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How Much Does a Chesapeake Bay Retriever Cost? (2021 Price Guide)

The breed we know today as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a cross-breed that combined Bloodhounds, Newfoundlands, Irish Water Spaniels, and other hounds local to the Chesapeake Bay area. These dogs were bred specifically to be swimmers who aided hunters by retrieving ducks from the water.

This breed is frequently used by hunters as well as by families looking for a watchdog and companion. This breed does come with some potential for serious health issues, so if you’re considering bringing one home, you should be prepared for this. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect financially with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

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Bringing Home a New Chesapeake Bay Retriever: One-Time Costs

The cost of bringing home a Chesapeake Bay Retriever depends on how you plan to acquire your dog. It can be quite expensive to get a puppy from a breeder, but many rescue organizations exist to help pair the right family with adult dogs that need homes.

Chesapeake,Bay,Retriever
Image Credit: rokopix, Shutterstock

Free

You should be very careful about acquiring any pet for free. Generally, good owners will always charge a fee if they have to rehome a pet to ensure that the pet goes to a good home. Pets that are available for free may have been stolen or might be ill.

Adoption

  • $200–$300

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are not easy dogs to own. They require a lot of exercise and attention. They can also be difficult to train. Due to this, many people realize after buying one that they cannot properly care for it, and it will need to be rehomed. There are many Chesapeake Bay Retriever rescues around the country, making these dogs fairly easy to find for adoption.

Breeder

  • $500–$1,300

If you purchase a Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy from a breeder, you’ll want to make sure that a thorough health screening has been done on the parents to ensure a healthy puppy. Reputable breeders will generally offer this.

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $730–$1,445

The initial cost of bringing a Chesapeake Bay Retriever home will vary based on your location and the cost of veterinary care. It is important to note that puppy obedience is a must with these stubborn pups.

7-week old Chesapeake Bay Retriever_Kerrie T_shutterstock
Image Credit By: Kerrie T, Shutterstock

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List of Chesapeake Bay Retriever Care Supplies and Costs

License and Registration $10-$20
Spay/Neuter $100-$200
Puppy Shots $75-$100
Initial Vet Visit $100-$200
Microchip $45-$55
Teeth Cleaning $100-$300
Bed $30-$40
Nail Clipper $5-$10
Brush $8-$15
Leash and Harness $25
Puppy Obedience Classes $150-$350
Toys $30-$40
Crate $40-$75
Food and Water Bowls $15

How Much Does a Chesapeake Bay Retriever Cost Per Month?

  • $150–$375 per month

A healthy Chesapeake Bay Retriever costs significantly less each month than an unhealthy dog. Keeping your pet active and making sure their needs are met will help save you money on their care each month.

Brown Chesapeake Bay Retriever running_Zuzule_shutterstock
Image Credit By: Zuzule, Shutterstock

Health Care

  • $110–$320 per month

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are prone to some serious health conditions such as gastric torsion and hip dysplasia, as well as eye and thyroid problems. While these may not mean increased monthly health costs, they can lead to higher healthcare costs throughout the dog’s life. These dogs can also have higher premiums on pet insurance.

Food

  • $60–$100 per month

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are active dogs so they’ll need to eat about 2 to 3 cups of food each day. The actual amount your dog eats will depend on its size, age, and activity level. It’s important to note that these dogs are prone to bloat. To prevent this potentially fatal condition, you’ll need to spread your dog’s daily feeding out into at least two meals.

Grooming

  • $5–$20 per month

The cost of grooming your Chesapeake Bay Retriever will be relatively low. The good news is that this breed needs little in the way of grooming. An occasional brushing of their coat and a rare bath is all that is required to keep them clean. They will need regular tooth-brushing and nail trims as well.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $5–$100 per month

The cost of vet visits and medications can range widely. If your dog is healthy, you’ll have to pay for heartworm pills and an occasional visit to the vet. However, any health troubles will increase the frequency of visits and the overall cost.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Image Credit By: Kerrie T, Shutterstock

Pet Insurance

  • $40–$100 per month

Pet insurance can be costly, but it will save you money if your dog does need emergency or long-term veterinary care. The rate will vary depending on the age, health, and breed of your dog.

Environment Maintenance

  • $20–$25 per month

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers make great hunting companions. If you plan to hunt with your dog, you’ll need supplies for training. Even if you don’t plan to hunt with your dog, they’ll need plenty of outdoor time. Park passes for exploring and towels for swimming are good choices.

Park passes $5/month
Hunting practice supplies $15/month
Towels $5/month

Entertainment

  • $20–$30 per month

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to be happy. They enjoy games, retrieving a ball, chasing a frisbee, running, swimming, hiking, and toys that require thinking. You can also consider a subscription toy box to keep new toys coming through each month. This is a good way to save a little money and always have something different to keep your dog busy.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever in the wild
Image Credit: mtorben, Pixabay

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Total Monthly Cost of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever

  • $150–$375 per month

The amount of food they need and veterinary care are the two biggest monthly costs of owning a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Most other costs can be managed by giving them plenty of exercise. They like toys, but spending time out in nature with you will tire them out so that they are calm and quiet in your home.

Additional Costs to Factor In

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is not a good choice for a novice dog owner. They will need strict training from a young age or they will be unmanageable. Because of this, you will likely have to spend money on professional dog training. Without the proper training, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever can become possessive of their food and toys.

If you plan to go hunting with your dog, you’ll probably need to buy supplies such as a vest for the dog and other materials. The amount you’d spend on these will depend on the type of hunting you plan to do.

Having a Chesapeake Bay Retriever On a Budget

If your dog is healthy, then the Chesapeake Bay Retriever can be an affordable pet. However, there isn’t a guarantee of health with any pet. It would be wise to set aside money and invest in pet insurance just in case you need to pay for emergency veterinary care.

Outside of healthcare, you can keep your dog happy by giving it plenty of opportunities for exercise. Many parks are free or have low-cost passes and some dog parks even have swimming areas. Taking advantage of these can save you money on other more expensive activities.

Saving Money on Chesapeake Bay Retriever Care

You can save money on care by adopting a rescue dog rather than purchasing a puppy from a breeder. Low-cost veterinary clinics may be another option in your area. If you do have a puppy, many places have free opportunities for spaying and neutering.

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Conclusion

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are excellent dogs for active families with older children. They are also wonderful hunting partners for experienced dog owners. The biggest cost concerns with these dogs are the potential for increased veterinary needs and the likely need for professional training. Outside of these costs, these dogs require little grooming and love spending time outdoors.

If you can budget for potential health problems and necessary training, then a Chesapeake Bay Retriever might be the dog for you.

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Featured Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock