Flat-Coated Retriever

Other Names : Flat-coat

Country of Origin : Great Britain.

Dog Group : Gundog


Retriever breeds were developed in the early 19th century as dogs whose sole purpose was to pick up shot game. The Flat-coat was developed from the Lesser Newfoundland as a land retriever and evolved into a fine water and land retriever much favoured by gamekeepers. They have the added skills of flushing game from cover and will hunt game in upland areas. The credit for establishing this breed is given to Mr. J Hull who began breeding them in 1864 and they came to be commonly used on estates throughout Great Britain. In the 20th century their numbers began to decline and after the Second World War numbers fell drastically. Although the breed was re-established by the mid 1960s numbers remain relatively low. This is seen as an advantage to the breed as the low demand for them has prevented commercial exploitation and their soundness, type and working ability has been retained.


The Flat-coat is a long, lean looking dog, bright and active with an intelligent expression. They have dense, flat coats with high lustre, their legs and tails are well feathered and they give the impression of power and raciness.

Feeding & Ownership

These dogs are good eaters, unfussy and do not require any special diet so are easy to feed. They should not be overfed as this may lead to them being overweight, Flat-coats are not intended to be bulky dogs.


The Flat-coated Retriever is a kindly, intelligent and lively dog who loves humans. They are slow to mature and retain their puppy-like qualities for several years. They are extroverts, good family dogs, even-tempered and adaptable but with a deep bark which will give warning of the approach of both visitors and strangers. Their tails wag constantly but they do not like being left alone for long periods preferring the company of humans or other dogs. They are very enthusiastic dogs who demand a lot of attention from their owners and potential purchasers of a Flat-coat pup must be prepared to give him this time. They are better suited to country living than town dwelling.


Flat-coated Retrievers require daily brushing to maintain their coats, particular attention should be paid to the feathers which may collect debris and their feet should be checked for dried mud or other foreign matter. The eyes, ears and teeth should be checked on a regular basis.


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