Josef Honsel.

I am very happy to answer the respective questions to support breed and website.

1.  What is your relationship with the breed? When did you get your first Flatcoat?

We got our first Flatcoat Glen 5years ago. Since then we went through all stages of UK Gun Dog Training. 

So far Percuil Vandervell (Glen) was awarded both KC Working Gun Dog Certificates:  

- The KC WGDC on Dummies (2014)

- The KC WGDC on Live Game (2015)

In Field Trials he was so far awarded a Drive Certificate (2015) for sitting quietly at a AV Field Trial Drive and the Kathleen Harrison Trophy for Guns Choice in an AV Novice Field Trial by the Hampshire Gun Dog Society in 2016.

2.  What do you like the most in a working Flatcoated Retriever?

I like most their passion to work hard including their natural game finding ability. The fine nose helps the Flatcoat to make hunting and retrieving look very shiny.

3.  What abilities do you look for when you are breeding a working Flatcoated Retriever


I have not bred a Flatcoat yet. However, if I would do so I would look for a well natured and healthy Flatcoat with a fine nose. Additionally he must have proven the ability to be steady and quiet, to work, hunt and retrieve with drive and with a soft mouth on live game.

4.  What could be done to promote the Flatcoat as a field trial/working test dog?

This is not easy to answer as there is no all fits everybody concept. Every Flatcoat and every handler is different. However, training with the best gun dog trainers, who understand the nature of the breed and have the necessary patience to develop dogs and handlers over years may bring more dogs into Field Trials in the future. However, there does not seem to be a short cut.

5.  How does a working Flatcoat excel as a picking up dog?

Flatcoats are very well appreciated as picking up dogs. If trained well, the natural game finding ability combined with the passion to work hard, makes them outstanding and shiny picking up dogs. Gamekeepers and guns love to have capable Flatcoats in their picking up teams. 

6.  What’s important to emphasize when training a Flatcoated Retriever?

Most important is to make every training consistent and exciting according to the ability of the dog. Never try to drill a Flatcoat as it seems to be against his nature (may be there are exceptions). Take the necessary time (usually several years) and patience, stay positive at all times and never give up. Finish every training on a good note. Let the dog do what he is bred for, retrieving of live game. Last but not least, “Enjoy the company” with your Flatcoat at all times.

Kindest regards

Josef Honsel

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