Are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Good With Kids?

Chesapeake Bay retrievers are known for their excellent retrieval skills while duck hunting, but how are they with kids? Adopting a new pet into your family can be daunting, especially if you have small children. While Chessies are generally good house dogs, you may wonder if they are good with children?

Chesapeake Bay retrievers are good with kids if they are correctly trained. They are more dominant than other retrievers, which may cause problems around your children. Some Chesapeake Bay retrievers can also become jealous. However, they are good guard dogs and will protect your children.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers don’t have the same submissive temperament as other retrievers. This can cause them to become dominant towards your children. However, you can teach your Chesapeake Bay retriever to listen to your kids. Let’s consider the temperament of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and how you can teach your Chessie to get along with kids.

How Are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers With Kids?

Chesapeake Bay retrievers are social and loyal dogs. However, they aren’t as friendly towards strangers as golden retrievers or Labrador retrievers. In addition, they can sometimes show aggression towards unfamiliar pets.

These factors make Chesapeake Bay retrievers better guard dogs than other retriever dogs. But it can also make you hesitant to introduce a Chessie to young children. So how do Chesapeake Bay retrievers act towards children?

For the most part, a Chesapeake Bay retriever won’t show aggression towards a child. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t be challenging when introduced to children. Chesapeake Bay retrievers are more assertive than other retrievers. As a result, you’ll often see your Chessie challenge family members determine where it falls in the pecking order.

To show the Chesapeake Bay retriever who is in charge, everyone in your household should be firm and authoritative with it – that includes your children. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a problem, especially if your children don’t know how to discipline the dog.

As such, your Chesapeake Bay retriever might cause some problems within your home. However, a Chessie can get along great with kids with proper training and strict reinforcement. Many people take their Chesapeake Bay retrievers to a professional trainer, as they find this helps to train the Chessie and teach it to obey their commands.

In addition, everyone in your family should enforce the house rules with your Chesapeake Bay retriever to prevent it from dominating one household member. If you are strict with your Chesapeake Bay Retriever, it will learn to submit to you, and you will have a great bond.

Unfortunately, another common problem with Chesapeake Bay retrievers is that they can sometimes become jealous if your children get more attention. This is a bigger concern for families with young children than families with older children or teenagers.

If your Chesapeake Bay retriever feels you are neglecting it, it might start to exhibit jealous behavior towards your children. This can cause tension and problems within your home and should be avoided at all times. Here are some signs that your Chesapeake Bay retriever is jealous of your children:

  • Barking, growling, or baring teeth towards your children.
  • Blocking your children from getting to you. They can do this by sitting or climbing on you or by standing between you and your children.
  • Leaving the space you are in when you’re paying attention to your children and not your Chessie.
  • Exhibiting bad behavior, such as peeing inside or chewing your pillows and blankets.

Suppose you notice a sudden onset of these behaviors from your Chesapeake Bay retriever. In that case, it can signify that your Chessie is jealous or upset. If the jealousy is directed towards your children, you must discipline it immediately to prevent an incident from occurring.

You can do various things to train your Chesapeake Bay retriever to behave around children, even if you don’t have any kids.

Training A Chesapeake Bay Retriever To Be Good With Kids

Although you cannot guarantee how your Chesapeake Bay retriever will react around kids, you can train it to be adaptable and accept children when it sees them. Here are some ways to train a Chesapeake Bay retriever to be good with kids.

1. Train Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever To Be Obedient

Training your Chessie to be obedient and well-mannered will help immensely when you introduce it to children. For example, if your Chesapeake Bay retriever follows your commands, you can quickly tell it to stay or sit when there are children in the area. In addition, teach your Chessie not to jump up against people, as this can be dangerous around children.

2. Don’t Force Your Chessie To Socialize With Kids

Regardless of how well your Chesapeake Bay retriever is trained, you cannot predict how it will react around children for the first time. If you notice your Chessie is acting anxious or annoyed by the children, move it to another room. Don’t force your Chesapeake Bay retriever to interact with kids if it isn’t comfortable doing so.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement When Your Chessie Is Around Kids

If you behave calmly and positively around kids, your Chessie will likely sense that the children aren’t a threat, and it will relax. Then, reward your Chesapeake Bay retriever every time it does something great. For example, if it plays gently with the children, you can give it a rub and praise it.

4. Establish Ground Rules For The Kids And Chessie

This is crucial as failing to establish ground rules can lead to destructive behavior and chaos. Ground rules include not allowing your Chesapeake Bay retriever to lick your children in the face and not letting them eat out of each other’s food bowls. Tell your child and Chessie what behavior is unacceptable so they know the ground rules.

5. Always Supervise Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever Around Children

It doesn’t matter how well your child and Chesapeake Bay retriever get along; never leave them to play unsupervised. An accident can easily happen at any time, and a Chessie can unintentionally harm a child or the other way around. Therefore, always supervise your child and Chesapeake Bay retriever when they are playing.

Should You Adopt A Chesapeake Bay Retriever If You Have Kids?

Suppose you have a social household that likes spending time outdoors, and your children know how to treat a dog well. In that case, you can absolutely adopt a Chesapeake Bay retriever. A Chessie will form a close bond with your kids and will be protective of them.

If your train your Chesapeake Bay retriever correctly from the time it is a puppy, you shouldn’t have any troubles between your dog and children. However, keep an eye on them and ensure they don’t get jealous of each other or play too rough.

Chesapeake Bay retrievers can learn to get along with smaller kids. Still, they generally do better in a household with older kids that aren’t as energetic and attention-seeking. However, if you intend to train your Chessie right, there shouldn’t be a problem regardless of how old your kids are.


Chesapeake Bay retrievers are good with kids if they are trained correctly. Ensure you are strict with your Chessie, so it doesn’t try to dominate your children. In addition, look out for signs that your Chessie feels jealous of your children.

With proper training, supervision, and positive reinforcement, your Chesapeake Bay retriever should have no problem adapting and bonding with your children. When it does, it will be protective and considerate of them.

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