Flat-Coated Retrievers 2015 Wall Calendar
Flat-Coated Retrievers 2017 Wall Calendar

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Flat Coated Retriever
Bis Ch. Northwood First Solitude "Bandit"
Photo courtesy of Solitude Kennels Reg'd

Breed Registries:

The all-breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.


Great Britain


Males: 23 to 24 inches (58-61 cm) at the withers; — Females: 22 to 23 inches (56-59cm)


Ideal weight is 60 to 70 lbs (27-32 kg)

Breed Profile:

The Flat-Coated Retriever was developed in England in the mid-19th century. Until World War I, this breed was the most popular show dog in Britain as well as a favourite in the field. After the war, interest in the breed declined and sportsmen chose the Labrador and Golden Retrievers as their favourites. In the last 20 years, however, there has been an increase in interest and the breed is regaining popularity.

This relative lack of interest in the Flat Coat has helped the breed maintain its reputation as a dual-purpose dog with little difference between the conformation show dog and those working in the field. The breed is extremely versatile and it is quite common for one dog to hold titles in several areas, such as one dog can hold show, obedience, field and other titles.

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a moderately high energy and exuberant dog. He is very people-oriented, exceptional with children, and makes a wonderful companion for active families. His character is outstanding and he should never be nervous, hyperactive, shy or aggressive. In the home, he is a wonderful and devoted companion; in the field, he has a great desire to hunt; and in the show ring, he is stable and self-confident. The versatile Flat Coat participates in several dog sports and activities including field trials, obedience competitions, agility, and flyball to name a few.

His coat should be straight and lie flat, as the name implies. It is of moderate length, dense, glossy and full. He may be black or liver in colour. Physically, the Flat Coat is well proportioned, strong yet elegant.

Health Issues

Like all breeds of dogs, the Flat Coated Retriever is susceptible to certain health problems. Health concerns for the breed include cancer, hip dysplasia, glaucoma, and luxating patellas. If you are considering the adoption of a Flat Coated Retriever puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. The Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America requires that all breeding stock have OFA (Orthapedic Foundation for Animals) or equivalent certification and CERF numbers or board-certified opthamologist equivalent. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

In general and like most of the Retriever breeds, the Flat-Coat remains puppy-like for three or more years and even after maturity has been reached, he will remain playful, mischievous and eager. The breed is intelligent, quick to learn but easily bored. Training sessions should be kept brief, fun and challenging.

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from Dogwise.com

Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More