The Flat Coated Retriever Rescue Network: News in August 2022

General News

The Flat Coated Retriever Rescue Network (FCRRN) have received three more inquiries from guardians who are seeking to adopt a flat coated retriever following a surrender. They have joined the FCRRN’s list of potential adopters; the list has 25 people currently. There have not been any surrenders to the FCRRN which is quite good news although the situation with behaviour problems in some young flat coated retrievers is worrying; see below.

Also members of the FCRRN are reporting that commercial prices are increasing again after reducing last year, e.g. puppies advertised for £1500 to £2000; adult flat coated retrievers advertised for £1200 to £1500, which suggests that guardians might try to sell an adult dog with all the attendant welfare risks instead of surrendering to a rescue.

More positively the FCRRN’s news for June 2022 has received some encouraging feedback; the green light topic in particular has struck quite a chord; see: http://www.iainrobbe.com/fcrrn_02/

Behaviour problems in young flat coated retrievers

In the past three months the FCRRN have been made aware of six flat coated retrievers aged less than three years with challenging behaviours. All six have either been surrendered to other rescue organisations or a surrender is being actively considered. Flat coated retrievers can have challenging behaviours, as we all know, but six in such a short time is worrying. It might be associated with the fact that all six will have spent a substantial proportion of their lives in COVID-19 lockdowns.


Bodie is a flat coated retriever aged three years who went missing on a walk with his guardian in early July in East Sussex. He has not been found to date but several recent sightings of a black dog have occurred and it is hoped that the sightings are of Bodie.

Many people have worked very hard, often in difficult conditions, to search for Bodie and there has been significant activity on social media which some readers of this newsletter might have seen. Also the organisation “Drone SAR for Lost Dogs UK;” see: http://dronesaruk.org/ have been helping the searches.

I should make clear that the FCRRN have not been directly involved in the search for Bodie and we realise that Bodie is not in a rescue (surrender/adoption) situation but he is a flat coated retriever in need and the FCRRN might be able to help. We have shared the updates about Bodie throughout the network and passed on the updates to friends in case someone sees a new adult flat coated retriever being exercised or a local advertisement about a flat coated retriever for sale or a local rescue takes in a flat coated retriever. The FCRRN have members across the UK’s mainland, from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, from Penzance to Penshurst, and many places in-between.

We also have FCRRN members near to the area where Bodie went missing and they have shared information with their decorator, window cleaner, Royal Mail delivery officer, inter alia, and local friends.


The FCRRN have received some generous donations of equipment for flat coated retrievers in need and we are very grateful. Naturally the donors have been thanked individually and assured that the donations are being taken seriously by the FCRRN. 

Picture: donation of a physiotherapy-approved bed

Picture: donation of a ramp

Several rescued dogs have needed major orthopaedic surgery in recent years and post-operatively their activity is typically restricted for at least 12 weeks. The physiotherapy-approved bed will help rehabilitation and the ramp will prevent jumping into or out of a car so these items can be loaned to a rescue dog after surgery.

Picture: donation of a cooling mat

An older rescue dog particularly would benefit from the cooling mat although the recent heat wave has revealed the benefits of the cooling mat for all of our canine companions.

Picture: donation of a basket bed

Some rescue dogs are surrendered with no toy, comforter, bed, etc., so the basket bed would be used to provide a safe place in the adopted home.

The FCRRN have also received two offers of a financial donation for which we are very grateful and humbled. We have had minimal expenditure to date, e.g. telephone, printing, etc., but we know the costs of care following a surrender and pre-adoption can be high, e.g. imported infections, injuries, or for the continuing care of chronic conditions, e.g. thyroid and pancreas disorders, arthritis, et alia, so we have agreed to revisit these generous offers when there is a rescue and costs for care.

It is relevant to reiterate that, as we explained in the FCRRN’s introductory statement*, the FCRRN rely on the genuine voluntary activities of our network and we do not charge for our rescue activities.

Finally please could I remind you that the FCRRN’s key aim is to improve the quality of life of flat coated retrievers, when surrender or adoption is being considered, or communications are important, e.g. to help the search for Bodie, so please contact us if you think the FCRRN could help.

Dr Iain J Robbé

On behalf of the Flat Coated Retriever Rescue Network (FCRRN)

Email: walesandwm@gmail.com


“Rescues R Us”

* http://www.iainrobbe.com/fcrrn_01/

© 2022 Flat Coated Retriever Rescue Network

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About Iain Robbe

I am a medical practitioner (MB, BS, 1980; MRCS, LRCP, 1980) registered with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I have reactivated my licence to practise and I am providing telephone support to vulnerable elderly to assist them during the pandemic. I remain active as a Clinical Medical Educationist participating in a number of projects with the universities of St Mary’s and Dalhousie in Nova Scotia and Mount Allison in New Brunswick, inter alia, and separately with three of the veterinary schools in the UK. My focus is on teaching and research in professionalism, ethics, and communications, and particularly the influences of vernacular architecture on the creation of positive learning experiences in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. I have the degree of Master in Public Health from the University of London (1985) and the degree of Master in Medical Education with distinction from the University of Wales (2001). The guiding principles in my practices are based on andragogy and humanism, and the prime ethical principle of autonomy for the individual and in population health.

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