Flat Coated Retriever


Devoted, Optimistic, Outgoing
Size: Large
Height: 56-62 cm
Weight: 25-36 kg
Lifespan: 8-14 years
Coat: Medium Hair
Colors: Black, leather brown
FCI Group: Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs

The Flat Coated Retriever is an active, outgoing and friendly dog. He is suitable for beginners and families, as he is docile and fond of children. His humans, however, have to do justice to his urge to move. If he is allowed to let off steam, he is a loyal and affectionate companion.

Flat Coated Retriever
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The Flat Coated Retriever is a breed recognized by the FCI. In the group 8 section 1 it belongs to the retrieving dogs. The breed originates from Great Britain, just like the very famous and popular Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever breeds.

The relationship is clearly visible in the Flat Coated Retriever. He has the muscular and robust build of the Labrador. At the same time, its narrow, elongated head and medium-length, smooth coat give it a certain elegance. The Retriever is either black or brown. If puppies are born with lighter coats, they are excluded from further breeding.

Although retrievers are often called hunting dogs, they never had to hunt and kill other animals themselves. Their job was to track down an animal that had been shot by the hunter. Then they brought the prey to the hunter.

They owe their name to the English term "to retrieve", which means "to bring" or "to bring back". During breeding, care was taken that the dogs like to jump into the water and can swim well. This allows them, for example, to retrieve shot ducks for the hunter from lakes and ponds.

While "Labi" and "Goldie" have become some of the most popular family dogs of our time, the Flat Coated Retriever has become a rare breed. The "smooth-haired" retriever is in no way inferior to the many positive characteristics of its relatives. The Flat Coated Retriever is by disposition an extremely friendly and good-natured dog when dealing with people and conspecifics. He is considered to be fond of children, playful and its people towards affectionate. Since he always assumes friends even with strangers, he is not a good guard dog.

His natural need to please, also called "will to please", and his intelligence make him a very docile Dog. An honest and joyful praise of his human has great importance for him. This facilitates the training enormously and can be mastered even by beginners with the right know-how. The education of the sensitive dog must be based on patience, consistency and positive reinforcement. This strengthens the relationship between dog and human, leads to learning success and is fun for both sides.

The Flat Coated Retriever feels most comfortable when he is with his people, receives affection and is also allowed to be with them when they are out and about. However, just lying around at home and adoring his family members is not enough for him. He was originally bred as a working dog and needs sufficient exercise as well as varied activity. He likes to come along for hiking, jogging and cycling. In dog sports or as a search dog he can use his many talents. So, if you are interested in the breed, you must have some athleticism and desire to engage with the dog.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

It is highly unlikely that a dog pays attention to its line. Rather, he accepts every treat with thanks and always eats his bowl empty. So it's up to you to resist the dog's faithful gaze when begging for food. Otherwise, there is a risk of obesity and a whole series of secondary diseases.

If the retriever is allowed to be active, however, he also has an increased need for energy. The more active and demanding he is kept busy, the more he is allowed in the bowl.

According to the breed standard, healthy males may weigh 27 to 36 kg and bitches 25 to 32 kg. Whether the dog is really not too fat or too thin, can be felt well on his chest. The ribs should not be noticeable when touched lightly. However, if some pressure is applied, you must be able to feel them and even count them. If the dog is too fat, this is prevented by a layer of fat.

There are no breed-specific peculiarities in the composition of the feed. As with any dog, the factors of age and exercise must be taken into account. It is not just an invention of the industry that there is special food for puppies and seniors. The nutrient requirements actually change. This must be taken into account in homemade dog food.

With ready-to-eat food, on the other hand, you need to look at the ingredient list. Some manufacturers use minimal amounts of meat and fill up the rest with cheap grains. Even sugar may appear on the list, although it is harmful to dogs. Good dog food can do without it, consists mainly of meat and is supplemented with vegetables, rice or pasta.

Flat Coated Retriever Care

Grooming requirements are low for the Flat Coated Retriever. As with any other dog must be Teeth, ears and claws should be checked regularly. This breed does not have an increased risk of malformations or diseases in these areas.

Apart from that only the Coat brushed once or twice a week to avoid knots and tangles. This does not require special brushes or combs, because the smooth hair is undemanding in its structure. The dog only needs a full bath if it has really gotten very dirty. Otherwise, the following always applies when it comes to bathing: less is more.

The robust Flat Coated Retriever is largely spared from breed-specific diseases, i.e. diseases that occur remarkably often in a breed. Only the eye defect goniodysplasia and the formation of tumors occur more often within the breed.

Hip dysplasia (HD) and elbow dysplasia (ED), on the other hand, are very rare and are not considered a breed-specific problem.

Suitable accessories

Basically, you need a brush and a comb for the coat care of the Flat Coated Retriever. In addition, the accessories depend on the activities you want to do with him. For this purpose there are a variety of special Harnesses and leashes. Also for joggers and cyclists, retailers offer products that can be more suitable than a normal leash.

A great pleasure you can give the Flat Coated Retriever with toy make that to the 'Fetch!' suitable. For this purpose there are the so-called Dummies. A water dummy is particularly well suited for the retriever, which he is allowed to fetch again and again from the lake or a stream.

Flat Coated Retriever History

Origin & History

The Flat Coated Retriever originates from Great Britain and has been recognized as a breed by the FCI since 1954. Until then, the hunting companion has been bred for a good hundred years.

In the middle of the 18th century, dogs of the Little Newfoundland breed came to England with sailors. They are also called "Saint John's dog" and are the origin of all retriever breeds. English breeders crossed the Small Newfoundland with domestic breeds, such as the Setter, Collie and Spaniel. From this they eventually developed the Flat Coated Retriever.

Around 1900, he became the most popular retrieving dog in England because of his elegant appearance and great usefulness for the hunters. He can easily locate and retrieve the shot prey even on difficult terrain on land and in water.

Later, the breed became rarer and rarer, while Labrador and Golden Retriever became more popular. After the Second World War, the breed is even said to have been threatened with extinction.

In the 1980-ies it became a fashionable dog for a short time and has been bred in Germany ever since. Today, the breed has become rare again.