The Flat Coated Retriever

The Flat Coated Retriever is one of the six retriever breeds and is one of the major breeds. The Flat Coated Retriever has an approximate life expectancy of 10 years. Males reach a shoulder height of 58-61 cm and weigh about 25-35 kg; females should have a shoulder height between 56-58 cm and about 25-34 kg. The standard recognizes two colours: black and dark brown.

The flat has a special coat that is adjusted according to its requirements. It is not too fine and has a dense undercoat, so the dog does not get wet through to the skin. After a quick shake of the body the coat surface is quickly dry again. Flats have a good temperament. Not only are they great hunting dogs but also fantastic family dogs. These dogs need regular exercise and “a job”. When it is worked mentally and physically, it will be an easy companion in the house, but always ready for action. With the right motivation and handler a Flat will learn quickly and with ease. A strong bond with its handler is essential. It will do almost anything for things he enjoys and especially for food.

Flats are very people oriented, playful and greedy. Therefore training them is easy, provided the handler has the appropriate time, patience, empathy and is consistent. Consistency is the major factor for a harmonious coexistence with a flat. Flats love children, but this is not a free pass for leaving children and dogs together without control. They must learn how to deal with each other. Still, playing with children is a big pleasure for a well-socialized Flat. These dogs love to be near their family at all times. It is a pleasant housemate, provided you offer it sufficient outdoor exercise and mental stimulation.

The flat has in general no problem with other animals, but of course it’s training and breeding plays a major role. Water is one of the great passions of the Flats. Every puddle, every stream or lake is a reason to plunge in, to bathe, play and swim.

The retriever can adapt itself to different climatic conditions. If it could choose it’s own holiday location however, a flat would always prefer mountains or the beaches in the north to a holiday in the south. A highlight for every flat is to roll in the snow. But that's not all. The list of its favourite hobbies is long: eating, playing, swimming, fetching and searching things are also included. Thus the possibilities of entertainment for a Flat are long.

You can do anything from retrieval work to rescue training to agility work. In summary, one can say that the flat was originally bred as a hunting companion and that its fantastic sense of smell and its inbred instinct to retrieve combined with a strong will to please are his strongest characteristics. A Flat wants to be close to its leader. It wants to please and work for him or her. He is happy if he can carry around something for its owner: whether it’s slippers, dummies or toys.

Is the Flat a suitable dog for you?
The Flat wants an owner that is active and has plenty of time for them. They also want to be part of daily family life and should not be kept in a kennel.
Below you’ll find a small "check list" which will help you to decide if this is the right breed for you. If you are able to answer all the questions with a yes, then you will enjoy a Flat :)

1. Do you have enough time? Or do all the family member work and the dog would be alone all day?
2. Do you plan to work with your dog and use him as more than just a playmate for your children?
3. Is the dogs place inside the house, living with you and your family?
4. Have you been thinking for a long time about living with a dog or is it a spontaneous decision?
5. Do you like long, long walks?
6. Is it bad if the dog does do something dirty?
7. Do you like it in the rain, wind and weather to go outside?
8. Do you want an active dog or maybe one of just lying around?
9. Do you find it unhygienic, when the dog always wants to lick you?
10. Would you like to be always welcomed with joy?
11. Would you still rather have a sharp watch-dog?

We hope this will bring the flat a little closer to you.

A life without this dog would be inconceivable for us, they have enriched our lives.