The story goes that an English ship with two Newfoundlands on board wrecked off the coast of Maryland in the winter of1807. Everyone was saved, and the two dogs remained with their rescuers. Since there were no other Newfies around, they were mated with some local retrievers--and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was born. Here is how to care for the friendly and intelligent "Chessie."
Spay/neuter your Chessie. Spaying females before the first heat will prevent breast cancer and uterine infections. Neutering males at a young age will prevent testicular cancer, help maintain a healthy prostate and curb aggression.2
Take your Chessie for regular checkups and stay current on vaccinations and flea and heartworm preventative. Do a monthly home exam of the skin, eyes, ears, nose, teeth and gums.3
Have your Chessie's teeth examined and cleaned professionally once a year (or every six months if recommended by a vet or teeth-cleaning professional). You may also want to brush your Chessie's teeth. Preventative maintenance can include dry dog food and tartar-control dog biscuits and chews.4
Chessies do best with an ample-sized yard to run in. They can adapt to apartment life, but only with plenty of exercise including long, daily brisk walks or jogs. Off-leash dog parks are great for well-socialized Chessies. They tend to bark and chew destructively if bored or not properly exercised.5
Provide consistent and firm, yet kind training for your Chessie. If possible, attend obedience classes together, as they tend to have a willful streak.6
Feed your Chessie a quality diet with the proper balance of protein, carbs, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. If feeding a commercial dog food, choose a quality natural brand with human grade foods and no fillers or meat by-products.7
Brush your Chessie's double coat regularly with a firm bristle brush. They tend to shed a lot with their hair coming off in your hands when you pet them, but the short, wavy coat is easy to maintain.8
Bathe your Chessie about every three to four months; bathing too often will strip their coat of its natural oils (an oily coat is normal for a Chessie). Keep the nails trimmed to a comfortable length. If the ears need cleaning, use an ear cleaning solution for dogs.