History of the Standard

The formation of the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Dog Club in the last part of the 19th century helped to develop uniformity of type. James F. Pearson, Isaac T. Norris, and H. Malcom - three of its members - drew up the first standard of the breed that was formally adopted by the Club on April 17, 1890 and applied for AKC recognition. Howewer this Standard was never adopted.

The first Chesapeake registrated in the American Kennel Club was "Sunday", a male bred by O.D. Foulks and owned by G.W. Kierstead of La Porte, Indiana.

In 1935 Anthony Bliss wrote: "By 1885, a very definite type of dog had developed and this type was know far and wide for the prowess and exibited in the rough cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay. There were several differences between this dog and the present day type, the most noteworthy being the fact that the breed could be found in one color only - dark brown, shading into a sort of reddish sedge. The light deadgrass color was unknow. The head was inclined to be of a more wedge-shaped type and the coat were longer and thicker than the best that can be found today."

The leg lengh was to be "rather short, showning both bones and muscles". The text, howewer, recomanted to pay attention as the short legs were not convey the idea of a dumpy foundation.

Size was establied as 24 inches for dogs that weight was between 60 and 70 lbs., and 45 inches for females at 45 to 55 lbs.

The double coat's nature was very detailed described - much more that in any other standards revision - "Under all this is a short wooly fur, which should well cover the skin and can readily be observed by pressing aside the outer coat".

In 1935 John Hurst, George Fairbairn and Anthony Bliss jointed in a committee and began to work on the first major standard revision. The new standard was approved in 1933.

Above: "CHESS" born in the 1881, was cited as an example of the true type Chesapeake.

ACC Historic Files

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