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Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed

If you’re someone that loves a dog that loves water, boy do we have a dog for you!


Unlike most dogs that we talk about, this dog was actually developed by “fisherman”.  Yep that’s right, fisherman!  It was only later on that sportsmen in general found out how great these guys were and decided to try and make them great bird retrievers as well.


We’ll get into all of this later on in our article, because in this article, we want to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to actually own a Flat Coated Retriever, so that if you ever get a chance to actually own one, you’ll know if one of these dogs is right for you.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  England

Original Purpose:  Water retrieving

Height:  22 to 25 inches

Weight:  60 to 70 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Sporting Group

Lifespan:  8 to 14 years

Origin of the Flat Coated Retriever

During the early 18th century, the Flat-Coated Retriever was developed in England to help fisherman retrieve both fish and other objects in the water.

A skill that…

Became all the more valued as more and more hunters began to use firearms to hunt different “types” of animals such as birds.  In cases like these, the Flat-Coated Retrievers natural ability to jump into the water and retrieve the “downed” game because a “hit”.

And as is…

The case with most dog breeds that we have today, these original “fisherman” dogs began to be crossbred with different “setters” and “pointers” which were available back then, so that the “new and improved” version would be a bit more “birdy”.

The result of this…

“Marriage” of these three different dog breeds ultimately created what is “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as the Flat-Coated Retriever.


Like many other domesticated animals in Europe during World War II, the Flat-Coated Retriever didn’t fair so well.  As a result, this dog breed nearly went extinct during this time.  The good news is that the breed was saved, but never was able to regain its overall popularity it had before the war.


The Flat-Coated Retriever remains a relatively uncommon or rare dog breed which means that if you do decide you want to make one of these guys of your own, you’re probably going to need to go on a “waiting” list.

Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed Characteristics

According to the Flat-Coated Retriever breed standards(1):

  • Males must be 23 to 25 inches tall and should weigh between 60 to 80 pounds
  • Females must be 22 to 24 inches tall and should weigh between 55 to 75 pounds

Aside from their coat…

The Flat-Coated Retrievers have several other characteristics which makes identifying them from other “retrievers” a bit easier.

Characteristics such as a:

  • Relatively long muzzle and strong muscular jaws
  • Unique head shape, with a minimal stop and black skull about the same length as the elongated muzzle.

And a “lighter”, racier appearance than most other retrievers in this same dog breed classification.

Their ears are also…

Small in size compared to other retrievers and lie close to the dog’s head.

Now as for their coat…

What your going to find is that their coats will be relatively thick and will feather out along their legs, chest and tails.  The good news is that despite the fact that they have a rather “furry” coat, its not the “type” of coat that you’re going to need to spend all day maintaining.

In fact…

We’ve found that just brushing it two or three times a week should be all your Flat-Coated Retriever needs.

Flat-Coated Retriever Temperament and Personality

Now it shouldn’t come as a BIG surprise to learn that the Flat-Coated Retriever is an optimistic, cheerful, and good-humored dog.

“Heck… aren’t most retrievers!”

But beyond that…

These guys are also super easy to train.  Which is why these guys make such great family pets.  You see, because these guys are naturally friendly and because they can be trained  easily, they get along really well with just about everyone, especially kids of all ages.

This is why…

This is one of a few dog breeds that we here at IndulgeYourPet actually recommend for families with small children around the house.

They also…

Tend to respect other four-legged critters running around the house as well, which is yet another reason why the Flat-Coated Retriever is such a great family animal.

But be warned…

These guys do require a TON of exercise.  And they’ve even earned the nickname “Peter Pans of Retrievers” because they are very slow maturing dogs and only reach full maturity when they are about five years old.  Which means that you’re going to have a very active, fun loving puppy for quite a while.

This is why…

We only like recommending these dogs to folks who either, have a large yard for their dog to run and play in, or to folks who are committed and serious about giving their dog 1 to 2 hours a day of exercise.  If not, then the Flat-Coated Retriever probably isn’t going to be the “right” dog for you.

Flat-Coated Retriever Health Concerns

Every dog breed has a genetic disposition of developing a disorder or two. Flat-coated Retrieves are no exception to this rule. Let’s take a look at the health problems this dog breed faces:

And while…

Some of these “conditions” may not be life threatening, they can all be quite expensive if you need to pay for the full cost of treatment out of pocket.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet always advise any new pet owner to take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one.  This way if they ever do become sick or injured in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost of treatment.

For more information on who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies on the market right now, be sure to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Katie P. April 10, 2020, 3:32 pm


    • indulgeyourpet April 11, 2020, 9:32 am


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