|Group:||Gundogs (Group 3)|
|Club:||Flat Coated Retriever Association Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Ms Leanne Tormey|
|Phone:||0421 358 301|
Background The Flat Coated Retriever was developed in the late eighteenth century. Due to the advancement and efficiency of shotguns, shooting men found they had a need for an efficient retrieving dog to retrieve their dead or wounded game. To develop a dog to meet their requirements, they experimented with the crossing of different breeds. Sheep dogs for trainability, Spaniels for hunting skills, water dogs for retrieving wild fowl and Setters for their keen nose were all used. The founder of the modern Flat Coat, Mr S.E. Shirley, (born in 1844 and founder of the Kennel Club of England) used a proportion of these with the St. Johns water dog, also known as the Lesser Labrador or the small Newfoundland. The Curly Coat Retriever appeared to branch off at about this time, leaving what were then called "wavy-coats" as a more or less pure breed. The Wavy-coat, however, was a reference used rather loosely, as for a time it appeared to cover several different types. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries these dogs were described in the field trial catalogues of the day as "rough", "smooth", "wavy", "flat" or "Labrador". They were freely intermixed and were simply described as their owner chose, regardless of their breeding. In fact Ch. Darenth, always considered one of the most famous founder sires, also sired an important Labrador dog, Horton Max.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Flat Coated Retrievers live up to 10 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Flat Coated Retriever is described as the canine Peter Pan - it never grows up. It is always ready for fun and play even when advanced in years. It is a kind, sociable and loving animal - and because of this a properly trained and socialised Flat-Coated Retriever can be quite trustworthy with children. (Supervision should be undertaken with small children, however, as they can hurt a young puppy and vice versa). Although it will bark if someone is around, it is definitely not a guard dog. It is firstly a companion, always requiring and sometimes demanding to be in the company of its owner. It is not a one-man dog and generously shares affection with the whole family or the neighbours.
Compatibility with other pets Most Flat Coats are compatible with other pets, depending on the pet. Most will live in harmony with cats if they are trained to do so.
Care Requirements Every Flat Coated Retriever benefits form a daily walk, swim or run; however, it can survive if it only gets out approximately three times a week, but more often is better. A brush once a week ensures a healthy coat. Some minor trimming especially around the feet and ears makes the dog look tidy.
Please Take Note A Flat Coat is not the sort of dog that can be totally happy without human companionship. It is happiest when it is interacting with its owner, as it likes to be part of the action. Normal secure fencing is required for this breed, to keep it safe from traffic.
Ideal Owner/s An active person who is prepared to have the dog around, either in the house or garden, and to take it for walks, runs and swims. It is well suited to the family with children over seven years; younger children may be knocked over due to its exuberance when a puppy. Most breeders prefer to sell to families with children of an age that can be taught not to harm the puppy.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Flat Coated Retriever and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.