Southern Flatcoated Retriever Club         



How to Groom your Flatcoated Retriever

Grooming the Flatcoated Retriever - Flatcoated Retriever trimming


Coat - dense, of fine to medium texture and good quality, as flat as

possible. Legs and tail well feathered. Full furnishings on maturity.

Tail - short, straight well set on

Feet - round and strong with toes close and well arched; strong hocks

Ears - small, neat and well set on, close to head.

Neck - reasonably long and free from throatiness.



I use Doreen Paige Insectaway with lemongrass shampoo as it leaves the dogs

squeaky clean . Mix the shampoo with warm water and apply to dry coat, rub

in well and rinse then repeat . Use neat on ears and throat area to ensure free

from grease The coat should squeak when finished or do a third wash Baby

shampoo is fine for face or a facial cleaner maybe Paw Natural There are other

excellent products available You could condition if feathering needs it. Bath a

couple of days before a show to allow coat to settle



Dry thoroughly the areas to be trimmed, feet; ears; throat A flattening mesh

coat or similar can be put on a damp dog to prevent any waviness. If the coat is

too thick, a banded comb; metal comb with an elastic band wound round the

teeth' can be used to remove undercoat. This can also be used if the dog has

been neutered to remove other fluffy coat and on the ears and neck

I use Doreen Paige mink oil extra sprayed onto the coat and featherings but

very sparingly there are a number of good finishing sprays available



Feet are trimmed to give a neat round appearance. The nails should be cut short

or done with a Dremel they shouldn't be visible after trimming the foot. The

hair under the foot should be trimmed level with the pads The feathering

between the toes can be brushed up and trimmed level with the toes or pushed

down and trimmed level with the pads. The pastern should be trimmed but not

up as high as the stopper pad and not too close. The hocks are trimmed or

tidied so that they look straight and strong and blend in with feathering.


The end of the tail should be trimmed short you can hold the tip and twist

before cutting then blend slightly, the tail should reach the hock. I like natural

feathering on a tail but it can be tidied to balance the dog


The ears should be small and neat and sit close to the head . Thin under the ears

with thinning scissors, I use single sided 48 teeth ones with or against the grain

only and close to the skin quite a lot of hair can come off here

Pluck hair from surface of ear and sides to get the ear shape, using finger

condoms or a handstripping knife The hair that needs to be removed will be of

a slightly different colour and texture. Keep checking so as to not make ear

sore or bald. You can use thinning scissors if necessary, but it will grow back

thicker and quicker and then won't handstrip


Thinning scissors can be used to neaten the throat, on the continent some

people trim out the whole neck and chest


Lynette Irwin

The trimming

The Finished Article

Drying your dog