My name is Birgitte van Vondelen – Jørgensen. With my husband Dennis and my three Flatcoated Retrievers (Rumi, Lotte & Kaspar) I live in a village not far from Schiphol airport in The Netherlands. I am Danish by birth and I was brought up with hunting dogs and horses around me, being outdoors most of my childhood time.

Now most of my spare time is dog-time. I love to learn about dogs and training, especially force-free gun dog training and canine behavior has my interest. I am more or less always involved in some kind of course or education on these subjects. At this moment I am on my way to become a kennel club certified trainer.
I provide workshops for working retrievers on themes such as stress reduction and dog behavior. During hunting season you will mostly find me out picking-up or participating in gun dog competitions.

Flatastic breeding philosophy

Flow of Spirits Silver Skipper “Rumi”

FCI breed standard for the flatcoated retriever

“a bright, active dog of medium size with an intelligent expression, showing power without lumber and raciness without weediness. Generously empowered with natural gun dog ability, optimism and friendliness demonstrated by enthusiastic tail-action, confident and kind.”

I like my dogs to be fast when working. I take honour in having motivated and intelligent dogs being able to continue on long days in the field. Therefore they need to have a good anatomy for perseverance – not too heavily build – and a coat that is not too thick or too thin. A dual purpose gun dog will ensure that function. I like dogs who have some mind of their own to an extend that they do not loose their will to please. I believe flatcoated retrievers can provide that extra bit of problem solving and own initiative when trained properly to maintain their skills and becoming more than just obedient dogs.

Good working & family dogs need a pleasant and strong character and a well balanced temperament. As a breeder I do my utmost to create circumstances in the nurture periode for the puppies to develop good balance of excitement & relaxation skills, so important for their future life as (working) dogs.

Mother Rumi & daughter Lotte out hunting

I also feel compelled to breed with the lowest inbreed rate as possible in order to maintain a healthy breed. The flatcoated retriever has the second lowest gene pool of all dog breeds – a fact to be concerned about in terms of health and preservation of the breed.

I only breed liver and black colored dogs, meaning we dna test on beforehand. I breed only when I intend to keep a puppy myself or in order to maintain breeding material for the future.

Things to consider when considering buying a Flatastic puppy:

New “puppy parents” may expect me to be available for advise and I provide you with tips for handling your puppies especially the first year or two of growing up. I prefer a personal approach. In return I ask you to health check your dogs in order to monitor the results of our breeding, thereby contributing in maintaining our fantastic breed and I prefer you to also contribute to remaining in contact especially while the dogs are still growing up.

The welfare of the dogs from our kennel is our main concern. Matching the characters and ambition between new owners and puppy’s is extremely important and we take this task seriously, using the 7 week puppy test and our observations throughout the nursing period to make a match. This will be done at our discretion exclusively, however we will spend a great deal of time to gain knowledge from you on who you are and what you wish for in a dog beforehand. Your honesty is a requirement. We keep a waiting list for buyers that we consider to be a good match for our breeding material.

We breed according to the (health) rules of the FRC and WFRG (both are Dutch flatcoated retriever clubs registered under Dutch Kennel club Raad van Beheer and FCI). Our dogs are extensively health tested and exterior certified. They are actively used in hunting in the Netherlands and Belgium and are tested in Dutch gun dog trials.

From left to right: Flatastic Black Peace next to his parents Brösel vom Timeloberg and Flow of Spirits Silver Skipper and outer right Flatastic Red Strength from same litter. All 4 working gun dogs.

We allow puppies to learn and develop from mom, siblings and other family members up to 9 weeks and longer if the individual puppy needs to and we can provide the right circumstances for it. This will give puppies a chance to learn some basic skills in social behavior and they will benefit from this the rest of their lives. We invest in providing knowledge and guidance to new owners – also for those who are experienced handlers. This has proven to benefit the individual puppy in developing during the first year of life.

Allowing puppies to drink up to at least 9 weeks of age provides them with a better stress release capacity in life

Puppies are monitored on health, dewormed and only vaccinated after blood samples proven low in antibodies, saving a toxic burden. They will move to their new forever homes health checked, chipped and pre-habituated on harnas wearing. We provide information on taking care of your puppy according to scientific based modern canine standards and we do not wish to sell puppies that will be put in old fashioned, aversive training methods – we do feel strongly about this subject.

In preparation of our first litter in the year 2020, I followed the breeders course of the FRC and the complete Dr Vet Beh Amber Batson’s Puppy course for professionals.

Love for the Flatcoated Retriever

Birgitte with Rumi & Mille (rip) on a hunting day

If you don’t like getting licked all over – do not get up close and personal with a flattie. If you can embrace their generous love, they will spoil you everyday with attention and play.

Be aware of generous tail wagging – keep your ancient porcelain and ashtrays away from coffee tables when they are around. They need a little bit of coat care, trimming feet, neck and ears every 2-3 months.

Training a flatcoated retriever takes a handler with a healthy dosis of humor and patience. They are clever and not as submissive as other types of retrievers can be – due to the HPR blood they carry from their ancestors. You must be able to appreciate this fact to enjoy this breed fully. They are water specialists and are therefore always more wet than dry whenever water is in the neighborhood.

A flatcoated retriever is a great family dog – at the same time they are highly agile and move quickly and need plenty of exercise. We recommend to allow kids to be at least 5-6 years of age before inviting a flatcoated puppy into your home.

Completing the basic training of a flatcoated takes around 3 years and one must not rush things. First of all because their bodies need time to mature well and if pushed at a young age they can easily become stressed and nervous and you will loose the connection.

In my experience a flatcoated retriever thrive better in a multidog household with access to social interaction as he is bred to be very social.

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