are flat coated retrievers easy to train

Are Flat Coated Retrievers Easy to Train?

Trainability often tops the list of desired qualities when looking for the ideal canine partner. The issue of trainability naturally comes up for individuals considering getting a Flat-Coated Retriever, a breed renowned for its intelligence and energy. Although every dog is different in personality and learning preferences, Flat-Coated Retrievers are known to be quite simple to train. They are open to instruction because of their natural intellect, want-to-please disposition, and strong work ethic.

The traits of Flat-Coated Retrievers that make them trainable will be discussed in further detail in this article, along with insights and training advice. Understanding the training possibilities of Flat-Coated Retrievers may assist you in making an educated choice and ensuring the success of your canine companion, whether you’re a novice dog owner or an experienced trainer wishing to add a new breed to your pack.

Flat Coated Retriever Breed Overview

If you didn’t already know, the Flat Coated Retriever gets its name from its coat. It’s designed to shield them from chilly water and harsh environments. This English gundog is a versatile working dog for hunters since it can recover wildlife from water and land. A position they still enjoy being known for today.

Be cautious if you have small children in the house since these dogs are rowdy, exuberant, and active. Apartment living is not an option for Flat Coated Retrievers; they need access to a garden. They demand a vigorous owner that likes being outside since they have high exercise requirements. Because of their love of the sea, this breed can survive aboard a boat.

The Golden Retriever and Labrador appear quite alike, as do Flat-Coated Retrievers. The Flattie’s longer nose is the primary distinction. Their coats have a natural-looking gloss and are available in black or liver. These are the only two colors that The Kennel Club will allow for registration.

The Flattie needs a lot of care since it is an active breed. Their defiant side may make training difficult for novice trainers since they detest being left alone. Gundogs are gifted, intelligent, and rapid learners. Although Flatties are known to take a bit longer to develop than other breeds, they do retain some of their puppy-like characteristics.

The Flattie enjoys holding objects in its mouth due to its Retriever lifestyle. Although the breed isn’t renowned for chewing excessively, you could see them carrying their favorite toy. Flatties can seamlessly transition from skilled gundogs to devoted buddies because they are sensitive, considerate, cuddly, and affectionate.

Flat Coated Retriever History and Standard

are flat coated retrievers easy to train

The adaptable Flat-Coated Retriever makes a loyal household pet and a tough hunting dog. A well-balanced look is produced by a medium boned substance & a muscular, work-ready frame. The structure should be suitable for hunting and retrieving since it is sturdy yet small. Wide-set eyes provide a wise, attentive look. Their broad, dense, glossy coat is somewhat long, straight, flat-lying, and maybe black and liver; yellow is unacceptable.

The working dog must be protected from all types of weather by the coat. Trimming the coat is not advised since the most natural look is preferred. The Flat-Coated Retriever is swift in its movements. The family companion should be friendly, upbeat, and sharp while also being observant and birdlike. – AKC Breed Specifications

In the middle of the 19th century, the St. John’s Water Dog is said to have given rise to the Flat-Coated Retriever. It is more probable that the Flat-Coat evolved from Collie-types, Newfoundlands, & Setters since there is no evidence to support that theory. The hunting companion grew in popularity through the early nineteenth century, but Labradors and Golden retrievers quickly overtook the Flattie.

The Flat-Coated Retriever was approved by the AKC in 1915. After World War II, the number of Flat-Coats decreased, and in the 1960s, an initiative to increase the breed’s population was launched. The breed is rare in part due to the serious health problems in the family.

Reasons Why Flat Coated Retrievers Easy to Train

are flat coated retrievers easy to train

In general, Flat-Coated Retrievers are thought to be very trainable animals. They are willing to work and learn, clever, and ready to please. The following are some crucial details about how trainable Flat-Coated Retrievers are:


It is well known that Flat-Coated Retrievers are intelligent dogs. They pick things up quickly and are competent at comprehending and following instructions. They are extremely trainable because of their aptitude for picking up new skills and orders.

🦴Eager to Please

These dogs are driven by a great desire to make their people happy. They are driven by praise and prizes and thrive on positive reinforcement. They are sensitive to instruction and ready to learn because they desire to please others.

🦴Energy Level

A lively and athletic breed, flat-coated retrievers. They need frequent mental and physical activity to be content and in balance. By including children in training programs, you can keep their brains active while assisting them in expending extra energy.

🦴Positive Reinforcement

With Flat-Coated Retrievers, positive reinforcement training techniques are most effective. Animals react well to snacks, praise, and awards when they display desirable behaviors. Training techniques that are harsh or punishing might backfire and make children resist or be scared.

🦴Patience and Consistency

Flat-Coated Retrievers need patience and persistent training just like any other dog. It could take them some time to learn specific orders or habits. Therefore it’s important to be persistent, patient, and consistent in the training methods.

Remember that each dog may respond differently to training; some may be more difficult to teach than others. A well-trained Flat Coated Retriever needs early socialization, fundamental obedience training, and continual mental and physical stimulation to grow into a well-balanced dog. Attending obedience lessons or speaking with a professional dog trainer might be helpful if you need clarification on how to teach your particular dog.

Flat Coated Retriever Trainability


The Flattie is obedient and simple to teach, although its excitable personality as a puppy and clown may make training sessions difficult. Training Flat-Coats requires using humor and positive reinforcement techniques. They are well-behaved dogs with constant training but could always be naughty. If you want to field train your Flat-Coat, starting early instruction for a no-fail recall & off-leash etiquette is crucial.

📌Advanced Training

The bright Flat-Coated Retriever enjoys advanced instruction but often chooses a task over pointless stunts. For this active breed, flyball, agility, retrieve sports, tracking, & dock dog contests are excellent choices.

📌Dog Sporting Training

The Flat-Coated Retriever was created as a hunting partner for birds. They learn quickly and perform effectively once taught, but since they are young and energetic, they could be harder to teach than the average retriever. Flatties are excellent hunting partners for upland or waterfowl, but their funny side comes out again after the hunt is over.

Training a Flat Coated Retriever

◾️Giving your Flat-Coated Retriever puppy praise and supportive encouragement while training is highly beneficial and important.

◾️Positive reinforcement is the most effective way to educate your Flat-Coated Retriever; thus, you should never yell at your puppy or spank them for disobeying.

◾️Instead of patting your Flat-Coated Retriever on the top of its head or the back to show love, pat them on the chest or under its chin.

◾️Long training sessions with your Flat-Coated Retriever must be avoided. Exercising them throughout the day in numerous brief sessions is more effective. Training a Flat-Coated Retriever three to five times per day for five-minute sessions is advised. This ensures that you have their complete attention.

◾️Reward your young puppy with a canine treat when they have completed your command.

◾️A common error that many Flat-Coated Retriever caretakers make is allowing their puppy to engage in undesirable behaviors (such as lying on furniture) at a young age. If they develop this habit, it will be extremely difficult to alter their behavior in the future.

◾️Training of Flat-Coated Retriever puppies must commence at 8 weeks of age, and they typically reach full learning capacity between 8 and 12 weeks.

◾️Your tone of voice is your greatest training aid; use a happy tone when applauding and a firm sound when saying “No” (but avoid shrieking).

How to Train Flat Coated Retriever Puppies

When you move a Flat-Coated Retriever home, training will be one of the first tasks you must complete. It will take some time and be challenging, but with a guide on how to housebreak a Flat-Coated Retriever puppy, you will succeed sooner rather than later.

🐶Regularly Exercise your Flat-Coated Retriever Puppy

Start by taking your Flat-Coated Retriever outdoors every hour and waiting a few minutes to determine if he needs to urinate. This will prevent them from using the restroom inside & teach them where they should relieve themselves. Ensure you applaud or give them treats when they successfully utilize the outdoor restroom. Over time, they will realize they must use the restroom outside. As they progress, extend the amount of time between outdoor excursions.

🐶Discover the Signs That Your Flat-Coated Retriever Must Go Outside.

All dogs, including Flat-Coated Retrievers, exhibit the following behaviors when relieving themselves: smelling the floor, squatting, circling, whimpering, and waiting at the door.

🐶Always Bring the Flat-Coated Retriever to the Same Location.

You must consistently take the Flat-Coated Retriever puppy to the bathroom in the same location and through the same doorway. This will teach them to defecate in the same location and simplify tidying up after them. Similarly, the exit should be highly visible so that you know when someone is heading towards it or waiting there that they require to use the restroom.

How Can I Train My Flat Coated Retriever Not to Bite?

are flat coated retrievers easy to train

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 4.5 million people are bitten by pets yearly. This large number may seem a little concerning, but with our advice on teaching a Flat-Coated Retriever not to bite, you can ensure your dog doesn’t add to the problem.

🐶Socialize Your Flat-Coated Retriever.

Presenting your Flat-Coated Retriever to as many new people, places, and circumstances as possible is the best thing you can do for them. A Flat-Coated Retriever puppy with good socialization skills is far less likely to experience anxiety in unfamiliar situations, reducing its likelihood of acting aggressively.

🐶Sterilize The Flat Coated Retriever

Some evidence supports the idea that neutered animals are often less aggressive and more likely not to bite.

🐶Participate in Training for Obedience

An obedient Flat-Coated Retriever is much simpler to handle. Your pet will be less likely to be violent and bite if you control its behavior.

🐶Recognize the Flat-Coated Retriever’s Body Language.

It is well-known that a Flat Coated Retriever may get violent and bite if they feel like their area is being violated. A Flat-Coated Retriever will exhibit indicators of anxiety such as elevated bared teeth, heckles, and a lowered head. If you see your Flat Coated Retriever acting this way, try to console them and get them out of this situation as soon as it’s safe.

Training Flat Coated Retriever To Stop Barking 

Consistency, patience, and repetition are required to get your Flat-Coated Retriever to quit barking. Our advice on how to teach a Flat Coated Retriever to quit barking won’t happen overnight, but it will be very helpful.

🐶Avoid Yelling Back.

Your Flat-Coated Retriever will bark more as a result of screaming since they will think you are participating. Speak clearly and calmly, but avoid shouting.

🐶Teach your Flat-Coated Retriever to Understand “Quiet”

When your Flat-Coated Retriever starts barking, calmly and firmly command “Quiet.” When they do, wait for them to stop barking and give them praise and a reward.

🐶A Flat-Coated Retriever that is Worn Out is a Calm Flat-Coated Retriever.

Take your Flat-Coated Retriever out for more frequent playtime or exercise if they bark a lot. They are less prone to bark when they are fatigued.

Flat Coated Retriever Activities

are flat coated retrievers easy to train

Flat-Coated Retrievers are a beautiful breed of dog because they are enthusiastic, often boisterous, and virtually always joyful. You probably already know that your Flat-Coated Retriever is a real buddy and devoted puppy since they were originally meant to be family dogs during the workweek and hunting partners on the weekends. Because of this, you must be careful to shower them with love and care in return. Since these activities are specifically made for Flat-Coated Retrievers, your dog will undoubtedly like them all.

Water Fetch Activity

Your Flat Coated Retriever will enjoy playing the extremely simple game of “water fetch.” They aren’t named a retriever for anything, after all! These canine friends like chasing and retrieving everything. Watch how your dog chases and swims to a floating ball you’ve thrown into the water, returning it back to you with loyalty.

Surfing Activity

Train your surfboard-balancing Flat-Coated Retriever to love the water, and then let them have a pleasant ride as they float in the sea. Even better, you may go surfing with your dog as a fun pastime for the entire family!

Hiding Activity

Then conceal your dog’s favorite toy while having them sit in the middle of the room. Watch how your dog desperately looks for their cherished toy after being instructed to “go get it.” Flat-Coated Retrievers are persistent and will keep searching until they securely bring you the item in question.

Dock Diving Activity

Dock diving is an excellent talent to educate a Flat-Coated Retriever, and after they master it, you can actually enroll your dog in dock diving contests. Teach your dog to run to the end of a pier and jump the farthest over the water before diving in. Their performance in a tournament will improve the farther they go!

Paper Delivering Activity

Many people fantasize about having their dog bring them the newspaper in the morning, but who were the first canines to accomplish this? Teach your enthusiastic dog to really retrieve the newspaper, and you’ll go down in history as the owner of a pet that was a real friend.

Indoor Run Activity

Show your dog how to utilize a treadmill if outdoor weather isn’t suitable for jogging (even though a Flat-Coated Retriever would be okay since they like the water!) Set the belt very slowly and have the dog stand on it as it just walks. To encourage your dog to advance, hold out a reward in front of them. You’ll soon be able to accelerate and let the dog run!

Run Tandem Activity

Take your dog with you for a run by grabbing its collar and leash. Start out slowly and limit your initial runs to modest distances. Like any runner, your dog will require to increase their endurance. Remember that your dog is in command of this run, so always keep up with their speed and stop when they do.

Best Ways for Flat-Coated Retriever Training

Flat-Coated Retrievers are excellent pets since they are simple to teach and eager to please their owners. But if you don’t strike the appropriate mix between fun and instruction, your dog could become a bit out of control.

👉Give Them Lots of Playthings and Exercise

It will be considerably more difficult to control your excitable Flat-Coated Retriever if he has excessive energy. Make sure you give your dog lots of stimulation during the day, including toys like puzzle toys & chew toys, as well as outside exercise since this breed can get bored rapidly and display negative behaviors only to attract your attention.

👉Be Active and Positively Reinforced 

To get the greatest outcomes, make the training sessions enjoyable for this breed since they like having fun. Use positive reinforcement by giving your dog plenty of praise when they exhibit desirable behaviors to encourage them to repeat those actions in the future and increase their willingness to cooperate. Boredom may be avoided by making exercise enjoyable.

👉Repetition of Specific Commands to Teach Vocabulary

Because Flat-Coated Retrievers are very intelligent dogs, you should choose them carefully and employ them in every training session. Your dog will quickly learn the meanings of “come,” “grab your toy,” & “stay.”

👉Space Out The Training Sessions

Since Flat-Coated Retrievers have limited attention spans, training sessions should be separated. Ensure your dog is attentive during training, and terminate the session if he becomes too distracted. You can always resume later on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Flat-Coated Retrievers be trained easily?

The Flattie is simple to train and eager to please; however, juvenile energy and a clownish disposition can disrupt training sessions. Flat-Coats require positive reinforcement techniques and a sense of humor for training. They are well-behaved with consistent training, but they could always be a bit playful.

Are flat-coated retrievers suitable as pets?

The flat-coated retriever is an excellent family companion. They are kind to infants, affable to everyone, and incredibly sociable. They flourish on attention and affection, and they live to be with their family.

How long should a Flat-Coated Retriever walk?

They require at least 2 hours of daily exercise. The more exercise they receive, the happier they will be because they are indefatigable and will continue to move! They also enjoy swimming, so if you live near a shore, this is a fantastic way to keep their excursions interesting.

How can a Flat-Coated Retriever be calmed?

The key to preventing separation anxiety in the Flat-Coated Retriever or any other dog is always leaving the dog calmly, with a treat and a toy or something else to do, and always returning calmly in control. Some canines are highly susceptible to separation anxiety.

How much Flat-Coated Retrievers consume?

Daily dietary requirements for most adult Flat Coated Retrievers range between 3.5 and 4.5 containers. Their sustenance should be divided into two separate portions. The ideal quantity of food for each dog will vary depending on their age, activity level, weight, and other factors.

Final Words

Due to their intelligence, desire to please, and inherent working skills, Flat-Coated Retrievers may be quite simple to train. They may thrive in various pursuits, including obedience, agility, and hunting, because of their adaptability. Although dogs have a trainable disposition, it’s crucial to recognize that each dog may react differently to training techniques and learn at a different rate. Consistency, positive reward, and early socialization are essential when teaching a Flat-Coated Retriever. These obedient and friendly dogs may become well trained companions and succeed in various disciplines with time, effort, and the appropriate attitude. Do you want to know the flat coated retriever vs curly coated retriever? Click Here!

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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