In addition to being active, smart, and loyal, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers boast one of the most beautiful coats that tempt many people into adopting one.
If you’re considering adopting a Chessie or already own one, you should know everything about the unique coat of this large-sized breed, including its nature, length, color, shedding frequency, grooming and shaving methods, and much more!
What Type of Hair Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Have?
Chessies boast thick undercoats that start at the skin, which is more than enough to protect their skin from coming in contact with the ice-cold water. Then, there’s a short, harsh coat layered on top of these undercoats.
This double coat is similar to that found on a duck’s feathers, which works on retaining the natural oils.
The coat of this breed feels slightly greasy when touched. So don’t be surprised when you find your Chessie barely damp when it shakes after coming out of the water, as their incredible coats are specially designed not to hold water.
What about the Color?
Chessie is a hunter by nature, featuring a thick coat of different brown shades that blend in with the surroundings when hunting.
Not all Chessies have the exact same shade of brown. For example, some of them feature a dark chocolate color that matches the mud banks of the river or bay. Others have a light-yellow color that blends perfectly in the autumn with dead wheat stalks and grasses.
You can also see some Chessies with milk chocolate coats that match the grass growing along the banks. Also, they have sedge-colored coats that blend in with the environment when the sedge grasses along the Chesapeake Bay turn vivid red in the fall.
In the end, all Chessies are beautiful, no matter what their color is!
Is It Possible to Shave Your Chessie?
The fascinating, thick coats are what make Chessies stand out among other dog breeds.
A Chessie’s double coat has multiple purposes and shouldn’t be shaved. As we already mentioned, this miraculous, waterproof coat serves as a protective layer from both the sun and water. So you really don’t want to deprive your pooch of its precious coat.
Your dog will always need its coat whether you live in a cold or hot area since they need to be able to cool down or warm up as needed. Chessies who are completely shaved lose the capacity to control their body temperatures, leaving them more prone to many health issues.
But They Shed Too Much!
In terms of how much hair they shed, Chessies are pretty much comparable to other breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labradors.
We understand that Chessies shed a lot. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers actually shed more than many other breeds, which can drive their owners insane sometimes. However, this doesn’t give you the right to shave your poor Chessie!
If you think that your Chessie is shedding more than normal, this could be the result of stress, poor diet, fleas, flea-related allergies, or another type of health problem. So you may want to schedule an appointment with your vet to help you detect the real cause of your Chessie’s frequent shedding.
Other than that, if you own a Chessie, you already know that cleaning up their hair that always floats around your house is a full-time job. But you know what? That’s ok— it’s a natural part of owning them and it indicates that your furry friend is in good health. We’ll always love our heavy shedders Chessies and will never shave their coats!
- Pro tip: Regular brushing can improve the problem of too much shedding.
What Happens When You Shave Your Chessie?
If you shave your Chessie on a regular basis, you’ll notice that its coat doesn’t look the same as it used to.
Chessies usually don’t regrow strong coats after frequent shaving, leaving them with a weaker coat that negatively affects their ability to swim and makes them more prone to sun damage.
Can I at Least Give My Chessie A Haircut?
Sure! There are times when Chessies need to get their hair cut. Dogs can get sunburns and skin cancer just like humans do. So, it’s crucial to maintain your pooch’s fur at the right length to prevent the skin underneath it from getting burnt.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) advises against cutting your Chessie’s hair any shorter than 1” or keeping it longer than 1.5”.
The double coat of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever lessens the risk of sunburn, guards against heat strokes, aids with temperature control, and works as a waterproof layer when swimming in freezing water.
How Can I Cut My Chessie’s Hair?
Your Chessie’s hair may eventually get too long and need to be trimmed or shaved.
Although it’s better to go to a specialist, you don’t need to do that if you want to give them a haircut yourself.
If you intend to trim your pup’s hair, we highly recommend that you do so before giving it a bath.
First, longer hair clumps can be removed using scissors, and the coat should be kept at the same length. If you’re confident in your abilities, you can go ahead and use a hair clipper.
Again, seeking the help of a professional is the best, safest option to give your big boy a new haircut!
How Can I Groom My Chessie’s Coat?
Because Chessies are heavy shedders, they require brushing their protective coats using a rubber curry brush on a weekly basis, which will help in distributing natural oils on their skin, removing dead hair, and preventing their hairs from landing on your furniture and clothes.
You don’t want to use a coat rack or wire slicker brush as these tools may cause the beautiful hair of your pooch to lose its kink and wave.
The need for grooming may change depending on the season. Chessies typically require more grooming than usual during the fall and spring shedding seasons.
Typically, the Chesapeake’s shedding cycle will determine how often to bathe them. Bathing them with warm water once or twice during the shedding season will aid in releasing dead hair, leaving more room for new, fresh coat to grow in.
That’s it – this is everything you need to know about the hair of your hearty Chessie! Remember, Chessie is a high-maintenance dog with a heavy coat that requires special attention.
While taking care of their coat and hair may be a hassle, seeing your loyal, furry friend happy and healthy is the best thing in life.