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Flat Coated Retriever

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Origin / History The development of this breed started in the 1800s. The Flat Coated Retriever was created by crossing several dog breeds such as the Labrador, Irish Setter, St. John's Newfoundland, and Water Dog, although there are some theories that even the Collie was included. This breed was officially recognized as a breed in 1915 by the American Kennel Club. Flat Coated Retrievers were popular before the onset of the World War, but their popularity was surpassed by the Golden Retriever and Labrador. After the World War II, though, there were only few Flat Coated Retrievers around that the breed was already considered to be on the brink of extinction. It is fortunate, though, that careful breeding in the 1960s brought these dogs back and they became popular again.

These dogs are used for tracking, retrieving, hunting, and watchdogging. Aside from that, they are also great as family companions.

Appearance These dogs have long, sleek heads with wide muzzles. Their eyes are hazel or dark brown, and they sport intelligent expressions. Their ears are moderately small and lay flat at the sides of their heads. The color of their noses match their coats. They have wide and deep chests, and their backs are square and short. They have muscular legs and strong, round feet. Their coats are thick, medium-length and sleek, and they sport well-feathered chests, tails, and legs.

Colours The coats of these dogs can come in either solid liver or solid black, although the latter color is more common.

Temperament These dogs get along well with children as well as with other canines and household pets. They are affectionate and friendly, with a stable temperament that makes them great as family dogs. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them trainable. They need human companionship and much affection, though. They love being included in various family activities because they need human attention. These dogs are optimistic and continue to be playful and friendly even when they are already old. These dogs are also outgoing and would love playing and doing activities outdoors. They're great as retrievers and would be very happy playing in bodies of water.

Height and Weight 56 - 61 cm in height and 25 - 36 Kg in weight. Males are larger than females and at the top end of the size ranges.

Common Health Problems Dogs of this breed can be afflicted with cancer. They can also develop progressive retinal atrophy, congenital heart defects, hip dysplasia, diabetes, and epilepsy.

Living Conditions Since these dogs are relatively inactive when kept indoors, they should be provided with yards that are at least average in size so that they will have room to run around and play in. They need to interact with their family a lot, so they can be indoors some of the time, but they should be taken outside regularly so that they can get some activity done.

Exercise Requirements These dogs are active and they need to exercise daily in order to become physically and mentally fit. They should be taken out for walks on a daily basis. They also love going hunting and swimming, and they make great jogging companions.

Training Requirements Flat Coated Retrievers are trainable and highly intelligent, thus making them great students. Owners must make sure that they are not treating the dog harshly for doing so will only bode for negative effects. Methods of positive reinforcement will work best on these dogs. Owners should also keep the training fun, interesting, and short. Although consistency is needed, overly repetitive training activities must be avoided.

Life Expectancy These dogs usually live for as long as 12 - 14 years.

Grooming These dogs are easy to groom. Owners just need to comb and brush their dogs' coats once a week, although this should be done more often when the dogs are shedding. Minor trimming may also be done when necessary.

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