Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed


Developed in the 1800s by cross-breeding outstanding dog types, such as Newfoundland, Irish Setter, Labrador, Water Spaniels, and, most probably, Collie, the Flat-Coated retriever became popular as a gun dog or a hunting dog.

Its arrival, unfortunately, was during the beginning of the First World War and, because wartime created many difficulties for everyone, the risk of being killed or abandoned on these dogs was high.

The effect was a shortage of this breed. On top of these, people preferred to own a Labrador retriever or Golden retriever because they were less costly and easier to find than the Flat-Coated retriever.

Named due to its inherent breed feature which is a flat, wavy coat, this type of retriever excel in hunting, tracking animals, retrieving animals, and a watchdog.

Traits and Behavior

The Flat-Coated retriever is found to be good companions, has an even temper, playful and spirited, and affectionate. Due to its excellent breed background, this retriever possesses admirable intelligence, boundless energy and a keen sense of smell, so that it is also called a drug-sniffer dog.

Training won’t pose a problem as this dog shows eagerness to learn.


However, the training sessions must be in short intervals as it can bore the dog and may not cooperate. Overall, this dog impresses a happy outlook and continues to act like a puppy even in its old age.

This may be the reason why it has been dubbed as the “Peter Pan” of the retriever breeds because it tended not to mature in its attitude.


Pet Care and Diseases

This dog is an average shedder and, therefore, needs less maintenance on its coat, just a weekly brushing and minor trimming. When it comes to their health, this dog needs to be given extra care in food, nutrition, exercise and vet visit.

Perhaps, its genetic breeding may be a factor in this dog’s vulnerability to cancer, which is a common health issue to this kind of breed.

Other ailments may also occur such as hip dysplasia as this type tends to run fast and move a lot most especially when it’s commanded to sniff or retrieve an animal or even swim across rivers.


Sometimes, diabetes and epilepsy are also health impairments.

Living conditions for flat-coats are best in homes where there is an open space for their daily exercises, like running and long walks. They need to have this exposure for them to keep fit and not easily be bored.


Flat-Coated retrievers stand 2-25 inches tall and weigh 45-75 pounds. They are born with a strong jaw and relatively long muzzle which is naturally built for easy retrieval of hunted birds.

Their head is also long with flat skulls. The nose carries the color of their coat – black if black coat, brown if brown coat.

They’ve got almond-shaped brown eyes that show friendly expressions. Their ears have a pendant shape, small, and hand close to the head. The chest is deep and the back is short and square.


From its name, these dogs have a fine coat that lies flat to the body and comes in solid black or solid liver with feathered legs, tail and chest.

General Information

Its life expectancy is short, about 8-10 years only. The average litter size is 4-8 puppies. Other names: none.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Flat-Coated Retrievers. Click this link:


Featured Video

Watch this video: “Breed All About It – Flat-Coated Retriever”

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