David Tomlinson writes:

The Field - - LETTERS -

My re­search was based sim­ply on con­ver­sa­tions with flat­coated re­triever own­ers, nearly all of whom have lost dogs to can­cer. Your ar­ti­cle on flat­coats made me seeth. Why would you cross the aris­to­cratic flat­coat with a labrador? The rea­son flat­coats are cho­sen is so you do not have a labrador. If the gene pool is small then cross with a set­ter. Maybe the English set­ter?

We have had flat­coats for 21 years and be­fore that labradors. They are very dif­fer­ent in tem­per­a­ment. The flats are good com­pany and love to play; they are clowns but when work­ing are hard to beat, al­though at times head­strong and sin­gle-minded. It would be a great loss if these traits were wa­tered down with labrador in­put.

The flat we have now is in his eighth year but ev­ery­one thinks he is about 18 months. The breed is so hand­some – and don’t they know it.

Geral­dine Good­john, by email

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