For free dog food, free clicker trainer, free puppy food sample and other dog freebies visit the flat-coats.co.uk Free Dog Food page.
BUYING A DOG OR A PUPPY
If you've chosen to buy a Flat Coated Retriever then congratulations! You won't
regret it - they make great loyal companions, full of energy, life, affection and vigour.
Their enthusiasm and optimism is so infectious and will brighten up your every day. Before
choosing your dog a few health and breeder checks will help you in your decision:
Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment so please do give plenty of thought before buying a
dog. Choose the right breed for you and your family and you'll all be rewarded with a
lifetime of love and happiness. The average dog lives for 12 years with some breeds living
up to 17 years.
It'll help you in your choice to answer the following questions:
• Is your house big enough for the breed of dog you'd like?
• Have you a garden or access to a grassed area where your dog can toilet?
• Will you, or other family members be at home to look after the dog?
• Can you afford the expense of a large dog that will need a high energy diet?
• Do you want a guard dog or a companion?
• Has anyone in the home any allergies? Do you need to choose a short-coated dog?
• Will you have enough space for a large or small dog basket in your house?
• Do you need to choose a dog that is tolerant of children?
• Do you want a male or female dog? Males can be more dominant and prone to wandering
off. Females will come on heat twice a year, which results in vaginal discharge, which will
make a mess around your home, unless you choose to neuter the dog.
Whilst my four legged companion sat beside me I wrote a book which tells the story of
The Drummer Boy.
This novel is about the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo who haunts a modern day army nurse.
Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty's Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War.
Flat-Coated Retriever (Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
is a detailed flat coated retrievers book, published by Kennel Club Books, which will prove useful to any owner. Chapters include the history of the Flat Coat dog, advice on choosing a puppy, health care and training tips.
If you would like to add your text, image, product, service, website or photo to this flat-coats page then please Contact Me.
WHERE TO BUY A DOG
Depending on your budget you could buy a puppy from a recognised breeder to guarantee
pedigree. Alternatively, you may wish to buy a dog or puppy from a recognised animal welfare
organisation such as the RSPCA. I would not recommend buying a dog/puppy from any other source.
Puppies from recognised breeders will cost in the hundreds of pounds - but you will get a pedigree
certificate, ancestral history and a pure bred puppy.
Animal welfare organisations do occasionally receive pedigree dogs to re-home, perhaps when
their owner has died or is too infirm to care for the dog. You'll also find a range of mongrel
dogs and puppies, which can become loyal and obedient pets and may avoid certain health problems that
are inherent in pedigrees. Most animal welfare organisations will neuter their dogs before
re-homing them and have strict re-homing criteria, which often include a check of your
home to gauge suitability. A donation is often required or requested, which goes towards their
expensive running costs.
CHOOSING A DOG OR PUPPY
Never be tempted to buy the runt of the litter because it looks cute - you're just asking for
trouble - either behaviourally or with health problems. Instead, watch the litter interact with each other
and with the mother. Choose a lively inquisitive puppy. If you will not be showing your dog in the future and you choose a puppy that has incorrect
coloration or markings you could negotiate a discount with the breeder as no-one will want to buy
the dog for show purposes and they will usually be pleased to have sold the puppy, reserving the
aesthetically pleasing dogs for a higher price for enthusiasts. This doesn't mean you get an
inferior puppy - but do avoid puppies that have obvious deformities.
Observe the kennel area for stools - the puppies and mother's faeces should be firm. Loose,
runny stools could be an indication of digestive troubles.
When the puppies go to feed, look for a puppy that confidently feeds from the mother - this
should remain a confident dog - avoid puppies that nervously feed.
Avoid buying a puppy or dog that shows signs of fleas - search amongst the coat to the skin
folds and look for small black fleas. The coats should shine and appear full with no bald patches.
The eyes should be alert and bright and the ears should have no unpleasant smell or
discharge. Feel under the tummy of the dog or puppy searching for any lumps, which
could be a hernia. Walk the dog or puppy around observing for any lameness. They should appear sleek
but not undernourished where you can see the ribs, though you should be able to feel them with no
difficulty. A puppy that has a potbelly could well have worms.
You can usually choose your puppy from 5 weeks old, and collect them when they are 8 or 9
You may wish to read the
Training Tips Section -
early training will help you form a close relationship with your dog who will learn to
obey your commands and be a valuable part of the family. Reading the
Puppy Care Sections
will be beneficial to settling your puppy in to its new home. Please do consider buying
puppy and dog insurance.
The Dog Poop Disposal page gives advice on how to get rid of your dog poo safely and hygienically.
Free UK Delivery on Pet Portraits from photographs at Karla's Creative Capers who did the portrait on the
left from a photo of my Lucy. The portraits are ready to hang on the wall and are of a high
quality canvas. For full details see www.karlascreativecapers.co.uk