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Labrador Training

Dogs have always been known to posses unparalleled loyalty towards their owners, because of their historic association as “man’s best friend”, and Labrador Retrievers are no exception. Labrador Retrievers have one of the most agreeable, compatible temperaments of any dog breed, which is why they are currently the most popular breed for dog owners worldwide (and have been for the past eighteen years). Even though they have a natural desire to please their owners, it is still extremely important to exercise a training program with your Labrador Retriever, and introduce some gentle discipline into their daily routine.

The first choice you have to make when training your Labrador Retriever, is if you will choose to train them with a professional program (which usually requires attending ‘dog training’ classes), or if you will train them privately at home. This choice depends on the specific temperament of your dog; since there will be numerous other dogs at the training program, your dog might not yet be adequately prepared for that kind of interaction. This also depends on your personal schedule, and if you will be able to make a specific commitment (of personal time, and usually a monetary fee) to attend professional classes with your dog. As of today, the majority of Labrador Retriever owners choose to train their dogs privately.

If you choose to train your Labrador Retriever at home, there are numerous resources that you can turn to for an effective training program. Though these programs may be slightly different in their lists of “dos and don’t s”, there is one things that is always especially important when training a Labrador: Positive Reinforcement. Positive reinforcement has a special significance when training a Labrador Retriever, because of their overwhelming desire to please their owner. As such, it is imperative that you aren’t shy about rewarding them for good behavior, or obedience to certain commands.

That being said, there are many different views on negative reinforcement, also known as punishment. How you decide to discourage your dog from bad behavior is up to you, but remember, it’s important to make clear to your dog that you are upset about a specific behavioral problem. If you fail to make this clearly apparent, your dog may become depressed, since they are unsure of the reason why you are unhappy with them. This may lead to other, more severe behavioral problems.

One of the training aspects that many new Labrador Retriever owners worry about is “potty training”. This basically involves teaching your dog to only go to the bathroom outside, or in an area specifically designated for this purpose. It’s important to start this training very early, ideally when your Labrador is still a puppy. Potty training is not difficult to accomplish if you use positive reinforcement. Repeatedly take your Labrador outside before they have an accident, and praise them when they go in the correct location. When this is done frequently enough, eventually your Labrador Retriever will learn that this is behavior that is rewarded with praise, and eventually do it on their own.

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  1. Nice post, I run dog training classes.