Retriever (Flat Coated)

Posted in Gundog Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.


(Effective 31.03.2016)


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, 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).


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 health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.