Like all dog breeds of the Retriever lineage, the Flat Coated Retriever is great when it comes to the outdoor sport called hunting. Hunting is basically bringing down game and as a sport, it follows a specified number of rules and regulations. With the case of the Flat Coated Retriever, game means small game like fowls, i.e. quail, wild duck, grouse, etc.
The Flat Coated Retriever is classified as a gundog or bird dog breed. This classification is reserved for almost all retriever breeds because the dogs were specially bred for hunting down fowls or birds using hunting guns.
Even until today, the Flat Coated Retriever is still being used as a hunting canine on the prowl, an animal that can flush out prey from hidden crevices and a dog that can retrieve fallen prey on land or on water. This breed of dog especially likes the water and will not shy away from any contact with it. The Flat Coated Retriever is also known for its exceptional bonding with its human companions or handlers. This bond is especially helpful in the field where the human hunter relies very much on his Flat Coated Retriever. Any distraction, hesitation, or miscommunication on the part of the Flat Coated Retriever can easily cost them the game.
If you compare the Flat Coated Retriever to other sporting breeds, you can see that this animal is rather relatively placid inside the home, usually exhibiting low activity level indoors. Then it explodes out of its compliant shell as it is given free rein outdoors. These two contrasting traits actually make the Flat Coated Retriever a great pet to have at home, and a great companion for a more vigorous work-out in the field.
A well-trained and well-socialized Flat Coated Retriever is a great asset in the hunting field. Obedience training, respect training, and early exposure to socialization are all essential in making the Flat Coated Retriever a successful hunting dog. Not only that, these trainings also help make this breed of dog confident on his own, but still trusting the directives of its human companion explicitly. The Flat Coated Retriever is known for a show of strength and vigor that is unmatched by other sporting breeds. The dog can go running about in the field the whole day and still maintain a lively spirit afterwards.
There is, however, a drawback to the Flat Coated Retriever's exuberance. All its pent-up energy and its seemingly inexhaustible excitement outdoors hamper the dog from being a good "pointer." A pointer's purpose is to remain absolutely still as it leads the hunter and its other hunting companion dogs to the prey. Other than this, the Flat Coated Retriever is quite versatile, and it performs all other functions required of a gun dog. Some of these functions include flushing upland game, marking downed birds, and retrieving downed birds on land and in the water.