Flatcoated Retriever Association of Victoria

Website by Deon

Brief History

The Flatcoated Retriever was developed in England in the late eighteenth century; when advancements in design and efficiency in shot guns brought forward the need for an efficient dog to work with shooters and to retrieve their dead or wounded game. To develop a dog to meet their requirements they experimented with the crossing of different breeds.

In it's early days the breed was known as the "Wavy-Coated Retriever" a combination of many breeds. The task of refining lines to produce the Flat Coated Retriever was undertaken by Mr. Evelyn Shirley, a sportsman who, in 1873 was also the founder of the Kennel Club of England. Many books allude to a variety of breeds being used for the foundation of the breed, these include Setters, sheep dogs and even a mention of a Borzoi cross being used. Also referred to in the origins of the breed are references to the St. Johns water dog and the Lesser Labrador or the small Newfoundland.

After the end or World War 2 the breed numbers declined, much breeding stock had been lost over the war and newer breeds requiring less coat care starting to win favour with the shooters of the day. The Flatcoat remained, however, the choice of Gamekeepers.

In Australia the breed was slow to appear, records show that a dog named Esmonian Unity, born 1 November 1928 was owned by a gentlemen who lived in St Kilda, Victoria. Their real emergence was in 1974 when Robert and Faye Pargetter imported Stonemeade Shandygaff and Stonemeade Fine Lace and in 1975 Mrs. Dorothy Sutch imported Stonemeade Wild Rose. Litters were bred from both bitches in 1975 and thus the story began.

Vanrose Black Jewel entered the scene from New Zealand in 1975 and another import from England, Dudwell Zenith of Downstream joined the group. Other imports to the country included Vanrose Black Knight, Vanrose Black Beauty Vanrose Black Pearl and Vanrose Black Seal.

In the 1980's more animals arrived from England, Stonemeade Hamish and Bramatha Copper Narelle (1st liver coloured Flatcoat into the country) and from New Zealand, Dunboy Flight O Fancy and Copsewood Nigra. In 1984 Roglands Night Raider entered from England and in 1985 Branchalwood Kyle entered the scene.

In September 1991 after quite a long break between imports Two Flat Coats arrived in Quarantine at the same time. Helen and Peter Eley took possession Branchalwood of Jean and Ross Bryant, based in Adelaide and breeders under the Sherepoint prefix. Rina was - Casuarina Black Pearl - imported became Aust Ch Casuarina Black Pearl NRD>

Numbers and the gene pool increased in January 1993 when Bushman Kennels, owned by Peter and Coral Kennon and Judy Kennon-Wray imported a Dog, Almanza Never Think Twice and a Bitch, Almanza Better Than Ever from Sweden.

Bushman Kennels have imported several more dogs from Sweden since the original two, as well as one from England. Further particulars will be posted once they become available.

In September 1999 Jean and Ross Bryant, imported a Bitch, Braemist May Queen (Suki) from England.

In 2002 Helen and Peter Eley, breeders under the "Kellick" prefix imported a dog from Sweden. Black Mica's Totally Truant.

In January 2003 Jean and Ross Bryant again imported from England, this time a Dog: Branchalwood Portleathan.