Sven Bosshard (

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

I bought my first flatcoated bitch from Swedish lines 8 years ago. At first I was just impressed by ther type and expression, later on I learned for what they were bred for originally and became interested into their working skills. I trained a lot and nowadays I compete with my flatcoats in workingtests and field trials in Switzerland, Italy, France and UK. I made my first bitch up to Italian Field Trial Champion and qualified her for the same title also in France. 

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

Most of the gundog people own and compete labradors. The reason is obvious: It’s easier, quicker and less complicated than achieving the same level with a flatcoated. But I like the challenge. It’s interesting to train flatcoats and you can learn a lot yourself. It’s a nice success to bring them up to a high standard. They are stylish and with some luck, in some situations they can be better than all the others in line.

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

I am not breeding myself at the moment. But the requested abilites are the same as for the other gundog breeds. But I always have an eye on the strenghts of flatcoats, what for me is good lining and marking.

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

I am sure, there are a lot of flatcoats out there with excellent working skills. But they are not known, because they are not in competition. So to promote the flatcoats, we need good handlers, who face the challenge. Most flatcoats need specific and individual training - and time - to excel.

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

Most of the flatcoats have a good nose and an excellent sense to find wounded game.

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

Train the weaknesses of a flatcoat, without forgetting their strenghts - and give them their time needed to mature.

       © Alex Faarkrog 2017