Flat-Coated Retriever VS Golden Retriever – A Decision-Making Comparison


The golden retriever and the flat-coated retriever are both popular choices for a family pet, but which one is best for your home? Learn about the similarities and differences between these two breeds to help you make your decision.

Both dogs are friendly and energetic, but the flat-coated retriever is better suited for colder climates while the golden retriever fares better in hot weather.

The flat-coated retriever is also a good choice if you’re looking for a tracking dog for hunting, while the golden retriever makes a good pet and companion animal. So, which breed is right for you? It all depends on what you want out of your dog!

The Flat-Coated Retriever and Golden Retriever are always at the top of the list and for a really good reason, and by the end of this article, you’ll understand why? So, let’s get started.

Here is a quick overview of the Flat-Coated Retriever vs Golden Retriever Characteristics

CharacteristicFlat-Coated RetrieverGolden Retriever
Weight55-70 Pounds55-75 Pounds
Height22-24.5 inches21-24 Inches
Lifespan8-14 Years10-12 Years
ColorsBlack, liverLight golden, golden, and dark golden
Health9.5/109/10
Grooming Needs9/108/10
Exercise Needs7.5/108/10
Shedding8/107.5/10
Kid Friendliness9/1010/10
Pet Friendliness7.5/108/10
Protectiveness7.5/107/10
Good for apartmentsNoNo
Average puppy cost$1,500 to $2,500$1,000 to $3,500
Popularity Ranking in the US1004

The Flat-Coated Retriever VS Golden Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever

Size: 22-24.5 inches

Colors: Black, Liver

Coat Type: Smooth, Medium Length

The flat-coated retriever is an outgoing, playful dog that makes a great pet for families. This breed is descended from the English golden retriever and the Irish water spaniel, which explains why they are so good at tracking game. They are energetic dogs who need plenty of exercise, but with proper training and care they can be loving members of your family for years to come.

Golden Retriever

Size: 21-24. inches

Colors: Light golden, golden, and dark golden

Coat Type: Double Coated, Coarse, Medium Length

Golden retrievers were descended from Russian sheepdogs bought from a circus then they were developed in Scotland.

A man known as Lord Tweedmouth used to breed animals of all kinds, he wanted a dog to be more attentive with a superb nose and to retrieve his prey without harming it, he also wanted the dog to be friendly and well-tempered so the dog can be his companion and can stay in the house.

So he bred a tweed water spaniel and a red setter and he kept the yellow puppies and kept breeding them till he finally got the one and only golden retriever. 

Temperament

Flat-Coated Retriever VS Golden Retriever temperament

When it comes to temperament, both breeds are similar. They’re friendly and sociable, with an easygoing nature that makes them well suited as family pets.

Both breeds are intelligent and easy to train; however, the golden retriever is more sensitive, so you’ll need a gentle hand when training them. They both also have high energy levels and require lots of exercise; they’re happiest when they have a job or task to do.

Flat-coated retrievers tend to be less independent than Golden Retrievers and can be prone to separation anxiety, so they’re not the best choice if you’re away from home a lot.

Golden Retrievers tend to be more clownish and are often drawn to water, while flat-coated retrievers are more serious in nature and prefer retrieving game from land.

Visual Differences

The most obvious difference between the two breeds is their coat color. Golden retrievers have a rich, golden coat, while flat-coated retrievers have a solid black or liver color coat.

The golden retriever can also be lighter in color, ranging from pale yellow to deep gold with white markings on the chest. Their coat is also longer and fuller than the flat-coated retriever’s, which is shorter and sleeker. They also have slightly longer legs than the flat-coated retriever.

The shape of their head and muzzle is also different. The golden retriever has a rounded, teddy-bear-like face while the flat coated retriever has a long and narrow muzzle.

Overall, the flat-coated retriever is a sturdier looking dog than the golden retriever, with a more muscular body and a more serious expression.

Health and Lifespan

Both breeds have a life expectancy of around 12 years, but there can be some variation depending on the individual dog’s health.

Golden retrievers are prone to obesity, so it’s important to ensure they get plenty of exercise and have a healthy diet. If both of these attributes are optimized, expect a life expectancy of up to 12 years. It is also wise to note that Golden Retrievers are known to develop cataracts at an early age, which can lead to blindness. Make sure to have your golden checked up regularly by your vet, especially in the puppy years.

Flat-coated retrievers are also prone to obesity, but this problem is less common in the breed than for Golden Retrievers. Though obesity is less common than goldens, it is still important for Flat-coated retrievers to get plenty of exercise and a that your retriever has a healthy diet. If maintained correctly, you can expect a life expectancy of up to 14 years.

Overall, the flat-coated retriever is a healthier breed than the golden retriever and may have a longer lifespan.

Nutritional Needs

Both breeds need a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs.

A good diet for a golden retriever should include plenty of protein and healthy fats, as well as antioxidants to help protect against disease.

For the flat-coated retriever, you’ll also want to provide a diet high in protein and healthy fats but with less emphasis on fruits and vegetables than for the golden.

Both breeds should be fed twice daily rather than once or three times each day because they tend to become obese if overfed and require regular exercise, although their needs may be different.

Golden retrievers need daily walks and playtime to stay healthy while flat-coated retrievers can get by with less exercise.

Grooming Needs & Shedding

Both breeds need regular brushing to keep their coats healthy and free of mats.

Golden retrievers tend to shed more than flat-coated retrievers, so you’ll likely find more hair around your home if you have a golden retriever. They have an undercoat, which means they shed twice as much as a flat-coated retriever.

Flat-coated retrievers also have a tendency to drool, especially when they’re excited or nervous. They also have a wavy coat that’s easy to care for, while golden retrievers need more grooming attention because their coat is straight. They also don’t have an undercoat, so they don’t shed as much, but you’ll still need to brush them regularly.

In general, the flat-coated retriever requires less grooming than the golden retriever.

Exercise Needs

Both breeds need a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy; around one hour per day is ideal.

Golden retrievers have a tendency towards obesity if they don’t get enough exercise, so make sure your dog gets plenty of opportunities for playtime and walks in the park. They are prone to joint problems, so it’s important to avoid excessive jumping or running when they’re young.

Flat-coated retrievers don’t usually develop joint problems, but it’s still best to avoid strenuous exercise until they’re older. They are less active than golden retrievers, so they can get by with less exercise, but it’s still important to provide them with daily walks and playtime.

Both breeds are highly energetic, so you’ll need to provide them with plenty of exercise and playtime every day.

Training & Intelligence

Flat-Coated Retriever VS Golden Retriever training

Both breeds are intelligent and easy to train, but the golden retriever is more eager to please than the flat-coated retriever.

Golden retrievers are often used as guide dogs, assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs because of their intelligence and willingness to please.

Flat-coated retrievers are not as commonly used in these roles, but they can excel at obedience and agility.

Both breeds are intelligent and easy to train, but the golden retriever is more eager to please than the flat-coated retriever.

As Family Dogs

Both breeds are great choices for families because they’re friendly and sociable animals that love children.

Golden retrievers tend to get along well with other pets in the home, while flat-coated retrievers may have a higher prey drive and should be monitored around small animals such as cats or rabbits.

Both breeds are good family dogs, but the golden retriever is a better choice for families with young children or other pets in the home.

As Hunting Dogs

Flat-Coated Retriever VS Golden Retriever

Both breeds are good choices for hunters because they have strong retrieving instincts; however, golden retrievers tend to do better in the field than flat-coated retrievers.

Golden Retrievers can also be trained to hunt birds and other small game, while flat-coated retrievers are more likely to track larger animals such as deer or elk.

Both breeds are good hunting dogs, but the golden retriever is a better choice for hunters who want their dog to be able to retrieve small game as well.

The golden retriever is a better choice for hunters of small game because they have stronger retrieving instincts, but if you’re looking for a dog that can track down large game, the flat-coated retriever is a good choice.

As Guard Dogs

Both breeds make good watchdogs because they’re alert and quick to sound the alarm.

Flat-Coated Retrievers tend to be more protective than golden retrievers and may be better suited for guarding your home. They are a better choice if you’re looking for a dog that will bark and alert you when someone is coming near your home.

In conclusion, both breeds make good watchdogs, but the flat-coated retriever is more protective and may be better suited for guarding your home.

Where To Find Them?

Both breeds are available from a variety of breeders across the United States.

It’s always best to meet the pup first and ensure they’re healthy before bringing them home.

Golden Retrievers can also be found at shelters and rescues across the country, while flat-coated retrievers are less common in these places. So, if you’re looking for a new pet without breaking the bank consider adopting instead of buying from a breeder.

Flat-coated retrievers tend to cost more than golden retrievers because they’re less common in the United States; however, both breeds are relatively inexpensive compared with other purebreds.

Final Thoughts

Both the Golden Retriever and Flat-coated Retriever are great dog breeds with a variety of talents.

Which breed is right for you will depend on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in a dog.

Both breeds are great family pets, but the golden retriever is a better choice for families with young children or other pets in the home. They both make good guard dogs, but the flat-coated retriever is more protective and may be better suited for guarding your home.

If you’re looking for a hunting dog, the golden retriever is a better choice for bringing back small game like bird and foul, while the flat-coated retriever excels at obedience and agility at tracking large game.

No matter what you’re looking for in a dog, both the Golden Retriever and Flat-coated Retriever make great pets.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are flat-coated retrievers different than golden retrievers?

Both breeds are great hunters. However, flat-coated retrievers are a bit different than golden retrievers in terms of temperament, health, and exercise needs. Flat-coated are better with large game while Golden Retrievers are great for hunting and retriever small game foul.

What is a good diet for a golden retriever?

A good diet for a golden retriever should include plenty of protein as well as fruits and vegetables. Dogs with this breed need regular exercise in order to stay fit and healthy, so it’s important that they have plenty of energy throughout the day! You may also want to supplement their diets with vitamins such as fish oil or glucosamine chondroitin for joint health.

How do you keep a flat-coated retriever’s coat healthy?

A flat-coated retriever’s coat should be brushed at least once a week to keep it healthy and free of mats. You may also want to consider using a conditioning spray or moisturizing shampoo every few months to help keep their coats looking shiny and sleek.

How much exercise does my flat-coated retriever need?

Flat-coated retrievers are a high energy breed and they require plenty of exercise in order to stay fit and healthy. You should take your dog for at least one walk each day, but it’s best if you’re able to do more than just that!

Helpful Resources

Flat-Coated Retriever Dog Breed Information

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