Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever



The Flat-Coated Retriever was bred in the mid-19th century in the United Kingdom. This is a cross between few breeds, including the Irish Setter, Labrador, Newfoundland and now extinct St. John’s Water Dog. It is assumed that Collie-type dogs were also included in this process. These dogs are excellent swimmers, gundogs and wonderful companions. Flat-Coated Retrievers are often confused with Labradors and Golden Retrievers, but this is a completely independent breed. This dog breed shows exceptional talent in tracking and retrieving game. Also, the Flat-Coated Retriever excels at agility and obedience, and with proper training, he shows remarkable results in many canine sports.

Height: 22-25 inches  Weight: 60-70 pounds  Lifespan: 8-10 years


The Flat-Coated Retriever is an extremely courageous dog, faithful to his master. This breed craves for human attention and feels especially good in a big family, where it can be in the limelight. Flat-Coated Retrievers are very affectionate, gentle and delicate. Also, these dogs have a great sense of humor, and their funny antics will make your day. Even though the Flat-Coated Retriever is very docile and calm by nature, he needs proper obedience training and socialization at very young age. Comparable Breeds are the Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever.


Flat-Coated Retrievers are very cheerful and easy-going animals. They are great with practically everyone, including young children, other dog breeds and even cats. The Flat-Coated Retriever is always willing to please his owner’s wishes, but he does require affection in return. Since the Flat-Coated Retriever loves hiking, he should not be kept in a kennel or cage. On the contrary, you should either keep your dog indoors or in a large, well-fenced yard. In general, the Flat-Coated Retriever has a funny, loving, friendly and endearing character. Because of its unique personality, this dog breed is an excellent pet for any type of family.

Coat / Care:

The Flat-Coated Retriever’s coat is evenly distributed throughout his whole body. It is medium in length, smooth, straight (as can be deduced from the name of this breed) and silky in texture. The coat should not be twisted, although the presence of a small wave is permissible. The Flat-Coated Retriever’s tail, paws, neck and lower body are adorned with thicker and longer strands, which are usually not too soft nor twisted in structure. Particular attention should be paid to additional decorations on the bottom of the dog’s body since this long locks tend to collect dirt and burs (especially after outdoor activities). In general, Flat-Coated Retrievers should be regularly cleaned with a stiff brush. However, make sure to bathe your pet only in case of urgent need. Because the Flat-Coated Retriever’s coat is naturally long, no additional trimming is required, except for special occasions.

Health Problems:

Generally, the Flat-Coated Retriever is a healthy breed. Nonetheless, it may be prone to certain health conditions, including canine hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, osteosarcoma (bone cancer), lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and gastric dilatation-volvulus (also known as bloat or gastric torsion). The Flat-Coated Retriever has a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years.

Weight / Height

The male Flat-Coated Retriever dog breed’s height is around 23 – 24.5 inches and weighs around 60 and 70 pounds. Female Flat-Coated Retriever dogs can reach a size from 22 – 23.5 inches and weighs between 60 and 70 pounds.


The Flat-Coated Retriever is very intelligent and learns with ease, which makes him an excellent student. This is a very cheerful and vigorous breed that requires consistent training. Still, constant repetition of the same lessons will make the dog quickly lose interest in learning. Hence, teaching lessons should be short, varied, motivational and dynamic. Furthermore, the Flat-Coated Retriever responds best to positive reinforcement. This dog breed is not easily distracted and is always happy to show everyone what it can do.


The Flat-Coated Retriever is a large dog that gets great pleasure from walking, playing, jogging or accompanying his master in his daily activities. This is a breed that has extremely high energy level, which means that Flat-Coated Retrievers need at least 2 hours of day-to-day hiking or other, more intense activities. Hence, a well-fenced yard of medium size is the best environment for the proper thriving of these dogs. Since the Flat-Coated Retriever loves all sorts of family activities, he is only suitable for people who are committed and active.

Photo Credit: Pete Markham/Flickr

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