Joined: Jan 2006
What do you want to know???
I will help all I can.
For starters....I will tell you what many perceive to be the downsides, if you're still interested after that I will start to go on endlessly about the good things!
First of all...they eat their own poo. This puts a LOT of people off. They do it as a breed thing, all the remedies are useless...no one knows why they do it but generally most do it at some point and don't necessarily grow out of it.
They are nothing like Golden Retrievers or Labradors. They will not stay lying down on the sofa when you get up to make a brew...they have to be with you all the time.
You cannot have a bin...they will raid it no matter what training you give them.
They will eat anything and everything...(including each others poo and the poo of other species...)
You cannot have a coffee table with a Flat Coat around as it's tail will clear it, for the same reason, young toddlers could get hurt by their enthusiastic tail action.
They adore water and mud...it is a daily thing given half a chance. You cannot be house proud and own a Flat Coated Retriever. This is a regular sight.. (honestly, I am not exaggerating,daily if he can...)
They are difficult to train. You have to persuade them that anything they do was their idea in the first place. You cannot use harsh training methods as they are sensitive...and the other side of that is you cannot use harsh training methods because they sulk....yet at the same time they could eat a weak handler for breakfast. You need to relearn all the training methods when dealing with a Flat Coat...truly. They really are not, in my experience, like other Retrievers.
They are hard work and dirty and truly not for everyone. They look great when they are clean and brushed but they do not look like that a lot....they are enthusiastic in everything that they do and want to be with their family all the time. They do not deal at all well with being left for prolonged periods.
In all honesty we had people ask to come and visit us because they wanted a Flat Coat. After half an hour with us they had decided a Flat Coat wasn't for them.
You really have to research the breed well...go to shows, speak to breeders, meet lots of the dogs. Make sure if you do opt for one that all the health checks are done and that the lines you get your comapnion from are relatively free of cancer. Cancer is rife sadly.
There.....all the bad points that do put lots of people off because this truly is not a breed for everyone. Yes, they can make great pets, but only with careful handling and lots of exercise.
If I haven't put you off I will gladly tell you the good things too>