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FLAT COATED RETRIEVER

Breed Group: Gundog

For full breed standards, visit UK Kennel Club or American Kennel Club

Average height: 56 - 61 cms (22 - 24 in)

Average Weight: 27 - 36 kgs (60 - 80 lbs)

Coat Length: Medium

Life Span: 10 - 12 years

Colours: Black, Liver

HISTORY

The Flat-Coated Retriever, a member of the gun dog group, originated in the United Kingdom during the 19th century. It was developed as a retriever both on land and in water. The breed descends from a mix of Newfoundland, Sheepdog, and Setter breeds, alongside water dogs that were adept at retrieving from water. Historically, they were utilized for retrieving game during hunting expeditions, valued for their agility, intelligence, and excellent swimming abilities.

L.E.G.S.

Using the L.E.G.S.® model, our breed descriptions offer insights into typical behavior based on Genetics, Learning, Environment, and Self. 

Knowing the sort of 'job' a breed was created for can offer valuable insights into the type of life dogs of that breed would most enjoy. But bear in mind, they are all individuals, treat the following as an indication of breed tendencies – not a prediction.

Shedding

minimal <> considerable

Grooming

minimal <> likely to need professional grooming

Barking

relatively quiet <> very vocal

Predatory behaviour around other pets/livestock

low<>high

Response to strangers

happy to greet everyone <> very wary

Affectionate with family

not at all<>very cuddly

Playful

serious<>very playful

Focus on handler (bond)

independent thinker<>very biddable

Excitable/Impulsive

very calm<>easily aroused

Motivated

laid back<>obsessive

Easy to care for

suitable for inexperienced<>challenging

Exercise needs

minimal<>hours daily

Off-lead exercise needs

happy on lead<>needs plenty of freedom

Enrichment needs

basic<>needs challenges

WHY YOU'LL FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR FLAT COATED RETRIEVER

  • Their cheerful and optimistic demeanor brings a positive energy to any home

  • They make excellent companions for outdoor activities and adventures

  • They develop a strong bond with family, making them great pets

WHY THEY MAY BE HARD TO LIVE WITH

  • They require ample exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom-related behaviors

  • Their enthusiasm and energy might be overwhelming for some owners

  • They are prone to 'puppy-like' behavior well into adulthood, which requires patience and consistent training

YOUR FLAT COATED RETRIEVER PUPPY HIGHLIGHTS

Expect a playful and exuberant puppy full of curiosity and energy. Early socialization and training are vital to channel their intelligence and enthusiasm positively. They thrive on interaction and enjoy being involved in family activities. Training them as puppies in basic obedience and manners is crucial to manage their abundant energy and to instill good habits early on.

YOU MAY NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP WITH:

  • Channeling their high energy into positive behaviors
  • Advanced training for sports or other activities due to their intelligence and need for mental stimulation
  • Developing consistent training routines to manage their enthusiasm and excitability

YOUR RELATIONSHIP SURVIVAL KEY

Understanding and embracing their need for activity and engagement is crucial. Consistent training, coupled with plenty of exercise and play, will foster a strong bond. They thrive on being part of family activities, so include them in your daily routines as much as possible.

UPBRINGING

A structured environment with clear rules and boundaries as well as plenty of opportunities for physical activity is ideal. Early socialization is important to develop their well-rounded personality. 

LIFESTYLE

Ideal for active families who can provide them with plenty of outdoor activities. They adapt well to various living conditions as long as their exercise needs are met. A home with a yard is beneficial, but regular visits to parks and open spaces can also suffice.

INTERESTS & HOBBIES

Flat Coated Retreivers will enjoy water-based activities, retrieving games, and dog sports like agility and obedience trials. They also love hiking, running, and playing fetch, making them excellent companions for outdoor enthusiasts.

EDUCATION

Focus on consistent, positive training methods. They excel in obedience and agility training due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. Setting up regular, fun, training sessions will help channel their energy and intellect constructively.