The Gamekeepers Retrievers breeding program started in 1993 with the purchase of a Flat-coated Retriever puppy from the Flatford Kennel. In 2023, Mitch continued with the original lines under the name Classic. That little puppy grew up to be Jazz, CH Flatford Major Obsession NA JH WC. Jazz was a lovely bitch with a group placement and FCRSA National Specialty JAM to her credit. As Gamekeeper’s Retrievers foundation bitch, Jazz passed her lovely looks and sweet temperament on to her multi-talented offspring. We owe it all to her.
About Flat-Coated Retrievers
The Breed History:
The Flat-coated Retriever was developed in Britain in the 1800’s. Mr. Sewallis Evelyn Shirley, founder and first president and chairman of the Kennel Club in Britain, is credited as being the founder of the breed. Originally known as Wavy-coated Retrievers, the Flat-coat is likely descended from St. John Newfoundland crossed with other breeds such as Setters and Collies. Despite being very popular among British gamekeepers for their excellent working ability, the breed was almost completely lost during the First and Second World Wars. Stanley O’Neil and a small group of fanciers worked diligently to save the breed and Mr. O’Neil exported one of the first Flat-coats into the United States in 1953 to Homer Downing. Interest in the breed in America grew and the Flat-coated Retriever Society of America, Inc. (FCRSA) was founded in 1960. Although Flat-coats are still a relatively rare breed, ranking 90 out of 189 breeds, the FCRSA is considered one of the largest and most active parent clubs in the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Flat-coated Retriever is an elegant working retriever described in the breed standard as showing “Power without lumber and raciness without weediness”. A moderately sized dog, with a zest for life and an ever wagging tail, the Flat-coat is happiest when spending time with its family. As stated in the breed standard, the distinctive and most important features of the Flat-Coat are the silhouette (both moving and standing), smooth effortless movement, head type, coat and character.
Dedicated breeders are committed to maintaining the dual purpose nature of the Flat-coat and they have worked hard to insure that the breed has does not split into “show” versus “working” lines as has happened in the more popular retriever breeds. The Flat-coat has an excellent nose and excels in finding game. The breed is biddable and willing to please, but is also described as the “Peter Pan of Retrievers” meaning that they are very slow to mature, inventive and somewhat impish in nature, characteristics which have gotten less than patient trainers in trouble when working with the breed.
For More Information:
The Flat-coated Retriever Society of America (www.fcrsainc.org)
The Flat-coated Retriever Society of Canada (www.flatcoat.ca)
The Flat-coated Retriever Society (UK) (www.flatcoated-retriever-society.org)