Home » dog » Flat-coated retriever: character, care, diseases [wet medicine Małgorzata Miłosz

Flat-coated retriever: character, care, diseases [wet medicine Małgorzata Miłosz

Flat coated retriever

Flat coated retriever belongs to the group of retrievers bred in 19th-century England together with the more famous Labrador and the Golden and the less popular curly coated retriever.

The starting breed for all of them was the Newfoundland, and for the flat coated retriever, the additional m genes were added.in.:

  • Irish Setter,
  • poodle,
  • collie sheepdog,
  • water spaniel.

The English word "to retrieve " means "to retrieve, find " and refers to the ability that dogs from this group have, and this is about retrieving and, above all, hunting.

These dogs are perfect for hunting birds, because they quickly and reliably find a shot animal, even in dense bushes or in the middle of a lake, and bring the hunter in his teeth, like a precious trophy.

It was the progress in the creation of various firearms, which increased the effectiveness of hits, that was the impetus for the creation of breeds indispensable at work alongside shooters.

The greatest contribution to the appearance and popularization of the breed was made by John Hull (the owner of one of the first flats - bitches "Old Bouncy " and "Young Bouncy "), S.E. Shirley (founder of the British Kennel Club, which unified the breed type) and H. R. Cooke (owner of the kennel "Riverside ", who in 70 years has released a lot of champions into the world).

Today, these dogs are used primarily as family companions, and although their character is as friendly and amusing as Labradors or Golden, it is difficult for them to break through the glory of fame surrounding their cousins, although years ago they were the most popular of retrievers.

Other names of the breed, also referring to the specific coat that protects against icy water, cold and sand, are:

  • Wavy-Coated Retriever,
  • Black Wavy Retriever,
  • Smooth-Coated Retriever.

In Polish, you can also find the translated name of the breed - smooth-haired retrieving dog.

In short, these dogs are simply called flat or FCR.

According to the FCI classification, flat-coated retriever belongs to group 8.

  • Flat Coated Retriever Character
  • Flat coated retriever breed description
  • Care and nutrition
  • Flat-coated retriever disease
    • Skin histiocytoma
    • Hemangiosarcoma
    • Entropium
    • Ectropium
    • Distichiasis
    • Primary glaucoma
    • The small disc of the optic nerve
  • For whom the flat coated retriever will be the perfect dog?

Flat Coated Retriever Character

Flat is a dog with a truly golden heart.

He is cheerful, full of energy and enthusiasm for all the tasks we give him.

His inner mission seems to be to make others happy. They wag their tails most at the sight of their master, and when the handler is happy, the dog is even more so.

Flats have a very strong hunting instinct and of all retrievers, they are the best for hunting.

Vigilant and patient towards children, they are perfect for family dogs and although in case of danger they will protect their loved ones, guarding their belongings or guarding at the gate will not be an ideal activity for them.

Especially since they are quite trusting and are rather friendly towards strangers, so they may not be very effective as guards.

Due to the fact that flats are obedient, easy to train and like to work with the nose, they are also used as dog guides for the blind and rescuers.

FCR have a high level of activity and therefore need a lot of exercise.

They will also prove themselves as sports dogs, in particular in such disciplines as obedience, frisbee, tracking, agility or rally.

Flat coated retriever breed description

The Flat Coated Retriever is a dog with a proportionally built and harmonious figure, massive, but at the same time elegant and effective.


The height at the withers of a male dog is 59-61.5 cm, and a bitches height of 56.5-59 cm, respectively.


The weight of an adult dog is about 27-36 kg, and a female is 25-32 kg.

The appearance of the dog

  • Long head with a flat skull and not clearly marked stop.
  • Black or brown nose mirror with well-developed nostrils.
  • Jaws elongated and strong with a complete set of teeth set in a scissor bite.
  • Almond-shaped, hazel-colored or dark chestnut eyes.
  • Ears small, drooping, close to the head.
  • Long, slightly arched neck.
  • Chest broad and deep with a pronounced brisket.
  • The ribs in the middle of the cage are well sprung, flattened at the front and back.
  • Loins short and muscular.
  • The tail is straight, carried below or level with the topline.
  • Limbs straight and muscular. Paws compact with thick pads.


The coat is medium-length, dense and shiny.

Straight hair, may be slightly wavy, longer on the ears, chest, feet and tail.

Color: black or liver.

Care and nutrition

Medium-length coat does not require specialized treatments, only standard combing with a brush or comb with a frequency of not less than once a week.

Combing will remove dead hair and dirt and keep the coat in good condition, soft and shiny thanks to the distribution of the natural sebaceous secretion of the skin.

We periodically check the cleanliness of the teeth and the length of the claws. In swimming dogs, we look in the ears more often, because moisture promotes the multiplication of yeasts in the ear canal.

We can feed flats both with the use of ready-made dog food and by preparing meals ourselves at home.

Working dogs and dogs with high physical activity should receive sufficient food to meet both their living needs and provide them with additional energy for daily activities.

Flat-coated retriever disease

Skin histiocytoma

Cutaneous histiocytoma is a benign neoplastic growth of cells originating in the epidermis.

In flats, it most often occurs in dogs aged 1-2 years.

Well-delimited, hairless nodules appear most often on the head, trunk or limbs, and disappear spontaneously after a few months.

Diagnosis is based on cytological examination, and as far as treatment is concerned, observation of the lesions until their disappearance is reasonable, and in the case of lesions that do not regress, surgical removal methods are used.


Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant tumor that originates in the endothelial cells of the blood vessels.

The changes can appear in all organs, but are most often located in:

  • spleen,
  • the liver,
  • heart,
  • on the surface of the skin,
  • in the subcutaneous tissue.

Clinical symptoms depend on the organ affected by the disease process. We can observe systemic symptoms, such as:

  • weakness,
  • lack of appetite,
  • paleness,
  • enlarging the outline of the abdominal cavity,
  • breathing disorders,
  • local changes, e.g. in the form of poorly demarcated skin tumors resembling hemangiomas.

Treatment consists of surgical removal of the lesion with a margin of healthy tissue or removal of the entire organ.

There is also the option of chemotherapy.

The prognosis is usually unfavorable, only in the case of complete removal of tumors located in the dermis is it determined as good.


Entropion is a defect of the eyelids that folds them inwards, which causes the surface of the cornea to rub against the eyelashes and hair.

In the case of a flat coated retriever, we most often deal with the entropion of the lower eyelid, which appears in puppies at the age of several months.

Symptoms accompanying this defect include:.in.:

  • tearing,
  • eyelid spasm,
  • corneal ulcers.

The only treatment method is surgery.


Ectropion is a defect of the eyelids that curls them outside, which causes a partial exposure of the conjunctiva.

In the case of a flat coated retriever, it is most often a mild defect that may disappear after reaching sexual maturity.

If it does not disappear, it remains to maintain proper hygiene and hydration of the conjunctiva or surgical correction.


Distichiasis, i.e. double row of eyelashes, is a hereditary defect in which we observe an additional row of eyelashes growing on the inner edge of the eyelid.

Such eyelashes rub against the surface of the cornea, irritating it and damaging it superficially.

There is also an increase in the production of tears and eyelid spasm.

Treatment consists of cryoepilation or electroepilation, which enables the irreversible removal of extra eyelashes.

Primary glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the pressure in the eye increases, gradually damaging the optic nerve and the cells of the eye's retina.

Primary glaucoma affects both eyes, and the increase in pressure is most often the result of the so-called. a closed angle of percolation that obstructs the outflow of the aqueous humor.

In the case of glaucoma, the so-called. an acute attack of glaucoma, which is a condition that requires urgent intervention.

The eyeball becomes enlarged quickly, it is painful, the pupil does not react to light, and the subdural vessels become severely hyperemic.

The diagnosis of glaucoma is based primarily on the measurement of intraocular pressure, the physiological value of which should not exceed 25 mmHg.

Gonioscopy is used to test the filtration angle.

Treatment of glaucoma involves complex drug therapy or surgery.

The small disc of the optic nerve

Small optic disc or optic nerve hypoplasia is a developmental defect associated with a reduced number of optic nerve axons, resulting in visual disturbances.

It can only affect one eye or both.

Diagnosis is made by examination of the fundus, which shows a reduced disc diameter.

The disease is incurable, and sick individuals should be excluded from breeding.

For whom the flat coated retriever will be the perfect dog?

Flats are dogs that are so uncomfortable in nature that they could be recommended to virtually anyone.

They are called Peter Lords among dogs because of their optimism, joy of life and carefree approach to most topics.

Of course, they also have their own requirements, and the basic one is to provide them with the right amount of exercise, so from the group of "everyone " we can exclude people who do not like too much physical activity and those who have little time during the day.

All kinds of runs, fetching, throwing Frisbee and of course swimming are their favorite leisure activities.

Flats are very social dogs and must have constant and close contact with people. They can be kept on the property, but only on the condition that we will be there too and we will not leave the animal alone.

As intelligent creatures, they will quickly find a job, not necessarily the one we like, because it will most often be associated with destroying objects that are dear to us.

FCRs do well with children and are also rather positive about other animals. If children are small, play with the dog should be supervised as a large quadruped may inadvertently hurt them.

Flats are dogs that mature late, so they behave like carefree puppies for many years, which can be both a disadvantage and an advantage.

They are also very corrupt and eager to eat, so whoever offers them a tasty morsel will temporarily be their favorite.

They like close contact with people, so when they run out and get tired, they come to the house, they look for a place to rest, where they can put their snout on our hand or simply push themselves onto their knees.

Although they are easy to arrange, of course, it does not mean that they will arrange themselves, so, like any breed, they require socialization in puppy age and obedience training based on positive stimuli.

The best reward is of course a treat, but they won't despise a new toy either ☺

Sources used >>

Leave Your Comment