Flat-Coated Retriever Breed Magazine - Showsight

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was nine. Two litters of puppies were produced and the population of Flat-Coats by 1957 was twenty-two. Mr. Downing and his wife introduced these two bid- dable bitches to the obedience ring. Pewcroft Perfect achieved a UDT and Atherbram Stella a UD title. Mr. Downing, under the kennel name Bramcroft, would play a huge role in perpetuation the breed as we know it today—a complete utility dog. Over the next fifty years Flat-Coats would regain popularity, with stabilizing pedigrees, and achieve success in the breed ring, the field and in all areas of AKC competitions. Th e Flat-Coated Retriever remains today a bid- dable working companion not dived in performance versus show lines. In 2012 there were a total of 1116 titles earned in the breed across all AKC events. Th e breed saw 552 dogs registered in 2012 ranking 92 out of 177. 96 litters were registered. Th e Flat-Coat has a reliable temperament and is an excellent companion dog. Th e Flat-coat has been coined the “Canine Peter Pan” in A Review Of Th e Flat-Coated Retriever by Dr. Nancy Laughton. Th is is the reason my husband and I chose the Flat-Coat- ed Retriever to raise our children, but can also serve as a reason to proceed with caution when consider- ing this breed. Although always known for their exuberant personality, trainability and persistent wagging tail—the Flat-Coat may be too much for the nov- ice dog owner. “THE FLAT-COAT HAS A RELIABLE TEMPERAMENT AND IS AN EXCELLENT COMPANION DOG.”

choppy, mincing or ponderous. Front and rear legs reach well forward and extend well back, achieving long clean strides. Front legs should reach beyond the nose and the rear legs should drive well back in a pen- dulous motion in balance with the front. Th e topline should be evaluat- ed while dog is moving and appear strong and level. In motion, the tail is carried happily with a smooth extension o ff the back. Shoulders are long, and well laid back, shoulder blade with upper arm are of approximately equal length to allow for e ffi cient reach while the rear angle and turn of stifle, should be free of exaggerations to allow good rear drive. Moving silhouette of this breed should be e ff ortless and graceful.” The standard also states that the impression of the skull and muz- zle being “cast in one piece” is created by the fairly flat skull of mod- erate breadth and flat, clean cheeks, combined with the long, strong, deep muzzle which is well filled in before, between and beneath the eyes. When viewed from above, the muzzle is nearly equal in length and breadth to the skull. The stop is a gradual, slight and barely perceptible, avoiding a down or dish-faced appearance. Brows are slightly raised and mobile, giving life to the expression. Stop must be evaluated in profile so that it will not be confused with the raised brow. The occiput should not be prominent, and the skull should form gently without being too wide or dome-like. Traditionally, the Flat-Coat has been described in the standard as showing “power without lumber and raciness without weediness.” The well-known catch phrase contained in the standard is not with- out problems when it comes to interpretation. The word “power” should describe a moderate animal, well muscled, able to do a day’s work that moves effortless around the ring. A quarter horse has power without lumber. “Raciness”—this is another difficult word to inter- pret meaning. A thoroughbred horse is racy without being weedy. In a recent discussion with other breeders and judges of this breed, we have come to the conclusion that there have only been a handful of Flat-Coats in all of history that have had too much substance. To the contrary, the number of animals without sufficient bone for their size are far too numerous to count. This should be kept in mind when judging the breed. It is my hope that this brief article will help when judging and observ- ing such a unique and rare breed as the Flat-Coated Retriever. Please do your best in trying to find the “un-generic” dog. Th e reward will be great. I will always look forward to my next assignment—for the day I walk in the ring, and see the dog that makes my heart flutter. Th ere is not a more beautiful sight. Th at is why I became an AKC judge.


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