Breed Profile

Flat Coated Retriever

Flat Coated Retriever
Flat Coated Retriever
Flat Coated Retriever
The Flat Coated Retriever was developed in the late 18th Century. Due to the advancement and efficiency of shotguns, hunters found they had a need for an efficient retrieving dog to retrieve their game. To develop a dog to meet their requirements they experimented with the crossing of different breeds. Sheepdogs were used for their trainability, Spaniels for hunting skills, Water dogs for retrieving wildfowl and Setters for their keen nose.

The founder of the modern Flat Coat, Mr. S. E. Shirley, (born in 1844 and founder of the Kennel Club of England) used a proportion of these with the St. Johns water dog, also known as the Lesser Labrador or the small Newfoundland. The Curly Coat Retriever appeared to branch off at about this time, leaving what were then called Wavy-coats as a more or less pure breed. The Wavy-coat, however, was a reference used rather loosely, as for a time it appeared to cover several different types.


Flat Coated Retrievers will usually live up to eight years of age, but given a loving home and the right food can live up to 10 years.


The Flat Coated Retriever is described as the canine Peter Pan - It never grows up. It is always ready for fun and play even when advanced in years. It is a kind, sociable and loving animal and because of this is totally trustworthy with children. (Supervision should be undertaken with small children, however, as they can hurt a young puppy). Although it will bark if someone is around, it is definitely not a guard dog. It is firstly a companion, always requiring and sometimes demanding to be in the company of its owner.


Most Flat Coats are compatible with other pets, depending on the pet. Most will live in harmony with cats if they are trained to do so.


Every Flat Coated Retriever benefits from a daily walk, swim or run, however, it can survive if it only gets out about three times a week, but more often is better. A brush once a week ensures a healthy coat; some minor trimming especially around the feet and ears makes the dog look tidier.

Please take note:
A Flat Coat is not the sort of dog that can be totally happy without human companionship. It is happiest when it is interacting with its owner, as it likes to be part of the action. Normal secure fencing is required for this breed, to keep it safe from traffic.


An active person who is prepared to have the dog around, either in the house or garden, to take it for walks, runs and swims. It is well suited to the family with children over seven years as younger children may be knocked over due to its exuberance when a puppy. Most breeders prefer to sell to families with children of an age that can be taught not to harm the puppy.


If you have decided that the Flat Coated Retriever is the dog for you and you are willing to ensure you have a well-fenced yard to keep it safe from any traffic, then contact one of the groups listed below:

Recommended Breeders

Breeder NameKennelState 
Tina Corbell skyehaven SA Contact
Simone Wilkie Wilgunndi VIC Contact
Christine Clarke Firebush TAS Contact
Suzanne Batchelor Kenzanne NSW Contact

*** We have vetted and approved these independent breeders as meeting, at the time, our criteria for the reliable breeding, feeding, care and sale of suitable quality puppies of this breed. This does not mean that other breeders do not meet these criteria or are not otherwise suitable suppliers. Nor can our vetting and approval guarantee the quality of a breeder or puppy or that you will be happy with them. We disclaim any liability for the quality, acts or omissions of these breeders or their puppies and our approval of breeders is not a substitute for you making all appropriate enquiries and checks (including veterinary checks) before choosing a specific breeder or puppy.

Canine Clubs

Australian Capital Territory: New South Wales:
Dogs ACT
(ACT Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 815
Dickson, ACT 2602
Tel: 02 6241 4404
Fax: 02 6241 1129
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs NSW
(Royal New South Wales Canine Council Ltd)
PO Box 632
St Marys, NSW 1790
Tel: 02 9834 3022
Fax: 02 9834 3872
(Details current as of 10/10/2013)
Northern Terrority : Queensland:
Dogs NT
(North Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 37521
Winnellie, NT 0821
Tel: 08 8984 3570
Fax: 08 8984 3409
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Queensland
(Canine Control Council (Queensland))
PO Box 495
Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006
Tel: 07 3252 2661
Fax: 07 3252 3864
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
South Australia : Tasmania :
Dogs SA
(South Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 844
Prospect East, SA 5082
Tel: 08 8349 4797
Fax: 08 8262 5751
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Tasmania
(Tasmanian Canine Association Inc)
The Rothman Building
PO Box 116
Glenorchy, Tas 7010
Tel: 03 6272 9443
Fax: 03 6273 0844
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Victoria: Western Australia:
Dogs Victoria
(Victorian Canine Association)
Locked Bag K9
Cranbourne, Vic 3977
Tel: 03 9788 2500
Fax: 03 9788 2599
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs West
(Canine Association of Western Australia Inc)
Cnr Warton & Ranford Rds,
Southern River, WA, 6110
Tel: 08 9455 1188
Fax: 08 9455 1190
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)



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