Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed

By: Chewy EditorialPublished:


Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed

The Flat-Coated Retriever originated in the 19th century as a cross breed of the Labrador Retriever and Newfoundland. This dog was bred to be a hunting companion. They are excellent bird dogs and are highly regarded for excelling in both land and water retrieval.

Flat-Coated Retriever Physical Characteristics

Flat-Coated Retrievers are large dogs with a broad head and drop ears. They are often described as a long haired Labrador retriever.


The Flat-Coated Retriever breed is most commonly seen in black or liver.


The coat of the Flat-Coated Retriever is flat and silky, with feathers on the underbody, legs, feet, tail and ears.

Flat-Coated Retriever Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Flat-Coated Retriever is very loving toward its owners and enjoys playing games and swimming. They are great with children and are usually good with other animals. This breed loves to learn and is very adept at learning.

Things to Consider
The Flat-Coated Retriever does better with some obedience training early in life. They are known to jump on people they have just met and they can take awhile to leash train, as they are constantly excited to “go and see” everything that is new to them.

Flat-Coated Retriever Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Flat-Coated Retriever would do well in the city or country.

Special Requirements

Flat-Coated Retrievers need daily exercise and do best when they have something, like a job, to do.

Flat-Coated Retriever Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Flat-Coated Retrievers:


Flat-Coated Retriever History and Background

The Flat-Coated Retriever was initially bred in the 19th century as a bird dog. Fishermen were also in need of a dog that could retrieve their catch from the water. As such, many began to mix Labradors, Newfoundlands, and other breeds known for their ability to swim and retrieve. Later, setters and pointers were crossed with fishing dogs, producing a dog that suited their needs: the Flat-Coated Retriever.

Many believe the first Flat-Coated Retriever was entered into a British dog show in 1859; however, specific classification for Retrievers was not available until the following year.

The breed did not receive official recognition from the American Kennel Club until 1915. Although the breed faced extinction by the end of World War II, as many breeds did, its numbers recovered when one of the greatest authorities of the breed, Stanley O’Neill, took it upon himself to revive the breed. Today the breed remains a mainstay on both sides of the Atlantic.

By: Chewy Editorial


By: Chewy EditorialPublished:

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