The Flat Coated Retriever dog breed is known for its beautiful sleek, thick black or liver-colored coat, well-feathered chest, tail, and legs, and dark intelligent eyes.

  • These retrievers have strong muscular legs and feet, deep chests, and short, square backs.

Flat coated retriever by smerikal from Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


  • Flat Coated Retrievers are wonderful family dogs and love children, other pets, guests, and strangers alike! These dogs are active, high-spirited, and friendly, and they love to play and retrieve.
  • As companion dogs, Flat Coateds display a puppy-like enthusiasm for life well into their adulthood. They are highly sociable and require lots of affection.
  • These intelligent and inquisitive dogs are easily bored and require short, fun training sessions.

Height and Weight

  • Adult males and females tend to be 22-23 inches tall and weigh around 60-70 pounds.

Living Conditions and Exercise

  • The Flat Coated Retriever dog breed is not well-suited for apartment living. Although they tend to be calm indoors, they require daily energetic physical activity outside in an average-sized yard.
  • Flat Coateds are happiest when they live inside and play outside with their families.
  • For best behavior, Flat Coated Retrievers need daily jogs or long walks, and they love hunting and swimming whenever possible.

Life Expectancy

  • Well-cared for Flat Coated Retrievers can be expected to live an average of 10 years.


  • The medium-length straight coat requires weekly brushing and very little trimming.
  • Flat Coated Retrievers are average shedders.


  • The Flat Coated Retriever dog breed is a cross between the Irish Setter, Labrador, Water Dog, and St. John’s Newfoundland. The breed was developed in the 1800s and became popular during World War I.
  • Excellent swimmers, bird dogs, and family dogs, Flat Coated Retrievers are agile and have an outstanding sense of smell and are gifted at retrieving in thick brush, plains, marshes, and wooded areas.

Group and Recognition

  • Grouping: AKC Sporting Group, Gun Dog