Flat Coated Retriever

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The Full Flat Coated Retriever Description

The Flat-Coated Retriever combines gracefulness in looks with grace of character. This is a loving, playful dog that needs a strong personal relationship with his owner and daily exercise. Most are so good-natured that they would rather make friends than anything else. He is intelligent and adapts well to changes around him.

So you want to own a Flat-Coated Retriever?

As a pet, the Flat-Coated Retriever adapts easily to city life, but requires considerable amounts of exercise and activity. Since the Flat-Coat is a working hunting retriever, he should be kept in good physical condition.
The Flat-Coated Retriever loves to play. Because he is a strong dog, supervision is needed around small children.

Indicative Breed Standard

General Appearance

A bright, active dog of medium size with an intelligent expression, showing power without lumber, and raciness without weediness.


Generously endowed with natural gundog ability, optimism and friendliness demonstrated by enthusiastic tail action.


Confident and kindly. 

Head and Skull

Head, long and nicely moulded. Skull, flat and moderately broad with a slight stop between eyes, in no way accentuated, avoiding a down or dish-faced appearance. Nose of good size, with open nostrils. Jaws long and strong, capable of carrying a hare or pheasant.


Medium size, dark brown or hazel, with a very intelligent expression (a round prominent eye highly undesirable). Not obliquely placed.


Small and well set on, close to side of head.


Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Teeth sound and strong.


Head well set in neck, the latter reasonably long and free from throatiness, symmetrically set and obliquely placed in shoulders, running well into the back to allow for easy seeking of trail.


Chest deep and fairly broad, with well defined brisket, on which elbows should move cleanly and evenly. Forelegs straight, with bone of good quality throughout.


Foreribs fairly flat. Body well ribbed up showing a gradual spring and well arched in centre but rather lighter towards quarters. Loin short and square. Open couplings highly undesirable.
Muscular. Moderate bend of stifle and hock, latter well let down. Should stand true all round. Cowhocks highly undesirable.


Round and strong with toes close and well arched. Soles thick and strong.


Short, straight and well set on, gaily carried, but never much above level of back.


Free and flowing, straight and true as seen from front and rear.


Dense, of fine to medium texture and good quality, as flat as possible. Legs and tail well feathered. Full furnishings on maturity complete the elegance of a good dog.


Black or liver only.


Preferred height: dogs: 58-61 cms (23-24 ins); bitches: 56-58 cms (22-23 ins). Preferred weight in hard condition: dogs: 27-36 kgs (60-80 lbs); bitches: 25-32 kgs (55-70 lbs).

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