Chatham Hill Dogs
Hamlin,  Pennsylvania
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What Is A Flat-Coated Retriever

What is a Flat-Coated Retriever?

Also known as Flatcoat, Flattie, FCR

Colors: Black, Liver(brown) & Yellow

Weight: 65-75 pounds

The Flat-Coated Retriever is one of the least known purebred breeds. While many people are familiar with the more popular Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever, the Flat-Coat has similarities as well as differences from those Retrievers.
  The similarities are the happy-go-lucky attitude, the playfulness, and the strong family bond it makes.

However there are 3 major differences between the Flat-Coat Retriever and the Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever:

         #1: Flat-Coated Retrievers do not have an undercoat to shed; therefore, they shed less than the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever.

         #2: The Flat-Coat is considered to be relatively inactive indoors, whereas, the Goldens and Labs are moderately active indoors.

         #3:  Goldens and Labs, due to the thicker bone structure, weigh more than the Flattie.

I'll take a lighter, calmer, less shedding dog any day.

General Temperament

The Flat-Coated Retriever rivals other Retrievers as the ultimate companion pet. Their happy and sweet disposition and love of all humans suits almost any family. Optimistic and outgoing, most will greet guests with fervent, sometimes even overwhelming, affection. They are active and energetic outdoors, but tend to be more laid back inside the house

Flat-Coated Retrievers are exceptionally patient and gentle with children, and are great for energetic children who will run or play fetch with the dog on a regular basis. They also enjoy the company of other dogs and will get along well with other household pets. To be truly happy and well-balanced, this breed needs to feel as if it is a part of the family, and will not be happy living outdoors. 

Although obedient and highly trainable, the Flat-Coated Retriever can get bored if training techniques are overly repetitive. They can be a little bit more willful than some of the other retrieving breeds. Like with many other retrievers, they are sensitive to vocal tones and don’t respond well to harsh training techniques; positive reinforcement works best with a Flat-Coat. 

The Flat-Coat’s puppy-like nature carries it well into adulthood, and it needs an outlet for this energy. They will enjoy jogging beside their owner or going for a good swim. Without proper exercise and stimulation (both physical and mental), this breed can become bored. A Flat-Coated Retriever is happiest in a home with a yard. With proper training, a Flat-Coated Retriever can excel in hunting and retrieving, as well as tracking and agility competitions.

Breed History

The Flat-Coated Retriever was developed in England in the mid-1800’s exclusively as a birding dog, capable of retrieving game in dense brush as well as water. This particular Retriever was derived from crossing many different retrieving breeds, including the Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland, Irish Setter, and now extinct St. John’s Water Dog, with possibly a little Collie thrown in. This breed was popular among sportsmen up until the first World War, but it’s popularity was eclipsed by the Labrador and Golden Retrievers. 

Body Structure and Composition

The medium-sized and well-proportioned Flat-Coated Retriever lacks exaggeration in any part of it’s body. They are described as having a “one piece” head, meaning that the skull and muzzle appear to be molded as one piece, as opposed to having a pronounced stop or significant difference in breadth or length between the muzzle and the skull. The small ears lay close to the head. The neck, moderately long and strong, leads down to a level topline and deep chest. This breed’s wiry muscled legs give the Flat-Coated Retriever an efficiently sound gait, capable of covering a significant amount of ground in a single stride. The legs, tail and chest are well-feathered. The Flat-Coated Retriever’s coat is relatively easy to care for; a weekly brushing should do the trick.


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