The Flat Coated Retriever training information you will read here was developed
by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose
combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist
experience training dogs.
Here are a few of our experts:
has been featured in National TV and
Radio shows like Voice of America
and has been
dogs ever since he was 14 years old.
players, NFL players, professional
golfers, singers, wrestlers, governors, CEOs,
billionaire entrepreneurs, and many other celebrities
trust Ty because of his unique approach to training
He has trained dogs in 18 states
in the U.S.A and four other countries worldwide
and has spent several years working with high
level executive protection dogs who make wonderful
family pets, but potent guardians if called
is an internationally recognized Expert
Animal Communicator and Master
who has authored 6 books on Animal Communication
and has been featured in several TV
and Radio shows such as the
Wayne & Jayne Radio Show and Whole Life Radio
with Carmen & John LaMarca.
Her uncanny insight
into 'animal thought' comes from having intimately
worked with over 6,200 animals during the past
30 years, which is why we trust her profound
experience when she speaks.
Dr. Susan Lauten
Lauten has a Masters in Animal Nutrition
and a Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences.
Recently a guest of
Marty Becker on "Top Vets Talk Pets"
and interviewed by The Oregon Live,
she has authored several peer-reviewed articles
and veterinary nutrition reference book chapters.
With 5 years of experience teaching Veterinary
Nutrition at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital,
Dr. Lauten brings unequalled veterinary perspective
into how your dog should be cared for both medically
has a current practice which teaches nearly
200 young dog owners to train
their dogs in obedience and
Having spent over 40 years training
dogs, Sally has proven experience in helping
dogs to love and obey their owners and bond
deeply with them - while guiding owners to truly
appreciate the wonderful gift of friendship
this inevitably brings.
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Flat Coated Retriever: Key Characteristics of Flat Coated Retriever Dog Breed
Group: AKC Sporting, KCGB Gun
Also Known As: Flattie, Flat-coats
About Flat Coated Retriever
Country of Origin, History of the breed
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a relatively
new breed. It was developed in the 1800s
by crossing Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers,
Water Dogs, and the St. John’s Newfoundland.
The breed was fairly popular with cod fishermen
off the coast of Newfoundland and was one
of several breeds referred to as “Labradors.”
At some point sheepdogs – probably
Collies – were added into the breeding.
The Retriever classification of
the 1859 British dog show included Curly-Coated,
Wavy-Coated, and Smooth-Coated Retrievers. Flat-Coats
were shown as Wavy-Coated. The breed gained popularity
with breeders in England. However, it was nearly
lost by the end of World War II. Stanley O’Neill,
a great authority on Flat-Coats, revived the breed.
By the mid-1960s it was flourishing in the United
States as well as Europe.
It is a very highly regulated
breed by those who raise Flat-Coats. Those desiring
to own them must sign contracts with very strict
rules on breeding and not relinquishing a dog and
must be tightly screened for appropriateness of
placement of each puppy.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Flat Coated Retriever the right breed for you?
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Check Your Flat Coated Retriever's Learning Style
Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Flat Coated Retriever's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper training methods.
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Flat-Coated Retriever Calorie Calculator
Do you know how many calories your Flat Coated Retriever needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Flat Coated Retriever Calorie Calculator.
A General Appearance of
The silhouette of a Flat-Coated
Retriever is unforgettable. Often described as a
cross between a Golden Retriever and an Irish Setter,
the Flat Coat is lean, sleek, and powerful. The
Flat-Coated Retriever’s back is level and
his head and neck appear to be a single part. His
head is narrower than a Golden’s.
A Flat-Coat is well-balanced and
extremely elegant. Although his legs appear small
in diameter, they are very strong and springy. Flat-Coated
Retrievers look proud and intelligent and act alert,
happy and ready to go. The medium length black or
brown coat is extremely shiny and lies flat against
the body. The legs and tail are well feathered.
The Flat-coated Retriever comes
in two colors – black or liver. Both colors
are solid and cannot have even one hair of any other
color. The coat is very shiny and lies flat against
The medium length black or brown
coat is extremely shiny and lies flat against the
body. There is also an undercoat which becomes much
heavier in the fall and winter. The legs and tail
are well feathered.
Flat-Coated Retrievers are constant
shedders with extremely heavy shedding in the spring
and fall. Using a shedding blade on them is often
necessary during their heavy shedding times. Your
house will always have black or brown fur floating
around and on the floors.
Males: 23 – 24.5 inches
Females: 22 – 23.5 inches
The English version of the Flat-Coated
Retriever tends to be taller than the American version.
60-70 lbs for both male and female
This breed should look lean and
muscular. The ribs should be able to be seen. Do
Temperament of the Dog
Flat-Coated Retrievers are very
active dogs. They are smart and friendly and learn
quickly, but sometimes they can be too friendly.
Regular, consistent obedience training can help
prevent this problem.
Flat-Coats are always cheerful
and ready for a game, a run, or a ride in the car.
Their puppy-like exuberance lasts well into later
Flat-Coated Retrievers seldom bark
except to ask to go play with someone, so do not
get them to be a watchdog. They are known to be
‘counter cruisers’ – stealers
of food left on the kitchen counter!
Better suited to an indoor
or outdoor lifestyle?
Flat-Coated Retrievers are very
excitable dogs when outdoors and love to swim, hunt,
and retrieve. They are very soft-mouthed and are
great retrievers of waterfowl.
However, when they get indoors,
they quiet down and are very sociable, although
they demand quite a bit of human contact and attention.
Flat-Coats always want their heads rubbed, backs
scratched or someone with which to curl up and sleep.
Are they suited to homes
The Flat-Coated Retriever is superb
with children. The more people in the family (even
if they are only there sometimes) the happier he
is! As a family dog, he has a gentle, even temperament.
He is smart, active, and friendly with everyone.
The Flat-Coat never snaps and seldom growls, usually
moving to allow another pet to eat his food rather
than fight for it.
Training Your Flattie
Flattie training and socialization
should start early and be consistent throughout
their life, or they will not be consistent in obeying.
They need plenty of short training sessions and
training games because they are easily bored and
distracted. They do best when their training is
mixed up some, with games and other things mixed
in with training.
They make excellent obedience
and agility dogs. They are also very good at flyball
and hunting trials. They make excellent companions
for those who jog or run or camp and hike.
How active is the Breed?
Flat-Coated Retrievers are one
of the most active breeds. They remain very active
throughout their lives.
Flat-Coats need to run and play
every day. They like a large, fenced yard with activities
outside the yard to watch. A farm or ranch suits
them fine, especially if there is a creek to play
in and other animals to run with. However, they
will settle down indoors.
Adult Flat-Coats can live in an
apartment if they have a couple of long, brisk walks
a day and a romp in a dog park or safely fenced
area several times a week. Always keep them on a
leash as they will run to see other people and animals
with no regard for traffic no matter how well obedience-trained
they are and the consequences will be tragic.
A weekly brushing is necessary
to keep the Flat-Coats beautiful coat free of debris.
Daily brushing will help with the amount of shedding.
During the spring and fall, it may be necessary
to use a shedding blade on the Flat Coat on an almost
daily basis to help him get rid of his coat.
The monthly trimming of the toenails
can be a real problem with this breed as his feet
and legs are very sensitive and ticklish. Handle
his feet often when he is young and always use a
firm (not harsh) touch.
Flat-Coated Retrievers are prone
to “Retriever Ear” and ear infections.
Clean the ears at least once a week.
Health problems of the Flat-Coated
Retriever include cancer, luxated patella (displaced
kneecap), eyelash problems, cataracts, Ectropian,
Entropian, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, PRA, CHD, diabetes,
Breeding the Dog and any
Many litters in this breed have
at least one puppy that is born with problems that
need extensive medical care. Spend time with breeders
who have had several litters to understand the extent
of the care that is needed for whelping and raising
Litter Size: Litters
can be as large as 13 puppies, but most litters
Life Span: About
10 – 12 years.
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National Breed Clubs
British – FlatCoated Retriever
Society - www.flatcoated-retriever-society.org
US – Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America,
Inc. – www.fcrsainc.org
Other Recognition: CKC,
FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, APRI,
Rescue Link:  www.fcrsainc.org/rescue/index.html
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