Welcome to Dog Breeds A-Z

Dog Breeds from A to Z, Cat, and Pet Care Tips

Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever dogs are cheerful and lively creatures that are full of energy at all times. These dual purpose dogs can be used both as show dogs as well as working hunting retrievers. Unlike other retriever breeds, this breed is not split between show lines and hunting lines.

This breed of dogs was developed by using dog breeds like St. John’s Water Dog, Newfoundland, Labrador, Scotch Collie and other water spaniels. The breed was initially known as Wavy-Coated Retriever.

These gun dogs were originally developed in the 1800s in the Great Britain. They eventually gained popularity as wonderful bird dogs. However, these dogs are not only good at retrieving upland but they are also expert in hunting waterfowl.

Physical Appearance

Flat-Coated Retriever dogs are typically large, well balanced and athletic in build. The hair coat is moderately long with feathering on the ears, chest, back of forelegs and underside of the tail. The tail, still, is not bushy. The neck of male dogs appears thicker due to the presence of mane consisting of longer and thicker coat.

The almond shaped eyes bearing an intelligent and keen expression are dark brown or hazel in color and medium in size. The nose is usually black in case of black dogs and brown in case of liver colored dogs. The ears are relatively small and thickly feathered.

Color: Flat-Coated Retriever dogs are mostly available in solid black or solid liver color.
Height: The average height of this dog breed is generally 22 to 23 inches.
Weight: The ideal weight for both male as well female Flat-Coated Retrievers usually ranges between 60 to 70 pounds.

Health Problems

Generally, these dogs have been found to be quite prone to cancer. Other common health issues in Flat-Coated Retriever dogs are Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Thyroid Disorders, Diabetes etc. They are also susceptible to certain eye diseases, particularly Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Glaucoma.

Life Expectancy: The average Flat-Coated Retriever life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.
Litter Size: Flat-Coated Retriever litter size is generally about 4 to 8 puppies. Average litter size is considered to be 6 puppies.

Grooming Requirements

The dense and flat hair coat of a Flat-Coated Retriever requires minimal grooming. The hair coat needs to be brushed and combed at least once or twice in a week’s time to maintain the moderate length coat in perfect lustrous condition. The hair coat sheds moderately at all times but it tends to shed heavily during the shedding seasons.

Grooming a Flat-Coated Retriever also calls for activities like regularly trimming the toenails, trimming the hair around paw pads, cleaning the eyes and ears and other such activities. The dog needs to be bathed only occasionally.


Flat-Coated Retriever temperament is pleasant, youthful, active, attentive, friendly, loving, intelligent and sensitive. They are usually good with kids but they can accidentally hurt children because of their massive size.

Therefore, they need to be supervised around children to avoid too much rowdiness. Flat-Coated Retriever dogs generally thrive on human companionship and tend to suffer from separation anxiety in the absence of their owners.

These easy-going dogs are generally compatible with other pets in the house. In fact, under normal circumstances, these good natured dogs are neither too aggressive towards humans nor towards animals.

They tend to greet strangers and family members alike and hence do not make for good guard dogs. Though, as they are quite attentive and alert, they can be entrusted with watchdog duties. The naturally obedient Flat-Coated Retriever dogs are easy to train and socialize.

Key Points

These exuberant dogs are active but not hyperactive. Hence, they need to be exercised moderately. Lack of adequate physical and mental stimulation can give rise to destructive behavior in the form of activities such as digging and chewing. So, Flat-Coated Retriever dogs should be regularly engaged in play activities and taken for daily walks. They also enjoy swimming.

As these dogs are relatively inactive indoors, they are mostly not recommended for apartment living. Nonetheless, they can be kept in apartment situation when provided with at least an average sized yard with sufficient space for play. Flat-Coated Retriever dog breed is a relatively rare breed.