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Any Flat Coat Retriever owners out there?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by mallard2, Oct 17, 2012.

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  1. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I think this is a shooting related thread, related to a good gun dog. Apologies if it should be somewhere else.

    Wondering about a good flat coat retriever. In a recent post several people mentioned they liked the breed.

    Can anyone fill us in on their traits, temperament, etc?
  2. trw

    trw Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Flat coats can be wonderful dogs. They are versatile and work both land & water equally well. The drawback is that all the dogs come from a very small gene pool, as few as thirty something dogs were known by the early 30's & they were all in Denmark, not Scotland where the breed originated. That small gene pool unfortunately has some cancer present in it. Not all dogs will develop it, but some do. On the upside, there is no known hip displasia(sp?)in the breed.

    I have had two Flat Coats, one a female died fairly early from what was deemed an organ related anomoly based on the autopsy preformed. The second, a male lived to only be eight years old due to cancer. When I got the first one in the 70's there were fewer than 300 dogs known to exist. My male, 'Louie' weighed 140#'s, possibly the largest one ever known. He weighed 126# when he died & it was a real heart-breaker having him go down in his prime. Most of them will weigh in the 80 pound range.

    If you luck out, some have been known to live up to seventeen years! They are great dogs, but there is like most things, some risk is involved. They are intelligent, loyal to a fault, great around children and friends, but quick to pickup on persons you don't like and they are protective. They also have a lot of stamina in the field, not unlike a Draather in that respect. And as water dogs they are much like a Chessie, stout and eager. Their temperment is in many ways like a Lab.

    If it were not for a friend giving me my present dog, a male English Lab, I'd take another shot at a Flat coat. In many ways the quality of a man's life may be measured by how many good dogs is is allowed to associate with.

    Irrespective of your choice, I hope that you become the 'lucky dog' in the relationship. I have been fortunate in that respect and always considered it a blessing.

    Best of luck and good shooting, tw
  3. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2006
    beautiful northern michigan
    " In many ways the quality of a man's life may be measured by how many good dogs he is allowed to associate with" wow that is profound. I may burn that onto a piece of wood and put it on the cabin wall. Is that original, or did you read it somewhere? Not being a smarta$$ [this time] Bill
  4. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Mallard2, aren't you in Idaho? If so, where? Do I know you?

    The website above is the official site of the FCR Society of America. They held this year's breed specialty field trial June 17, 2012 in Valders, WI. They had a Qualifying stake only with 23 entries and 20 starters. The best Flatcoat I've seen, Mary Young's Windfalls Mikaela SH, was not one of them. Mikaela is All-Age Qualified, has a JAM in an Amateur, and got her first qualifying 2nd under me in summer 2011. The Specialty cancelled its Derby Stake (probably could not find ten dogs to enter), and had no Open or Amateur stakes. What that means is there are not very many good, competitive Flatcoats out there. Mikaela is the only one I've seen, and she is a good dog.

    In contrast the Chesapeake Specialty, held September 13-15 in Cascade, ID, had an Open with 25 starters, an Amateur with 32 starters, a Qualifying with 30 starters, and a Derby with 8 starters. That shows that there are a lot more Chesapeakes out there running field trials, and many of them are very good. For example, in the Idaho Retriever Club trial the weekend before the Specialty, open to all breeds, Chesapeakes took first and third in the Amateur. In the Snake River Retriever Club trial a couple of weekends after, a Chesapeake won the Amateur, and two others placed first and second in the Qualifying.

    In hunt tests you'll certainly see more Flatcoats than in field trials, but you'll also see poodles, water spaniels, and Nova Scotia Tolling Duck Retrievers (whatever they are), The performance standards and expectations are much lower in hunt tests than in field trials. All I'm trying to say is that if you are looking for a very good retriever, you'd probably be better off looking in a breed with a larger base of very good dogs. Certainly Labs, Goldens, and Chesapeakes have that larger base. If you are anywhere near me I can show you a very nice four month old Chesapeake female pup available, for a good price to the right home. Here is her sister:


    Larry Ford
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