Golden vs. Flat-Coated Retriever

Any breed of retriever is a great choice for a family pet!  Retrievers are popular because they’re beautiful, fun, loving, and gentle dogs.  Most people know the difference between a Golden and a Labrador retriever, but what’s the difference between a Golden Retriever and a Flat-Coated Retriever?

The main difference between these two dogs is their coat.  A Golden retriever is an iconic yellow to reddish colored dog, with wavy fur, while the Flat-Coated retriever is black or liver colored, with a shiny coat that lays flat. 

These two breeds of retrievers are more similar than different. In fact,  they are cousins and descend from the same areas in the United Kingdom.  Descended from hunting dogs, these two retrievers are active, loyal, and make great family companions.

The Golden retriever breed originated in Scotland, where a well-known dog breeder, Lord Tweedmouth, was mating spaniels and retrievers in the mid to late 1800s.

The Flat-Coated retriever breed came about in the same fashion as the Golden retriever. S.E. Shirley, the founder of the British Kennel Club, wanted a retriever with a flatter coat and a dog with more refined features.

Both Golden retrievers and Flat-Coated retrievers are of a similar size and weight.  The physical differences between the two breeds comes down to color, coat texture, and head shape.

Physical Differences: Golden Retriever vs. Flat-Coated Retriever


Right off the bat, you’ll notice these dogs are opposite colors. This is how you’ll always be able to tell them apart. You can’t mix them up if you understand the basic coat coloring of the two dogs .


The texture of the coat differs slightly for these two breeds as well. They differ in the wave of the fur, where on their body the hair feathers, and the amount of hair.

Swipe up to learn the difference between Golden Vs. Flat-Coated Retriever