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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Flat Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever

Origin: Great Britain

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: 22 - 25 inches (Male)

Weight: 60 - 70 pounds (Male)

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Flat-Coated Retrievers are sociable dogs that need lots of love and affection. Without daily exercise, they may become restless and destructive. They like people, but they're a bit suspicious of strangers. They get along well with children and other pets. Flat-Coated Retrievers are easy to train.

Flat-Coated Retriever are sporting dogs. In general, sporting dogs are active and alert and require daily exercise. Because they have superior instincts in the water and woods, sporting dogs are often used for hunting. If exercised and properly trained, most sporting dogs make excellent pets. However, some of these dogs like to bark and whine a lot, so they're no suited for apartment life.

Great Britain
Male height: 
22 - 25 inches
Male weight: 
60 - 70 pounds
Straight or wavy, with longer hair on chest, stomach, legs and tail.
Solid black or solid liver. Eyes brown or hazel. Nose is black or brown.
Special considerations: 
Most people haven't heard of this wonderful breed, so it might be tough to find.

The Flat-Coated Retriever was developed in England in the mid-1800s to serve as a close-working shooting dog. His ancestry includes the Labrador, Newfoundland, spaniel-type water dogs, setters and sheepdogs. Known as a "gamekeeper's dog," he was used widely on British estates and was known as the Wavy Coated Retriever. Once his type was fixed, mainly through the efforts of S.E. Shirley in the 1880s, he became a popular dog both in the United Kingdom and in North America. Both World Wars had a devastating effect on the numbers of the Flat-Coat until the mid-1960s, when Stanley O'Neill worked to save the breed. Today, he is a modestly popular retriever, and most fanciers prefer it that way, as the Flat-Coat has managed to avoid many of the health and temperament pitfalls that come with overbreeding.

Character is a defining feature of the Flat-Coated Retriever. He is a companionable hunting retriever, and as such, is outgoing, enthusiastic and tractable. A keen, intelligent hunter, he works confidently in the fields and is happy to return home. He forms close bonds with his owners and needs companionship. He is also slow to mature and retains a mischievous, puppy-like quality throughout his life - some fanciers even refer to him as the "Peter Pan" of dogdom.
At home: 
The Flat-Coated Retriever is an energetic dog who does best in a living environment where he can get plenty of fresh air and exercise. He must have companionship, exercise and mental stimulation, and without them, can become anxious and even destructive. If given the proper outlet for his energy, he will quiet down indoors, enjoying time spent near his family. A fenced-in yard that allows him to play and run is recommended. He has an all-weather coat and can adapt to any climate.
The Flat-Coat needs his exercise - and plenty of it! His energy requires an outlet, and he must have time outside spent running, playing, hunting, fetching, swimming, or engaged in other activities.
The active Flat-Coated Retriever requires a high-quality diet with a good source of protein.
Happy and enthusiastic, the Flat-Coat is up for anything his owner wants to teach him, and he learns quickly. He does tend to get bored easily, so lessons should be short and motivational.
The Flat-Coated Retriever is friendly and loves meeting new people, which makes him easy to socialize. He is excellent with children, especially older children who can handle his exuberance. He gets along well with other dogs and pets.
The average life span of the Flat-Coated Retriever is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns may include cancer; elbow dysplasia; glaucoma; hip dysplasia; and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Fun fact: 

Unlike many other retrieving breeds, which are often split into "field" and "show" strains, the Flat-Coated Retriever remains consistent in appearance from the field to the show ring, and he is proficient in both.

Grooming blurb: 
The Flat-Coat has a naturally lustrous coat that needs only occasional brushing and combing to keep him looking great.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.