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Training Your Labrador Retriever

Training your Labrador Retriever

Your Lab is a naturally brainy breed, but even they need a little leadership, especially early on.  Any breed benefits from some discipline and rewards, but training your Labrador Retriever brings rewards in the form of better manners, fewer slip-ups on the inside and outside, and the potential for your dog to even become a helper to you.

labrador, labradors, active labradors, labrador trainingStart training your puppy as early as possible.  Your Lab wants to please you, and that starts on day one.   Because the breed gets quite large (55-80 lbs. at adulthood), it is best to start earlier rather than later, when they are easier to manage.  In addition, specialists in animal training recommend methods that favor reward and not stringent punishment, as reinforcement tools towards moving your animal in the direction you would like them to go (and stay.)

Commands such as sit, stay, fetch, speak, roll over and heel can be easily taught to your enthusiastic Labrador.  Training classes are available all over the country, and are probably right in your neighborhood.  A little Internet searching can probably turn up a class or two, and if it doesn’t, ask your veterinarian what they recommend for early training of your puppy in your area.  Alternatively, there are several good video series and television shows to follow along with to do the training all from the comfort of your own home and yard.

One of the benefits to early- and often-training is that your dog will be happier, too.  A well-worked, tired dog is a happy dog, and the bonding experience that comes from reward training cannot be accomplished in any other fashion.  Methods that would have you strike your animal are again, not recommended.  A dog who is fearful of you is not going to respond as favorably to training, nor will they be as happy and well-rounded as an animal who has been taught respect, love and reward.

labrador, labradors, active labradors, labrador trainingAnother great benefit of taking your dog to obedience classes is that of socializing.  Your Labrador is a very social animal, and wants to be around other dogs as well as people.  It helps them become more comfortable in situations where they are not at home, such as walks in the neighborhood or to the local dog park.  If your dog has no experience outside your home, you need to be especially careful when they are first introduced to other dogs and humans, especially children.  While they may not necessarily harm a child, an inexperienced dog can become overexcited and have an accident with children.

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  1. Cyndy says:

    I have an 8 week old lab puppy that is amazing! We are working on him with a clicker and tasty tidbit treats for rewards for go potty and sit. He will be 9 weeks old on Tuesday. We are going to enroll him in puppy kindergarten. My other dogs are bichons, a sheltie and JRT mix. The JRT mix loves him and they wrestle and play all the time. We are crate training him too and I look forward to having a wonderful companion and a large breed buddy for the first time in my life.