There’s no question in the popularity of the Golden Retriever and the Labrador but sadly, there is a less popular breed out there that’s more excellent as a retriever in both land and water. This outstanding breed is called the Flat Coated Retriever and it hails from the United Kingdom. This breed was thought to have first existed during the middle of 19th century, was introduced in 1860 in the United States but only received stability as a breed 20 years later.


The Flat Coated Retriever was developed to be a versatile hunting dog by means of retrieving shot games both on land and water and other tasks expected of a working dog. From then till now, this breed enjoys a steady stream of fanciers as it is not only an excellent companion in hunting but as a family pet and animal friend as well. Whence outdoors it has a terrific nose for game, inside the house it is a loving and devoted companion to the family that owns it.

Without a doubt, in terms of retrieval, the Flat Coated performs better than the Golden Retriever and the Labrador, however, in terms of trainability; the Flat Coated performs poorer than the two. Additionally, this breed is prone to boredom whenever training lessons are repetitive and slow. To keep its interest during training, the owner must keep it varied, interesting and short.

Patience is needed in training this breed because it is not receptive of negative reinforcements and harsh corrections. This breed is very welcoming to other people and it is never the one to start a fight and because of it, the Flat Coated Retriever does not make a really good watch dog. Additionally, its friendliness can extend as far as being with harmony with all animals such as cats, smaller creatures and other breed of dogs.

The Flat Coated Retriever is a very kind breed and it always beams with a sunny disposition. It undeniably makes an ideal companion for it is outgoing, friendly, gentle, playful and devoted. It is playful and patient around children, however, small children must be watched carefully around this breed because its energetic disposition may knock them over.

The good things about this breed just keep coming because it is fondly tagged by experts as the “Peter Pan of Dogs” due to its endless playfulness and energy from its puppy years until adulthood. This dog also loves kissing as a form of greeting. In fact, it likes to lick the face of humans as a form of showing affection and between it and another dog, they love to lick each others’ mouths and people call this as the “flat-coated kiss”.

Because of the Flat Coated’s active disposition, it needs to be exercised and busied with intense activities everyday in order to keep it mentally and physically healthy. Surprisingly, the Flat Coated is inactive and calm indoors but once it is brought outside by the master, it starts to be its exuberant and boisterous self again. Additionally, the Flat Coated preceded the Golden Retriever in the US but when the latter arrived, people lost interest in the Flat Coated until its breed almost vanished but thankfully, some breeders still tried to save its existence.

There are several breeds that are said to have contributed to the stability of the Flat Coated’s breed and they are the: Collie-types for increased trainability, Newfoundland for strength, and Setter for stronger sniffing ability. This breed is called Flat Coated because its single coated fur is indeed flat, medium-length, lustrous and dense. The main and standard colors of this breed are solid black and solid liver, however, there are some that appear cream and yellow and these are considered as disqualifications by the breed standard.

  • Confident, Proud, Wickedly Smart
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 162 of 191
  • Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 60-95 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Sporting Group 

Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America

Club Website