Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are intelligent, hard working, and alert. Their calm nature combined with their athletic tendencies and stamina well suit the breed for its original use as a hunting dog as well as service dogs in law enforcement with bomb and drug detection, search and rescue, and disability assistance. Their endurance stemming from the Chesapeake Bay Retriever's hunting origins requires physical and mental stimulation in the family environment. Dog sports such as tracking, hunting, field trials, agility, pulling sleds or carts, and obedience as sport can provide this stimulation while strengthening the dog's bonds with its family. Retrieving items such as tennis balls and floating toys can also meet these needs while taking advantage of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever's excellent swimming ability.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is one of the few breeds whose origins began in the United States. The breed descended from two Newfoundland dogs from England. The dogs were survivors of a shipwreck that occurred on the shore of Maryland. Over time, the two surviving dogs began to breed with the local retrieving and hunting dogs, including the Irish Water Spaniel, the Coonhound, the Flat-Coated Retriever and the Curly-Coated Retriever. The resulting breed was used for hunting in the Chesapeake Bay and did so well they were eventually given the name "Chesapeake Bay Retriever". The breed standard was established in 1885 and in 1933 the American Kennel Club gave the Chesapeake Bay Retriever official recognition.