The Rare Flat-Coat Retriever

Although not well-known, the Flat-Coated Retriever has some advantages over more common breeds.

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Q. We have a black, Flat-Coated Retriever who we adopted from a rescue center. We love her dearly and call her Rosie. I noticed in scanning through the pages of your magazines that I rarely see that breed mentioned. Is she such a rare breed or just not as popular a breed as most others?

A. The Flat-Coated Retriever is not well-known, with a ranking of 100 on the list of all American Kennel Club-recognized breeds. Yet it certainly deserves to have a higher profile.

The Flat Coat is a versatile breed, and most conformation champions also have obedience, field, and agility degrees behind their names. This is a credit to the breeders who value a multi-functional breed and have not allowed the Flat Coat to become exaggerated in appearance. In many of the more popular Sporting breeds, there very definitely exists a split between a field type and a show type, with two very divergent looks. Thankfully, this has not happened in the Flat Coat. Breeders are committed to a dog who can do it all, leaving the duck pond and, with a bit of tidying up, performing equally successfully in the show ring.

Among the retriever breeds, the glamorous Golden and the super popular Lab have eclipsed the lesser-known Chesapeake, Curly Coat, Nova Scotia Duck Toller, and the Flat Coat. However, this is not altogether a bad thing.

Although someone wishing to purchase a puppy may have to put his or her name on a waiting list, many of the genetic issues that have afflicted the more popular Sporting breeds have bypassed the less-common breeds. With fewer breeders on the scene, it’s a smaller community. Breeders tend to health test vigilantly and are rather relieved that their chosen breed hasn’t suffered from a sudden burst in popularity. This often entices less reputable breeders to jump on the bandwagon and crank out litters to feed public demand.


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gerry   dundas, Armed Forces

7/8/2014 6:25:49 AM

I have had many sporting breeds but non compare to the flatcoat. Active outdoors. Calm indoors. Excellent watchdog. Great with strangers other pets and kids. Socialize well by 16 weeks and you will have an amazing dog. PLUS SUPER EASY TO GROOM.

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Leslie   Rancho Cordova, California

4/30/2014 1:08:18 PM

I just love my flat coated retriever Maya she is the sweetest and
smartest
dog. I have had the pleasure of her company for five years. I found her in a

shelter and could not believe someone gave her up. Well it was my gain

because I just love my Maya so much. and yes flat coats are Great!!!!

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Becky & Fred   Gastonia, North Carolina

3/8/2014 6:47:57 AM

My husband & I & our 25 yr old daughter(who has been out of the house for several years now), working as an R.N..& going to grad school...Have always had Labs & Lab /Aussie/Shepherd mixes...Our 1st dog...many years back was a Flattie.She & our last dog ,Nikki & Maggie ,were our best ever dogs...& we miss them terribly.Learned about FCR's @ our vet's office & just fell in love with them(esp., after having our girl ,Nikki).Have always raised from pups...& Maggie(our Lab that we had to put down @ age 14 last Fall)just about killed us to do so...As a puppy,she ate an entire chair(Lay-Z-Boy recliner) ...even though we had plenty of chew toys ,tennis balls...etc. for her...She & our other girl ,Lizzie(Aussie shepherd/Lab mix) played ping pong & catch w/us w/the tennis ball & also loved to play tug of war w/a tube sock or 2 tied together w/a big knot...So loving & sweet,but also great guard dogs.We have always had rescue dogs...Had one purebred Lab,Sadie,from a local breeder...Sadly,she ran out in front of a truck & was killed instantly.We have an acre of land & have runs tied around trees (100ft. or so)...Sadie just got away from us...Not big on having papers for a dog...but it's hard to find FCR's w/out going through a breeder.We would love to have a F runt if possible(spayed ,of course)...We live out past Crowders Mountain Park & this is the 1st time in our 30 years of marriage that we have not had dogs & cats...Ever since husbands cardiac surgery...he is now allergic to long-haired cats(our daughter has a long haired Calico,Kya) & he cannot breathe when we are @ her home..Just a note about how much we miss & loved our Flat-Coated Retriever,Nikki,& would like to be on a list or if you have one...we would happily take her off your hands !!!

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Eileen - 195811   Onalaska, WA

4/18/2013 1:58:34 AM

My husband knew I was missing my white German Shepards after they were gone from our lives. I had had them 12 and 14 years, Mother and daughter. We went to our local animal shelter one day just to love the animals as we do a lot. It was almost my birthday and he got me this really neat black dog there that day for my birthday. The shelter called her a retriever cross. I ran into a breeder of flat coats by accident one day and discovered my cross baby looked just like them and had all the same qualities that her babies had. She told me that my girl was probably a Flat Coat too. Looks just like all the pics of Flat Coats here too. Wonderful breed to take me away from my shepards. Would not trade her for anything else. Wonderful breed for around everyone, children, adults and even strangers. Very protective, but will mind when you say they are okay.We had only had her 2 weeks when he came home from second shift at the mill and she did not hear his truck come in the driveway. When he started in the house she was about to take him down when she recognized his voice. He said "Honey, I don't ever have to worry about you being alone at home anymore. Zoe will protect you." Love him, love my Baby Dog.

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