The Flat-coated Retriever is a large dog, and has a strong, powerful, and sturdy build. This dog always looks eager and ready for action, and with his high energy levels usually is always ready for fun, games, and exercise. His coat is dense, flat, and medium in length, with texture that can vary from fine to medium. The coloring of the coat is solid black or solid liver. The Flat-coated Retriever weighs in at 60-75 pounds. Females are around 22-23 inches in height, and males are around 23-25 inches.
Flat-Coated Retriever Temperament
Spirited, lively, and full of energy, the Flat-coated Retriever is a playful soul that loved plenty of exercise and activity, and thrives on the company and attention of his owners. This is an outgoing breed that is keen, enthusiastic, and very eager to please. The cheerful, sweet nature of the Flat-coated Retriever makes him a wonderful pet and companion, and they have high intelligence and obedience levels, are attentive, and like to put one hundred percent into everything that they do. It is important not to take on a Flat-coated Retriever if you do not have the time to commit to a pet, as these dogs need physical and mental stimulation and plenty of attention in order to alleviate boredom and reduce the risk of destructive behavior such as chewing.
The Flat-coated Retriever gets along well with children, but his high energy and his size could prove a problem around very small kids. He also gets along with other animals, but like children care should be taken around smaller animals, as this breed seems to bound around with limitless energy and tends to be more powerful than he realizes. This is a sociable breed and will also get along well with strangers in most cases. One thing to watch out for with the Flat-coated Retriever is that he loves to jump around and chew, two traits that will need to be controlled through appropriate outlet, such as plenty of exercise to enable him to burn up some of that energy, and suitable toys to enable him to chew to his heart's content without damaging your valuables!
The Flat-coated Retriever is a medium shedder, but can shed more heavily at certain times of the year, which means that he is not ideally suited to those with allergies. The grooming requirements for this breed are not overly demanding, and brushing will be required twice weekly to keep the coat in good condition and avoid matting, although this will need to be increased when he is shedding heavily. You should also check that the inside ears are clean and dry to avoid infections and for hygiene reasons.
The Flat Coated Retriever originated in the mid 19th century in England, and soon became popular as a gamekeeper's dog. It later moved on into becoming a gundog as its hunting characteristics and traits were outstanding. Part of the ancestry of the Flat Coated Retriever can be due to stock imported from North America from the area of St. John's Newfoundland. This dog is thought to have been a descendant of the Labrador and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
The Flat Coated Retriever quickly gained popularity in the U.S. as a gundog in the 1870s, and it has been recognized as a stable and noble dog ever since. By the end of World War II, however, there were very few flat coated retrievers in existence but breeders have once again given rise to these dogs as companions and show dogs as well. The Flat Coated Retriever has shown multiple talents and a steady temperament throughout the years; it has increasingly been used in field competition, and careful breeding has brought it back into a variety of breeding circles. These dogs are very good at being watchdogs, retrieving, hunting, tracking, and they have consistent agility.
Today, the Flat Coated Retriever is modestly popular and requires attentive breeding to encourage its natural talents. It is commonly used as a show dog, but many people choose to take this dog as a companion.
The Flat Coated Retriever has been bred as a sporting dog and is very active by nature. These dogs love to please but they can be difficult to train at times. They are bored easily, so it is important they have enough variety in training and activities on a regular basis. The Flat Coated Retriever develops a strong bond with its owners and masters, and will require consistency and direction, especially in its younger years. The dog's personality can be best described as devoted and outgoing. This is helpful when creating a training program for this dog at any age. Using toys and other objects as part of training can help them grasp new skills relatively easily. Rewards of food, new toys, and even trips to the park can be helpful motivators.
The Flat Coated Retriever will get bored very easily with repetitive tasks, and they may even become willful at times. It is important to pay attention to positive reinforcement and motivation so that they are consistent. These dogs do respond best to positive reinforcement on a regular basis, and they are particularly sensitive to harsh tones or mannerisms. They cannot tolerate harsh handling or correction and will simply retreat when they feel too anxious or uncomfortable.
These dogs are naturally happy and exuberant; it is important to train them appropriately so that they do not knock over items in the house, or even run into small children. Socialization is very important, and obedience training will help them learn the rules of the household. These dogs can be quite affectionate and fun-loving, so it is important to set some guidelines and respect through constructive training.
Training the Flat Coat Retriever as a working gundog is another opportunity to make the most of this dog's natural talents and abilities. These dogs are especially strong and have strong stamina; they have a natural ability to learn and will do well with consistent training out on the field. These dogs use their own air scent abilities to track down and hunt, and this needs to be encouraged whenever possible. Teaching the dog to 'heel' is the first step in training both puppies and fully grown dogs. The dog will come to understand the direction only after demonstration and ongoing repetition. Too much, however, will result in ineffective training. It is important that the puppy has learned how to 'follow' his mother, whether this is its real mother or simply the owner or master. These dogs do well by performing with a pack leader, and they are especially responsive to consistency.
Incorporating games and play into training will help with the activities for the Flat Coat Retriever. These dogs thoroughly enjoy bonding time with their owners, and will respond well to continuous attention, reinforcement, and affection.
The Flat-coated Retriever has a life expectancy of around 8-10 years, which is relatively short compared to some other breeds. There are a number of health problems and disorders that are linked to this breed, and this includes luxating patella, cataracts, PRA, HD, cancer, thyroid problems, and entropion. The parents of the Flat-coated Retriever puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.