Friendly, optimistic, and good-natured, the Flat-Coated Retriever may be one of the dog world's best kept secrets. Elegant as a show dog, easygoing as a family companion, and enthusiastic as a hunting dog, the Flat-Coated Retriever is named for his distinctive sleek, flat coat, colored in solid black or solid liver. As this Comprehensive Owner's Guide conveys, this natural beauty can thrive in a family willing to give him plenty of attention, proper training and socialization, and sufficient opportunity to run and play. The history chapter presents a concise overview of how this retrieving dog (originally called the Wavy-Coated Retriever) came into being and how it quickly rose to become one of England's most popular sporting dogs. Author John Wakefield provides much information on the breed's physical attributes, personality, and special abilities in the chapter on characteristics, effectively painting a portrait of this versatile, easily trained, happy companion dog. New owners will welcome the well-prepared chapter on finding a reputable breeder and selecting a healthy, sound puppy. Chapters on puppy-proofing the home and yard, purchasing the right supplies for the puppy as well as house-training, feeding, and grooming are illustrated with photographs of handsome adults and puppies. In all, there are over 135 full-color photographs in this useful and reliable volume. The author's advice on obedience training will help the reader better mold and train into the most well-mannered dog in the neighborhood. The extensive and lavishly illustrated chapter on healthcare provides up-to-date detailed information on selecting a qualified veterinarian, vaccinations, preventing and dealing with parasites, infectious diseases, and more. Sidebars throughout the text offer helpful hints, covering topics as diverse as historical dogs, breeders, or kennels, toxic plants, first aid, crate training, carsickness, fussy eaters, and parasite control. Fully indexed.