The Flat-Coated Retriever was mostly developed by S.E. Shirley who helped mold the breed into a stable type. H. R. Cooke, who’s Riverside Kennel, produced many fine fields and show Flat-Coats, also contributed to the advancement of the breed. It used to be a popular hunting dog through the end of World War I until Golden Retriever and Labrador stole his thunder. Its number became low and became almost extinct. Fortunately, its fans were able to bring it back by the mid-1960.
A male Flat-Coated Retriever is 23 to 24.5 inches tall and weighs 27-36 kg while a female Flat-Coated Retriever is 22 to 23.5 inches tall and weighs 25-34 kg. It has strong muscular jaws and a relatively long muzzle for the carrying of birds. Its head is unique with a back skull of about the same length as the muzzle. Its eyes are almond-shaped, dark brown, with an intelligent, friendly expression. Its ears are the pendant, relatively small, and lie close to the head. For most people, the Flat-Coated Retriever is more elegant in appearance than the other retriever breeds.
The Flat-Coated Retrievers are active, exuberant, confident, and outgoing with a desire to please people. They make a good family dog and can be companions to small children, with the supervision of adults to direct this dog’s boisterous enthusiasm. They are best trained in short intervals as they get bored in repetitions.
They are generally healthy but can be prone to hip dysplasia and eye conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and glaucoma. They can also be affected by epilepsy.