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Breed Profiles
Dog Breeds

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Flat-Coated Retriever

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Flat-Coated Retriever

General
OtherNames Flat-coat
Dog Group Kennel Club Gundog
Breed Classification Flat-coated Retrievers are the lightest of the Retrievers and are members of the Gundog group. They are both working dogs when they retrieve shot birds, hares and rabbits, and companions.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
£4-7.50
Feeding Requirements
These dogs are good eaters, unfussy and do not require any special diet so are easy to feed. They should not be overfed as this may lead to them being overweight, Flat-coats are not intended to be bulky dogs.
Other Expenses
These are normally fit healthy dogs with low veterinary expenses. Feeding costs are moderate and they do not require professional grooming. The price of a puppy is around £500 to £650.
Average Puppy Price
£500-800
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
Average Litter Size
8
General Physical Description
The Flat-coat is a long, lean looking dog, bright and active with an intelligent expression. They have dense, flat coats with high lustre, their legs and tails are well feathered and they give the impression of power and raciness.
Height Min Max
Bitch 56cm 59cm
Dog 58cm 61cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 25kg 34kg
Dog 25kg 35kg
Size Category Medium
Weight Height Range Ideally dogs should measure between 58 - 61cms at the withers and weigh between 25 - 35kgs. Bitches should measure between 56 - 59cms and weigh between 25 - 34kgs.
Ailments These are generally healthy dogs with very few breed-specific ailments. There is a low incidence of Hip Dysplasia in the breed and pups should be chosen from parents who have been screened for this. Al flat-coats whether bought for pets or breeding should be eye tested for glaucoma. As with all breeds, choosing from healthy stock increases the chances of having a healthy puppy.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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History Retriever breeds were developed in the early 19th century as dogs whose sole purpose was to pick up shot game. The Flat-coat was developed from the Lesser Newfoundland as a land retriever and evolved into a fine water and land retriever much favoured by gamekeepers. They have the added skills of flushing game from cover and will hunt game in upland areas. The credit for establishing this breed is given to Mr. J Hull who began breeding them in 1864 and they came to be commonly used on estates throughout Great Britain. In the 20th century their numbers began to decline and after the Second World War numbers fell drastically. Although the breed was re-established by the mid 1960s numbers remain relatively low. This is seen as an advantage to the breed as the low demand for them has prevented commercial exploitation and their soundness, type and working ability has been retained.
Intelligence Flat-coats are very intelligent and quick to learn. They are eager to please and keen to join in with all activities but may want to do things their own way so require firmness and consistency in their training.
Show Characteristics The Flat-coated Retriever should have a long and nicely moulded head. The jaws should be long and strong, capable of holding a pheasant or hare and should have a perfect scissor bite. The eyes should be medium-sized, dark brown or hazel, with an intelligent expression. The ears are small, hanging flat to the side of the head. The neck should be reasonably long, running well into the back and he should have a broad, deep chest and well sprung ribs. The legs are moderately long and strongly boned. The feet are round and strong with thick, strong soles. The tail should be short, straight and well set on, carried gaily but not much above the level of his back. The coat is dense, of medium length and as flat as possible. Legs and tail should be well feathered. These dogs are solid coloured and only come in solid black or solid liver.
Country Of Origin Great Britain.
Famous Examples
Records Held
Characteristics
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Energy Medium
Overall Exercise 100 - 120 minutes
Distress Caused if Left Alone Medium
Personal Protection Low
Suitability As Guard Dog Low
Risk of Sheep Worrying Medium
Tendency to Bark Low
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Low
Compatibility With Other Animals Medium
Suitable For Children
High
General Character And Temperament The Flat-coated Retriever is a kindly, intelligent and lively dog who loves humans. They are slow to mature and retain their puppy-like qualities for several years. They are extroverts, good family dogs, even-tempered and adaptable but with a deep bark which will give warning of the approach of both visitors and strangers. Their tails wag constantly but they do not like being left alone for long periods preferring the company of humans or other dogs. They are very enthusiastic dogs who demand a lot of attention from their owners and potential purchasers of a Flat-coat pup must be prepared to give him this time. They are better suited to country living than town dwelling.
Grooming
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Coat Length Medium/Long
Grooming Requirement Every Day
Trimming None
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming 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. The eyes, ears and teeth should be checked on a regular basis.
Colour The Flat-coated Retriever is commonly solid black or solid liver in colour.
Shedding Moderate
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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