The Flat-Coated Retriever is a gundog breed originating from the United Kingdom. It was developed as a retriever both on land and in the water.
Regular tests and clearances for hereditary joint conditions such as Hip dysplasia (canine) and eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma should be conducted by breeders on any dogs used for breeding. Occasionally Epilepsy in animals is also seen in the breed. Flat-coats have a higher risk of cancer than most dogs. Hemangiosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, osteosarcoma and malignant histiocytosis are particularly devastating, and occur at higher rates in Flat-coated Retrievers than in many other breeds. According to studies sponsored by the Flat Coated Retriever Society of America (FCRSA), the average lifespan of the Flat-coated Retriever is only about 8 years, with a high percentage of deaths due to cancer. More recent surveys in Denmark and UK shows a median lifespan of around 10 years. The FCRSA sponsors many university cancer studies and breeders have benefited from increased information on cancer in Flat-coats to reduce the incidence of cancer in future generations.Flat-coats have a very low rate of hip dysplasia and luxating patellas compared to other medium-sized breeds; the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) statistics consistently show a rate of hip dysplasia in the breed of less than 3%. In 1997 FCRSA health survey, 4.2% of males and 3.2% of females had been diagnosed with luxating patellas.