Waterfowl hunting in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay requires a strong dog because of the choppy, chilly water. The Chessie—a popular term for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever—was created for situations like these. While this dog is known for its strength, resilience, and love of the water, its height may surprise you.
On average, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever male will stand about 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh anywhere between 60 to 80 pounds. The hindquarters are usually higher than the shoulders. Females are typically slightly smaller, at 21 to 24 inches tall and 55 to 70 pounds.
If you’re considering adding a Chessie to your family, this blog will help you understand everything about the breed—including how you should care for your pup. Read on before deciding if a Chesapeake Bay retriever fits your lifestyle.
How Tall Can Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Get?
The tallest Chessie on record was a male, who stood at an impressive 27.75 inches tall. However, this is not the norm.
Most Chessies will typically fall between 21 and 24 inches tall for females and 22 to 26 inches for males. They are also quite sturdy: Girls average 55 to 70 pounds, while boys range from 65 to 80.
The proportions of Chesapeake Bay retrievers are exquisite— a broad, rounded head.
A thick, muscular body. Wide and deep, the chest. The jaws are long and short enough to ensure a secure grip on waterfowl. The eyes of Chessies are typically yellow or amber.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s coat is another breed characteristic integral to its success as a hunting dog. The double coat consists of a dense, oily outer layer and a soft, wooly undercoat.
How Tall Are Chessies Compared To Other Retrievers?
Retriever breeds are exceptionally tall. But even among retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers stand out.
For instance, The Chesapeake Bay Retriever typically stands between 21 and 26 inches tall, compared to the Labrador Retriever’s height of 23 to 24 inches.
What’s more, Chessies are also much heavier than Labs. Male Chessies weigh 65 to 80 pounds, while females usually weigh between 55 to 70 pounds. Labs typically weigh 55 to 75 pounds for males and females.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are also taller and heavier than Golden Retrievers. Goldens typically stand 20 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 75 pounds.
Do note that there is some variation among individual dogs of the same breed. So, while the average height for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever is 21 to 26 inches, some Chessies may be taller or shorter, and some may weigh more or less.
When Do Chessies Reach Their Average Height?
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers typically reach their full adult height between 18 and 24 months old. Nevertheless, they may continue to fill out and gain muscle mass until they’re three years old.
Look at its parents to better understand how tall your Chessie will be. If they’re on the larger side, your pup will likely be, too.
As with all breeds, providing your Chessie with proper nutrition and exercise is essential to ensure it reaches its full potential height.
Are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Taller Than Your Average Dog?
The average dog stands between 12 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder, making Chessies well above average height.
Chessies are some of the tallest dogs around. However, they’re not the tallest breed. That honor goes to the Great Dane, which can stand up to 32 inches tall at the shoulder.
Do All Chessies Reach The Same Height?
As with all dog species, there is some variation in height among individual Chessies. However, the breed standard does set some guidelines.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Chessies should stand between 21 and 26 inches tall at the shoulder. Males tend to be on the taller end of the spectrum, while females are usually on the shorter end.
Some Chessies are taller or shorter than the breed standard. These dogs are sometimes called “oversized” or “undersized.” While there’s nothing wrong with being oversized or undersized, it’s important to note that these dogs may not conform to the breed standard.
Breeds That Are Taller Than Chessies
Given the diversity of breeds, it is difficult to conclude which species are taller than others. That said, some dogs stand taller than Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and have a reputation for height.
However, measurements within breeds might vary; therefore, it’s essential to establish specific guidelines when talking about taller dogs. Let’s look at some species that might be taller than the Chessie.
- The Great Dane is a large German Mastiff breed of domestic dog known for its giant size. The typical height of a male is 31 to 35 inches, whereas the average height of a female is 28 to 33 inches. Danes, however, can grow to exceptional heights; in fact, some of the tallest dogs in the Guiness World of Record (Zeus) were of this breed.
- The Scottish Deerhound is a giant hound once used for hunting in Scotland. It’s one of the tallest dog breeds, with an average height of 27-30 inches for females and 30 to 32 inches for males.
- The English Mastiff not only holds the record for being the heaviest dog but can also soar to extraordinary heights. Males can grow as tall as 37 inches at the withers and are at least 30 inches tall, while females typically stand between 27 and 30 inches.
- Spanish Mastiffs have had a commanding presence since bred Middle Ages to guard herds against wolves and other predators. Males stand 30 to 33 inches and can grow as tall as 35 inches. On the other hand, females are typically between 28 and 32 inches.
- The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large, ancient breed of dog from southern Italy. It’s one of the heaviest and largest breeds of dogs, with males reaching a height of 30 to 32 inches and females 28 to 30 inches.
Do Taller Dog Breeds Have Health Issues?
Hip dysplasia affects a lot of tall breeds. Hip dysplasia arises when the ball and socket of the joint do not fit together correctly, leading to pain, arthritis, and difficulty walking.
Other health problems affecting taller breeds include elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis (a condition in which the cartilage does not correctly develop), and bloat (a condition in which the stomach twists and can fill with gas).
While taller breeds may be more prone to these health problems, they must remember that all dogs can be affected by them. It’s always wise to turn to your veterinarian about any health concerns you might have for your dog.
Are Taller Dogs Faster Than Regular Dogs?
No scientific evidence supports the claim that taller dogs are faster than regular dogs. However, it is believed by some that taller dogs have longer legs, which gives them an advantage when running.
Note; that many of the world’s fastest dogs are tall breeds. For example, the Greyhound, the fastest breed of dog, can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
If you’re looking for a canine friend that can withstand long days spent hunting in rough waters, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a great choice. But be prepared to have a big dog around—these pups don’t come small!