Breed standard as described by the Flat-Coated Retriever Society (UK)
General Appearance: A bright, active dog of medium size with an intelligent expression, showing power without lumber, and raciness without weediness.
Characteristics: Generously endowed with natural gundog ability, optimism and friendliness demonstrated by enthusiastic tail action.
Temperament: 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.
Eyes: Medium size, dark brown or hazel, with a very intelligent expression (a round prominent eye highly undesirable). Not obliquely placed.
Ears: Small and well set on, close to side of head.
Mouth: Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, ie: upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Teeth sound and strong.
Neck: 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.
Forequarters: 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.
Body: 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.
Hindquarters: Muscular. Moderate bend of stifle and hock, latter well let down. Should stand true all round. Cowhocks highly undesirable.
Feet: Round and strong with toes close and well arched. Soles thick and strong.
Tail: Short, straight and well set on, gaily carried, but never much above level of back.
Gait/Movement: Free and flowing, straight and true as seen from front and rear.
Coat: 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.
Colour: Black or Liver only.
Size: 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).
Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Grooming: The Flat-Coat is shown with as natural a coat as possible and must not be penalized for lack of trimming, as long as the coat is clean and well brushed. Tidying of ears, feet, underline and tip of tail is acceptable. Whiskers serve a specific function and it is preferred that they not be trimmed. Shaving or barbering of the head, neck or body coat must be severely penalized (from AKC).