|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The Flat-Coated Retriever, the Peter Pan of retrievers, is an entire breed that needs to be discovered.
Although it is less famous than the Golden and the Labrador, the Flat-Coated Retriever can be found easily in England and the US, even in Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It is an exceptional companion dog and an excellent gun dog, also known as Flat-Coats or Flatties.
The Flat-Coated Retriever has a rather recent history since it was bred during the mid 19th century as a gun dog. We can say that the ancestors of this breed were: the Newfoundland, the now extinct St John, the Collie, and the Setters, which were introduced to improve its training tendencies and to improve its sense of smell. Only at the end of the 19th century, its standard was fully defined.
Flat-Coated Retriever: Origin
In 1959, it was finally recognized as a breed in the US, having been used as a gun dog for decades. It clearly earned an excellent reputation. In practice, all the modern breed of the Flat-Coated Retriever has been perfected thanks to the Old Bounce and the Young Bonce contribution, specimens belonging to the S. E. Shirley. the founder of the English Kennel Club.
It is a gun dog par excellence, the Flat-Coated Retriever is perhaps the only one in all 3 retriever breeds to be popular in the US, England, Canada, and Australia, besides the Golden and the Labrador (therefore the Chesapeake Retriever, the Curly Coated and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling).
It is a very elegant dog, the Flat-Coated Retriever must weigh around 60-80 lb (27-36 kg) in males, and 55-70 lb (25-32 kg) in females. Males stand at 23-24 inches (59-61 cm) and females at 22-23 inches in females (56-59 cm).
They have a beautiful shiny and straight coat, and, as regards its appearance, they are slimmer and lighter than other retriever breeds. There are 2 colors: black or purplish red, which is rare. One can also find the yellow variety, but it is not yet recognized by the standard.
Flat-Coated Retriever: Temperament
The Flat-Coated Retriever is known as the Peter Pan of gun dogs since they never really “grow up”: they always keep an affectionate and playful personality. Therefore, it is an extremely happy and hyperactive dog, enthusiastic with life and brimming with joy. Like all gun dogs, it has a smart look.
It is quite juvenile, making it practically impossible to distinguish a young dog from an older one. Besides, snout whitening appears rather late. It loves physical contact with human beings, as long as they make it feel like one member of the family and is not left alone.
We should not be surprised if a Flat-Coated Retriever will constantly seek to be near its owner to play with him or her. Furthermore, it is quite difficult for a specimen of this breed to get lost. Just like other members of this breed, it is a docile and calm dog, very friendly with everybody, whether people or other animals.
It is a breed prone to biting things. Like all gun dogs, it loves to bite people´s hands and feet, but with little training, we can redirect this behavior towards its own toys.
The Flatty, as it is affectionately called by lovers of this breed, is a dog that loves to be outdoors. It someone forces it to be in an apartment it would be a mistake unless it has daily walks several times a day. For this reason, it has an extreme need to move and run, also due to its natural retriever or gun dog nature.
The Flat-Coated Retriever, An Extremely Active Dog
Outside of the house, it always likes to be next to its owner, whom it does not leave alone for any reason. It is next to him or her in its “kingdom”, and it can spend its time running around and playing for hours on end. Since it is an extremely active dog, it must consume good quality food in appropriate amounts. We should consider the number of calories this dog can “burn”, because it belongs to a canine breed that runs a lot daily.
The Flat-Coated Retriever, or Flatty, is a splendid companion dog, that stands out for its sweetness. But above all it remains to be an exceptional gun dog, and in this activity, it shines the most. Not only on the ground but also in the water, these dogs prove to be perfect for working, and for this reason, it has been bred all these years.
To make a Flat-Coated Retriever happy, you must make it bring or carry something when you go hunting and in classic games sessions. It is a working dog with excellent physical traits, it is agile and fast, easy to train, and very obedient.
For this reason, it can adapt properly to any kind of discipline, like agility and obedience. It has an extraordinary sense of smell and is also generally used as an anti-drug dog. More than anything, its greatest aspiration is to make its owner happy, and it will try to work hard to achieve this. As a guard dog, is not quite adequate, since it considers everyone its friends.
Flat-Coated Retriever: Health
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a rather healthy dog breed, especially if it leads an active life outdoors, but that unfortunately it has a rather high incidence of tumors. It is prone to tumors and the average life expectancy is approximately of 10-13 years, precisely due to the presence of tumors, like osteosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, etc.
In comparison to other large dog breeds, it suffers from hip dysplasia and joint problems less than others. This is because its crossbreeding was carried out excellently by its breeders. For reproductive purposes, the Flat-Coated Retriever must be free also of other conditions, like progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma. Health problems related to epilepsy are rare in this breed.
It is fundamental that you buy from a reliable breeder, so you can be sure your puppy has been well selected, that is to say, its parents were chosen without any genetic diseases.
Flat-Coated Retriever: Relationship with its Owner
The ideal Flat-Coated Retriever owner must be willing to dedicate 2 things to his dog: time and attention. This breed suffers a lot when left alone, therefore, the perfect owner is the one that stays with its dog as much as possible, plays with it, runs, jumps, and always takes it with him wherever he goes.
The Flat-Coated Retriever would be a wrong option if you want a dog that stays alone in the backyard for many hours, because to a Flatty, the essence of the game and fun with its owner is important. It is a dog that always tries to keep a close affectionate relationship with human beings, just like a small child. On the other hand, it knows how to satisfy those who accept its “conditions”. The bond that forms between it and its owner is very strong and it can be perceived at first sight.
Flat-Coated Retriever: Relationship with Children
It is difficult to find a dog that gets along with children as good as a retriever, and the Flatty is no exception. It is an exceptional dog if you choose it as a partner for your children. Maybe, in the beginning, it must be under adult supervision so it can limit its natural exuberance with toddlers.
The Flat-Coated Retriever is very sweet with kids and plays with them with great joy, it is always gentle, trusting, and kind, and it shows it with its tail that is always moving. For those who have the chance to raise their children outdoors, we can say this dog is the fittest to be a companion for small children in the house.
Flat-Coated Retriever: Relationship with other Dogs
With other dogs, the Flat-Coated Retriever is never aggressive. It is actually very sociable, like all retrievers, it is not violent and is very adequate for a life surrounded by groups. Besides, it is very easy to train and it can learn to behave in a very polite way, this helps with its interaction with dogs of other breeds.
With strangers, it is always ready to bark, but only if it believes there is a serious threat. When it makes friends, it is an authentic energy volcano, ready to run and chase its friend for hours. After all, it is another alternative so it can move around, which as mentioned previously, is an indispensable condition to make the Flat-Coated Retriever happy. This beautiful dog’s docility reflects when it spends time with other domestic animals, including cats.
Flat-Coated Retriever: Breeders, Price, and Puppies for Sale
The Flat-Coated Retriever, after its success as a hunting and retrieving dog at the beginning of the 20th century, had a difficult time after the second post-world war period. Nevertheless, it went back to being sought after.
In The US, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland, as mentioned above, the most famous retriever dog after the inevitable Golden and the Labrador. The are many registered breeders in the world. although obviously “historic” breeders are found located in England and the US.
A Flat-Coated Retriever with all its documents in order and a good pedigree costs a little more than other dogs of an average breed. The price oscillates between 1200 and 1600 dollars, 900-1300 English pounds, respectively.
Now that we have cleared the most important aspects, you can go and find your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.