Retriever breeds were developed in the early 19th century as dogs whose sole purpose was to pick up shot game. The Flat-coat was developed from the Lesser Newfoundland as a land retriever and evolved into a fine water and land retriever much favoured by gamekeepers. They have the added skills of flushing game from cover and will hunt game in upland areas. The credit for establishing this breed is given to Mr. J Hull who began breeding them in 1864 and they came to be commonly used on estates throughout Great Britain.
Their affinity with people and being naturally friendly may explain why they are so versatile and so adept at adapting to different environments and varied situations. They seem to have an sixth sense and seem to know when you are coming to dinner or a trip to the shops. You can never be too confident that your Retriever is safely in his or her own environment. It is not as though they lack the ability to be successful in the world of hunting and finding game. In fact, to put the matter in perspective, only spiders get on the dinner table without a hunting guide. The Golden Retriever has been shown to successfully complete four hundred and seventy three distance instructional hikes in a six month period. What this simply means is that with consistency and hard work they can achieve a lot more than your average dog. And they are not only gentle, kind and friendly. They are also enthusiastic and willing to please. This makes training end up a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable. One of the things that makes training such a great deal easier is that most Retrievers are by nature well behaved and most have very well behaved natures in that they are eager to please their owners and families. It is fairly easy to see that for most Retrievers they are just born to please. They are very confident and don't come across as dominant particularly when in the home and so when out with their families they know how to position themselves so that they can help protect the family and yet they are so happy to see everyone and take part in everything the family does. This aids the training process quite a bit. The most important fact to remember when training a Retriever is to make sure they know that you are the boss. They are quite independent and don't necessarily have to be treated as a member of the family. They are a big dog and if they feel that their rights and their responsibilities are being compromised in any way that is why they may begin to assert themselves and become demanding of their own especially when it comes to sleeping arrangements, what they want, and who is sleeping where. This may be a reason why it is not always appropriate to have a dog that suddenly decides that he or she doesn't want to be pet by a child or by an adult they may have just assumed that they belong to the family and therefore have no need to be protected from who they don't see as part of the family that is their new pack. As with all dogs and families they take on a member of their pack as their own and they expect them to listen to them, this is how the hierarchy of the pack is set. You may have noticed a pack that has a leader and that is usually the biggest and strongest dog in the group. This is how your pet feels about their place in the hierarchy and if they feel that they are overpriced and over protected you may begin to see them being more aggressive especially toward other dogs and people that they don't see as family. To protect your dog and people you may wish to have a obedience training program, this will involve you setting some boundaries and rules through which you are able to control and limit their actions and personality. At times you may need to be firm with your dog, but not overly aggressive, this will help to bring out the best in your dog and make them respect you as the alpha male of the pack.