I love Flat-Coated Retrievers, and I think it’s one of the best breeds you could own.

Why? Well, if you haven’t met one, let me explain. But first some background and a description of the breed.

Background

The Flat-Coated Retriever breed is about 150 year old.

It was developed in Great Britain as a dual-purpose retriever, meaning it should be able to fetch both on land and in water.

Four breeds were used: Setter, Collie, Newfoundland, and the now extinct St. John’s water dog.

It was a successful mix that gave the Flat-Coat some of its hallmarks: Great scenting ability (from the Setter), trainability (Collie), strength (Newfoundland), and love of water (St. John’s water dog).

Flat-Coated Retrievers are currently moderately popular in Europe, mainly in Britain and Scandinavia, but not as much in the rest of the world.

In USA, it’s only the 89th most popular dog breed.

Description

With a height of 22”-24”, and a weight of 55-75 lb, the Flat-Coat is a fairly large dog. Males are at the upper half, while females are at the lower end of that range.

The life span is relatively short, 8-10 years, although some dogs can live for 14 years or even more.

Black and liver are the two colors accepted by the breed standard (see image below). However, in rare cases, yellow Flat-Coats are born. These dogs are not allowed for breeding, but are equally nice dogs.

Most individuals can be described by these characteristics:

 

  • Young at heart.
  • Loves people.
  • Wagging tail.
  • Happy
  • Positive
  • Playful
  • High-energy.
  • Likes to carry things in his mouth.

 

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a relatively healthy breed except for a high rate of cancer. Malignant histiocytosis is the most common form, even though it’s rare among most other breeds.

 

Stimulating Activities

Because Flat-Coats are high-energy dogs, they need exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. Suitable activities include swimming, fetching, and tracking scents.

Obedience training is necessary to control its playfulness and high level of energy. I would recommend that you start slowly from 4 months of age. Keep it fun, and don’t be harsh, because Flat-Coats are quite sensitive dogs.

 

Obedience training is also a great way to drain some of all that energy.

 

By providing the dog with these types of stimulating activities, negative behavior will not be an issue.

 

But if the dog is left alone for hours without sufficient exercise, things like chewing, mouthing and jumping could become a problem.

Should You Get a Flat-Coated Retriever?

Now, I want to make it clear that Flat-Coated Retrievers are not for everyone. In my opinion, you need to have three things in order to be appropriate:

 

  1. Patience – to cope with its high-energy puppy-like behavior (which I love).
  2. Active lifestyle – to fulfill the dog’s need for exercise and stimulation.
  3. Time for your dog – because it doesn’t like to be left alone for any longer periods of time.

 

If you also are prepared to work with your dog, you will get a wonderful (and fun!) companion that will lift your spirit whenever you feel down.

 

Happy and optimistic, constantly wagging its tail, the Flat-Coated Retriever is always ready for another adventure or fun activity.

 

It should be mentioned that since Flat-Coats love all people, it’s not a very good guard dog. In fact, from personal experience, I would say that it’s a pretty lousy guard dog, because an intruder would likely be welcomed by a happy dog licking his face!

 

If you are interested, contact a reputable breeder, and visit him or her for a hands-on experience with this amazing breed. But I must warn you. You will probably fall in love, and not want to get any other breed!

Author Bio

John Solvik is a pet-loving blogger with a special affection to Flat-Coated Retrievers.

 

You can read his latest posts over at his blog: PetAnimalGuide.com.

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