The Flat-Coated Retriever, originally called the Wavy-Coated Retriever, is a British breed that was developed as a hunting dog. This breed was most likely created by crossing a Collie, a Setter, a Labrador, and a Newfoundland. Today this dog is used as both a hunting retriever and as a family pet.
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a good sized dog. It stands between 22 and 23 inches tall and it usually weighs between 60 and 70 pounds. Its coat is medium length and is soft to the touch. This dog comes in solid colors of black or liver. With proper care and nutrition this breed can live to around 12 years of age.
Flat coated Retrievers are the lightest of the Retrievers and are members of the Gun dog group. This breed has been trained and bred to work on both land and water, and these dogs make exceptional family companions as well. They retrieve shot birds, hares and rabbits.
They are bright, active dogs of medium size with intelligent expressions, showing power without lumber, and raciness without weediness. The Flat coated Retriever is generously endowed with natural field ability, optimism and friendliness which are demonstrated by enthusiastic tail action.
By all accounts, the development of the modern Flat Coated Retriever is credited to Mr. S. E. Shirley in the early 1870s. St. John’s Water Dogs, water spaniels, and possibly Scotch collies were all used to develop the Flat-Coat.
It was the first of the retrievers to win widespread acclaim as a shooting dog, and at the end of the last century and the beginning of this, it was the almost universal choice of those who required a dog for formal game shooting and wild fowling
The breed was fairly popular until the beginning of the World War, but was then overshadowed by the Labrador and Golden Retriever. The Flat-Coated Retriever deserves more attention, as he is not only an excellent bird dog and swimmer but also superb with children and a great family dog.
Individuals varying more than an inch either way from the preferred height should be considered not practical for the types of work for which the Flat Coat was developed.
Preferred height is 23 to 24 1/2; inches at the withers for dogs, 22 to 23 1/2 inches for bitches. Since the Flat-Coat is a working hunting retriever he should be shown in lean, hard condition, free of excess weight.
Slightly racier and more moderate in bone than other retriever breeds, the Flat Coat has a solid black or liver-colored coat that protects him from the elements and lies straight and flat.
Its coat is of moderate length, density and fullness, with a high luster. The ideal coat is straight and flat lying. A slight waviness is permissible but the coat is not curly, wooly, short, silky or fluffy. The Flat-Coat is a working retriever and the coat must provide protection from all types of weather, water and ground cover.
Nicknamed the Peter Pan of dogs for its ever-youthful outlook on life, the Flat-Coated Retriever has many desirable qualities. It’s smart, friendly, adaptable, and cheerful.
Flat coats make great pets due to their warm nature and highly affectionate attitudes They are gentle, intelligent, and obedient and they enjoy an active life and love to play, especially fetching and carrying objects.
Keep your Flat-Coat in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time.
Flat-coated Retrievers require daily brushing to maintain their coats, particular attention should be paid to the feathers which may collect debris and their feet should be checked for dried mud or other foreign matter.