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In 1807, two Newfoundland puppies named Sailor and Canton were rescued from a shipwrecked British vessel off the coast of Maryland. Admired for their tremendous retrieving ability, the Newfie dogs were bred with local dogs, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog breed was born. Developed along the Chesapeake Bay to hunt waterfowl, the courageous Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog excelled under the most adverse weather and water conditions, often having to break ice to retrieve up to 200 ducks a day (hence its nickname, the Chesapeake Bay Duck Dog). U.S. cavalry officer George Armstrong Custer was known to bring Chesapeake Bay Retrievers into battle with him in both the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. President Theodore Roosevelt was also a fan, counting one of the descendants from General Custer’s Chessie dogs as his own.

Today, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is known as the state dog of Maryland, as well as the mascot for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is also an affectionate family-oriented dog, although more strongly tempered and standoffish than the other retriever breeds. All in all, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog is a peerless hunting buddy with a loving, protective nature!