We brought home this little guy:
He is very sweet, but he is NOT a lazy couch potato. He is lively and energetic and needs lots of activity to burn off his energy. Thankfully we have over an acre of land and he can run and chase balls, squirrels, etc, until he is tired out. The personality of Flat Coated Retrievers is that of a "Peter Pan". They just don't really grow up. Wooo doggie! that is our dog! He is almost 2 1/2 years old now and just a fun loving dog. One of his nicknames is "Fun Bobby" ("Friends" fans will recognize the name). The breed website says they "retain these qualities as well as his youthfully good-humored outlook on life into old age".
Even though we are not active folks, this dog fits into our lives. He makes us laugh, he makes us get out of the house several times a day to throw him one of his dozens of tennis balls around the place. As long as he is exercised at least a couple of times a day he is well mannered and stays out of trouble. And, fortunately with DH home all the time and me home all but 3 days a week, he gets lots of the attention he needs. He would definitely not be the type of dog you could leave alone all day while you are at work. He would go crazy with boredom.
He is also a very good alarm dog, and while not aggressive at all, he has a very loud scary bark. Last night was a good example. He sleeps out in the living room, either on the floor next to the couch, or on the couch. At 2 am he lets out a single loud bark. DH gets up to look out the window (as druggies are always walking past our house at all hours of the night) and he starts barking more, so DH lets both dogs outside for a minute. It must have been nothing serious as they came right back in. Fun Bobby comes to my side of the bed (he's tall and his nose is level with my head on my pillow) and pokes his head into my neck, so I give him a snuggle and say "good dog". He then proceeds to climb up next to me, so I skooch over, give him some snuggles and belly rubs, thinking he'll stay just a few minutes and leave, like is his usual M.O. But he falls asleep next to me with his head on my pillow. After about an hour of this I am hot and can't move, so I tell him to get down. He does and takes 2 steps and starts to crawl back up near the foot of the bed. I say ok, thinking he'll sleep at the end of the bed. As I turn myself over and lay back down he plops down right next to me and we end up just like we were before I kicked him out of bed, only we just switched sides! Ah well, I let him stay. He never sleeps with us, so figured he must have really wanted to for some reason.