About Chesapeake Bay Retrievers - the dog and breed by Wingmaster Kennel
The most widely accepted theory on the origin of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is based on an account written by George Law whereby he tells a story of saving two Newfoundland pups and the crew from a
sinking British brigg off the Maryland coast in 1807. The male pup was given to Mr. John Mercer which
he named Sailor and then was passed on to Governor Lloyd. The female pup was named Canton,the name of the vessel which George Law was on and rescued the pups. Canton was given to Dr. James Stewart of Sparrows Point,Maryland. Sailor and Canton were bred with various canines that water fowlers were already using for retrieving. As the years went by the dogs’ descendants were bred with water spaniels, hounds and possibly other Newfoundland dogs to create the breed we know today as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in the late 1800’s,creating the first sporting breed that originated in The United States of America.
Local legend puts a different twist on the theory of the origin of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Stories have been passed down through generations of shoremen that once lived on the Barrier Islands located off the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. The legend goes that the pups survived a ship wreck, were adopted and raised by a family of otter and eventually mated with them. This theory would explain the Chesapeake’s oily coat, protective nature, fearlessness of rough seas and ice, and those webbed feet!