Flat-Coated Retrievers have graceful, medium-sized frames covered in thick, flat, well-feathered coats that grow long on the legs, tails and chests. Flat-Coats usually come in black or shades of liver. Their long, clean-cut heads have flat skulls, well-defined cheeks and dark, almond-shaped eyes. They have strong necks, deep chests and long tails that are usually carried horizontally. Overall, Flat-Coated Retrievers look powerful but light.
Flat-Coated Retrievers are warm, loving and amazingly adaptable: active and spirited outdoors, calm and easygoing indoors. After a long day running, fetching and playing in the yard, the Flat-Coated Retriever will easily hop on the couch for a good, long cuddle.
Not the best watchdogs, Flat-Coats are welcoming and gentle to just about anyone. When it comes to affection, they can really dish it out. Flat-Coated retrievers form very strong bonds with their families, and they get along famously with kids. They are also very easy to train. A happy Flat-Coated Retriever is one that gets plenty of love, loads of exercise and the occasional swim.
Flat-Coated retrievers can live as long as 10 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, epilepsy and glaucoma. Flat-Coated Retrievers are also prone to some forms of cancer. They are fairly easy to groom, needing only occasional brushing and very little trimming.
In the 19th century, English gamekeepers developed the Flat-Coated Retriever from a number of top-notch canines including the St. John’s Water Dog, the Irish Setter and the Newfoundland. The result was a durable, accommodating retriever that could excel across field and stream. Sometimes upstaged by the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever, the Flat-Coat has slowly built a following as a dependable sporting dog and family companion.