Although retaining a youthful enthusiasm for years, the Flat-Coated Retriever is very sound and friendly and particularly gentle with children.
They come in two colours, black and liver. They're the raciest of the retriever breeds, with a well balanced body and nicely moulded one piece head. They also, as the name suggests, have a flat coat which lies close to the body.
Flat-Coated Retrievers were bred to be a "picking up dog", a dog who goes to fetch game, particularly game birds, when they have been shot. Retrieving comes naturally, they always want to bring you something. Their deep bark makes them good as a guard dog but they are not a noisy breed. They are excellent swimmers and love water but this can also include muddy puddles! Intelligent and easy to train, they respond well to food rewards and toys. Excellent with people and children, this breed enjoys the company of other dogs and can be good with cats. They enjoy and require a good amount of exercise.
Flat-Coated Retrievers need regular grooming to keep the coat matt free and shiny but don't need as much grooming as some breeds. Some health tests are recommended, including eye tests and hip scores and there is some history of cancer but this problem is being tackled and there are less instances of this now.