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Flat Coated Retriever

History

Retrievers of all kinds have been used to help fishermen. By the 1800s, hunters were using guns to kill their prey. The wavy-coated retrievers that were used by fishermen were brilliant swimmers. This led to them being bred with flat-coated dogs to produce the Flat-Coated Retriever, which were believed to be more water-repellent. Their popularity died down after the Second World War, and subsequently their numbers dropped. As time went on they gained back a bit of popularity as house pets and working dogs. Sometimes the are bred with Labradors for use as Guide Dogs for the blind. They are also often used as sniffer dogs.

Behaviour

Flat-Coated Retrievers are great family dogs, and they love human company. They are playful and will follow by your side all day long, given the chance. They mix well with other people and other pets, but can be a little too lively for very small children, simply because of their size. They will woof when someone comes to the door, but tend to greet strangers with a wagging tail and a friendly greeting. As long as they have been properly socialized, they are rarely aggressive and get on well with other dogs.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are clever dogs and learn quickly. They like to keep busy, and will love carrying things to you in their mouths - shoes, socks, magazines, sticks, toys. Games of fetch can last all day as far as this dog is concerned, so a good way to properly tire them out is competitions. They excel in agility, obedience, and tracking, which all play to their natural strengths. They love water and will swim whenever they can. This includes not just water, but muddy puddles or just good old dirt after a rain shower! It is said that Flat-Coated Retrievers can find water in a desert, so keen are they on the wet stuff!

Training should be carried out little and often, as the dogs often have a short attention span. Reward-based training works well, but harsh words don't, as the Retrievers are very sensitive. They behave like puppies for a long time, and some owners say they never quite grow up. On walks they are lively and agile, but recall is usually no problem. They need a decent amount of daily exercise to keep mentally active, and can become bored if left alone too long. This can sometimes result in destructive behavior. Once they are back from a long walk, they will sleep it off in their bed, or fall asleep on your feet, or next to you on the sofa.

The dogs require brushing a few times each week to keep their coats in top condition and remove all the dead hairs.

Temperament

Flat Coated Retrievers have an enthusiastic and joyful temperament. Longing to be your bestfriend they will whine and bark if left alone. The breed also has a tendency to mouth you all the time and craves your affection. Large athletic dogs that need plenty of exercise this breed is definitely not for a couch potatoe.

Great family dogs they have almost no aggressive tendencies towards other dogs. That sid they often don't know their own strength and can act a bit like a bull in a china shop. Early socialisation with other dogs and pets is important to prevent them becoming over excited whenever they see a new animal.

Health Problems

Flat Coated Retrievers may be prone to cancers, epilepsy, bloat, glaucoma, and canine hip dysplasia.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 8 - 12 years
  • Weight: 53 – 80 pounds
  • Height: 22 - 24"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Gun Dog
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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