The flat-coated retriever is a splendid sporting dog with a shiny black coat, albeit it also appears in dark liver colours. This breed is considered a large dog, standing 56–61 centimetres at the withers and weighing 55–70 pounds. It is lean, athletic, and highly energetic. The head is nicely formed and defined as 'of one piece.' It has a flat skull, and the back part is about the same length as its muzzle. Its eyes are almond-shaped, either hazel or dark brown in colour, with an intelligent and friendly expression. The ears are well set, relatively small, pendant-shaped, and lying close to the head. This breed must be angular from the front and rear to allow for open and graceful movement.
The flatcoat is outfitted in a thick coat that is straight, flat, and moderate in length, able to protect the breed from water and harsh weather. Its coat is slightly heavier around the neck, whilst there is feathering on the ears, chest, front, thighs, backs of the forelegs, and tails, but should never be excessively long. The flatcoat comes in solid black, liver, or deep reddish brown colours. Since the flat-coated retriever has a medium to long coat, it needs to be brushed daily to avoid mats and tangles from forming, most particularly when it is shedding.
Also, don't forget other grooming regimens aside from coat care. Trim its nails at least once a month to avoid painful overgrowth and getting your shins scratched. Ears must also be cleaned with a soft cotton moistened with a vet-approved solution to prevent infection. Brush the flatcoat's teeth at least twice a week to remove tartar and bacteria that may develop into an infection.