Did you know?
Some dogs known as “Seizure Alert dogs” can alert their masters up to an hour before the beginning of an epileptic seizure.
A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes. – Gene Hill
A separate and distinct breed of retriever, the Flat-Coated Retriever was the British gamekeeper’s and sportsman’s gun dog of choice until well into the 1900s. He was developed in England in the mid 1800s from the St. John’s Dog, combined with working field setter, sheepdogs, and spaniels.
The breed was the first of the retrievers to win widespread acclaim as a shooting dog. At one time, he was the almost universal choice of those who required a dog for formal game shooting and wild fowling.
A natural hunter and intense retriever both on land and in water, the Flat-Coated Retriever is prized in the field for his endurance and stamina.
Photos displayed courtesy of Joan Grainger, Itzawhat, Alberta
The Flat-Coated Retriever stands up to 24 inches (61 cm) tall at the shoulder, weighs approximately 70 pounds (32 kg), and has a glossy solic black or liver-coloured coat that protects him in the most frigid waters. His coat is of medium-length and lies as flat as possible.
The Flat-Coated Retriever’s sparkling eyes, ever-wagging tail, and head held high sum up his personality. Friendly, exuberant, and lively, this dog thrives on pleasing his owner. He is a very companionable dog with a strong attachment to his owner and family. He requires a strong, personal relationship and lots of individual attention. As a real people dog, the Flat-Coat is not happy when left alone for long periods or if kept confined. Affectionate and devoted, he needs daily contact with his family.
An excellent family pet, the Flat-Coat is great with children but remember, he is a big, bouncy dog with a long puppyhood, so supervision is required. The owner of a Flat-Coat should be a firm, strong leader who loves the mischievous and fun-loving nature inherent in a breed known as “the Peter Pan of dogs”!
Obedience training is a must for this breed. With his spirited disposition and tendency to jump up on everyone he meets, the Flat-Coat can be a handful without proper training. Easily bored, he responds best to short periods of training rather than a long session.
They are good watch dogs, having a forceful bark to alert their owners to the presence of strangers. However, like most sporting dogs, they are too fond of people to take any action.
Today, the Flat-Coat is often used as a drug-sniffing dog. Authorities have harnessed that fantastic nose, energy and enthusiasm, and strong desire to please their masters to good effect! In England, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association uses these dogs in their breeding program. All of this highlights the need for this dog to have an active owner who can provide him with lots of things to do.
Boredom can lead to nuisance behaviour such as digging and chewing. This dog is boisterous and has a high energy level. He needs lots of exercise and is particularly fond of water. Swimming is the true joy of his life!
Flat-Coated Retriever Society of Canada
National Retriever Club of Canada (field trials)
Vancouver Island Retriever Club
Mountain Valley Retriever Training Club
Regina Retriever Club
Saskatoon Retriever Club
Manitoba Gun Dog Association Vancouver Island Retriever Club
Retrievers ONLINE Magazine (field trials/hunting)
theRetriever News (field trials)