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Flat Coated Retriever

FlatCoatedRetriever

An Enthusiastic Swimmer

Bouncy, loyal, active

Flat Coated Retrievers are playful, even-tempered, and affectionate large dogs. They are typically active while outdoors, and calm while indoors. This breed is very sensitive and easy to train, and gets along well with children. Flat Coats make great companions for active individuals, families, hunters, and those who enjoy the outdoors. Plenty of play time or a long walk every day is important for these gentle dogs, and they love when they have a chance to swim. Mental exercise is important as well for these dogs to keep their minds sharp.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:22-25 in. Weight:60-70 lb Lifespan:10-14 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
2

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
5

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Flat Coated Retrievers are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their minds and bodies active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Flat Coated Retrievers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Flat Coated Retrievers are highly intelligent, energetic, and loving. With a strong will to work and a stable temperament, they are an excellent family companion.

Positive Traits:

  • Even-tempered, affectionate, and happy-go-luck

  • Highly active and eager to have a purpose

  • Excellent hunting dog

  • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

  • Good with children and other pets

  • Outgoing, playful personality

Negative Traits:

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

  • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

  • Prone to separation anxiety and associated barking and chewing behaviors

  • Is a bit "mouthy" - likes to carry and chew things

  • Needs frequent attention from their family

Whether you are considering adding a new Flat-Coated Retriever to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Flat-Coated Retriever will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Flat-Coated Retriever you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Flat Coated Retriever could encounter:

The Flat Coated Retriever originated in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century. They were bred to flush and retrieve on land and in water. Affectionately called the “Peter Pan of Dogs,” Flat Coated Retrievers are known to retain their puppy-like enthusiasm for many years. This spirited tail wagger enjoys human attention and is always ready for a game of fetch or a long jog. The Flat Coated Retriever is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-14 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Flat Coated Retriever shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a larger, tight, painful abdomen

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Gums that are a color other than bright pink

  • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

  • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Collapse while exercising

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Vomiting, refusing food, tender abdomen

  • Care

    Routine Care: Flat Coated Retrievers are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their minds and bodies active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Flat Coated Retrievers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Flat Coated Retrievers are highly intelligent, energetic, and loving. With a strong will to work and a stable temperament, they are an excellent family companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Even-tempered, affectionate, and happy-go-luck

    • Highly active and eager to have a purpose

    • Excellent hunting dog

    • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

    • Good with children and other pets

    • Outgoing, playful personality

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

    • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

    • Prone to separation anxiety and associated barking and chewing behaviors

    • Is a bit "mouthy" - likes to carry and chew things

    • Needs frequent attention from their family

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Flat-Coated Retriever to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Flat-Coated Retriever will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Flat-Coated Retriever you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Flat Coated Retriever could encounter:

  • History

    The Flat Coated Retriever originated in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century. They were bred to flush and retrieve on land and in water. Affectionately called the “Peter Pan of Dogs,” Flat Coated Retrievers are known to retain their puppy-like enthusiasm for many years. This spirited tail wagger enjoys human attention and is always ready for a game of fetch or a long jog. The Flat Coated Retriever is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-14 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Flat Coated Retriever shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a larger, tight, painful abdomen

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Gums that are a color other than bright pink

    • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

    • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Collapse while exercising

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Vomiting, refusing food, tender abdomen

Flat Coated Retriever Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Flat Coated Retriever breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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