Are Flat-Coated Retrievers Smart?

by Kern Campbell

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If you are researching retrievers one breed of retriever gaining popularity is the flat-coated retriever. A question often asked about the breed is, Are Flat-Coated Retrievers Smart? I dug up some details on this topic and thought you may find the answer beneficial.

Are Flat Coated Retrievers Smart?

Yes, Flat Coated Retrievers are smart, as well as energetic, and easy to train.  Flat Coated Retrievers have an eagerness to please, like most retriever breeds and, as many may already know, are part of the working, sporting breeds according to the American Kennel Club.  

Flat-Coated Retrievers are smart and make good hunting or sporting dogs for active pet parents that love the outdoors and sharing their many adventures.   While the Flat-Coated Retrievers are really smart dogs, this largely depends on their pet parents and trainer and the amount of time they are willing to invest in focusing on this intelligence and channeling it into its proper place.  

Without adequate placement, any dog will suffer and not reach its full potential regardless of breeding and intelligence level.  Dogs of high intelligence, which the Flat-Coated Retriever is, require a capable handler who is prepared to take up the challenge of adequately training them in a gentle but persistent way. 

Dogs of higher intelligence always need this handling as their abilities can sometimes cause them to have a strong will and persistent nature.  If they don’t want to do or learn something, they may refuse.  These dogs are easy to train, but this is a generality. 

There will be some Flat Coated Retrievers that resist training or have a mind of their own.  Most of the time, the Flat Coated Retrievers are very loving and eager to please, as is their nature as a Retriever.  The Flat Coated Retriever is an intelligent dog breed that, like other retriever breeds, makes a good dog for use within the community where they can be helpful to others or of service in some capacity. 

In a family, the Flat Coated Retriever is a sweet and loving dog that makes a great companion and is filled with a great level of devotion.  Regardless of how intelligent and smart the Flat Coated Retrievers are, they are a great dog breed to call a furry family member.

Flat Coated Retrievers are intelligent and easy to train.  Those families or individuals looking for a dog breed that is intelligent, energetic, and fun can rest assured this breed makes a great companion.

Like most other Retrievers, Flat Coated Retrievers have an eagerness to please those around them and are loving and devoted.  This is one reason they make an excellent hunting or sporting companion for those who partake in such activities.

While Flat Coated Retrievers are rare and less popular than other retriever breeds, they are no less beautiful, smart, or endearing.  Their body boasts a more streamlined appearance than other Retrievers in this class, but they are still lovely to look at.

With their high level of intelligence and smarts, the Flat Coated Retrievers are also easy to train because they have that typical retriever personality that makes them eager to please.  Nonetheless, a competent and confident trainer should be utilized, whether it is the pet parent or a professional.

While it is unlikely that dogs of this breed will cause issues, dogs with a higher level of intelligence can sometimes need a knowledgeable and more skilled trainer to handle that.

In most cases, this will not be the issue, as the Flat Coated Retrievers are eager to please, but it can sometimes be the case as if one has to prove their ability before the dog will listen and accept what is being trained if they don’t want to do that.

Due to their high level of intelligence and smarts, as well as their loveable and devoted nature, the Flat Coated Retrievers make beautiful workers in the community sector.  Like other retrievers, this breed can help as a therapy or assistance dog in some capacity or be of service to those in the community in different ways.

Whatever it is they are doing, they will be successful because the Flat Coated Retrievers are highly smart as well as being working or sporting dogs.  They require a certain level of physical activity and mental stimulation to feel content in their day.

Pet parents must understand and accept this and utilize various tools to accomplish the task of helping them burn off their energy, so they behave their best.  Outdoor activities and adventures where they are working, playing, or helping in some way may be the best because they enjoy the outdoors and being helpful in various capacities to those around them.

For sporting dogs, is it a good idea to hire a professional trainer?

It is always a good idea to hire a professional trainer when training a sporting dog.  This is true regardless of dog breed or how skilled they may be in any area.

Each dog is unique in its strengths and weaknesses or abilities.  While a specific dog breed may boast a high level of intelligence, this is the breed, but each dog, regardless of breeding.  Intelligence can factor into how well they are trained but so can their emotional state, as well as temperament.

If financial resources can provide the means to do so, hiring a professional can save a lot of time, energy and create less stress for the pet parents.

Are Flat-Coated Retrievers Smart
Dog and his trainer

Some dogs, regardless of breed, can be challenging to train for various reasons.  By hiring a professional dog trainer, the likelihood that issues become problems is reduced as they are knowledgeable and skilled in the art of dog training.

Since this is their occupation, they can devote the necessary time and energy required, when dealing with dog training.

Professional training is not always necessary in well-behaved dogs that are often easy to train, like the Flat Coated Retrievers, but it can be a nice perk for those who can do so.  This allows the pet parent to devote their time to loving the dog and caring for them without the stress or strain of dealing with negative behaviors and setbacks that often come up during the training of any dog.

For those pet parents who cannot afford such luxuries, training their Flat Coated Retriever should not be hard.  With the right set of tools and mindset, this task can often be easily accomplished since this dog breed is eager to please and smart.

What tools do I need if I am to train my Flat Coated Retriever?

The tools a pet parent will need to train a Flat Coated Retriever successfully include first the right mindset.

Training should have already begun with the breeder and mother, but further training is needed once the dog is home with the pet parent.

The mindset should be confident in one’s position in the household and family.   There should never be any question, who is in charge at any time.  The pet parent doing the training is in charge, always.  Most dogs will not listen consistently to pet parents or trainers that don’t have this mindset from the start.

If you don’t know who is in charge, why should they listen to you?  They are pack animals always and must always have a confident leader.  If the pet parent can’t be the leader, the dog may choose to fill this role.

There should also be a level of patience and understanding and a calm demeanor that never shows anger, aggression, abuse, or mistreatment.  This should be automatic. If the pet parent is confident, there is never a need for them to feel these negative qualities.

Tools required will vary based on what the Flat Coated Retrievers are being trained.   The basics will be treats.  Most dogs and this include the Flat Coated Retrievers, are strongly motivated by food.  Little morsels of treats can help any pet parent drive home the need to learn what is being taught.

The most important general training tool besides the treats is time.  Time is often overlooked as necessary when it comes to training a dog regardless of breeding.  Leaving ample time each day that is devoted just to training your Flat Coated Retriever is vital.  Once they are trained, they may also need extra review periods throughout their lives, depending on the dog and situation.

Having a good quality leash, collar, and perhaps other tools like pee pads are needed based on the type of training they are receiving.  For dogs that are learning the basic commands of Sit, Stay, Leave It, and Come, there are usually no other necessary tools unless the pet parents find them helpful.

In Conclusion

While every dog, regardless of the breed, is smart and intelligent, some dogs boast a higher level of intelligence from breeding and what they were bred to do.

Flat Coated Retrievers are a smart and easily trainable dog breed that any pet parent will find endearing for their many beautiful qualities.

Like most Retrievers, the Flat Coated Retrievers are devoted companion animals.   Who can ask for more of any dog breed!

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