebrand’s disease or a related abnormality.

       Prevalent Hair Loss

In humans, pattern baldness is called follicular dysplasia and is passed down genetically. Your Chesapeake Bay Retrievers neck and back legs might look patchy and sparse. Lik the hairs are falling out easily and not growing back. Although there is no treatment available now, studies are being conducted. It is not painful or dangerous, just like baldness in people. On chilly days, a stylish sweater can be a lifesaver.

Recommended Health Tests for Chesapeake

The Kennel Club’s website has a lot of useful information, such as how to test a dog’s DNA and what health checks the club recommends. The Mate Select Health Test Results Search is intended for dog owners and breeders. People who want to buy puppies can find out about the health history of any KC-registered dog.

       Hip Dysplasia

Symptoms of hip dysplasia (HD) include deformity of the hip joints. There are hereditary and environmental components to the condition. In some dog breeds, hip dysplasia is inherited. Even though genes play a part in how the disease gets worse. Environmental factors like a dog’s diet and level of exercise can have a bigger effect on how the disease gets worse.

It’s a multifactorial illness for which the underlying genetic causes remain a mystery. X-rays are used to determine how severe a hip deformity is. Under the BVA/KC Scheme, a panel of experts reviews x-rays of a dog’s hips to determine its hip score. A score is assigned to the dog’s hips by the specialists. A larger degree of abnormality corresponds to a higher score.

       Elbow Dysplasia

The term “elbow dysplasia” (ED) is used to characterize the malformation of the elbow joint. There are a lot of particular disorders that fall under this umbrella term, and they all manifest in different ways at various parts of the joint. Like hip dysplasia, it is a complicated condition that probably involves more than one gene and is affected by the environment.

The BVA/KC Elbow Scheme’s goal is to lower the prevalence of elbow disease in breeding canines. Imaging of the elbows can reveal how severe the irregularity is. Two experts give each elbow a score between 0 and 3 on a scale from perfect to severely damaged. If the grade is lower, the elbow’s anatomy is more refined. If a dog has two separate elbows, the plan will use the greater one.

       Degenerative Myelopathy

Chesapeakes, like many other dog breeds, can get degenerative myelopathy (DM), a disease that damages the spinal cord and gets worse over time. A mild trembling in the hind legs is often the first sign, followed by the inability to walk without dragging the feet. The dog’s hind legs gradually become too weak for it to walk.

One gene has been linked to DM, and now there is a DNA test for it. Clear, carrier, and at risk are the three possible outcomes of the test. Due to the fact that this test can only detect one of the mutations that causes DM, affected dogs are instead classified as “at risk.” Although a dog has been told it is more likely to get diabetes, that doesn’t mean it will. 

       Hereditary Cataracts

Cataracts come in numerous forms, and not all of them have a genetic component. Cataracts are not common in the Chesapeake, but some forms are inherited. We know nothing about the inheritance structure. Dogs with inherited cataract symptoms should not be bred. Hereditary cataracts in dogs should be tested for every year that the dog is used for breeding.

Other Possible Health Problems in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Here are a few additional potential health issues that are less common.

  • Progression of retinal degeneration (PRA)
  • GDV – Bloat
  • Subaortic narrowing
  • Epilepsy
  • Illness caused by the protein von Willebrand
  • Dysplasia of the ectoderm

The best ways to make sure your retriever lives a long and healthy life are to choose a reputable breeder and feed your puppy high-quality dog food. The food includes all the basics: lots of exercise, regular grooming, and training. Also, regular veterinary checkups, lots of affection, and lots of playtime.

How to Provide at-Home Care for Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Common sense applies equally to the care of your dog as it does to yourself. Keep an eye on her eating habits, give her lots of exercise, make sure she has her teeth and fur brushed regularly, and contact us or a veterinary emergency doctor if anything seems off (see “What to Watch For,” below). 

Please have her checked and vaccinated according to the timetable we give you. Now is the time to give her the right “check-ups” and look for CBR-specific diseases and illnesses. Getting pet health insurance is a critical part of pet care. Pet health insurance can help you pay for the expensive medical care she will require over the course of her life.

       Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise

Achieve these goals by incorporating your Chessie’s regular care into your daily routine. The value of sticking to a balanced diet and regular exercise routines cannot be overstated.

  • Maintain the same level of vigilance around your pet as you would around a young child. Don’t leave doors open, don’t leave trash lying around, and don’t forget to close off any unoccupied spaces. This will prevent her from getting into mischief or putting anything in her mouth that she shouldn’t.
  • She isn’t particularly fussy when it comes to personal hygiene. She should get her hair brushed as often as necessary, but once a week at the very least. Don’t overwash her because the oils in her coat keep her warm and dry in the winter.
  • As a breed, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have healthy teeth that may be kept in pristine condition with regular brushing.


When compared to a Labrador retriever, what distinguishes a Chesapeake Bay retriever?

On the surface, Labrador retrievers and Chesapeake Bay retrievers appear to be very similar. Unlike the Labrador, whose coat is smooth and straight, the Chessie’s is wavy. And labs have a slightly more outgoing and energetic personality.

Should you get a Chesapeake Bay retriever for your family?

The Chesapeake Bay retriever’s tolerance for kids is around average. They may not be suitable for families with young children due to their high levels of energy and sensitivity. They can be wonderful for families with teens and up.

How active are Chesapeake Bay retrievers?

The Chesapeake Bay retriever breed is known for its devotedness to its human family. They have strong instincts to protect their families and territories. It can make them aggressive if they aren’t trained and socialized well.


In conclusion there are six different types of retrievers that make up the Chesapeake Bay retriever. This breed is known as “cheesie” because of its infamous moniker. These canine companions typically live for 10 to 12 years. An oily, pungent coat is one of this breed’s defining features, and it’s possible you won’t like it.

A cheese’s retail price is based on its cost of production, which is determined by its country of origin. There is less shedding. Despite being around the same height however, males and females have different average weights.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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