Flat Coated Retriever

The flat-coated retriever is a great family dog and loves playing with the children. Some even get a bit over zealous with friends by being a nuisance. Their puppy hood goes into their adult years so they will be playful for many years after they become adults. They will not be too rambunctious indoors, but they will run all over outdoors. This still does not mean they should be cooped up in an apartment. They need their own yard to run free whenever they have the desire.

This breed is very easy to train but gets bored fast. As long as you keep teaching short and to the point, they will have fun and learn fast. They will help you with your exercise program that is if jogging is on your schedule, because they love to jog with you. They will be right next to your side.

This breed of dog is so athletic and sturdy that it makes an excellent hunting dog that will retrieve for you for hours under any condition, then when done it would enable him to be a beautiful show dog and then the great family companion all rolled into one package. His beauty shows in the flat coat and his one piece head is a silhouette to be desired.


The Flat-Coated Retriever has a medium length, thick, sleek, and fine coat. The fur on their legs, tail, and chest is feathered. The color of their coat comes in black or liver (brown). Some dogs carry a two-coat layer, however, the flat coated Retriever only carries a single coat.

Their head is long and sleek with a muzzle that has a barely visible stop. This is for the fact that they carry birds in their mouths. Their eyes have an intelligent expression to them. They are either dark brown or a hazel color. Their eyes are almond shaped with a deep color. Their ears are small and they lay flat against the dogs head. Now, the nose color fits with their coat color. If they have a black coat, then they will have a black nose. It is the same with brown coats with brown noses. Their feet and legs are strong and muscular along with their bodies as well. Their tail is feathered with fur and sticks out towards the back. This breed is really elegant, lighter, and racier than many of the other Retriever breeds. These beautiful dogs are good for showing off in dog shows and to your friends.

The males height should be 23 inches to 24 ½ inches tall and the females should have a height somewhere around 22 inches to 23 ½ inches tall. The weight for both males and females should be somewhere around 55 pounds to 70 pounds.


The Flat-Coated Retriever is a loving dog that loves everyone. They are playful and very cheerful as well. They love to play and love receiving attention. They are a good family pet. They love kids, other pets, and are even well with strangers. They will give strangers love and attention like no other dog.

This breed of dog is easy to train, but does get bored easily. When training your Flat-Coated Retriever you want to keep the sessions short and fun. This breed of dog loves to go swimming and hunting as well. So as much outdoor activity you are willing to endure your Flat Coated Retriever will go along for the fun.

This breed of dog is not really recommended for apartment life. They are active outdoors and not so much indoors. This breed will do great with an average size yard. They do enjoy living indoors but cannot live a full life if they are allowed to romp around outdoors.


This breed of dog is relatively easy to take care of. They only need brushing about once a week or so. Their fur coat needs a little trim or none at all. It all depends on the owner’s choice. This breed of dog is an average shedder.

This breed needs to go out and get exercise. If you are into swimming or jogging then this breed of dog would be the best companion for you. They love exercise and this is just some of the things they enjoy going out and doing. If you are more an indoors type person, then the Flat Coated Retriever is not the best breed to own. Otherwise, this is an easy breed of dog to take care of. Your normal vet check ups are normal just like any other pet you may have.


It was around 1800 when the Flat-Coated retriever was developed crossing several breeds, which consisted of the Irish Setter, Labrador, Water dog, and the St John’s Newfoundland, and maybe even the collie was thrown in a time or two. In the middle of the 19th century, the first retriever breeds were developed and some, such as the Golden were bred by one person. Then there were others that started breeding the best to the best to try to develop the best retrieval dogs. This started a lot of the interbreeding again like has happened with many of the other breeds.

Mr. S.E. Shirley is credited with the development of the modern day Flat Coated Retriever in the 1870’s. St John’s Water dog, water spaniels, and possibly Scotch collies were all used to develop this breed. Using these different breeds is what presented the coat that lays flat and not wavy. Mr. Shirley also started the Kennel Club in 1873. His breeding has made him famous over the years and many people want dogs that he has bred instead of retrievers from other breeders.

Like many of the other breeds, the war almost depleted the breed and it was not until the war, that they were broadening the gene pool and increasing the numbers to a safer level by using Labradors. Many lab breeders were unaware of this fact. Using Labradors was Mr. Shirley’s idea, which was one of the famous breeding methods everyone wanted because it helped develop the modern day Flat Coated retriever.

The Flat Coated Retriever is the only retriever that is both a show dog and a hunting dog for the whole time they have been in existence. This makes them a favorite in the hunting society as well as the show ring. This dog is not only a great family dog but also an excellent bird hunter and swimming companion.

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