Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a medium-sized retrieving dog. They are known for their active and happy personalities, as well as their distinctive flat-lying coat that can be either black or liver. They are extremely friendly, loyal, and energetic dogs that make great family companions.

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a lovely and intelligent dog breed that is sure to bring joy to any family. They are loyal and friendly, and they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They are very active dogs that enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, running, agility courses, and fetch. They can also benefit from regular walks and hikes with their family. It’s important to make sure your flat-coated friend is getting enough exercise each day in order to keep them healthy and happy.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are highly intelligent and trainable dogs that thrive in an environment with structure and rules. It’s important to start training early on to ensure your Flat-Coated Retriever grows up well-mannered and obedient. Positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and affection are the best way to train this breed. Giving your flat-coated friend puzzles, toys, and games can help keep them entertained and mentally stimulated.

Flat-Coated Retrievers, like all breeds, can be prone to certain health problems. Some of the most common health issues affecting this breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cancer, eye disorders, and allergies. Regular visits to the vet and proper care are essential to help ensure a long and healthy life for your flat-coated friend.

For those looking for an active companion, the Flat-Coated Retriever makes a great choice. With the right amount of love and attention, these dogs can live a long and fulfilling life for up to 12 years or more.

The AKC has this dog ranked as the 103rd most popular in 2022.

Flat-Coated Retriever Information

  • Average Height: 22-24.5 inches
  • Average Length: 34-36 inches
  • Average Weight: 60–70 pounds
  • Coat Type: Flat-lying coat
  • Coat Appearance: Flat-lying coat, with feathering at their legs and tail
  • Coat Colors: Black, liver, and yellow
  • Grooming Needs: Weekly grooming
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Brushing Requirements: Weekly brushing
  • Sensitive to Touch: Yes
  • Excessive Barking: High
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: Yes
  • Safe with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: Generally get along
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable for life in an Apartment: No
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: Easy to train
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Weight Gain: Yes
  • Health Concerns: Canine hip dysplasia, bloat, lymphosarcoma, and cataracts
  • Allergies: Yes
  • Life Span: 8-10 years

Physical Appearance of Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a medium-sized dog breed with a muscular build. They have an average height of 22-24.5 inches and an average length of 34-36 inches, with a weight of around 60-80 lbs. The breed has a flat-lying coat that can be either black or liver, with feathers at their legs and tail. They’re a low-shedding breed, so they need minimal grooming and brushing.

Temperament of Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is an incredibly friendly and loyal dog breed that loves to be around people. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them highly trainable dogs that excel in obedience training. They are also very social and can get along with other pets or dogs when properly socialized from a young age. Flat-Coated Retrievers are active and playful, and need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy.
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a highly energetic breed that loves to stay active and busy. They need plenty of exercise each day to stay healthy, happy, and fit. Regular mental stimulation is important to keep them mentally sharp and engaged. Examples of activities that can give them mental stimulation include puzzles, games, and learning new tricks.

The Flat-Coated Retriever is well known for its friendly and outgoing temperament. They are highly intelligent and trainable dogs that thrive in an environment with structure and rules.

Training a Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retrievers are highly intelligent and are generally easy to train. They respond best to positive reinforcement methods such as praise and treats. When training your pup, it’s important to remain consistent with the commands you give and be patient with your pup as they learn. It’s also important to use rewards and praise when your pup is successful learning a new command or trick. 

It’s important to establish yourself as the leader of the pack when training a Flat-Coated Retriever. Make sure they understand that you are in charge. Consistency is key when training a Flat-Coated Retriever. They thrive on structure and rules. Training should be done in a positive and encouraging environment, never using physical punishment as a tool.

With the right amount of patience and consistency, you will have a well-trained pup in no time!

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with Flat-Coated Retrievers. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. 

The amount of time you spend trying to stop your Flat-Coated Retriever barking at strangers can be a lot less if you know the best way to teach them. Because Flat-Coated Retrievers love barking at strangers, with or without obedience training you will likely spend a good deal of time teaching them to be quiet.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization training can help your Flat-Coated Retriever become more comfortable around people and other animals. This should be done as early as possible, ideally before they’re six months old. Socialization can involve introducing your dog to different people, animals, environments, and noises in a positive way. It’s important that the environment is one that the pup finds comfortable and safe, so they can learn to associate these new experiences with positive feelings. 

Socialization should be done gradually and in a controlled way to ensure that the pup is not overwhelmed. With early socialization, your Flat-Coated Retriever will be better adjusted and more comfortable around people and other animals.

Clicker Training

They need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Their Compatibility with Children

The Flat-Coated Retriever is an excellent family pet and loves to interact with children. With proper socialization, they make wonderful companions for kids of all ages. They are friendly and affectionate, but can also be energetic and boisterous, and it’s important to teach them manners from a young age. 

Flat-Coated Retrievers are friendly and loving dogs that make great family pets. They have a natural affinity for children and typically get along well with them.

Flat-Coated Retrievers are known to be incredibly gentle and loving companions for children. They form strong bonds with their family members, especially kids, and are always eager to please. With proper socialization and training, Flat-Coated Retrievers can learn how to properly interact with children. With the right amount of love and attention, your pup can become a lifelong companion that brings joy to your children’s life.

Best Climate for Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a breed that loves the outdoors and does best in climates with mild temperatures. They enjoy exploring and running around in open spaces, and will take advantage of any opportunities to explore nature. If you live in an area with hot temperatures, it’s best to take your pup out early in the morning or late at night when the temperatures are cooler.

The Attention a Flat-Coated Retriever Needs

The Flat-Coated Retriever is an active and intelligent breed that requires plenty of attention from their owners. They thrive on positive reinforcement and love to be involved in activities with their family. This breed needs to spend quality time with their owners each day, as well as plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. The Flat-Coated Retriever is a sociable dog that loves being part of the family, so make sure you give them plenty of love and attention.

Health Issues

The Flat-Coated Retriever is generally a healthy breed, but can occasionally be prone to certain health issues. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and allergies. Regular vet checkups are important in order to identify any potential health issues that your pup may be prone to. Making sure your pup gets plenty of exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent some health problems.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Bloat or Gastric Torsion

Bloat or gastric torsion is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can affect any dog breed. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms so that you can get medical attention for your pet as soon as possible if they have any of them. Bloat or gastric torsion occurs when the stomach becomes filled with gas, fluid, or food.

This causes the stomach to twist on itself, cutting off the blood supply to the organs and leading to shock.

Symptoms of Bloat or Gastric Torsion

The most common symptoms of bloat or gastric torsion include:

  • Restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Distention
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to burp or pass gas

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to get medical attention immediately because the condition can be fatal if not treated quickly.

It’s important to note that some dogs might not have any signs until the condition has become severe.

Canine Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder that affects a dog’s body to produce and regulate insulin. It occurs when their pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when cells don’t respond correctly to the insulin produced. The insulin resistance can lead to an increase in the amount of glucose, or sugar, in your dog’s blood.

Signs of diabetes are an increased thirst, frequent urination, increased appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


Glaucoma is a painful condition and can lead to blindness if not treated early on. Symptoms include:

  • Watery or red eyes
  • Squinting
  • Discolored cornea
  • Watery discharge
  • Blindness

Pet owners might not notice the pain but the disease can be extremely painful. If you see your dog with any of the above symptoms or with swollen eyes, take them to a vet.


Cataracts are a common eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness. Cataracts occur when the lens in an eye becomes cloudy or opaque, blocking light from passing through to the retina. This can lead to decreased vision, or even complete blindness.

There are several causes of cataracts, including genetics, diabetes, trauma, and certain medications.

Cataracts can be a serious condition, but with proper treatment, your dog can regain their vision and live a happy life.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

The Flat-Coated Retriever has a double coat that needs regular brushing to keep it in good condition. Brushing should be done at least twice a week and more often during shedding season. They should also be bathed regularly, about once every 4-6 weeks, using a mild shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly after bathing to prevent skin irritation.
A close up of a pile of dog food.
It’s important to keep your Flat-Coated Retrievers nails trimmed in order to prevent painful problems such as ingrown nails or nail splits. Specialty nail clippers help prevent injury. It’s best to have a professional groomer trim the nails if you are not comfortable doing it yourself. It is important to keep your puppy’s ears and eyes clean by wiping them with a damp cloth once a week.

Feeding A Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever should be fed a high-quality diet that is specifically designed for this breed. They need a high-quality protein source such as chicken or fish, and a combination of vegetables and grains. It’s best to feed your pup twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. The amount of food you give your pup will depend on their size and activity level. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding routine for your pup.

Related Questions:

Why Are Flat Coated Retrievers Rare?

Flat-Coated Retrievers are somewhat rare today, and that’s because they have traits and characteristics that mean they’re not the ideal dog for the average family. These dogs are highly intelligent and active, and they tend to retain their puppy-like behaviors well into adulthood.

Are Flat Coated Retrievers Aggressive?

In the company of their owner, Flat-Coated Retrievers are gentle, loving, kind and sweet. They are known for having a youthful outlook on life, often known for continuing puppy-like behavior well into their adult life.

Do Flat-Coated Retrievers Smell?

Brushing will keep your Flat-Coated Retriever’s coat shiny and looking well and help with potential “doggy” odor smell. The retriever family tends to develop unpleasant dog odor, especially when wet and the Flat-Coat loves the water.