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Flat Coated Retriever

  • Flat Coated Retriever<Back to Dog Breeds
    Flat Coated Retriever
    Other Names: Flat-coats
    Dog Group Kennel Club: Sporting (AKC) Gun Dog KC (GB)

    Appearance
    The Flat-Coated Retriever is a lean muscular dog with a intelligent expression

    Coat
    They have beautiful black or liver-coloured coats which are sleek, medium in length, thick, and well-feathered at the legs, tail and chest.

    Weight: 55 to 77 lbs

    Average Life Span: 9 – 15 years

    Temperament
    Flat coats are smart, active, friendly, affectionate and loyal dogs. They crave human attention and love to be involved in family activities. The are good with children and other animals making them excellent family pets. They could be too energetic around small children, would be more suitable for a family with older children. They do however remain puppy like for three years or more so be prepared for this time scale for them to begin to settle down and mature. This is a sweet, high-spirited dog that loves to play and retrieve. A gentle and playful tail-wagger.

    Training
    Slow to mature (three years or more) early puppy play training is encouraged and good manners can be strictly enforced, but formal training should be kept brief, cheerful and enthusiastic. Flat-Coats are bright, catch on quickly and are easily bored.Flat coats are intelligent and eager to please making them easy to train. Training should be positive and varied to keep them mentally stimulated. They excel in retrieving, agility and obedience trials, and showing.

    Grooming
    They need brushing on a weekly basis to keep their coats healthy and shiny.

    Exercise
    Flat coats are very energetic and require daily long walks with the opportunity of a off leash run. They are excellent water dogs and natural swimmers, enjoying this form of exercise. Care should be taken to ensure their safety in the water. They also love to play and retrieve. A varitey of walks, off leash runs and activities should be used to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. If you don’t have the time to committ to long daily walks and activities this is not the breed for you.

    Flat Coated Retriever Health Issues
    Hip dysplasia: a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.

    Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a hereditary disease of the eye that has been identified in Border collies. PRA is a blanket term for many types of retinal diseases, all of which result in blindness. All Border collies, regardless of age or breeding status, should be examined yearly by a member of the Veterinary Opthalmologists.

    Malignant Histiocytosis (MH) an heritable cancer which is a highly breed-specific disease that affects both Flat-Coats and Bernese Mountain dogs in disproportionately higher numbers than other dog breeds. When caught early and surgically removed the progression may be halted, but unfortunetly it can be fatal.

    Hypothyroidism
    This is a generalized metabolic disease characterized by atrophy or malfunction of the thyroid gland. Clinical symptoms include obesity, lethargy, and/or coat problems. Affected animals may also have various reproductive problems, including irregular or absent estrus (heat cycle), and lack of fertility in both male and female.

    Flat Coated Retriever History
    Retriever breeds were developed in the early 19th century as dogs whose sole purpose was to pick up shot game. The strains thought to have been used to develop the breed were Labradors, setters, spaniels and sheepdogs. Flat-coats have the added skills of flushing game from cover and will hunt game in upland areas. The credit for establishing this breed is given to Mr. J Hull who began breeding them in 1864 and they came to be commonly used on estates throughout Great Britain.

    In the 20th century their numbers began to decline and after the Second World War numbers fell drastically. Although the breed was re-established by the mid 1960s numbers remain relatively low. This has had its benefits with the breed as the lack of demand for this breed has consequently kept quality breeding.

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