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
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:
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.