Labrador Puppy Training

Introduction

Labrador Puppy Training
Labrador Puppy Training

The Labrador or Labrador Retriever (if you are picky) is one of the most popular dogs in the world and it is not without reason. The Labrador is such a kind, good-natured and playful companion and it will without doubt be an excellent family dog. However, if things are to turn out well for you and your new Labrador puppy it is necessary to give it a good education. A Labrador puppy needs to be properly trained and socialized just like any other dog. In this post I will give you some tips on how to train your puppy and also give you some tips on where you can find an excellent Labrador Puppy Training Resource which will give you all information and support you need to properly train your puppy.

Where to start

You should start training your puppy as soon as you get it home. Ususally puppies are adopted at the age of 8 or 10 weeks. At this age they are still babies and you need to be gentle with them but they can already learn basic commands. The idea is to start with some basic simple commands and the increase the level of difficulty as your dog learns and grows older. Remember: You need to learn how to crawl before you can learn how to walk and the same goes for puppies.

The basic foundation which all dog and puppy training rests on is establishing yourself as the pack leader. This is something that is certainly easer to do with a young puppy than an older puppy or adult dog, though establishing yourself as the pack leader is possible with any dog. Dogs are like this by nature, they follow their leader and will obey any dog who are higher than them in their hierarchy. They will on the other hand ignore dogs who they consider inferior to themselves. Puppies are ranked lower than adult dogs and your puppy should see you and other members of your family as higher ranked than himself.

In the wild, the pack leader is the one who will take the lead when going somewhere. He or she will eat first and adult dogs will eat before the younger dogs. The same principles must be used when you are raising your puppy. Through your actions you should show your puppy that you are its leader and it will follow you.

Establishing yourself as the pack leader early on in your puppy’s life will make its training far easier and it will prevent you from problems later on. Here is a post I wrote on how to become the pack leader.

Basic Training and Commands

Potty training is one of the first things you should teach your puppy once you get it home. Having your puppy to pee and eliminate outside and not in your house is of course rather urgent. Potty training requires a fair bit of patience (remember your puppy is still a baby) and there is soo much to say about that a full post (or even a book) could be written about it. If you want to read more about potty training for puppies I suggest you check out my post: How to potty train puppy.

Apart from potty training, these are the commands you should practicing with your puppy: Sit, come, down, leave it, stay. The command Sit is a good way to get your puppy to calm down if he/she gets too exited. This command should be repeated over and over until puppy knows it very well. The command come is important should you be outside and loose hold of the leash. Then you can call your puppy back to you. Leave it should be used if your puppy gets hold of something valuable and/or dangerous.
The down command is a “submissive” posture and therefore much easier to teach a young puppy than an older puppy or adult dog. It is important that your puppy masters the “sit” command before you teach it the “down” command. The command “stay” is a little more difficult to teach a young puppy. Puppies are full of energy and constantly want to move around. Therefore, it requires a little patience before your puppy masters this command.

Some Labrador Puppy Training Tips

Labrador Puppy Training
Labrador Puppy Training

There are a few different ways of training dogs but when it comes to puppies it is important to be gentle. No hitting, or yelling. It is not needed and it will only make the puppy nervous and scared. Generally speaking when training a puppy (or adult dog) you should ignore it when it behaves badly and shower it with praise and attention when it does something good. This way the puppy will learn which actions will give him attention and which that will get him ignored. Dogs love attention and are always looking for it therefore this is a very effective method.

On the contrary if you give your dog or puppy too much attention when it does something bad it will learn that doing the wrong thing will give it attention and it might continue doing this. This also applies to “bad attention” like when you are telling your dog off. So when you have to correct your dog, you simply say NO in a stern voice and then you turn your back on it. When it does something good give plenty of attention, praise and maybe a treat.

It is important to be consistent. If you allow your puppy to do something (like laying on the sofa) one time and you forbid the next, then your puppy will be confused and she will not understand what she might do and what she may not do. In some cases you can allow your puppy to do something after giving your permission but not on its own initiative. For example, you can allow your dog to get on the sofa by invitation. For example, you pat the sofa next to you and say in a friendly voice: “up you go” or come here and let her take place next to you. On the other hand, if she goes on the sofa without permission you must immediately correct her and make her get down. Remember, your rules and conditions apply, you are the pack leader and your dog should follow you.

The Labrador Retriever is an easy dog to train. Its friendly nature and will to please makes it well suited to novice dog owners. The only thing that is really needed is to train it and socialize well. This is not difficult but like all dog ownership it requires time and patience. It is important to learn how dogs function and think and which methods could be used to communicate with our dogs. After all, dogs do not speak our language so when you want to do something (or not do something) you have to have a way of making your dog understand this.

I would like to reccomend a great resource for training your Labrador Puppy. It is a video based site where you learn dog training by watching videos. The site is run by professional dog trainer Doggy Dan. The site has a full section on how to raise and train a puppy and you can get support from Doggy Dan whenever you need it. If you want to check out this excellent Dog Training Site:

CLICK HERE to go to Doggy Dan’s site

I hope you enjoyed this article about Labrador Puppy Training. If you have any questions or if you would like to ask something, please leave your comments below.

 

 

 

 

Comments 8

  • I enjoyed your puppy training post. I agree about the importance of being the pack leader. After all the dog loves to please the pack leader. It’s about respect. If there is not a pack leader then they are free to make their own rules. When the dog makes the rules, people tend to call that a bad dog. Dogs want to be good, they just need someone to show them how. Good read, Sir.

    • Thank you.

      You are right, dogs want to be good and dogs are much happier when YOU are the packleader. This will take this burden of your dogs shoulders and make him more relaxed, knowing that the responsability for the family is not on him.

  • Aren’t puppies the cutest things ever….and when they are well trained what wonderful companions they make for life. Having a dog in the family truly brings joy.
    Isn’t it amazing though that the same method of training for your little dog can be used just as effectively for your little human. If we reward our children’s good behavior and ignore the temper tantrums, this will lead to better behavior from them.

    • Soo true, you have a great point there. Children are lot like dogs and vice versa. They constantly look for attention. So ignoring a child who behaves badly and “reward him” with attention when he is kind usually works great. Unfortunately we tend to do the contrary: give children plenty of attention and give them things just to make them calm. So the next time this child wants something he/she will create a scene and so it goes on.

  • HI. I really thought this post was very thorough in the realm of puppy training. I am involved in animal rescue and volunteer with a local humane society. In rescuing puppies and dogs alike, I have found that any who have been mistreated or abused need time to earn your trust before they can relax and learn well from training, but once they know they can trust you, they can progress as quickly as any other dog with training. What advice do you have for working with a puppy that is fearful due to previous mistreatment?

    • When it comes to a mistreated puppy you need a lot of patience. The trust must be rebuilt and the puppy’s self confidence as well. A firm but gentle leadership will make the puppy feel secure. It is important to always show confidence in yourself. This is because a dog will learn from you and if you show your puppy that everything is alright by being calm, in control and confident, then the puppy will follow your example.

      What you should not do is to try to comfort the puppy when it is scared. For a dog, attention and affection is a reward and if you “reward” the puppy when it is whining because of fear you are actually telling it that it is doing the right thing and that there is a reason to be scared.

      When the puppy calm down however then you can reward it with affection and attention. That way you the puppy that being calm is the right state of mind.

  • Hi – I enjoyed reading your article because my family had a Labrador puppy years ago and we did not train him that well. This probably led to confusion and upset for the poor guy, and though he was certainly loved, he was not trained well. So I think articles like this are very important for new dog owners to know about. Being the “pack leader” is an important responsibility, and I think you described it well.

    • Thank you,

      If you read my “About Me” page you will find that the reason I started this website was because I alos failed when I bought and tried to raise a German Shepherd (and adult dog) many years ago. It was a lovely dog but not trained at all and I was simply not prepared for it. Adopting a dog is a big responsability and it requires knowledge as well as patiencs.

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