Flat-coated Retriever


Quick Facts

  • Weight: 60 – 70 pounds
  • Height: 22 – 23 inches

The Look of a Flat-coated Retriever

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.


  • Happy
  • Loyal
  • Exuberant
  • Outgoing
  • Active

Ideal Human Companion

  • Active singles
  • Families
  • Hikers and joggers

What They Are Like to Live With

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.

Things You Should Know

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.

Flat-coated Retriever History

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.

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