Flat-Coated Retriever vs English Water Spaniel - Breed Comparison

Both Flat-Coated Retriever and English Water Spaniel are originated from United Kingdom. Flat-Coated Retriever may grow 10 cm / 4 inches higher than English Water Spaniel. Flat-Coated Retriever may weigh 16 kg / 36 pounds more than English Water Spaniel. Flat-Coated Retriever may live 4 years less than English Water Spaniel. Both Flat-Coated Retriever and English Water Spaniel has same litter size. Flat-Coated Retriever requires Moderate maintenance. But English Water Spaniel requires Low maintenance

History

flat coated retriever - historyThe Flat-Coated Retriever traces its heritage to 19th century England. A popular gamekeepers’ dog, the actual descendants of the breed are not entirely known. Like so many well-established breeds, there are many lines of thought about the breed line. There is an unverified line of ancestry that includes the St. Johns Water Dog – an extinct breed from North America. Another story has Canadian sailors bringing their Newfoundlands to England and mixing them with Colliers and Setters. This story has more truth to it and it took 20 years to establish the final breed type.

The breed was originally a retriever with two purposes – to retrieve the hunters’ bounty on land and on water.

The Flat-Coated Retriever was then introduced to the United States as a gun dog. By 1873 it was a “stable type” and in 1915 the AKC recognized the breed. After this, their popularity grew quickly until the American public fell in love with the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. Then the Flat-Coated Retriever’s numbers and popularity fell. The irony was that both the Golden and the Labrador credited the Flat-Coated Retriever as an ancestor. The survival of the breed was questionable following World War Two. They were brought back by a specific breeding program in the 1960’s.

Breeders in the ‘60s made sure they bred for both show dogs and companion animals. The Flat-Coated Retriever survived and is less popular than other retrievers, but he has his fans. The breed is more popular in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States in part because of Best in Show wins at Crufts

The English Water Spaniel breed is extinct and has been since the early 1900’s. It was last seen in the 1930s. The breed was a hunting breed, diving for duck and hunting other waterfowl. Legend has it that Shakespeare was referring to this breed of dog in Macbeth when he refers to the “water rug”. Again, in Two Gentlemen of Verona one of the character states about another that “She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel.’

The English Water Spaniel came along before the Irish Water Spaniel and had a part in the development the Curly Coated Retriever, the American Water Spaniel and the Field Spaniel. The English Water Spaniel looks somewhat like a Poodle/Springer Spaniel cross or a Collie. It is not known whether the English Water Spaniel was part of the development of the Irish Water Spaniel.

When the English Water Spaniel was first developed the UKC had a “Water Spaniels other than Irish” and the English Water Spaniel had no standard written and accepted for it yet. But by 1967 the breed was extinct. Still the American Water Spaniel and the Flat Coated Retriever are believed to be descendants of the English Water Spaniel.

Description

flat coated retriever puppy - descriptionThe Flat-Coated Retriever has a straight and strong topline with unique head, strong jaws, a long muzzle and small ears. His eyes are dark brown almonds with a friendly and intelligent expression. He has an arched neck and a moderately long tail. The Flat-Coated Retriever is more of an athlete, lighter and certainly more elegant than any other type or breed of retriever.

Resembling the Springer Spaniel, poodle, collie and setter the English Water Spaniel has very little in common with the Irish Water Spaniel in respect to looks. The English has a narrow and somewhat longer head their than other spaniels and they have long furry ears. Their body is stout, and they are shaped like a barrel – more like a Clumber. With long legs and large feet, it is ready to take to the hunt. There coat was waterproof, and their toes were webbed.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

flat coated retriever dog - characteristicsThe Flat-Coated Retriever is great with children. Just be careful they don’t knock over small children in their enthusiasm.

Special talents

They are confident great family dogs. They are “thinking dogs” and need something to work for or they will work for themselves. They can be clowns.

Adaptability

They are adaptable although their size might preclude small locations without yards.

Learning ability

Smart, thinking all the time, they are very trainable. However, they are considered the “Peter Pan” of dogs – they never grow up.

The English Water Spaniel was aloof with strangers but loyal with his hunter. He was a little stubborn and an excellent water dog. They loved being in the water and could enter it without making any noise so as not to frighten his prey. He was highly intelligent and trainable. He also was very affectionate with his people.

Health Problems

flat coated retriever puppies - health problemsFlat-Coated Retrievers have their share of health concerns from dysplasia to cancer. The breeds problems include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia – not very common
  2. PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) – can result in blindness
  3. Glaucoma - an eye disease that can result in blindness
  4. Epilepsy – very rare but still seen
  5. Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and volvulus) – fatal if not treated immediately

Cancers

Hemangiosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Malignant Histiocytosis, and Fibrosarcoma. Studies show that about half of all Flat-Coated Retrievers die of cancer.

The English Water Spaniel is a fairly healthy breed given to some fairly common disorders such as:

Hip Dysplasia

Can lead to lameness and arthritis

Cardiac abnormalities

Arterial fib and flutter and other problems that could lead to death.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is a disease seem in several “Dwarf” breeds such as Corgis, as well as in many spaniels. This is the canine version of Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS and it is fatal.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

flat coated retriever dogs - caringHe will be a medium size dog. Feed puppies 3-4 times a day about a 1/8 cup of high-quality food. Feed a puppy food designed for medium size dogs or specifically for retrievers.

Feeding the adult

Feed 2 times a day about !/2 cups of dry food per meal. Do not overfeed. They have a tendency to be obese.

Points for Good Health

Maintain a healthy weight and avoid exercise before and after meals. The good news is dysplasia and epilepsy are rare in the breed.

Games and Exercises

They are very energetic and need good exercise. Long walks and a yard to run in. Remember they are hunting dogs and will chase to retrieve things so don’t let them off leash outside your yard. They will excel at agility, tracking. Rally, obedience, swimming, hunting, and jogging. They make great therapy dogs.

Feeding

The English Water Spaniel is not an overly energetic dog and has a tendency to over eat. Feed him 1 to 1.5 cups of high quality dry dog food over two meals each day.

Health issues

In addition to the health issues mentioned earlier, the English Water Spaniel is also prone to:

Baldness

Pattern baldness – is genetic and occurs on the neck and back of the hind legs.

Cataracts

English Water Spaniels can have these in old age like most other breeds.

Retinal Dysplasia

Clumps form in the retinal tissue and can lead to blindness

Exercise and games

The English Water Spaniel was a worker and an outdoor athlete at a time before organized canine games and activities such as agility and flyball. They loved to swim, and they loved to hunt. Without a job to do they could become barky and destructive.

Basic Information

Group:
Sporting dog
Sporting dog
Origin:
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Height Male:
59 - 61 cm
23 - 25 inches
49 - 51 cm
19 - 21 inches
Height Female:
56 - 59 cm
22 - 24 inches
45 - 47 cm
17 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
27 - 36 kg
59 - 80 pounds
16 - 20 kg
35 - 45 pounds
Weight Female:
25 - 32 kg
55 - 71 pounds
14 - 18 kg
30 - 40 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 8
4 - 8
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Flatcoat, flatt, Flattie Flatte (Sweden)
Water Dog, Water Rug
Colors Available:
liver and yellow (blonde, black
liver and white
Coat:
double, glossy and smooth
dense, waterproof, doublecoated
Shedding:
Constant
Moderate
Temperament:
Affectionate, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing
Affectionate, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Stubborn, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

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  40. Formosan Mountain Dog vs Flat-Coated Retriever - Breed Comparison
  41. Shikoku vs Flat-Coated Retriever - Breed Comparison
  42. Slovakian Hound vs Flat-Coated Retriever - Breed Comparison
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