Flat-Coated Retriever


The Flat-Coated Retriever is a breed of gundog originating from the United Kingdom. It had been developed as a retriever for use both on land and in the water. This breed originated in the mid-19th century in England and gained its popularity as a gamekeepers pet. It was though that Canadian seafarers brought Newfoundland dogs to the British ports, and the ancestry of the Flat-Coated Retriever was factored in. It is possible collie type dogs were added in an effort to increase the dogs trainability. Also, the Newfoundland for its strength and setter for its strong sense of smell. The first prototypes of the breed were introduced around 1860, but the final product was only established 20 years later.

Physical Appearance

The Flat-Coated Retriever breed standard of this type calls for males to be 23-25 in tall at the withers, with a recommended weight of 60-80 pounds. Females should be 22-24 in, with a recommended weight of 55-75 pounds. The Flat-Coated Retriever has powerful muscular jaws and a pretty long muzzle to allow for the carrying of birds and upland game. Its head is unique and is described as “one piece” with a minimal stop, and its backskull is about the same length of its muzzle. Its eyes are dark brown and almond-shaped giving a friendly and intelligent expression. The ears lie close to its head and are pendent and pretty small. The occiput (the bone in the back of the skull) is accentuated (as in setters, for example) and its head flows smoothly into a well-arched neck. This breed’s topline is strong and straight, while its tail is well-feathered, of moderate length, and is held straight off the back. The breed being well-angulated front and rear, allows it to have open, effortless movement.


The Flat-Coated Retriever is an active, multitalented bird dog with a powerful desire to please. This dog makes a loving family pet due to its confident, outgoing, and exuberant personality. Provided that adults are near to direct this breeds enthusiasm they make excellent companions to children. These retrievers need plenty of involvement and exercise to aid channel their sporting energy that is natural. While they’ll protect their owners and property with the assertive bark, they are unlikely to back up such sound with real aggression.


Some common health issues with the breed include, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, epilepsy, high risk of cancer, and a low risk for luxating patellas.

Flat-Coated Retriever