Descending from such noble breeds as the Newfoundland, the Irish Setter, and a now-extinct breed known as the St. John’s Water Dog, the Flat-Coated Retriever is said to be an outstanding gundog as well as a boisterous and friendly family companion.
Flat Coated Retriever History
First records of the Flat-Coated retriever date back to the mid 19th century, in England, where they were favored as popular gamekeeper dogs. Believed to be descended from a cross of European collie dogs, Irish setters and a powerful, water loving Newfoundland, these gregarious canines were quickly swept up as capable gun dogs and solid retrievers. In 1873, the breed was determined to have developed into a standard type, and the Flat-Coated Retriever was accepted into the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1915.
The breed was almost wiped out by the end of World War II, particularly with the growing popularity of the Flat-Coat’s descendant, the Golden Retriever. While their numbers dwindled, and many worried that the breed was threatened with extinction, a few dedicated breeders managed to keep it going strong and we are able to enjoy this magnificent breed today.
Flat Coated Retriever Appearance
Squint your eyes just so, and one can almost see the various breeds have gone into creating the Flat-Coated Retriever; the sweet, yet alert face of the Newfoundland, the deep chest and plumed tail of the Setter breeds, and even the eager and watchful gaze, burning with the collie’s unmatched intensity. These magnificent dark dogs seem ever alert and eager to please.
The Flat-Coated Retriever can be found in a dark liver color or with a rich black coat. While goldens and creams do occasionally show up in some bloodlines, these colors are considered a disqualification by breed standard. They still make magnificent pets when spayed or neutered, so long as they’re not being used for breeding purposes.
Lighter in build (55-75 pounds) and more agile than other retriever breeds, this affords the Flat Coated Retriever more maneuverability and speed, allowing him to cover ground and hunt at a rapid rate. This, combined with his outstanding scenting abilities, makes it no surprise that he’s highly regarded as a top gun dog.
Flat Coated Retriever Temperament
Happy happy happy happy happy! This is the attitude that is commonly displayed by the Flat-Coated Retriever – they are very well known for their amiable nature and their desire to please. Additionally, the Flat-Coated Retriever does very well with other dogs, cats, and other pets. They are known to be wonderful companion animals to children, though small children should be watched around young dogs due to the Flat-Coated Retriever’s high energy level. While it’s highly unlikely that a Flat would bite or nip, small children may be easily knocks down by an overly enthusiastic dog.
Flat Coated Retriever Exercise Info
Like most sporting breeds, the Flat-Coated Retriever requires a fair amount of exercise. Bred to run in fields and hunt freely, the Flat-Coated Retriever enjoys racing around in a fenced in yard or being able to visit with his canine companions at the local dog park. The Flat-Coated Retriever also likes to go swimming! Because another high energy level and desire to run and exercise, these beautiful dogs are not recommended for city or apartment dwelling but should, instead, live in more rural areas.
Flat Coated Retriever Grooming Info
Grooming the Flat-Coated retriever is not a major, all day event. However, a weekly comb-through is important to remove any burrs, sticks or debris from his coat, as well as giving him that important hands-on attention that the Flattie desires. This will help remove any dirt or dead hair, meaning less to shed on your furniture. You may find you have to bathe your Flattie more frequently, due to his love of rolling in smelly things.
Flat Coated Retriever Training Info
While one might expect that the Flat-Coated Retriever would be as quick and eager to pick up new tricks as his descendant, the popular Golden Retriever, unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, the Flat-Coated Retriever is much more stubborn than other gun dogs. This does not mean that he’s not willing to please and eager to learn, so don’t despair! The Flat-Coated retriever is easily distracted and requires more frequent, yet shorter, training sessions in order to keep him mentally stimulated.
The Flattie does best when taught in short and repetitive bouts, often shying away from loud voices, scolding, or harsh hand. In order to properly train your Flat-Coated Retriever, be sure to bring a great deal of patience to the table and a lot of praise – give that to your Flattie and he’ll work hard to get more!
Flat Coated Retriever Health Info
The various breeds of dog are susceptible to various types of health problems and the Flat-Coated Retriever is no exception to this rule. Fortunately, you can minimize the risk by finding of responsible and reputable breeder from which to buy your puppy. When you go to choose your Flat-Coated Retriever puppy, don’t be afraid to inquire as to your potential breeder’s knowledge of the following health concerns that can affect the Flat-Coated Retriever:
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Flat Coated Retriever Right Breed Info
While not as quick to learn as other breeds of Retriever’s, the Flattie is still eager to please and learns very well when offered lots of praise and a kind hand. They’re very gregarious and accepting of humans, usually quick to greet even strangers was an enthusiastic kiss hello. For this reason, if you’re helping to find a good watchdog, you might be looking at the wrong breed. However, if you want a very happy and outgoing individual, the Flat-Coated Retriever and make the perfect pet for your entire family and an ideal gun dog for your hunting expeditions.
More Information about the Flat Coated Retriever Dog Breed
Flat Coated Retriever on Wikipedia