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Flat-Coated Retriever
For those unfamiliar with the Flat Coated Retriever (and those unfortunately, are many) it would be easy to guess that this is a Lab x Setter cross and while both of those breeds may have figured into the development of this breed, the Flat Coated Retriever is definitely a special breed in its own right.  It's athleticism, balance and head/expression are all its own and don't clearly hearken back to either of the other breeds.  With an exceptionally bright, happy and gentle nature combined with a great working attitude, the Flat Coated Retriever enjoys a following of dedicated and enthusiastic supporters/fanciers.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): SportingRetriever Height: 22-24.5 inches
Weight: 40-55 pounds Longevity: teens
Colors: solid black or solid liver Coat type: straight and flat lying, with some feathering
Recognized Registries: UKC, AKC, NCA, FCI and others
Overall Appearance: Moderate yet elegant with a certain refinement that cannot be excessive or the qualities of the breed and type are lost. The headpiece is unique in its smooth lines and "one piece" quality of blending into a long neck.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to high
General Nature: Genial and gregarious
  with Children: Generally very good but proper socialization, supervision and well mannered children are required
  with other pets: Can be good but as a hunting dog it can be variable around smaller animals
  with dogs: Generally very good.
Socialization requirements: Moderate to high: slight tendency toward shyness that can be avoided by building confidence through socialization and basic training
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates the energy, athleticism, intelligence and gentle nature of the breed
Temperament Notes: Gentle, intelligent, clever, alert, quick
Training requirement: moderate with high physical demands, needs plenty of exercise regularly in addition to socialization and basic manners
Trainer notes: The Flat Coated Retriever boasts a nature that is easily as trainable as the Labrador Retriever and other more popular breeds.  Probably not as tolerant of heavy handed training methods as some breeds, the Flat Coat nevertheless emerges as a stellar performer when teamed with a training partner that it can truly trust and rely upon for fun and fair treatment.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: early 1900s as the
Country of Origin: England
Original Function: Waterfowl retriever
History: First shown in 1860, the breed is thought to be a blend of Irish Setter, Pointer and Newfoundland with a bit of Labrador thrown in.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: oversized, excessive bone,
Health Notes: epilepsy, patella luxation, hip dysplasia, bloat, hypothyroidism
Health Testing: CERF, Thyroid Panel, OFA
Questions to ask Breeder:   http://www.digitaldog.com/breeder_questions.html  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!
  • How long have you had Flat Coated Retrievers?
  • Why do you have Flat Coated Retrievers (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Flat Coated Retriever?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Flat Coated Retriever?
  • How would you describe the ideal Flat Coated Retriever home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Flat Coated Retriever?
  • How do you assist or help Flat Coated Retrievers in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites:

    http://clubs.akc.org/fcra/rescue.html - Flat Coated Retriever Club of America Rescue

    Other Resources
    Breed standard:

    http://www.ukcdogs.com/breeds/gundogs/flatcoatedretriever.std.shtml - UKC Standard of the Flat Coated Retriever

    http://clubs.akc.org/fcra/standard.html - Standard of the Flat Coated Retriever as per the Society in America

    Breeder Ethics:

    http://clubs.akc.org/fcra/coe.html - Flat Coated Retriever Society of America Code of Ethics

    Other: While is it interesting to think that the Flat Coat could be developed from such a mix as Newfie, Irish Setters and Pointers, one has to wonder where the remarkable retrieving drive would have originated among those three.
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