Flat Coat Retriever


by Geoffrey English

The Flat Coated Retriever is a gun dog that originated in the United Kingdom. Not as well known as other types of retrievers, such as the Golden and Labrador retrievers, the Flat Coat Retriever shares many characteristics with these other breeds in that it will assist the hunter on both land an water, retrieving with ease when hunting waterfowl or upland game.

Learn more about the Flat Coat Retriever’s history and appearance.


flat coat retrieverIt is believed that the Flat Coated Retriever has distant Collie and Irish Setter blood. The theory is that the breed was the result of the Newfoundland breed being bred with Collies and Irish Setters so that the breed would have enhanced sense of smell and added strength. Although the origins of the Flat Coat Retriever are not very clear, it is clear that the dog was bred as a hunting dog. The Flat Coated Retriever began appearing in England in the mid 1800s and was considered to be a dog for gamekeepers. The breed made its way to the United States in the late 1800s where it became popular as both a show dog as well as a hunting companion. It was recognized by the AKC in 1915 but nearly became extinct in the United States by the end of WWII.

The Flat Coated Retriever breed was revived in the 1960s and the breed today, while not well known, is very popular with hunters as well as show dogs. The show quality dogs can easily cross over to field dogs as they have a natural ability to hunt.


The Flat Coated retriever is about 23 inches high on average with females being slightly smaller. A good Flat Coat Retriever will weigh between around 65 pounds with females being slightly lighter. In comparison to other retrievers, they are lighter and faster and seem to move effortlessly during the hunt.

The coat of the Flat Coat Retriever s always very dark brown or back. The coat is single and slightly long and lays flat on the dog. The Flat Coat Retriever does not have an undercoat, but the single coat is very thick, enabling this dog to hunt in all types of weather.

Use of the Flat Coat Retriever

The Flat Coated Retriever is a very versatile, all purpose gun dog that can be used for both upland game and waterfowl. While retrieving is one of the best uses for this breed of dog, the Flat Coated Retriever can also be used to flush out upland game as well as marking downed birds. The dogs are very energetic, enjoy the hunt and have much energy to spend in the field. The Flat Coated Retriever is considered to be an all purpose gun dog.

Hunters who use the Flat Coated Retriever should know that the dogs do not like to be left alone for long periods of time, nor do they like harsh discipline. The Flat Coated Retriever can be more difficult to train than other retrievers and will not enjoy repetitive exercises for long periods of time. Although they are gentle dogs by nature and get along with all family members and even other dogs and cats, those with small children should be careful that the dog is trained in obedience as they can easily knock down small children because of their high energy level. A well trained Flat Coat Retriever, however, makes an excellent hunting companion and wonderful pet for the entire family.

Article Provided by Geoffrey English ofhttp://www.gundogsonline.com.


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).


  1. I read this article with great interest. The sentence (It is believed that the Flat Coated Retriever has distant Collie and Irish Setter blood) makes perfectly good sense, pay attention to the tail in the photo and you can see the Irish Setter in this dog. Great article and a beautiful specimen of a dog don’t you think?
    .-= The Pet Blog´s last blog ..hm2vker5×7 =-.

  2. I really liked this article. I liked reading articles which relate or talk about retrievers. I for one have a golden retriever as well and I am very fond of him. He is a very intelligent and an adorable breed. Every time that he notices that someone is sick in the family he will always stand close, I think this is a way for him to take care of the sick. We found him to be easily trained, since he can easily remember the do’s and don’ts in the house. 🙂 Do post more blogs about golden retrievers.

  3. This one is a good article providing good information about retrievers. This would give people who are interested to have pets a heads up if this breed would be suitable for them.

  4. Retrievers are really helpful and good dogs. They are cool and have a very good temperament. They are very good with children as well. We have a golden retriever and they get along very well with my 2 years old nephew.

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