Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Buck
Published: April 8, 2022
© Lunja/Shutterstock.com
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Did you know that there are two distinct retriever dogs known as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever? Both of these hunting dogs are unique and different, but in what ways are they similar, and in what ways can you learn how to tell them apart? Thankfully, that’s what this article will endeavor to illustrate.

We will discuss the physical differences between these two distinct dog breeds so that you can learn how to tell them apart upon first glance. We will also address their ancestry and behavioral differences, as well as their individual average lifespans. Let’s get started and learn all about retrievers now!

Comparing Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever
When it comes to their sizes, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is larger than the Golden Retriever, in both height and weight.

©A-Z-Animals.com

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever Golden Retriever
Size55-80 pounds; 21-26 inches tall55-75 pounds; 20-24 inches tall
AppearanceWavy and oily textured waterproof coat; only comes in shades of brown and tanShiny and long silky coat in a yellow red, or white shade; floppy ears and luxurious fur
AncestryBred in the United States for gun and hunting dog activities in frigid watersBred in Scotland for gun and hunting dog activities such as waterfowl retrieval 
BehaviorAlert and focused; polite to strangers though not warm and can be stubbornIncredibly friendly and playful; needs an abundance of exercise and sheds frequently
Lifespan10-13 years9-12 years

Key Differences Between Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever has a long and golden coat, while Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have short and wavy coats.

©iagodina / freepik – License

There are many key differences between the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the Golden Retriever. When it comes to their sizes, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is larger than the Golden Retriever, in both height and weight. The Golden Retriever has a long and golden coat, while Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have short and wavy coats. Finally, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers live slightly longer on average compared to Golden Retrievers.

Let’s discuss all of these differences in more detail now!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Size

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers live slightly longer on average compared to Golden Retrievers.

©Kerrie T/Shutterstock.com

You may not be able to tell this difference right away, but the average Chesapeake Bay Retriever is slightly larger than the average Golden Retriever. However, their weights and heights overlap significantly, so you may not notice this difference depending on the age and gender of the two individual dogs that you are comparing.

For example, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever measures 21-26 inches tall, while the Golden Retriever measures 20-24 inches tall on average. Additionally, the Golden Retriever only weighs 55-75 pounds, while the Chesapeake Bay Retriever weighs 55-80 pounds on average. Males typically outweigh females for both breeds, though there are always exceptions to every rule!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Appearance

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever has a long and silky coat, while the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a short and wavy waterproof coat that is oily to the touch.

©iStock.com/Prystai

You can easily tell the difference between a Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs a Golden Retriever. For example, the Golden Retriever has a long and silky coat, while the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a short and wavy waterproof coat that is oily to the touch. You can only get Golden Retrievers in a yellow or white color, and you can only get Chesapeake Bay Retrievers in shades of brown.

Additionally, the body shape and the face of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is larger and more big-boned compared to the graceful and slender body of the Golden Retriever. Comparing these two breeds side by side, it is difficult to see their relation, given how powerful the Chesapeake Bay Retriever looks compared to the Golden Retriever!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Ancestry and Breeding

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever was originally bred as a European or Scottish hunting dog, while the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was bred in the United States.

©Kerrie T/Shutterstock.com

Both of these dog breeds were originally bred for hunting, gun sports, and retrieving game, particularly waterfowl. However, there are some location differences between the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the Golden Retriever. Let’s discuss those differences in more detail now.

The Golden Retriever was originally bred as a European or Scottish hunting dog, while the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was bred in the United States. In case you hadn’t already guessed, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was created in the Chesapeake Bay area. The local residents wanted a hunting dog that could brave the frigid waters of the Bay, and they got what they wanted!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Behavior

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever
Overall, the Golden Retriever is much easier to train compared to the more stubborn and willful Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

©iStock.com/Tatyana Consaul

There are some surprising behavioral differences between the Golden Retriever and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Overall, the Golden Retriever is much easier to train compared to the more stubborn and willful Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Additionally, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever marches to the beat of its own drum far more than the obedient Golden Retriever. 

This is why many experts recommend starting with a Golden Retriever rather than a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, particularly if you want to hunt with either dog. This isn’t to say that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever isn’t trainable- it just enjoys doing its own thing. The Golden Retriever wants to please its owners, making it an ideal family dog and a good dog for meeting strangers. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is more wary of strangers compared to the Golden.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever: Lifespan

Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever lives an average of 9-12 years, while the Chesapeake Bay Retriever lives an average of 10-13 years.

©Kerrie T/Shutterstock.com

A final difference between the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the Golden Retriever is their lifespan. The average Chesapeake Bay Retriever lives longer than the Golden Retriever. But by how much? Let’s take a closer look at some of these figures now.

The Golden Retriever lives an average of 9-12 years, while the Chesapeake Bay Retriever lives an average of 10-13 years. However, it all depends on the individual dog and the level of care that it receives. Given that both of these dogs are fairly large, they have more health issues than smaller dogs.

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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