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Home / Pets Health / Basics of Dog Breed: Flat-coated Retriever
Basics of Dog Breed: Flat-coated Retriever

Basics of Dog Breed: Flat-coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a medium to large sized dog, with harmonious lines, presenting a global aspect of power, but without heaviness. The expression of the Flat-Coated Retriever is lively and intelligent. It has several points of resemblance to the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever, but is less well known.

Race history

The origins of the Flat-Coated Retriever would be on the island of Newfoundland, in present-day Canada . It seems that this dog was used by local fishermen to help them recover fish escaping from their fishing nets. The Flat-Coated Retriever was then imported to England, where, from the 19th century, breeders crossed it with several other breeds (including the Irish Setter , the  Labrador Retriever and probably Newfoundland ) in order to optimize your hunting skills. Cousin of the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever. The Flat-Coated Retriever breed was recognized definitively by the FCI on December 23, 1954.

Physical characteristics

Its hair: long and generous, especially in the limbs and tail. Dense, rather fine texture, lying flat. The set gives it an extra touch of elegance.
Its color: black or brown (liver).
Its head: long, well molded, with a flat and moderately wide skull, a slightly marked stop between the eyes, never accentuated.
Its ears: small, well attached and tight against the head.
Its eyes: medium, dark brown to hazel, displaying an expression of vivacity and intelligence. Never prominent.
Its body :the kidney is short and square, the breast well down and wide enough, the anterior ribs quite flat and well arched in the center (less towards the back).
Its tail:  short, well tied, straight, carried happily, but never too high above the level of the back.

Behavior with others

The Flat-Coated Retriever is an alert dog , energetic, extremely cheerful and very kind. Very attached to his family , he is particularly gentle with children . Denuded of aggression, he tolerates loneliness quite badly . The Flat-Coated Retriever is naturally good at hunting. He is, in fact, a first class dog that always works with enthusiasm. It is a very sociable dog with all the animals.


The Flat-Coated Retriever must receive an education based on both firmness and consistency, without seeking the balance of power. Lively, smart and bouncy, the Flat-Coated Retriever learns quickly through play and rewards. It is a dog very easy to educate and very obedient.

Living conditions

A little more spirited than the other retrievers, the Flat-Coated Retriever is intended for rather young and active masters , available and able to offer enough activities daily. It adapts very well to apartment living , but will prefer to  live in a house with garden and enjoy large country spaces, for example. Excellent companion, he remains a dog cut for the work: hunting, assistance of people with reduced mobility, rescue ...


The Flat-Coated Retriever is a dog of robust constitution and who does not fear very much health side. The Flat-Coated Retriever is also a dog with a moderate appetite, which reduces the risk of diabetes in the breed. The risk of epilepsy is also very low in this particularly resistant dog.

Maintenance and hygiene

The Flat-Coated Retriever can lose a lot of hair during moulting. For the rest, its maintenance is quite simple and basic.

It is recommended to brush the dog with a brush FURminator type to  get rid of dead hair , especially during moulting.

Physical activity

The Flat-Coated Retriever needs long daily walks and regular exercises  for balance. Born for hunting, he is always inclined to spend himself, even (especially) when it comes to swimming. The Flat-Coated Retriever is indeed part of the rescue dogs in the water and never hesitate to afford a swim when he has the opportunity.

Price and budget

The purchase price of a Flat-Coated Retriever is between 900€ and 1200€.