For a long time the name "retriever" was used to define any general-purpose hunting dog. Pointers or setters were also considered retrievers as they were used to locate, collect and bring shot birds to hunters. Some retriever type dogs were better than others. The Canadian St. John's Water Dog from Labrador was the one that had great intelligence and good health. It is thought that the Flat-Coated Retriever, originally known as "Wavy-Coated Retriever," was created by crossing these dogs and Labrador Retrievers. The result was an outstanding working dog that had speed, stamina, keen nose, good tracking ability, trainability and courage. The Flat-Coated Retriever is a dual-purpose dog and is commonly seen at conformation shows and field trials.
Easygoing and easy to train, with a gentle and serene disposition, Flat-Coats are wonderful field companions. Few other dogs are better with children. They have natural warmth and will endure anything from them, for they never get excited. With strangers, however, they are cool and reserved. Flat-Coated Retrievers have a lot of energy and need lots of daily exercise to avoid behavioral problems (chewing, digging and barking).
Other Names: Flat-coat
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Utilization: Hunting dog
FCI Classification: Group 8 - Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs; Retrievers (with working trial); AKC Classification: Sporting Group
Size: Medium (22-24 inches at shoulders)
Colors: Solid black or solid liver
Litter Size: 8
Life Span: 9-14 years
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Grooming Requirements: Naturally waterproof and dirt-proof coat only requires weekly brushing. No bathing required at all.
Personality: Friendly, gentle and confident, the Flat-Coated Retriever loves everyone and is always cheerful and ready to be part of all family activities.
Social skills: Gets along with other small animals.
Suitability for Children: Good-natured and playful, makes good playmate for children. But considering his size, small children should never be left unsupervised around this big dog.
Exercise Needs: A minimum 90 minute brisk walk is a must, but these dogs will take all the exercise that you can provide. Flat-Coats love running, walking, swimming and games of fetch.
Train Ability: Very intelligent and easy to housebreak breed; responds well to firm, but gentle training.
Health & Behavioral Issues: The Flat-Coated Retriever is a very healthy breed. There have been reported cataracts, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and cancers.