The Flat Coated Retriever is a large breed belonging to the gundog family and is regarded as one of the most efficient retrievers. This strong, powerful breed is generally gifted with natural gundog talent, confidence and friendliness. It is slightly longer than it is tall and features a head that is long and slightly moulded with a slight stop that is effective enough to salvage a hare, duck or pheasant with no difficulty. Facial features include a nose of good size with open nostrils, widely-set almond shaped eyes that are dark brown or hazel in colour that gives an alert, intelligent, and kind expression, and small ears that lie close to the head. It has a strong jaw with a complete scissor bite. A strong neck that is obliquely set is long enough to seek the trail with relative ease. The body features a broad, deep, and thickly feathered chest with well defined brisket and a flat fore ribs. It has straight, well boned and well feathered front legs and long shoulders and well muscled upper thighs supported by medium-sized, round, thickly soled feet that cushions the breed when in motion. It has a short, straight and feathered tail that is carried gaily when the dog is active. The shiny, dense coat has a fine to medium texture and is straight and flat. The coat provides ample protection for the dog not only in the water but from all sorts of weather conditions and ground cover. The Flat Coated Retriever is usually pure black or solid liver in colour.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
It is believed that the Flat Coated Retriever, which originated in the middle of the 19th century, was a result of imported stocks from the North American continent of Newfoundland type. It is believed that the ancestors of this breed were excellent fish-retrieving breeds and were famous among fishermen in the 19th century such as the Labrador (different from the modern Labrador breed of today) and several different sizes of the Newfoundland dog. There are sources that points to the water dog, the St. John’s Newfoundland, and the Collie as the ancestors of the Flat Coated Retriever. Although the exact origins and breed mixture are relatively unclear, the Flat Coated Retriever came to be as a need for hunters to have an agile multipurpose gundog that can flush upland game and retrieve fallen birds whether it landed on water or land. It quickly won the hearts of the Americans after its introduction to the United States as an excellent gundog. From 1873 to 1914, it was registered as a “stable type” according to the AKC, and was officially registered as a distinct breed in 1915. It also quickly gained favor in the United Kingdom and was one of the earliest breeds to be show in English dog shows. Like most dog breeds, World War II brought devastation to the breed’s population, but has managed to hang on, primarily through the concerted efforts of breed enthusiasts in the early 1960s. It became modestly popular as a show dog and companion pet until today.
Characterised by its superb ability to flush upland game and retrieve downed birds both in land and in water, the Flat Coated Retriever is described as a versatile hunting breed capable of performing tasks expected of a multipurpose gundog. This breed is devoted, friendly and loves to please its master. It is a cheerful dog, always wagging its tail and often displays a puppy-like liveliness even as an adult. However, this less popularity status has benefited the Flat Coated Retriever by experiencing more careful breeding and better maintenance of its superior working abilities.
It is also an intelligent breed that it is easily bored with cyclical training methods and can be slightly more difficult to train than more popular breeds such as the Labrador or Golden Retriever. Training methods should be gentle, enjoyable, not repetitive and relatively short because the Flat Coated Retriever can easily get bored if training has no variation and is quite sensitive to harsh treatments but responds well to positive reinforcements. Socialisation and obedience training are highly required, preferably at an early age.
Considered to be an average shedder, the coat of this retriever requires moderate grooming; weekly brushing and a little trimming if necessary will be sufficient.
Although the Flat Coat Retriever is considered a generally healthy breed, it has a significantly higher risk of developing cancer than most dogs. Cancers such as hemangiosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, and malignant histiocytosis are particularly devastating diseases which can affect this breed. These certain types of cancers occur at much higher rates in this breed than in any other breed. The average lifespan for this breed is 10 to 12 years where over 75% of all deaths are attributed to cancer.
Poultry, fish and wheat should be included in the dog’s diet because these can easily be assimilated by the breed’s digestive and glandular system. It is recommended that dogs be given several small meals a day rather than one heavy meal. Experts also advice not to exercise the dog immediately after eating to avoid problems.
This breed needs a lot of daily mental and physical activities because of a playful attitude. Daily long walks or a chance to swim are the best physical stimulation that the Flat Coated Retriever can get. Relatively inactive indoors, it is not recommended for an apartment living as it requires an active family that live in a house with a secured yard.
It gets along well with other dogs and household animals, including cats. It has a calm breed with stable temperament and is excellent with children although it can be too energetic for small children which can accidentally knock them over easily.