Obedience and Training
As with all dogs it is incumbent upon their owners that they give basic obedience training in order that they will fit into society. This will also improve your enjoyment of the dog, as there is little worse or more frustrating than a dog that will not come back when called or sit when told. There are a number of dog training groups and either our club committee or the Scottish Kennel Club will be able to advise you of a group in your location. The Kennel Club also run the Good Citizens Dog Scheme Classes and many training groups will help you achieve this worthwhile award. Obedience training will also give your dog the mental challenge mentioned above.
This is what the breed was developed for and where the temperament and physical characteristics have come from. Again activity gives the dog not just a physical but also a mental challenge. Whilst it is not everyone that will want to work their dog on game very similar situations can be created with the use of training dummies.
There has been a lot of concern over the last few years that so few dogs are being worked or trained in working practices that the breed may lose or at least diminish their ability. With this in mind the Club has organised a gundog training group that runs throughout the year. The group is run to suit those who want to work their dogs and those who will never work their dogs (no game generally used, only training dummies) but who enjoy having dogs that are controlled. Certainly all dogs that attend really enjoy the training.
Showing Your Flatcoat
Dog shows allow dogs of the same breed to compete to see which is, in the judge’s opinion, closest to the Breed Standard. This allows the correct quality specimens to be used for breeding. Whilst looks are important temperament, breed type and health are equally important. For those new to showing, and for the experienced, there are show ring classes throughout the country.
Many people would not associate Flatcoated Retrievers with dog agility, however this does not stop a number of people from taking part in this activity. This again gives the dog both the physical and mental exercise and it is generally found that the clubs are good socially. The Scottish Kennel Club will be able to give advise on the location of groups and clubs.
Flatcoated Retrievers are also used as Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Sniffer Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Pat dogs. The last activity being the one the family pet can quite easily be involved in.
Books that may be of interest:
Flatcoated Retrievers, by Brenda Phillips, published by Kingdom Books (available from the Club)
Working Gundogs, by Martin Deeley, published by The Corwood Press Ltd.
Advanced Gundog Training, by Martin Deeley, published by The Corwood Press Ltd.
Retriever Training, by S Scales