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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Y'all,

Well, I just placed my deposit on a Flat Coat from Wyndham and Wyndhamian Retrievers in North Dakota and I am beyond excited. This will be my first retriever to train and I am really looking forward to getting him. I lost my Brittany Spaniel a few years back who was an awesome dog, but I am pretty much and exclusive duck guy now; however, I am still wanting to hunt quail and wish to work on him as a flusher as well.

So here are my questions. What book/DVD is most recommended for this training? Is it training that would be implemented with his retriever training or does it come after he is a solid retriever?

The litter isn't expected to be ready until July so I still have time for planning this out. I trained my pointer using Delmar Smith's book and loved the results. So far I have read Butch Goodwin's ' Retrievers From the Inside Out ' and James Spencer's ' For Marshes and Meadows '. They are both great books, but I seemed to gravitate towards Spencer's methods more. I noticed that he had a flushing book as well, but it was aimed at Spaniels. I don't think that that should matter, but I am not sure and wanted some pointers.

Any other books/DVDs that y'all would recommend for a new retriever trainer? Also, how do y'all lay out a training schedule? I need to write everything out and organize it I think. Pointer training seemed much less complex - that is less things to teach. Retrievers seem to have far more skills to learn.

Well, thanks in advance to all and best of luck to all with their pups!

Dillon
 

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I train all my retrievers as strictly retrievers and don't teach any quartering until two years old. This type of thinking may be currently outdated. After I have a solid retriever I then train the dog like a spaniel. I use commands "Come around" (change direction), "Get in" (get into that cover), and "Sit" which I use to help teach range. I also use hand signals to direct the dog into cover at a distance.
 

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I rarely see (perhaps I never have seen?) a Flatcoat used as a flushing dog. They may well be capable of questing but it isn't what they are best at or designed for.

As a breed they have the reputation of being a bit goofy as puppies, slow to come into themselves and not responding well to heavy handedness, so you shouldn't think they will train as easily or as quickly as a Lab. In a video posted here recently an experienced lady trainer gave it as her opinion that you can train three Labs in the time it takes to get one Flatcoat sorted out. From my admittedly limited knowledge of them, I wouldn't disagree with that.

Once you've got a Flatcoat fully trained they can be magnificent retrievers. I saw one in action recently and he was very impressive, really canny, and with an outstanding nose. They are of course also rather beautiful, with a delightful flowing action.

Iffen it was me I'd agree with gdgnyc and wouldn't get into questing until all the retrieving stuff was down absolutely pat. Given the high reputation of Ed at Wyndham and Wyndhamian, I'd be tempted to give him a bell and pick his brains on this subject. He knows his dogs best.

The Spencer spaniel book "Hup" is a good read but I've seen better explanations of questing and running a pattern. If you can find a second hand copy of "Gundog Training" by Keith Erlandson, his is the best exposition I've ever seen. Alternatively I've got a spare copy in good condition you can have for the price of the shipping.

Eug


Edited ... Available on Abe books from a UK dealer for about $6.00 inc. shipping ... a no brainer. ERLANDSON
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the pointers... I really appreciate.

That sounds best to me. I will work on getting his retrieving down pat before tackling the flushing stuff. As I mentioned, I am mainly a waterfowl guy, but I will try and quail hunt 2-3 times a season. That isn't much and hardly worth worrying over. It was just something that I thought would be fun to adventure into.

I currently have a Flat Coat and he is an amazing dog. We actually rescued him from a shelter. At first we thought that he was a mutt as I have never seen one before, but about a year later I came across the breed while reading.

When I started looking for my next bird dog I was pretty much set on a Chesapeake litter, but it just didn't feel right. I was concerned about all that I read about Flat Coats being goofy, but really wanted another one so bad. Like I said, he really is the absolute best dog I have ever owned or known. I have absolutely fallen in love with the breed. I am sure that it is going to take a while to train him, but I am good with that. That just means that we will have more time in the field learning together. Also, after more research I realized that many people were saying what you did. That they are slower to mature, but that they can make outstanding bird dogs.

I am glad that you knew of Ed at Wyndham and Wyndhamian Retrievers. When I spoke with him I really liked the manner in which he talked of his dogs. Plus his interview showed me that he really cared about to whom his pups went. It is just good to hear another bird dog owner mention him in a positive manner.

I really appreciate the offer on the book. I will pass for now as I am still in Afghanistan. I will just pick one up once I get back in May.

Thanks again guys and really looking forward to picking all of your brains.

Dillon
 

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Are you sure your rescue dog is a flatcoat. I had a friend who had a lab/golden cross that looked like a stockier version of a flatcoat.

Bert
 

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Dillon,

The book's free.

Obviously I didn't know you were out in the sand. Just drop me your home address via PM and it'll be there on the shelf when you get back.

Eug
 

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Dillon W, when you get back, let us know where you are. We could probably connect you with other flatcoat people who could help an awful lot.
 

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Hi Y'all,

Well, I just placed my deposit on a Flat Coat from Wyndham and Wyndhamian Retrievers in North Dakota and I am beyond excited. This will be my first retriever to train and I am really looking forward to getting him. I lost my Brittany Spaniel a few years back who was an awesome dog, but I am pretty much and exclusive duck guy now; however, I am still wanting to hunt quail and wish to work on him as a flusher as well.

So here are my questions. What book/DVD is most recommended for this training? Is it training that would be implemented with his retriever training or does it come after he is a solid retriever?

The litter isn't expected to be ready until July so I still have time for planning this out. I trained my pointer using Delmar Smith's book and loved the results. So far I have read Butch Goodwin's ' Retrievers From the Inside Out ' and James Spencer's ' For Marshes and Meadows '. They are both great books, but I seemed to gravitate towards Spencer's methods more. I noticed that he had a flushing book as well, but it was aimed at Spaniels. I don't think that that should matter, but I am not sure and wanted some pointers.

Any other books/DVDs that y'all would recommend for a new retriever trainer? Also, how do y'all lay out a training schedule? I need to write everything out and organize it I think. Pointer training seemed much less complex - that is less things to teach. Retrievers seem to have far more skills to learn.

Well, thanks in advance to all and best of luck to all with their pups!

Dillon
Dillion,a high% of flatcoats I had in here had a tendency to point,hope this doesnt dissapoint you.I agree on teaching non-slip first then teach a "searching pattern" later.With OB in place and delivery work ,you should have all the tools neccesary to proceed. Good luck Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I mean the possibility still exist that he is a mutt. He just fits every description that I have read about the breed to a " T ". Either way, he is just our family dog and, again, the best dog I have ever owned. We believe that he was previously abused and although he loves retrieving he just about has a heart attack anytime he hears a loud noise. That is why I haven't pushed making him a bird dog. He really is just a dog looking for a buddy. He won't ever leave our side.

Again, thanks so much for the offer, but I just feel bad taking a book when I can get one for $10. I noticed that you are from the UK. All I can say is that I love your boys over here. They are awesome. Your military makes we want to defect. hahaha... I am an Apache pilot and we deal with a lot of Special Forces over here and the SAS is one of the best here. Amazing group of guys. My wife and I typically travel to Europe for our vacations and England is one of our favorites. Maybe one day we will meet and and you can show me your pups. That would be awesome.

I will be returning home to Texas. Yeah, Texas where there are no Flat Coats to my knowledge. LOL... I was reading on this forum though about a trainer named Mitch White up north. Many were saying great things about him and his Flat Coats. I looked him up and saw that he had a workshop scheduled for August. Obviously my pup wouldn't be ready for that, but I was thinking of going up there and just sitting in to learn. Not sure if it would work out or not, but I would love to know of any resources I may have.

Thanks again y'all

Dillon
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Jim... that doesn't disappoint me at all. If pointing is what comes to the dog then so be it. If he wants to point then he will point. All that matters to me is that we have awesome, memorable hunts together for many years to come. That is what it is all about to me.

From just what I have been told thus far everyone is saying to wait so I think that will be best. It can be something we build on together in a few years. Thanks again for the help to all.
 

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so your puppy will be born in July or will be 7 weeks in July? Either way you won't be shooting over him this fall, I wouldn't think anyway.

obvious OB is a standard thing you need. Other than that I just teach the dog to quarter in the woods walking from one side of a trail and into the woods, then crossing over to the other. Lastly, I'm pretty loose on this, not that big of a stickler if you will. I just let it happen, let the dogs natural instincts take over. It's all about the number of birds. Take a kid fishing for 8 hours and catch 1 fish, the kid more than likely won't want to fish much in the future. Same thing with the dogs. The more birds you get him on the faster and better he will become!! We shoot our share of Ruffies over our dogs every fall out of our camp. I believe that is the biggest attribute to our dogs being as productive as they are, birds, birds birds.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU
 

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Hi Dillon,

Whatever you do don't curb your enthusiasm!
Get in touch with the FCRSAs to find others in Texas who hunt their Flatcoats
and may be prepared to help you: http://www.fcrsainc.org/

Forget the old wives tales about Flatties being goofy, they are smart and keen hunters and in spite of what Eug has said, their excellent nose makes them well suited as upland dogs. If you plan to waterfowl hunt and possibly test or trial your dog get yourself into a complete training system; either Mike Lardy's Total Retriever training or Evan Graham's Smart Works, by age two your dog should be capable of passing a Master Hunt test. Check into the HRC they have Upland test just as we do here in Canada in our CKC MH, my dogs paralleled their training for Blind work and quartering without problem.
 
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