German Coolie vs Chesapeake Bay Retriever - Breed Comparison

German Coolie is originated from Australia but Chesapeake Bay Retriever is originated from United States. German Coolie may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Chesapeake Bay Retriever. German Coolie may weigh 21 kg / 46 pounds lesser than Chesapeake Bay Retriever. German Coolie may live 5 years more than Chesapeake Bay Retriever. German Coolie may have less litter size than Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Both German Coolie and Chesapeake Bay Retriever requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Sporting dog
United States
Height Male:
40 - 60 cm
15 - 24 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
38 - 58 cm
14 - 23 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
15 - 24 kg
33 - 53 pounds
30 - 45 kg
66 - 100 pounds
Weight Female:
13 - 22 kg
28 - 49 pounds
30 - 45 kg
66 - 100 pounds
Life Span:
16 - 18 Years
10 - 13 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 6
4 - 10
Medium dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Australian Koolie - German Koolie - Coulie - German Collie
Chessie, CBR
Colors Available:
Black, Red, merle
reddish yellow, Brown, chestnut shades
smooth and comes in short or medium lengths
Short and dense
Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Social
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


The German Coolie is misnamed as it is an Australian bred dog and often called the Australian Koolie or Coolie. This Australian breed is more often just called a Coolie. The breed is a typical herding breed and a working dog that needs a job all the time. They have been a favorite of Australians since the late 1800’s when local dogs were bred with British working dogs.

Although all Coolie’s are not the same. Within the breed there is a lot of variation. This is because the Coolie was bred individually for different regions in Australia. In a very different writing the Koolie Club of Australia does not define the Coolie breed on confirmation as all other purebred dogs are defined. Instead the Coolie is defined by ability to work. In light of this most Coolie breeders state that the Coolie is a breed and the variations you see among regions are types within the breed.

As a herding dog, the Coolie brought a lot of skill to the Australian farmers and sheep herders. The Coolie will round up the sheep and bring them back to their enclosure at the shepherd’s command. They are upright, silent, working dogs. Not only do they herd sheep they are important at sheering to “cut out” the sheep or assist in the close quarters of lambing.

In Queensland North and New South Wales, the Coolie is medium boned, tall and agile ready to herd cattle over a long stretch of miles. In the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales and the Hunter Valley Region, the Coolie is shorter and thicker in order to be able to get cattle that are lying low out from the gullies and dense bush. The Coolies found in Victoria are the smallest of all.

No matter where they live and work, the Coolie is bred to help the workers there, the farmers, the stockman, and the grazier. All Coolies are adaptable and very agile. They all have a strong willfulness to accomplish what they are asked to do. The ancestors of these various Coolie was the British Collie – a smooth coated, blue merle. This Collie was crossed with the Black and Tan Collie from the Scottish Highlands. It is believed that these are the same Collie breeds that came to Australia to create the Heeler.

The name may come from the German immigrants working in South Australia and unable to pronounce Collie incorrectly they called the dogs German Coolies. There is also a fraction of German breeders who believe that the German Tiger dog was brought to Australia in the 18th century and then when the Collies came they were bred together. Many Coolie breeders have records showing that the breed has been in Australia for at least 160 years. It is also believed that the Border Collie and Kelpie (Blue Heeler) were mixed into the breed at sometime as well.

No bench standard exists for the German Coolie even though there is the Koolie Club of Australia. The mission of the club is to protect, preserve and promote the breed. The Australian Sporting Register was recognizing the Coolies in 2004. They are eligible to participate in the Australian National Kennel Council sanctioned sporting trials. They participate in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria through the individual states sporting register. Here they participate in herding, jumping, obedience, agility and tracking.

Several other recognitions as a herding breed soon followed. The Australian Shepherd Club of America, the American Herding Breed Association, were followed by recognition from others as well. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Fondly referred to as the Chessie, the ‘Labrador-look-alike’ Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s history extends to St. Johns Newfoundland pups which were rescued off a ship off the coast of Maryland in 1807. The Chesapeake is an American breed.

It is believed that the Newfoundland puppies as they grew, were bred with area dogs, with there being few records of the early dogs, but it is believed that spaniels and dogs were included.

In 1918 the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was recognized by the American Kennel Club and in 1964 the dog was declared the official dog of Maryland.


With their strong ancestry among the family of collies and herders, the German Coolie shares the look of collies and shepherds. Even though they differ from region to region and there is no actual standard, they are medium sized dogs with blue or brown eyes or even one of each. The ears are folded over on top when relaxed but they are rigid and straight when he is more alert. The nose is either chocolate or red depending on the color of their coat.

They can have either a long, medium or short coat but most owners want the short coat that is smooth as well. The coat can be one color – red/chocolate or black; Bi – red/white or black/white; Tri – solid black or red with white and brown; Tri merle -merle with white and brown; Merle – red merles and blue merles. Regardless of color, the German Coolie has the look of a collie or German Shepherd.

The Chesapeake is a large dog belonging to the Sporting breed group. Perhaps one of the more distinctive features of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the yellowish eyes.

This is a strong, well muscled dog that stands anywhere from 61 – 66cm and weighs between 30 – 45kg. The short, thick coat of the dog is waterproof and comes in colors ranging from brown to reddish yellow to chestnut shades.

The head of the Chesapeake is broad and roundish with medium length floppy ears. The tail is long. The toes are webbed which helps makes the dog an excellent swimmer as well.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a happy kind of dog with a bright, alert, intelligent expression. He loves water and is guaranteed to make a wonderful pet for any family.

With his wonderful characteristics, it is worth training him and socializing him as this training sets parameters for him so that he becomes a wonderfully obedient dog that gets on well with other pets in the home as well as with children.

Health Problems

This is a relatively healthy breed without many genetic disorders found in purebreds due to the 160 years they have spent fairly isolated and allowing natural selection to take its course.


In Merle dogs there can be deafness and/or blindness. If you breed a solid to a merle you can eliminate that.

Joint Issues

These are not inherited but rather acquired due to the immense amount of jumping and running.

  1. Allergies
  2. Minor skin allergies are possible in some.
  3. Seizures

Rare but it does occur and can be fatal if not treated

By taking good care of your Chesapeake, you can ensure his teeth remain strong, his nose is wet and his coat glossy and healthy. He is a robust breed as it is, but there are always some common dog diseases to watch out for -


Obesity is an ailment that is afflicting many humans and their pets. Being overweight can bring on a host of unwanted diseases. Obesity is a serious disease that can contribute to digestive disorders, back pain, heart disease and joint problems.

Instead of showering him with little treats to show him how much you love him, rather stroke him or play a game with him – it’s the ultimate treat for him – your attention.

Spay or Neuter:

Remember that if you aren’t going to let your Chessie become a parent, the best thing you can do for your male or female is to have them spayed or neutered. In fact, spaying or neutering can decrease the likelihood of your pet getting certain types of cancers as well as other illnesses. Speak to your vet and discover how these procedures can be very beneficial for your pet.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

Break meals into 3 a day feeding a high quality dry puppy food designed for dogs of his size. 11/2 to 2 cups per day.

Feeding the adult

Break meals into 2 a day feeding a high quality dry adult food designed for dogs of his size.

Points for Good Health

Traditionally good health. Great energy, intensity and devotion to work and owner.

Games and Exercises

This is an energetic dog that loves to work and needs to work. Regular routine exercise is needed daily. He needs to be stimulated mentally and physically. Find him a job. Make sure he knows what you want him to do. They work well with a human partner in games such as agility, tracking, flyball and herding. They need a large yard and a lot of play time. They are not couch potatoes and would be unhappy if they were stuck in a house or apartment


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever sheds fairly heavily throughout the year. The coat should be brushed at least twice a week to remove dead hair. Brushing is good for the dog too as it distributes the oils of the skin, making his coat shinier.

Because the Chesapeake has floppy ears, the ears will need to be checked on a weekly basis for signs of infection. This is of particular importance if your Chessie loves to spend time splashing around in water. The veterinarian can recommend and also advise on cleaners for your dog’s ears.

Diet and Exercise:

An excellent diet and plenty of exercise will ensure your Chessie can live to be 11, 12 or 13 years of age. You want to keep his diet of kibble, rice, vegetables and meat consistent so as not to upset his stomach.

Avoid giving him foods such as chocolates. Do research on the harm you can do to your pet when you feed him some human foods that are entirely not meant for a dog’s digestive system.

Make sure to always have a constant supply of fresh, clean water for him.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has always loved to be active - hunting for- and retrieving birds from rivers and lakes. He is used to being active and will require a good supply of exercise. Take him for long walks and let him join you on your runs or your cycling.


Children friendliness

Yes, they can be very friendly with children is they are socialized and supervised.

Special talents

They have enough stamina to work for 14 hours a day.


They are very adaptable. They can be calm and steady when working a mother and baby lamb and then be able to forcefully move steers, bull, rams or weathers.

Learning ability

The breed is highly intelligent, and their learning ability is excellent because they want to please you.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is ready to be your best friend and companion. This dog breed is highly active and he’ll fit easily into a family that is active and can ensure he is involved in all their activities.

He loves human companionship and is protective, making him a good watchdog.

The beauty about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is that he is generally an even tempered dog, and once trained and socialized, becomes a truly splendid pet, one that will be loving and loyal with his owners.

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