The Flat-Coated Retriever (Flat-Coat) is an elegant hunting retriever, and is a breed suited for hard work. The breed is a loving member of the family, and is a multi-talented working dog. The Flat-Coat should not be nervous, apathetic, hyperactive or have shy or obstinate behavior. He should be able to flush within gun range and should be able to retrieve on both land and water, while also making a great family companion.
Look at the Flat-Coated Retrievers general appearance and size. One of the most distinctive features of this breedand one of the most important featuresis the silhouette. The breed has a smooth and effortless movement, head type, coat and character. It looks as though the Flat-Coat has a long, clean and strong one piece head. This is unique to the breed. There is no exaggeration of the stop or cheek and the head is set well into a moderately long neck. The coat is thick and flat-lying and the legs and tail are feathered. The Flat-Coats height is preferred to be at 23 to 24 inches for males and 22 to 23 inches for females. The length of the body form the point of the shoulder to the rear projection of the upper thigh should be a bit longer than the height measurement.2
Make sure the head is well-molded and is adequate in size and strength. The dog should be able to retrieve a large duck or hare with ease. The muzzle is almost equal in length and breadth to the skull. The brows are raised a bit and are mobile. The eyes are set rather widely apart and are medium-sized with an almond shape. The eyes should be dark brown or hazel. The ears should be small and lie close to the side of the head and thickly feathered. The dogs should be black on black or brown on liver.3
Check the fore- and hindquarters. The shoulders should be long and the upper arm should be about the same length as the shoulders. The breed has more of a wiry musculature than a bulky one. The elbows should be close to the body. The feet are oval or round. They are medium sized and tight. The toes will be well-arched and the feet should have thick pads. The hindquarters should be powerful and well-muscled. The second thighs are as long asor sometimes longerthan the upper thigh. There are no hind dewclaws. The feet should be the same as the frontmedium sized, tight and well-arched.4
Make sure the coat is of moderate length, moderate density and fullness. It should have a high lustre. It should be straight and lay flat. The coat provides protection from all types of weather, water and ground cover. The ears, front, chest and back of the forelegs, along with the thighs and underside of the tail, will be thickly feathered when the dog is in full coat. It should not be silky, stringy or brushy.