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Country of Origin, History of Flat-Coated Retrievers
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a relatively new breed. It was developed in the 1800s by crossing Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Water Dogs, and the St. John’s Newfoundland. The breed was fairly popular with cod fishermen off the coast of Newfoundland and was one of several breeds referred to as “Labradors.” At some point sheepdogs – probably Collies – were added into the breeding.
The Retriever classification of the 1859 British dog show included Curly-Coated, Wavy-Coated, and Smooth-Coated Retrievers. Flat-Coats were shown as Wavy-Coated. The breed gained popularity with breeders in England. However, it was nearly lost by the end of World War II. Stanley O’Neill, a great authority on Flat-Coats, revived the breed. By the mid-1960s it was flourishing in the United States as well as Europe.
It is a very highly regulated breed by those who raise Flat-Coats. Those desiring to own them must sign contracts with very strict rules on breeding and not relinquishing a dog and must be tightly screened for appropriateness of placement of each puppy.
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Check Your Flat-Coated Retriever's Learning Style
Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Flat-Coated Retriever's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Flat-Coated Retriever training methods.
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Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Flat-Coated Retriever? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.
Flat-Coated Retriever Calorie Calculator
Do you know how many calories your Flat-Coated Retriever needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Flat-Coated Retriever Calorie Calculator.
A General Appearance of the Dog
The silhouette of a Flat-Coated Retriever is unforgettable. Often described as a cross between a Golden Retriever and an Irish Setter, the Flat Coat is lean, sleek, and powerful. The Flat-Coated Retriever’s back is level and his head and neck appear to be a single part. His head is narrower than a Golden’s.
A Flat-Coat is well-balanced and extremely elegant. Although his legs appear small in diameter, they are very strong and springy. Flat-Coated Retrievers look proud and intelligent and act alert, happy and ready to go. The medium length black or brown coat is extremely shiny and lies flat against the body. The legs and tail are well feathered.
The Flat-coated Retriever comes in two colors – black or liver. Both colors are solid and cannot have even one hair of any other color. The coat is very shiny and lies flat against the body.
The medium length black or brown coat is extremely shiny and lies flat against the body. There is also an undercoat which becomes much heavier in the fall and winter. The legs and tail are well feathered.
Flat-Coated Retrievers are constant shedders with extremely heavy shedding in the spring and fall. Using a shedding blade on them is often necessary during their heavy shedding times. Your house will always have black or brown fur floating around and on the floors.
Males: 23 – 24.5 inches
Females: 22 – 23.5 inches
The English version of the Flat-Coated Retriever tends to be taller than the American version.
60-70 lbs for both male and female is appropriate.
This breed should look lean and muscular. The ribs should be able to be seen. Do not overfeed.
The Spanish Water Dog is an extremely intelligent, fearless, ever-active, strong, attentive, happy and well balanced versatile working dog with strong herding, hunting and guardian instincts. It is a devoted companion. It is reserved, not shy, with strangers. They can be protective and territorial.
Are they suited to families with kids?
Most of them are good with children and other animals if properly socialized.
Training Your Flattie
Flattie training and socialization should start early and be consistent throughout their life, or they will not be consistent in obeying. They need plenty of short training sessions and training games because they are easily bored and distracted. They do best when their training is mixed up some, with games and other things mixed in with training.
They make excellent obedience and agility dogs. They are also very good at flyball and hunting trials. They make excellent companions for those who jog or run or camp and hike.
How active is the Breed?
Flat-Coated Retrievers are one of the most active breeds. They remain very active throughout their lives.
Flat-Coats need to run and play every day. They like a large, fenced yard with activities outside the yard to watch. A farm or ranch suits them fine, especially if there is a creek to play in and other animals to run with. However, they will settle down indoors.
Adult Flat-Coats can live in an apartment if they have a couple of long, brisk walks a day and a romp in a dog park or safely fenced area several times a week. Always keep them on a leash as they will run to see other people and animals with no regard for traffic no matter how well obedience-trained they are and the consequences will be tragic.
A weekly brushing is necessary to keep the Flat-Coats beautiful coat free of debris. Daily brushing will help with the amount of shedding. During the spring and fall, it may be necessary to use a shedding blade on the Flat Coat on an almost daily basis to help him get rid of his coat.
The monthly trimming of the toenails can be a real problem with this breed as his feet and legs are very sensitive and ticklish. Handle his feet often when he is young and always use a firm (not harsh) touch.
Flat-Coated Retrievers are prone to “Retriever Ear” and ear infections. Clean the ears at least once a week.
Health problems of the Flat-Coated Retriever include cancer, luxated patella (displaced kneecap), eyelash problems, cataracts, Ectropian, Entropian, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, PRA, CHD, diabetes, and epilepsy.
Breeding the Dog and any Cautions
Many litters in this breed have at least one puppy that is born with problems that need extensive medical care. Spend time with breeders who have had several litters to understand the extent of the care that is needed for whelping and raising a litter.
Litter Size: Litters can be as large as 13 puppies, but most litters are 6-10.
Life Span: About 10 – 12 years.
National Breed Clubs
British – FlatCoated Retriever
Society - www.flatcoated-retriever-society.org
US – Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America, Inc. – www.fcrsainc.org
Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, APRI, ACR
Rescue Link: www.fcrsainc.org/rescue/index.html
Group: Sporting Group
AKC Popularity Ranking: 91
Also Known As: Flattie, Flat-coats
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How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.
3 dangerous mistakes that most Flattie owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.
The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.
How to obedience train your Flat-Coated Retriever to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.
A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.
How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.
One hidden psychological trigger that all Flat-Coated Retrievers have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.
Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.
Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Flattie information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Flatties have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.
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