Developed by English breeders, the Flat-Coated Retriever loves to work close to the hunter and professional ground and water collector.
Powerful and slim, the Flat-Coated Retriever is a dog with moderate substance, well proportioned, never coarse, with its typical straight hair coat, with a flat fall. The head is long and clean, the skull is very flat with smooth cheekbones and deep muzzle, well filled between and under the eyes, which are well separate. The ears are small, flat on the head, and not inserted as low as in a Hound or Setter. The neck is moderate length and without dewlap, and inserted fluidly at the shoulders, which are well sloped backwards. The upper outline is straight; the ribcage deep; the stomach moderately tucked; the sternum prominent. The hindquarters provide a good, clean impulse. The coat is moderate length and thickness; bright but never woolly, curly, short, silky or plush; the long hair bristles make the impression of a complete coat, never excessive or poor. The color should always be solid back or liver. The dog stands from 58 to 62 cm, the female 2.5 cm less.
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR             
Friends with everyone, the Flat-Coated has a personality as shiny as its coat. It likes everyone, even if it is a stranger. Hunter by nature, enjoys activity and can be trained for any type of task. With a balanced and kind character to excess, it is not a very popular company dog, although it has everything to be an excellent family dog.
Whichever the color is – solid black or liver – the Flat-Coated Retriever is a sensitive, very talented company dog. 
The Flat-Coated Retriever puppy should have a longer and cleaner head than the Labrador Retriever, although the difference should not be as pronounced as in the adult.
At eight weeks, the Flat-Coated weighs between 6 and 7 kg. It is usually slow when maturing (two to three years), although it varies according to the individual. Maximum height is reached after eight to nine months, although afterwards it can grow two or three more centimeters. The buyer should seek an unreserved, extrovert puppy. The Flat-Coated should not look as a long haired Labrador. It is slimmer and should have a long and slim head, and a plush or straight and silky hair. Usually, the more plush the puppy hair has, the better coat it will have as an adult. The puppy is born with its adult color, be it black or liver. Liver colored specimens have this color pigmentation on the eyelids, nose and lips. The eyes can be hazelnut to black, the darker, the better.
Puppies don’t have long hair stripes at that age. It can take up to three years to develop its complete coat. The adolescent dog barely changes color, although any white spot usually disappears at that age. The adolescent will want to do things its way, but learns quickly. It is not necessarily dominant, but needs some discipline and consistency. Growth can be uneven during this period, and may seem awkward between six and ten months.
Usually puppies with more plush will have better hair as an adult than those with little hair. The puppy doesn't have bristles, which begin to grow with the hair change. 
The Flat-Coated Retriever is not a much extended breed, for which breeders have been able to have more controlled about possible health problems inherent to the breed. Even so hip dysplasia has curtained incidence in the breed, and every breeder should offer X – ray certificate. Other breeder concerns are cancer and kneecap luxation. At this moment it is not clear, especially about cancer, if it is a breed related problem, or if it is individual/environmental cases. Always seek a breeder that is alert and is concerned by these and other possible problem, as stomach torsion and hypothyroidism. It is a breed that eats very well, and doesn’t require a special diet. Despite this, the owner should avoid overweight, since this breed should not reach a Labrador Retriever volume. Hair care is not demanding or special, although it requires regular maintenance. The Flat-Coated Retriever lives between nine and ten years, sometimes to 14.