The Labrador Retriever was first bred as a fishing dog in Newfoundland. They have been referred to by many other names, like Lesser Newfoundland and St. John's Dog. Today, it is one of the most sought-after breeds in the US, and the dogs are called Labrador or, more commonly, a Lab. A Labrador is intelligent, playful and fun-loving, but can be a little dogged when it comes to obedience! So, it is recommended that you start training your Lab from an early age, preferably when he is a little more than 12 weeks. The Labrador serves as a great companion dog and is yellow, black or golden in color. It is a breed that is most commonly trained as watch dogs and police dogs, and for the detection of narcotics and explosives. They also serve as guiding eyes for the blind. This article on tips to train a Labrador, will help you in the proper training of your gorgeous Labrador pup.
Tips for Obedience Training of a Labrador
Do you own a Labrador pup? Well, then you are lucky because the Labrador is, by nature, a very sociable and friendly breed. This makes some dog owners feel there's no need to train them. What they don't understand is that training your pup and teaching him how to behave, is essential for his well-being. Once you begin, you realize that it is fun to train a Labrador, as they are quick learners. Here are a few tips you can incorporate to make obedience training a great experience for both, you and your Lab.
Establish Your Role as the Alpha Person
The most important tip in obedience training is to let your Labrador know that you are the Alpha person, that is, you are the leader. There are several ways to achieve this. One way is to feed your Labrador at regular intervals and not when it wants to. When you take your dog for a walk, make sure to not let the dog decide which direction to go. It is essential to exercise control over your dog to ascertain that the dog is eager to obey your commands. Taking good care of your dog will help it build its trust in you. Once your dog learns to trust you, it will accept you as the leader and will be more than happy to please you.
Appreciate Good Behavior
Once your dog begins to recognize you as the leader, it is important to let him know what kind of behavior is expected of him. So, pat your pup whenever he does something good and ignore his tantrums. Praise your Lab whenever he obeys your commands and executes them well, or does something to make you happy. This will encourage him and in the long run, he will be more devoted to you. Also, when your dog makes mistakes, you should be patient. Punishing him will take you nowhere and will only result in your Lab turning aggressive.
Be Consistent in Training
It is important to be consistent when training your Labrador. This implies that you should stick to one word commands and follow the same set of hand signals while training. Also follow a routine for the purpose. For example, you can train him for an hour a day, three days a week. This makes it easy for him to grasp things quickly and respond to your commands. Also, it is essential to make the learning process fun for your Lab by taking breaks in between training, and by rewarding obedience from your pup, with his favorite treat.
Ensure Optimal Mental Stimulation
In order to keep your Lab happy, it is important to channel its stamina and high energy levels into lots of fun activities. So, you can come up with innovative ways for your Labrador to have fun. Labradors love to play and they'll be more than willing to indulge in various activities including swimming. Yes! Labradors love water and teaching your Lab how to swim, can be an enjoyable experience for both, you and your pup.
Inculcating discipline from an early age is an integral part of training a Labrador. There will be instances when your Lab may leave you frustrated. In such situations, it's mandatory to let him learn that you won't entertain such behavior. However, this does not indicate that you punish or yell at your Lab. Just expressing your dislike with a firm "No" is enough. As Labradors love their families, they tend to jump on people on seeing them. In such a situation, a firm "Down" command will set things right. It is essential to discipline your dog and train him to not do things that irritate you or other people around him.
Teach Your Dog to Socialize
It is essential for your dog to bond with people and get exposed to different situations. Take your dog to places such as a park for an opportunity to socialize and play with children and other dogs. It is important for your dog to get acquainted with your world. This contributes to your dog's well-being.
Give a Lesson in Housebreaking
Right from the day you bring your Labrador home, make him understand that he needs to relieve himself not inside your house, but somewhere outside. For the initial eight weeks, take him out at regular intervals, especially after meals, before going to bed and when your Lab wakes up in the morning. And once he is successfully trained in housebreaking, don't forget to reward him with a treat. Dogs simply dig treats!
The four basic commands you can teach your Lab are 'come-sit-stay-heel'. Remember to always give commands in a gentle and friendly voice and never to hit your Lab. Put the intelligence and eager-to-learn attitude of your Labrador Retriever to good use, by making him understand what behavior is acceptable and what is not.
Training your Labrador the right way, can help you in the long run, as it helps to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Hope the tips discussed in this article, will help turn your pet Lab into your best friend, forever!