Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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Combining the water-loving, athletic Chesapeake Bay Retriever with the noble and energetic Weimaraner has resulted in the production of the Weimapeake – a strikingly attractive, sporty hybrid dog. There’s nothing this cross-breed loves more than being outside in nature and they require a great deal of exercise. Ideally, owners should keep them on their toes by providing them with a variety of activities to keep them occupied, such as swimming, hiking and scenting games.

There is no doubt that some of the most attractive qualities of the Weimapeake are their lithe, lean body and handsome, symmetrical face. Many resemble their Weimaraner parent the most but are not always grey or blue and can have brown, red or tan fur. Most will not inherit the thicker, curlier coat of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, meaning grooming requirements are minimal.

About & History

Not an awful lot is known about the past of the Weimapeake and where the first litter was bred is currently undetermined. However, breeding together the Weimaraner and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever seems an obvious match as they have similar and complementary looks and characteristics.

The Weimaraner

The Weimaraner is a good-looking hunting dog with a well-developed prey drive. Their oldest known ancestor is most likely to have been the now extinct Chien Gris, a large dog that existed during Medieval times.

The Weimaraner we know and love today was developed towards the end of the 18th century, and breeds, such as the Great Dane and English Pointer are thought to have contributed their genetics.

Their original purpose was to hunt larger prey that smaller hunting dogs would not have been able to keep up with, such as bear and deer. However, with many of the wildlife’s’ local habitat being lost to construction and industry, these larger prey animals became more scarce and the Weimaraner was ‘repurposed’ to track and pursue smaller, more common prey.

Though a common sight in central Europe during the early 20th century, it wasn’t until the 1930s that these dogs were first bred in the States and they were first seen within the UK in 1950. Now recognised within the Kennel Club’s Gundog Group, this dog is still used today as a hunter, as well as a companion and show dog.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are not a particularly well-known breed and they descend from the Labrador Retriever and the Newfoundland.

As with the Weimaraner, they are also a gundog and they were first developed in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland and Virginia in the United States. Natural retrievers who are true water babies, these dogs are a real favourite of many hunters, particularly those who hunt water fowl. Anecdotally, these dogs have a phenomenal sense of smell and are happy to work in all weathers.


Most would agree that the Weimapeake most closely resembles the Weimaraner, with the exception that their coat is often brown. They have a broad and relatively flat forehead, widely spaced eyes and a long and boxy muzzle. Their ears hang down and ‘cup’ their face as they fold gently inwards. Their chest is deep and wide and they have a rectangular shaped body supported by well-muscled limbs. They have cat like feet, which are springy and agile. Their tail is long and slim, tapering to a point.

Weimapeakes are a large breed that grow from 56cm to 64cm and will weigh in the region of 30kg to 36kg. The coat of the Weimapeake is straight and short, rarely exhibiting the waves or curls of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Fur will be a single, solid colour and may be brown, grey, blue or red.

Character & Temperament

The Weimapeake is predominantly a working dog who relishes the opportunity to scent and retrieve. While they can settle in well to family life, they do require a good deal of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them calm when indoors and to prevent unwanted behaviours, such as constant barking or furniture chewing. Ideally, they would go to a home where they have plenty of fenced in outdoor space and where they will be exercised vigorously.

The Weimapeake will be gentle and affectionate with their own family but may be a little wary of new people. Owners can overcome this innate shyness by socialising them well during the first few months of their life. This should mean lots of positive interactions with people of all ages and sizes.

Most Weimapeakes can get on well with other dogs but should not generally be trusted with smaller animals, such as cats and rabbits. They have maintained a strong prey drive and will naturally want to chase small animals when given the opportunity.


These dogs can be challenging at times and do require firm and consistent training from their family. They like to test boundaries and dislike being ‘told’ what to do so owners should try to make training sessions fun and rewarding, as well as mentally stimulating. As the Weimapeake does like to please its owner, with the right techniques, we can achieve great results.


The Weimapeake does suffer from a number of known health afflictions and will usually live for about 10 to 12 years.


An underactive thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, resulting in a slow metabolism and a number of other health issues, such as chronic skin infections. Blood tests will usually reveal low thyroid hormone levels as well as elevated cholesterol.

Hip Dysplasia

It tends to be the larger breeds that suffer with hip dysplasia. Unlike many other orthopaedic conditions, this one is easily detected on X-ray. X-rays should be taken once the dog is aged one or older and should be examined by an experienced vet in order to designate a ‘hip score’. Hip scores are a marker of how badly a dog is affected with hip dysplasia and should be taken into account when breeding.


While many studies have been run in an attempt at figuring out why some dogs develop bloat and others don’t, we are still not quite sure why it happens. Certainly, those with deeper and wider chests seem to be the most affected. An affected dog will have a visibly enlarged abdomen and will be in obvious discomfort. They should be brought to the vet immediately.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The Weimapeake is a dog that was built to move. Not only are they wonderful swimmers, they can also run at high speeds and keep up on hikes that last for hours. Inactive or lazy owners need not apply!

Anecdotally, these dogs are masters of escaping fenced in gardens so owners must check that their back gardens are secured well to avoid drama. They are not suited to apartment life.


The coat of the Weimapeake requires twice weekly brushing and will shed quite a lot during warmer weather. While their fur is relatively low maintenance, their ears do need a lot of attention and should be cleaned out on a regular basis to prevent ear infections from setting in. After a swim, owners should be sure to dry out each ear canal thoroughly with dry cotton wool.

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