Owning a Chesador

February 16, 2019

The Chesador is a mixed breed dog, the result of crossing a Chesapeake Bay Retriever with a Labrador. Though these types of “designer dogs” have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, they are not purebred dogs and are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. They are, however, recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry.

About the Breed

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are often mistaken for chocolate Labs. In fact, although the dogs share a common ancestor, the Newfoundland, they are very different breeds. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers tend to be reserved, independent and sometimes stubborn, whereas Labs are known for their friendliness and eager-to-please attitude. A Chesador puppy may display characteristics of either parent breed, and often exhibits a combination of these personality traits.

Physical Traits

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, or Chessies, come in shades of brown, ranging from “dead grass” to chocolate, to match their working environment. Labs are black, yellow or chocolate, with black being the most common shade and chocolate being the least common. Chesador puppies may come in any of these colors, and a litter of Chesadors can contain a variety of coat colors.

Many Chesadors display the distinctive wavy coat of the Chessie. Chessies and Labs are similar in size, so most Chesadors weigh around 60 to 75 pounds when fully grown.


Because both parent breeds are energetic, active dogs, all Chesadors require a significant amount of daily exercise. Walking or running helps expend some of their energy, and these dogs love retrieving games like chasing tennis balls, discs or training dummy sticks. Most Chesadors also love to swim and take to the water with great enthusiasm.


Chesadors have low-maintenance coats, requiring little to no trimming. These dogs should only be bathed every three to five weeks, as over-bathing strips the natural oils of the coat and causes dry skin. However, frequent brushing helps keep the coat in good condition by evenly distributing the oils. Their ears should be cleaned and checked regularly, as Labs are prone to ear infections and wax buildup.

Health Concerns

Like many larger dog breeds, both parent breeds are prone to hip dysplasia. This painful condition is usually detectable by x-ray at around three years of age. A diet containing the joint support supplements glucosamine and chondroitin may help minimize the effects of dysplasia and arthritis. Chessies are prone to degenerative eye problems in their elder years, so this is a potential problem for Chesadors as well. Regular wellness checkups and preventative maintenance will improve any dog’s quality of life.

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