Your New Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppy
The most important thing in a Chessie is the
coat. There is a wide range of accepted coats with many accepted coat
colors. A Chessie can have a smooth coat, rough coat or curly coat.
The hair should be no longer than 1½ on the body and 1¾
on the tail. The Chessies eyes should fade from the striking blue at
birth to a pale yellow or orange. Thin white spots are permitted on
the chest, belly or tips of the toes.
Chessies are low maintenance. Unless they get
into something terrible, bathe them with water only and towel dry. Do
not brush your dog as Chessies coats are oily by nature and you can
damage their coat and skin. If you want, you can use a hound mitt
to remove loose hair. A hound mitt can be purchased at most large pet
centers or by catalogue.
Chessies aim to please. They are a very intelligent
breed and will do just about anything you ask of them. Like a child,
puppies need to be taught manners and learn what is right and wrong.
We require that your dog gets at least one eight week obedience course
and strongly encourage you to continue with the program.
A full grown Chessie is strong, yet gentle. They can
pull people out of water, swim and retrieve all day (the known record
is retrieving in excess of three hundred, yes HUNDRED ducks from the
cold waters of Chesapeake Bay in the course of just one day!) They will
snuggle up to you whether on a couch or in bed. They are definitely
very social dogs and rarely bark. Chessies are excellent hunters and
wonderful with children.
Chessies love to be praised and loved. They are adaptable
to an apartment, house or acreage. Regardless of living arrangements,
they love to swim, retrieve, play and run. Remember, Chessies are primarily
a cold water duck dog, but their abilities go far beyond that.
It is important for your puppy to be a part of your family. The more
your puppy is with you, the less trouble it will get into. Like all
retrievers, Chessies are great gardeners. They will dig and eat most
anything in your yard, but only if they can not see you. Spend time
outside with your dog - theyll love it. So will you. If you have
small children, teach them to be kind to the dog - never hit! For the
rest of the family, if your puppy is asleep, do not bother it. Puppies
need their rest for growing. For the first few nights you might put
the puppys crate in your bedroom so it does not feel alone.
At approximately 12 weeks your puppy is ready for
puppy obedience class. Most PetsMart, Petcos, etc., offer these
classes. Mans Best Friend and professional trainers also
We recommend Pro Plan or O.N.E. adult chicken and rice. This is available
at most grocery stores. A leading breeder did a year long study and
found Chessies did better on chicken and rice than they did on lamb
and rice. They had less internal problems and their coats were better.
The Salmon mix for tender stomachs does an excellent job of promoting
hair growth. (This is important as Chessies' will 'blow' their coats
twice a year.) When we are promoting coat regeneration we use one-third
of the daily food amount as Salmon.
We suggest that you use a supplement with the food.
We have used NuPro for years. It is an excellent product that mixes
with the dog food and a little warm water. It can also be mixed dry.
Follow the directions for amount according to weight. We keep all of
our dogs on this supplement.
Note: during crate training, give your puppy plenty
of water until its evening meal. No water after 8 oclock. Your
puppy will eat three times a day until it is 6 months old; then twice
a day until it is a year old. Put the supplement in at breakfast and
lunch. Make sure you use one-half of the prescribed amount at each meal.
Start out feeding ¾-1 cup of food per feeding. Judge accordingly.
Remember, you do not want a fat dog. When your puppy reaches two feedings
at 6 months, feed it the same total amount it got in three feedings,
one half at each meal. If the puppy is slim at six months, you can increase
the amount of food.
You can start immediately! After recognizing its own name, sit and stay
are the most important. To get the puppy to sit, use a small treat,
let it smell the treat, then put it a little high over its head. Say
sit. Gently put your hand at its rear end break its stance
by putting some pressure behind its knees - DO NOT PUSH ITS REAR DOWN,
this might hurt the dog. The give the dog the reward (treat) saying
good sit, (puppy name).
Stay will be harder. Once you get a good sit, you
can start on stay. This requires the word stay and putting
your hand in front of its eyes when you say the command. Do not use
no when training. If your puppy is doing anything it not
supposed to be doing a short ech will suffice. So when you
say have sit, stay and puppy wants to move, just say ech
and it will stay. If it does not stray, physically (never roughly) put
it back into a sit and try again. The remainder of its training will
start with puppy class.
An excellent source of information, available at PetsMart
or Barnes and Noble is The Complete Chesapeake Bay Retriever by Janet
and Dr. Daniel Horn.
We suggest using the kennel or crate method. This is the easiest way
we know to train your puppy. Start by getting a crate large enough to
facilitate a full size Chessie, then block off a small front section
with plywood. Give the puppy enough room to lay down only. Put the puppy
in, starting for an hour. Increase time each time you place it in the
crate. Make sure the puppy goes out to empty itself before crating it.
Also, run to take your puppy out after crating. Praise it for going
potty and making no mess in the house. By the time the puppy
is 12 weeks old they should be completely housebroken. The crate will
be its bedroom and den. After housebreaking you may choose to continue
to use the crate as the puppys bed. Until the pup is housebroken
DO NOT put anything in the crate for bedding (i.e. towels, blankets,
etc.) The puppy does not distinguish between fabric, tile, grass, or
any other surface at this time.
As it grows your puppy will want to chew. Give it
chew sticks or synthetic bones to satisfy this urge to chew. As an adult
dog, do not give it rawhide treats. Chessies have very strong jaws.
They tend to bite the rawhide and swallow it quickly. The rawhide swells
in their stomachs and can be problematic. After they get their adult
teeth (about age 6 months,) give them pig ears, dog treats and synthetic