One of the best family dogs are Labrador retrievers. Once upon a time, they were known as 'St. John's Dogs' and were brought to England from Newfoundland Canada in the early 1800s. These dogs were used by Canadian fishermen to retrieve fish that feel off the hooks and even haul swimming lines and fishing nets. Today, these dogs are popularly known as 'Labs' and come in three colors; black, yellow (light cream to reddish) and chocolate (light to dark brown). They are the best dogs for children of all ages. However, many people believe it is rather a bit tough training Labrador retrievers. However, if you follow some basic Labrador retriever training tips, you will soon see a perfectly housebroken, trained and obedient pup making its way in everyone's heart. The following paragraphs will discuss some of the basic Labrador training tips for new owners.
Basic Labrador Training Tips for New Owners
When I talk about basic Labrador training tips for new owners, it is to be assumed we are discussing puppies. This is because, a new owner would probably choose a puppy over an adult dog. A puppy is easier to train and mold according to ones family needs and labs are mostly good dogs for kids. Bringing home a puppy helps strengthen the bond between a kid and the pup. Anyway, let us now begin with some Labrador retriever training tips, starting with the most important part.
House Training Labrador Retrievers
The moment a puppy is born, his mother begins to train him to feed, play and defend themselves. One needs to be consistent with the rules from day one. A small puppy make look really cute doing its funny antics, but, by overlooking their mistakes, you are encouraging bad behavior. However, training Labrador retrievers is not very complicated and can be fun for both the owner and the pup. You see, a puppy is just like a human kid, it does not know right from wrong. As an owner, you need to guide your puppy and undertake his dog obedience training in the right manner.
By the time a lab puppy is 2 to 3 months old, he should have begun his dog training lessons. You should teach him his daily routines, that is, location of food and water dishes. He should know he will be fed 3 times a day; morning, early afternoon and night. He should be aware of his bed, time of going to bed and the time to wake up. He should be aware of the route to be taken for his daily walks and the place he needs to go 'potty'. You should teach him the word 'NO' means to stop immediately with whatever that he is doing and 'Good' means he is being praised. This will help you with this housebreaking exercise. You see, a puppy needs to go to the bathroom many times a day as he still is not able to control his bladder. You should make sure he is taken to the same spot everyday at the same time to answer natures call.
You should wake him up at the same time in the morning from his sleep and immediately take him to the spot where he needs to go 'potty'. While he is doing his business, you should utter the word 'potty' or 'go potty'. This will help him associate the word to his action. Next, you should feed him at the same time and once he finishes, take him to the same spot for 'potty'. If he does not go 'potty', wait for sometime and allow him to pass urine to stools. As a puppy, he will have many accidents, thus, the minute you see him trying to go 'potty' within the house, shout out a loud and firm 'NO'. Clap or make some sound that will distract him and make him stop what he is doing. Immediately, take him to the spot where he needs to go 'potty' and allow him to relieve himself. If the puppy does have an accident within the house, there is no use lecturing or punishing him. He will not be able to comprehend what is upsetting you and will further push away the dog from your dog training efforts.
A Labrador retriever puppy may need to go and relieve himself many times a day. You should take him to the assigned spot every 1 ½ to 2 hours, whether or not he shows signs of 'potty'. Make sure you make him go to the bathroom, before he sleeps in the night. You may have to get up once or twice during the night and take him to the bathroom. Puppies as I said are like kids, they may need to use the bathroom at night too. When your puppy relieves himself at the assigned place, praise him and reward him. If your puppy has no accidents for a month, it means you have successfully house trained your Labrador retriever. If the pup has an accident, it means you have not been consistent and need to start all over again.
Leash Training Labrador Retrievers
Next in Labrador retriever training tips, is leash training. Your Labrador retrievers needs more than just a simple walk. He needs to be properly exercised and given ample of play time. Labradors are energetic dogs that love activities and games. They are good with fly ball, swimming, tracking and even playing fetch. But, before you take your puppy out in a park, you should make sure you have successfully completed dog leash training.
You should always have the length of the leash consistent. Never shorten or lengthen the leash as it will confuse the dog. Keep a comfortable length of the leash as it will help the dog know the distance he can be away from you. Keep in mind you are to be the alpha dog, the leader. If you give in to any of the dogs demands, you will have obedience problems. Dogs are pack animals and learn to follow a leader. You have to remain the leader for your dog.
While taking a walk, you should pull the dog in the direction you want to move. If your dog pulls you to a certain direction, stop in your tracks immediately. Do not move till the dog stops pulling you. Once the Labrador stops pulling, you should start walking in the direction you want to move. The dog will have no choice but to follow you. Make sure you take the same route everyday to help the dog recognize the way back home. Once you are successful with leash training, your dog will never leave your side. When your Labrador retriever follows your commands, make sure you shower him with praises. You can offer him dog treats as rewards for his good behavior.
Now, it is time to teach him to play fetch. You should toss a small flying disk or tennis ball towards your dog. Then, shout the word, 'Fetch'. When he has the ball or disk in his mouth, call out 'come' and allow him to drop the object in your hand. Once he completes this task successfully, praise him as much as you can and reward him with a treat.
Command Training Labrador Retrievers
There are a few basic commands a Labrador retriever should be taught as early as possible. These commands include; 'sit', 'sleep', 'stand', 'come', 'go', 'fetch', 'stop', 'no', etc. These commands should be as short as possible and very clear to understand. Do not use long words or sentences as the puppy will get confused. While you are leash training your Labrador retriever, make sure you teach him to 'sit' while on leash. This will help you break the habit of pulling the leash while going on a walk. Teach the dog to 'come' by saying the word or by using a whistle. When your dog comes to you on hearing the word or whistle, praise him and reward him with doggie treats.
If you are wondering how do you teach a dog to 'stand', 'sit' or 'sleep', well it is very simple. Sit or stand opposite your dog with a dog treat in your hand. Make sure the dog sees the treat and hold the treat over his head. Then move the treat in your hand from front to back and utter the command, 'sit'. Initially, you may have to direct the dog towards the ground and make him understand what 'sit' means. Once the dog sits, praise him and give him his reward. Repeat the same command for a few more times and give him a break. After sometime, repeat the same command, till he is trained properly. Continue the same process for the other commands. You should teach him to sit before you place the food bowl in front of him. This way you will have a well-trained dog on your hands. When you use 'NO', make sure you use a gentle, yet firm tone. A positive reinforcement is one of the key Labrador retriever training tips.
Labrador Retriever Training Supplies
You can visit a pet store or an online pet shop and find many Labrador retriever training supplies. These Labrador retriever training supplies include leashes, collar belts, beds, dog toys, dog treats, etc. You can even find kennels for your Labrador retriever that will help you kennel train him. There are many Labrador retriever training books available, that will guide you with the training process. These books also contain a lot of information related to Labrador retriever care. There are many professional dog trainers who offer services and train your puppy with the basic and advance dog obedience tricks.
You may have observed that nowhere in the above paragraphs, dog punishment has been mentioned. This is because punishing your dog will do more harm than good. It will create a negative image of the owner in the dog's mind, making him even more rebellious. Good dog care along with positive reinforcement, will help you inculcate good dog behavior in your dog. Hope the above paragraphs on Labrador retriever training tips have proven to be useful guide for you and your pup.