General Information

Dog NameFlat-Coated Retriever
Other NamesFlattie
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeRetriever
GroupGun Dog
Breed ForRetrieving on land and water
Country of OriginUnited Kingdom (UK)

Physical And Size

Min Life Span8
Max Life Span10
Min Ideal Weight for male27
Max Ideal Weight for male31
Min Ideal Weight for female27
Max Ideal Weight for male31


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentFriendly, Smart, Agile
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyHigh
Child FriendlyHigh
Cat FriendlyMedium
Dog FriendlyHigh
Office FriendlyHigh
Apartment FriendlyHigh
Senior Citizens FriendlyHigh
Service DogHigh
Search and Rescue DogHigh
Biting PotentialLow
Country of OriginUnited Kingdom
Nicknames and Other NamesFlatcoat, Flattie, Flatte, Flatt
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupGun Dogs, Sporting Dogs
Bred ForRetrieve both on land and in water
Life Span8-10 years
Ideal Weight60-70 pounds (male and female)
Ideal HeightMale: 23-24.5 inches
Female: 22-23.5 inches
Fur TypeSmooth and Glossy
Common ColorsLiver, Black
AvailabilityWidely available
AchievementsWon award on field
Suitable for ApartmentsNot suitable
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToGolden Retriever

Known as the Peter Pan of dogs, the Flat-Coated Retriever is one of the most beautiful and friendly dogs you can ever have. Often confused with the Golden Retrievers, once the GR competed in shows being a part of the Flat-Coated group.

Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed loves being outdoor and will play fetch for hours and hours. They make a fantastic family companion with all ages of people. The Flat-Coated Retriever are loving and protective towards its family and territory.

Origin And History

The Flat-Coated Retriever were originated in Great Britain. They were bred as gun dogs crossing between the Newfoundland and various type of Setters, Sheepdogs, Spaniel and Water dogs. The huge and black dogs were traded between Britain and North America eventually becoming the part of the ‘Labrador’ type.

The Flat-Coated Retrievers are also known as the St. John’s Newfoundland, the Small Labrador Dog and the Lesser Newfoundland.

The Wavy and Smooth Coated Retriever which is now known as Flat-Coated Retriever and the Curly-Coated Retriever were not distinguished until 1860 and were also not allowed in the British Show Ring.

An old photo of a woman with her Flat-Coated Retriever.
Image Source- akc

The Kennel Club Of England was founded in 1873 and the Flat-Coated Retriever entered its studbook in 1874. Later on, the breed gained popularity in both field and show ring.

During the World War I the breed almost got extinct. Fortunately, due to some breeders the Flatties were back to normal number by the mid of 1960s.

They are still a rare breed, ranking 100 on 155 breeds. If you want a Flat-Coated Retriever, then you should wait at least a year or more to get a perfect breed by the breeder.

Behavior Around Children

Want a child friendly pet in your house? Then the Flat-Coated Retrievers are the best breed for you and your children. They loves staying under the supervision of children. Since they are active dogs, they will play for hours whether its swimming, running or chasing a ball.

Flat-Coated Retriever And Baby playing.

You should always teach you children how to approach a dog. They might accidentally hurt your children with one whack of their tail.

Flat-Coated Retrievers Are Sweet And Calm

Flat-Coated Retrievers are a smart, intelligent and ever-youthful look. The Flatties are mischievous and exuberant with a high energy level. They adore people even if they’ve met the person for the first time. Flatties love their family and are very protective.

The Flat-Coated Retrievers are excellent sporting dogs and hunters. After the tiring day, they will become lapdogs and also don’t get surprised if you find your Flat-Coated sleeping under your quilt.

Flat-Coated Retriever Love Their Owner.
Flat-Coated Retriever Loves Its Owner.
Image Source- Instagram @tonjejohanseen

The Flat-Coats tend to be very “Mouthy”. If something they see that fits on its mouth, they will immediately pick it up and run away. This kind of behaviors should be avoided from an early age as it will be difficult to break down in adulthood.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are known to develop separation anxiety and will lead to destruction and chewing. They are truly family dogs and can become quickly depressed when left for a prolonged period.

These breeds are not recommended for people who cannot give their furry friend enough time and affection. A family with a stay home parent can be suitable.

Training Your Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retrievers are often hard to train as they are willful and want to test the boundaries. Flatties are known to challenge their trainers. An even temper and calm are required while working with the Flat-Coats.

Flat-Coated Retriever Playing.
Flat-Coated Retriever Loves Playing Frisbee.
Photo Credit- Instagram @flatpaule

If the Flat-Coated Retrievers are not getting enough of their daily exercise then they will let you know by chewing some valuable things. Active families are best for the Flatties.

Health Problems

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesCancer, Bloat, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia,
Diabetes, Eye Problems
Vaccination RequiredLeptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza, Rabies,
Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus,
Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingEasy and Minimal Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage to High
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 22%
Fat: 8%
Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a condition where the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint. It is also called a heritable condition but can be worse by the environmental factors like injuries while jumping or high-calorie growth.

Gastric Torsion or Bloat

This is a serious condition to large breeds with deep chest who are fed a large meal a day. Bloat occurs when the stomach is swollen with gas or air. This is a life-threatening condition where the dog will be unable to vomit to get rid of air in his stomach and the blood flow to the heart is delayed. Without immediate medication, the dog can die.

Facts About Flat-Coated Retriever

  • The Flat-Coated Retriever will hardly move from its spot indoor but they thrive outdoor playing.
  • They are known to be the poorest guard dogs among all breeds.
  • “Power without lumber and raciness without weediness”. Traditionally, this phrase was used to describe Flat-Coated Retrievers.


The cost of a Flat-Coated Retriever is between $1000 – $1200 depending upon the breeders as well as the quality of the breed. The Flat-Coated Retriever gives birth to 4-8 puppies at a time.


Male Flat-Coated Retriever is 22-23 inches tall weighing 60-70 pounds. Females are slightly shorter than males weighing up to 55-65 pounds.

Color Patterns

The Flat-Coated Retrievers are found in only two colors-

  • Black
  • Liver

Breeds Similar To Flat-Coated Retriever

Visit Doglime For More Breed Information and their behavior.