AKC Dog Breeds: Flat Coated Retriever

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Sporting  Group
Height:22-23 inches   Weight: 60-70 pounds  Color: black, brown, liver, white spots, black spots

The Flat Coated Retriever steals the hearts of everyone he meets with his fun loving, endearing, and friendly personality. Although his tail never stops wagging, the Flat-Coated Retriever is suited for hard work. Originally bred to flush and retrieve both upland game and waterfowl, he transfers his determination, desire and verve on the hunting field to everyday life, enthusiastically participating in family activities and in the show, obedience and agility rings. The Flat-coated Retriever originates from Great Britain, and was bred as a hunter as well as a water retriever. Once one of the most popular variations of retriever, these dogs were once known as wavy coated retrievers. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1915.

General Appearance
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a beautiful black or liver-colored retriever sporting a sleek, medium-length, thick, fine coat with well-feathered legs, tail and chest. His long head is molded and sleek, with a wide muzzle and barely apparent stop. The eyes are dark brown or hazel, with an intelligent expression. The moderately small ears lay flat against the head. The nose should be black for black coats and brown for liver coats. The chest is deep and wide. Its back is short and square. Its legs are muscular and the feet are round and strong.

Spirited, lively, and full of energy, the Flat-coated Retriever is a playful soul that loved plenty of exercise and activity, and thrives on the company and attention of his owners. This is an outgoing breed that is keen, enthusiastic, and very eager to please. The cheerful, sweet nature of the Flat-coated Retriever makes him a wonderful pet and companion, and they have high intelligence and obedience levels, are attentive, and like to put one hundred percent into everything that they do. It is important not to take on a Flat-coated Retriever if you do not have the time to commit to a pet, as these dogs need physical and mental stimulation and plenty of attention in order to alleviate boredom and reduce the risk of destructive behavior such as chewing. The Flat-coated Retriever gets along well with children, but his high energy and his size could prove a problem around very small kids. He also gets along with other animals, but like children care should be taken around smaller animals, as this breed seems to bound around with limitless energy and tends to be more powerful than he realizes. This is a sociable breed and will also get along well with strangers in most cases. One thing to watch out for with the Flat-coated Retriever is that he loves to jump around and chew, two traits that will need to be controlled through appropriate outlet, such as plenty of exercise to enable him to burn up some of that energy, and suitable toys to enable him to chew to his heart's content without damaging your valuables!


The Flat Coated Retriever needs very little trimming but regular weekly brushings whenever possible. Their coat needs to be kept nice and tidy on a regular basis, especially after they have been outdoors for extended periods of time. A good brushing at least 4-5 times per week is ideal, as this will bring out the natural gloss and sheen of the dog. The breed is an average shedder, and the coat will change in luster and appearance throughout the seasons.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Flat-coated Retriever has a life expectancy of around 8-10 years, which is relatively short compared to some other breeds. There are a number of health problems and disorders that are linked to this breed, and this includes luxating patella, cataracts, PRA, HD, cancer, thyroid problems, and entropion.

Activity Level
The Flat Coated Retriever is a large breed that enjoys quite a bit of running, a game of fetch, and long jogs with his owner. Being so energetic, this breed should require at least 2 hours of exercise daily, so an average sized fenced in yard would work best. Long daily walks are definitely enjoyed by this breed and without a fenced in yard to give them exercise, this is required and not optional. The Flat Coated Retriever loves to go on hikes with his owner, so an energetic family that loves the outdoors would be the ideal companion for this fun loving breed.


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