Are Flat-coated Retrievers Good Guard Dogs?

While naturally alert and loyal, the Flat-Coated Retriever is no guard dog. They may bark if a stranger approaches, but their often-wagging tail is a dead giveaway to how excited they are to meet new people. Your dog may sound imposing, but this is as close to guard dog as he will get. Expect an open and watchful dog that is friendly to everyone he meets.

Flat-Coated Retrievers as Watch Dogs?

Are Flat-Coated Retrievers Aggressive?

Flat-coated Retrievers are protective of their family and make good watchdogs. However, they aren’t usually aggressive.

Flat-Coated Retrievers Background

Due to their retrieving background, Flat-Coated Retrievers do well with organized dog sports such as agility, hunt tests, obedience, flyball, or tracking.

Family and Bonding

The Flat-Coated Retriever is excellent with children and a great family dog with a reliable temperament. Friendly, sweet and high-spirited, it loves everyone, even strangers. It has a puppy-like attitude and always appears to be in good spirits. It loves to play and retrieve, and with enough exercise it will be quiet indoors, saving the activity for the outside. It is an intelligent, loyal companion. This very sociable breed needs lots of gentle but firm leadership from its family. The Flat-Coated Retriever gets along well with dogs and other pets. They are active, obedient and highly trainable, and can get bored easily without variety. Keep training sessions short and fun, without excessive repetition. Be sure to take them for daily walks to satisfy their migration instinct. Flat Coats that are over-excitable are showing signs that they are lacking in the walk. Proper canine to human communication is essential.


Because of their high intelligence, Flat-Coated Retrievers are responsive to positive reinforcement training, though their silly streak may mean occasional disobedience if they know it will get a laugh. Use training as a way to work more mental and physical exercise into a Flat-Coat’s day, and be sure to provide proper socialization training alongside obedience training. While they are usually a very dog-friendly breed, it’s still a good idea to instill good social manners in puppyhood and beyond.

Flat-Coated Retriever Nature

Flat-Coated Retrievers are a cheerful breed that makes an excellent family companion, yet thrives when used as a gun dog. This breed is good-natured and playful and thrives on human interaction.


It will be very important to start training your Flat-Coated Retriever from an early age. This breed can get overly excited and jump a lot. They are also known for chewing. Early training using a method that stresses positive reinforcement works best for Flat-Coated Retrievers. It is also important to socialize your dog from an early age so they begin to learn how to act around other dogs, people, and different situations.


Flat-Coated Retrievers as a Pack Animal

The Flat-Coated Retriever looks like a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador, in black or brown colours. But they are actually not cross breeds at all. They have quite a long history, and were used for hunting and retrieving waterfowl for decades before making it into our family homes. Their temperament a similar to a Golden Retriever, but with triple the amount of energy, playfulness and endurance. They are powerful adventurers and are naturally inquisitive. Their love and affection for their owners motivates this breed to always perform their best. Flat-Coated Retrievers are fast athletes that do well at any kind of action-packed dog sports like Agility or Fly Ball. When joining a family as a pet, this dog is sure to exhaust the children through playing ball with them for hours, but once your kids are resting he will want to move on and do something else. Make sure you have enough time to let him burn off all that energy. This breed is very trainable, intelligent and quite attentive towards their owners. Their thick flat coat makes them resilient to any kind of rough weather. If you feel like going on a kayak trip and want to take your dog with you, you might just have found the right dog breed.

Physical Traits

The AKC accepts the Flat-coated Retriever in either solid black or liver coloured coats. Size ranges from 23 to 24 ½ at the withers for males and 22 to 23 ½ for females. In conformation, excess weight is a no-no. These dogs should weigh 55 to 8o pounds, with the males on the higher end of the scale. This is a dog that should be able to leave the show ring and head straight to the fields—and he does.

Excercising your Flat-Coated Retriever

Leave a Comment