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Suggestions for locating Flat-Coated Retriever Breeders and Dogs.

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by Adrienne Ayles and Alison Taub

Clearly Flat-Coats are rare, but with some effort and patience, the following steps should help you find reputable breeders to talk to about acquiring puppies or older dogs.

I. AKC Events
Attending AKC dog events is an excellent way to see Flat-Coats first-hand and to meet their owners and breeders.

There are several types of AKC events. The easiest to attend and find information about are the typical "Dog Shows", also called "Conformation" or "All-Breed" events. Dog shows have many other breeds present, so you can compare several breeds you may be interested in and see their temperament and behavior, up close and personal.

To find AKC Shows, try the following resources:

Dog Fancy or Dog World Magazine - available at many bookstores/newstands. Either one has a calendar of events towards the back of the magazine.

The AKC Web site:   This is an information-rich site, worth checking out on it's own. Look in the Events section for dog show listings.

You should be prepared to drive to anything within about a 2 hour radius (or more if you're in the wide-open-spaces part of the country). Shows are typically held at large sites such as fairgrounds, parks or indoor arenas and they are often listed in local event sections of local papers, particularly in smaller communities. Some shows will not have any Flat-Coats entered, or only have 1 or 2 - you just have to keep trying.

What to do at shows:

1. Get there early. Shows run from morning (8 or 9) to evening (5 -7) and you won't know in advance when Flat-Coats are showing.

jack_5mo.JPG (11246 bytes)2. Buy a cataloge. The entered dogs are listed in the catalogue, along with the names of their breeders and the names and addresses of their owners. This is a valuable way to keep track of the dogs and breeders you are interested in.

3. Find the Flat-Coat ring location and ring time. Watch the Flat-Coat classes. The show classes are usually explained in the catalogue. Feel free to ask questions of people around the ring, but don't bother people who are about to go into the ring to show their dog, because they're busy and stressed out. Wait until the showing is over to talk to people who actually have dogs. Tell them their dog looked really pretty and well-behaved - this always works!

II. The Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America (FCRSA)
The FCRSA is the parent society for Flat-Coat fanciers in the United States. The FCRSA has put together a very useful packet of information that is available from the membership secretary for $5 (to cover printing and postage costs).

The information includes: A recently produced booklet introducing the Flat-Coated retriever; a breeders list; covering the entire country, informative articles about living with Flat-Coats; a list of available or upcoming litters, application to join the society.

Send your request and $5 to the membership secretary at the following address:

Joan Dever
13208 Mandarin Road
Jacksonville, FL 32223

Flat-Coat Rescues (dogs in emergency situations in need of new homes) are luckily few and far between. However, if you are primarily interested in a rescue, contact the National Rescue coordinator to add your name to the list she maintains.

National Rescue Contact:
Joyce Rein
13588 104th Avenue, Grand Haven, MI 49417.
(616) 846-0773

III. Regional Clubs
Some areas of the country have active regional clubs, which are an excellent way to connect with the Flat-Coat community in your area. Regional clubs have occasional or regular meetings, newsletters and special events where you can see a larger than usual number of Flat-Coats. They usually welcome new members, and non-members are welcome to come to events to get to know the breed. for more information.

IV. FCR - the On-line Flat-Coat e-mail list
If you have access to e-mail, a good source of Flat-Coat contacts and information is the on-line Flat-Coat e-mail list, FCR. To subscribe, follow the instructions below. You will receive a welcome message with information about the list and its policies. Please save that message for future reference (it tells you how to get off the list). After you've read the messages a while and feel comfortable, introduce yourself to the list and ask for contacts in your area from breeders and other Flat-Coat owners.

How to join the list:

Send e-mail to this address:
No subject, and a one line message reading:
"SUB FCR Yourfirstname Yourlastname"

That's it!

Updated 09/27/98