Why do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers stink?

by Matt Bostic

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Why do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers stink

My cousin has a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and he stinks often.  I am not sure why this is, but I want to know more.

When I had some free time today, I hunted around on the internet and did some research. Here is what I found out.

Why do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers stink?

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers stink for various reasons that are characteristic to dogs as a whole, like infection, overgrowth of yeast, rolling around in filth, and getting extra dirty, or not being bathed and groomed regularly.  Chesapeake Bay Retrievers most often will stink because they have a very dense, waterproof fur coat that is oily and slick which fits right in with what they were bred to do, hunt and retrieve.  This fur coat can cause the dog to smell sometimes, especially if they are not bathed regularly because this type of fur is dense and a breeding ground for trapping filth and debris. 

This dirt, grime, and debris that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever may accumulate from anywhere can get trapped in the slick and dense fur, and there it stays.  This breed’s fur can also be a perfect breeding ground for the overgrowth of yeast and every bacteria, which can cause skin or other infections.  The Chesapeake Bay Retrievers fur is also long, which provides a lot of territory for bacteria and debris to cover. 

If these dogs spend a good deal of time in dirty, murky waters, which they will adore, by the way, and are exercising a lot, like us, they will tend to stink afterward.   The oil and filth can build up over time if they are not groomed and bathed correctly.  When the Chesapeake Bay Retriever begins to stink, or hopefully before this becomes an issue, having good bathing habits can keep this issue in check and keep their coat of fur and skin healthy. 

While it is natural for them to have this type of oily fur coat, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be cleaned and groomed.  Cleaning and grooming enhance their overall health and keeps them feeling good.   Since this dog breed loves the water, many pet parents may think they don’t need a bath, but bathwater is different than lakes, rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water.   Whatever the reason for the stink, it is easily manageable with a good old-fashioned bath.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are a sporting class dog, according to the American Kennel Club.  In this class, you will find other Retrievers and dogs designed to work and be physically active in all manner of sport.

They are athletic, hard-working, energetic, and enjoy being active.  Most dogs of this sporting category will enjoy spending time outdoors since this is where activity, work, and active play can be found.  When they spend time outdoors, it can increase this, or any breeds need for a bath and grooming so they don’t stink.

Some dogs and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever being one such breed, can sometimes stink more than others.  This can happen for various reasons, but in the case of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, it is most often related to their coat of fur.

All Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have a fur coat that this thick, dense, long, and waterproof.  Their coat of fur is oily, which is what makes it water-resistant.  This is an asset to their success as Retrievers while hunting and retrieving with their human companions outdoors.

Chessies, as they are often called, love water like other Retrievers, and they can withstand colder temperatures of water due to their water-resistant, oily coat.  This has made them expert at what they do.

While this can be an asset during hunting or outdoor play, at other times, it can make them smell stinky.   This is related to the fur trapping moisture, dirt and filth, and other stinky stuff while they are outdoors.  The smell of murky waters can also cling to their fur.  When all this is combined with natural doggie smell that can happen to any healthy dog, it can cause this breed to stink even more.

Like us humans, when any dog, but especially dogs with oily fur coats, exercise a lot, they can build up excess amounts of oils and other filth to add to the aroma and make them less than clean.  Thankfully, good grooming habits come to the rescue to manage and bring this issue under control.

Many pet parents may think that they are already getting a bath because their dog loves the water.  This idea couldn’t be further from the truth.  The waters that most dogs including Chessies will find themselves visiting are not bathwater.

These bodies of water are often lakes, ponds, and rivers, where dirt, debris, and filth are known to lurk.  Them romping through these waters may be great fun but can never be considered clean water for them to stink less and get a healthy fur coat and skin from.

How often should I bathe a Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

How often you should bathe your Chesapeake Bay Retriever will not be a simple answer.   The short answer will be, on average, every two to three months.   This time frame, however, is based on the dog’s behavior.

If you find that your dog is not romping around in murky waters or they don’t spend a great deal of time outdoors doing doggie things, then this would be a perfectly normal time frame for a bath session.

This, however, is highly unlikely due to their love of the outdoors and water.  When this breed spends a lot of time outdoors playing and exercising in water, they will likely need a bath more often.  How often depends on, how often they are getting dirty and romping through the filth.

Like other dogs, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever should not be bathed too often, as this can cause them to have dry skin.  It can be a delicate balance of bathing for more often during certain months and fewer during others based on their activity level and what they are doing.

Bathing will also increase during this breed’s shedding seasons which is Spring and Fall.  During these seasons their coat of fur will change with the weather and shed more.

Why do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers stink

How much any dog should be bathed varies, but dogs should not be bathed more than once a week as this can lead to dry skin and other issues for all dogs as it strips away the natural oils from their skin which is not good either.  An increase in the amount of bathing sessions should only happen when Chessie spends a lot of time outdoors being active.

What can I do to reduce the stink of my Chesapeake Bay Retriever besides bathing?

What you can do to reduce the stink of your Chesapeake Bay Retriever besides bathing is brushing.  A regular brushing habit can be beneficial to minimize stink and remove unhealthy dirt and smell from their fur coat.

Regular brushing can remove dirt while distributing the natural oils that their fur coat has evenly and reducing the chance for yeast, infections, and other skin issues.  Brushing regularly can also reduce the need for more frequent bathing when routinely performed.

Brushing enhances the health and shininess of the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers fur coat while providing the pet parent with a chance to examine their fur coat and skin for underlying issues.  This grooming need not be a lengthy process despite the thickness of their fur coat if done daily.

Performing a regular brushing session at the end of the day when the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is ready to head indoors for the night can be an excellent place to start.  Penciling this activity into the pet parents’ schedule or routine can ensure that it gets done every day to reduce stink and extra baths while creating good health.

These brushing sessions also offer time for the pet parent and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever to bond or reconnect after a long day of work or play outdoors.  This is something that is beneficial for everyone involved.

Using the right tools while bathing or brushing is essential to make the process easier and smoother.   Using a brush that is designed for a dog with medium to long and dense fur is necessary as other tools may not be able to penetrate this type of fur coat.

When done regularly, brushing can reduce the need for bathing and the potential for dry skin that extra bathing can cause a dog to suffer.

Closing Points

Everyone stinks at one time or another.  Usually, this is due to poor grooming habits or recent exercise and activity.  This is typically the case for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever who enjoys romping about when out of doors and spending time in the water.

Whatever the reason for their stink, it is easily manageable and treatable with healthy grooming habits.  When done routinely, they can be smelling fresh and clean just like the rest of us!

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