Breeds 101

Flat-coated Retriever


The Flat-Coated Retriever’s history can be traced to the 1800s, to dogs who served fisherman by retrieving fish and objects from the cold waters of Newfoundland.

Crosses with Retrievers, British Setters and Pointers eventually led to the Flat-coated Retriever, which had the skills of both water dogs and bird dogs.

Originally suited for hard work in the field, the Flat-Coated is an enthusiastic competitor and family member. The sleek Flat-coat Retriever was the favored dog of British gamekeepers by the beginning of 20th century.

With the advent of the Labrador and Golden Retrievers, however, it was virtually extinct by the end of World War II.

Today’s handsome, humorous breed, fashionable once more as a gun dog is a superb flusher and an excellent land and water retriever.

Gregarious and versatile, its popularity is bound to increase, although it does suffer from a higher-than-average incidence of bone cancer.

Medium to large, 60 to 70 pounds; females 22 to 231/2 inches; males 23 to 241/2 inches.

Color: Black, liver.

Lively, sweet, eager to please, outgoing, and playful; one of the most devoted breeds. Known for its ever-wagging tail. Determined in the field, with a great desire to hunt.

High energy level.

Best owner:
Hunter, athlete, or active family are best owners for Flat-coated Retriever.

Vigorous exercise and mental challenges (agility and obedience), fenced yard, early and consistent training, family bonding, occasional brushing and bathing.

Life expectancy: 10 years.