FCI-Standard N 263 / 12. 03. 1999 / GB



UTILIZATION : Retriever equally proficient on land and in the water.

FCI-CLASSIFICATION :                            Group 8 - Retrievers-Flushing, Dogs-Water Dogs.
                                                               Section 1        Retrievers.
                                                               With working trial.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Equally  proficient on land and in the water, the Chesapeake Bay  Retriever was  developed along  the Chesapeake Bay  to hunt waterfowl  under the most  adverse weather and water  conditions, often having to break ice during the course of many strenuous multiple retrieves.   Frequently the Chesapeake must  face wind, tide and  long cold swims in its  work.  The breed's characteristics are specifically suited to enable the  Chesapeake to function with ease, efficiency and endurance.  In head,  the Chesapeake's skull is broad and round with a medium stop.  The  jaws should be of sufficient length and strength to carry large  game birds  with an easy, tender  hold.  The double  coat consists of a short,  harsh, wavy outer coat  and a dense, fine, wooly undercoat containing an abundance of natural oil and is ideally suited for the  icy rugged conditions of  weather the  Chesapeake often  works in. In body, the Chesapeake  is a strong, well-balanced,  powerfully built animal of moderate  size and medium length in body and leg, deep and wide in chest,  the shoulders built with full liberty of movement, and with  no tendency  to weakness  in any  feature, particularly  the rear.  The power  though, should not be at the expense of agility or stamina.
Size and  substance  should  not be  excessive  as this  is a  working
retriever of an active nature.  Distinctive features include eyes that are very clear, of yellowish or amber hue, hindquarters as high or a trifle higher than the shoulders, and a  double coat  which tends to wave  on shoulders, neck, back  and loins only.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Height from  the top of the shoulder blades to the ground should be slightly  less than the body  length from the breastbone  to the point  of buttocks.  Depth of body should  extend at least to  the elbow.  Shoulder to elbow and elbow to ground should be equal.

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT : The  Chesapeake  is  valued  for  its bright  and  happy  disposition, intelligence, quiet  good sense,  and affectionate protective  nature. Courage, willingness to work, alertness, nose, intelligence, love of water, general quality and, most of all, disposition should be given primary consideration in the selection and breeding of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Extreme shyness or extreme  aggressive tendencies are not desirable in the breed either as a gun dog or companion.


Skull : Broad and round.
Stop : Medium stop.

Nose : Nasal bridge medium short.
Muzzle :  Approximately  the same  length as  the skull,  tapering pointed but not sharp.
Lips : Thin, not pendulous.
Jaws/Teeth : Scissors bite is preferred, but a level bite is acceptable.
Eyes : Are to be medium large, very clear, of yellowish or amber color and wide apart. Intelligent expression.
Ears : Are to  be small, set well up on the head, hanging loosely, and of medium leather.

NECK : Should be  of medium length with  a strong muscular appearance, tapering to the shoulders.

BODY :  Of  medium length,  neither cobby  nor roached, but  rather approaching hollowness  from underneath as  the flanks should be  well tucked up.
Topline :  Should show  the hindquarters  to be  as high  as  or a  trifle higher than the shoulders.
Back : Short, well coupled and powerful.
Chest : Strong, deep and wide.   Rib cage barrel,  round and deep.

TAIL : Of medium length; medium heavy at the base.  The tail should be straight or  slightly curved  and should  not curl  over back or  side kink.

FOREQUARTERS : There should be no tendency to weakness in the forequarters.  They are medium in length and straight, showing good bone and muscle.  The front legs should appear straight when viewed from front or rear.
Shoulders : Should be  sloping with full liberty  of action, plenty of power and without any restrictions of movement.
Pasterns : Slightly  bent and of medium length.  Dewclaws may be removed.

HINDQUARTERS : Good hindquarters are essential.  They should show fully as much  power as  the forequarters.  There  should be no tendency  to weakness in  the  hindquarters.   Hindquarters  should  be  especially powerful to  supply the  driving power for  swimming. Legs should  be medium length  and straight,  showing good  bone and muscle.  The hind legs should look straight when viewed from the front or rear.   Dewclaws, if any,  must be removed from  the hind legs.
Stifles : Well angulated.
Hocks : The distance from hock to ground should be of medium length.

FEET : Well webbed harefeet, of good size with toes well-rounded and close.

GAIT / MOVEMENT :  The gait  should be  smooth, free  and effortless, giving  the impression of great  power and strength.   When viewed from the  side, there should  be good  reach with no  restrictions of movement in  the front and plenty of drive in the rear, with good flexion of the stifle and hock  joints.  Coming  at you, there should  be no sign of  elbows being out.  When  the Chesapeake is moving away from you, there should be no sign of cowhockness from the rear.  As speed increases, the feet tend to converge toward a center line of gravity.

HAIR : Coat should  be thick and short,  nowhere over 1 1/2 inches   ( 4 cm) long, with a dense, fine,  woolly undercoat.  Hair  on the face and legs should be very short and  straight with a tendency  to wave on the shoulders, neck,  back  and  loins   only.    Moderate  feathering   on  rear  of hindquarters and tail is permissible.  The  texture  of  the  Chespeake's  coat  is very  important,  as  the Chesapeake is  used for  hunting under  all sorts  of adverse  weather conditions, often working in ice and snow.  The oil in the harsh outer coat and woolly  undercoat is of extreme  value in preventing the  cold water from reaching the Chesapeake's skin and aids in quick drying.  A Chesapeake's coat  should  resist the  water in  the same  way that  a duck's feathers do.   When the Chesapeake leaves the water and shakes, the coat should not hold water at all, being merely moist.
COLOUR :The colour of  the Chesapeake Bay Retriever  must be as nearly that of its working surroundings  as possible.  Any  colour of brown, sedge or deadgrass is acceptable,  self-coloured Chesapeakes being preferred.   One colour is not  to be preferred over  another.  A white  spot on the breast, belly, toes, or  back of the feet (immediately above the large pad) is  permissible,  but  the smaller  the  spot  the better,  solid coloured preferred.   The  colour of  the coat  and its texture must  be given every consideration  when judging on the  bench or in the  ring.  Honorable scars are not to be penalized.

Height :              Males       should measure       23 to 26 inches; (58-66cm) ;
                         Females   should measure       21 to 24 inches; (53-61cm).
Oversized or undersized animals are to be severely penalized.

Weight : Males should weigh 65 to 80 pounds (29,5-36,5kg); females should weigh 55 to 70 pounds (25-32kg).

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

       Aggressive or overly shy.
       Specimens lacking   in    breed characteristics.
       Teeth overshot or undershot.
       Declaws on the hind legs.
       Coat curly or with a tendency to curl all over the body.
       Feathering  on the tail or  legs over 1 3/4 inches (4,5 cm) long.
       Black coloured.
       White on  any part  of the  body except breast, belly, toes, or back of feet.

The question of the coat and general type of balance takes precedence over any scoring table which could be drawn up. The Chesapeake should be well proportioned, an animal with a good coat and well balanced in other points being preferable to one excelling in some but weak in others.

       Head, including lips, ears and eyes                                16
       Neck                                                                            4
       Shoulders and body                                                      12
       Hindquarters and stifles                                                 12
       Elbows, legs and feet                                                    12
       Colour                                                                           4
       Stern and tail                                                                10
       Coat and texture                                                           18
       General conformation                                                    12
       Length head, nose to occiput                                 9 1/2 to 10
       Girth at ears                                                         20 to 21
       Muzzle below eyes                                               10 to 10 1/2
       Length of ears                                                       4 1/2 to 5
       Width between eyes                                              2 1/2 to 2 3/4
       Girth neck close to shoulder                                   20 to 22
       Girth at flank                                                         24 to 25
       Length from occiput to tail base                              34 to 35
       Girth upper thigh                                                    19 to 20
       From root to root of ear, over skull                           5 to 6
       Occiput to top shoulder blades                                9 to 9 1/2
       From elbow to elbow over the shoulders                   25 to 26

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.