A few days ago our friend Jodi over at jodistone-Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411 left a comment asking about color in my Wordless Wednesday ~ High Five post so I thought what a great idea for a post so I could explain about the coloring of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Chessies can be any shade of brown including Sedge,Ember which is a beautiful reddish brown color.







This is Ember, she belongs to my dear friends Jan & George at Deepwoods Chesapeakes.

We have eight colors listed in our breed standard you can see here. The coloring of the Chessie is designed to blend as closely to the terrain they are hunting in, here are a few examples…


Although the dog is brown she still blends into the grasses, this is Cheyenne doing some training.

This is a deadgrass dog and as you can see they still blend into the green/brown grasses.


Shades of brown all blend when the dog is in the field.


This is Dutch, as you can see she has what we call a widows peak on her head where it is darker across the top of her head. This is actually a very good color that blends into the hunting terrain with the variation of color. This is not a disqualification for showing in conformation however it is more difficult because the judges are used to seeing only solid or selfcolored dogs. Oh and by the way the girl is my niece who is my up and coming handler, she loves Dutch and vice versa as a matter of fact she tells me all the time Riva is her dog Winking smile

This is an excerpt from the Chesapeake Breed Standard

“The color of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever must be nearly that of its working surroundings as possible. Any color of brown, sedge, or deadgrass is acceptable, selfcolored Chesapeakes being preferred. One color is not to be preferred over another. A white spot on the breast, belly, toes or back of feet (immediately above the large pad) is permissible, but the smaller the spot the better, solid colored preferred. The color of the coat and its texture must be given every consideration when judging on the bench or in the ring. Honorable scars are not to be penalized.”

Cheyenne is registered as brown, Riva is light brown, Titan is light deadgrass and Maia is light brown, I debated over brown or light brown for Maia but I went with light brown because I think when she gets her adult coat she will lighten even more.

You can find more information on the American Chesapeake Club and if you would like to read a little about the breed history just click on Cheyenne and Riva’s  picture at the top of my sidebar.

You can see more beautiful Chesses’ over at 2 Brown Dawgs and Dusty Rose Chesapeakes 

13 thoughts on “Chesapeake Coloring

  1. Well that’s interesting! I had no idea that the Chessies came in so many different colors! I love reading other breeds standards, They are so different in many ways, but some things are the same, like the white spots. I do think the Newf standard needs to have the statement “one color is NOT to be preferred over the other”, 🙂
    Do you think that one color is preferred over the others in the show ring with Chessies?


    1. HI Jen I’m glad you liked reading this.
      Honestly over all I do think that brown is typically the color judges look at. It can be harder for the Sedge and Deadgrass colors but not impossible. The Michigan Chessie club has been paticipating in a Judges Training held for the past few years here for judges who are preparing to judge different sporting breeds. We bring all colors, ages, and types for these new judges to get their hands on and our breed mentors have been wonderful in their presentation and training with these judges so we can have (we hope) better overall judging on the whole dog.


  2. Hi!
    It is great to learn more about the Chessies! Did not know they come in different shades. PErhaps it is that way with most breeds for I know most people do not know Collies come in any color but Sable (like Lassie). 🙂 Each Chessie color is beautiful. Thank you for teaching us more about this fabulous breed! 🙂

    With lots of Collie Hugs,

    The Collies and Chuck 🙂


    1. I’m glad you liked the post and you are very welcome for the shout out.

      Selfcolor is one color with or without lighter or darker shadings of the same color. I meant to explain that but I had worked on the post off and on all day and when I finalized it last night totally forgot about it.


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