Flat-Coated Retriever

Save as favorite

Avg. Owner Satisfaction


(14 Reviews)

Is the Flat-Coated Retriever right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Flatcoat; Flattie; Flatte

The basics:
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a happy, high-spirited, eager-to-please bird hunting dog, but its popularity has been somewhat eclipsed by the Labrador Retriever, America's (and perhaps the world's) most popular purebreed. The Flattie shares the great personality of its more popular cousin and is certainly worthy of consideration as a family pet and/or hunting, jogging, or hiking companion. This highly athletic, highly social dog fits in where it has a chance for regular exercise and outdoor play with its favorite human. Also like the Lab, this dog never met a stranger and is unlikely to make a good watchdog. "Friendly" and "optimistic" are words you keep hearing about this one.

Be willing to spend time with your Flattie. A neglected, isolated dog will take out its frustration with plenty of destructive chewing-- another trait it shares with other popular Retrievers.

Appearance / health:
The long, clean, well-molded head is sleek and is sufficient in size and strength to retrieve ducks, pheasants, and hares. The muzzle is wide with no perceptible stop. The almond-shaped eyes are dark brown or hazel. The relatively small and thickly feathered ears lie flat against the head. The nose should be black for black coats and brown for liver coats. The chest is deep and wide. The back is short and square. Its legs are muscular and the feet are round and strong. The tail is straight and never curly.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are average shedders. Their coats require weekly brushing and combing to maintain their coats.

An hour of exercise is essential for Flat-Coats. Exercise may include walking, jogging, swimming, games, hunting, etc.

Cancer affects a small percentage of Flat-Coats every year. Luxating patella (dislocation of the kneecap) and hip dysplasia (abnormal hip formation that causes lameness) occurs in few Flat-Coats.

Behavior / temperament:
Flat-Coats love carrying objects in their mouths. Their alertness, determination, and versatility make them ideal dogs to hunt on both land and water. They love chasing objects. They love to jump on the ones they love, and therefore are not ideal for elderly owners. Owners may find that they love to dig and chew, sometimes ingesting objects such as socks. Flat-Coats are intelligent dogs that need to be busy, either through exercise or work. Dogs, when kept alone for long periods, display destructive behavior often. Prospective owners need to consider the fact that they remain puppies for several years. Stealing food is a passion with many Flat-Coats.

Training a Flat-Coat must begin as early as possible. Basic obedience is essential. They are fast learners that require short, engaging sessions. Early socialization is necessary. Harsh training methods are likely to break the spirit of the dog. Flat-Coated Retrievers can be easily trained to become good hunters.

They are not very noisy though they bark occasionally.


bird dogs, active lifestyle, sunny disposition, great family dog, great outdoors, Mr. Personality


hyperactive, joint problems, hip dysplasia, constantly needed walking


diving raft, lightweight bones, soft mouth, agility training, excellent swimmers

Recommended Flat-Coated Retriever Products

Is Prime
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free High Pro...

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free High Pro...

$ 4899 ($0.15/Count) $53.99

View more >

Is Prime
Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin...

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin...

$ 4985 ($0.15/Count) $55.49

View more >

Annamaet Food - 26% Extra Dog - 15 lb

$ 4799 ($0.15/Count) $35.99

View more >

Elevate Acadia Recipe Super Premium Dog Food (6 Po...

$ 2449 ($0.15/Count) $24.49

View more >

Member photos