Contrary to popular belief Labrador training is not difficult; you just have to know what you are doing. The Lab is one of the oldest recognized dog breeds. It originated in Newfoundland, where it was used by fishermen to retrieve nets and fish, and still loves to swim to this day. Labradors are known for their blend of strength, loyalty, intelligence, gentleness, and attractiveness. It is due to lack of information and confidence that many first-time Labrador owners struggle with training when they first get a Labrador. It is therefore essential that if you are outmatched you take the initiative and take your Labrador to be properly trained at an obedience school. In doing so you will most definitely learn the confidence and experience needed to effectively teach your Lab how to become an obedient and dependable dog.
In an attempt to assist you on your way to successful Labrador training, we have gathered some tips here that you should always keep in mind.
Training Tips for your Labrador
The very first thing training your Labrador will receive is toilet training. You will need to make sure that he understands that his lavatory is outside and never inside your home. It is vital that this lesson is taught from the first day your Lab arrives at your house. As such, whenever you suspect your Lab needs to go, take him outside and continue doing this for the following 8 – 9 weeks. So how will you know you may ask? Simple, by creating a timetable and using time intervals, for example:
- Immediately after waking up in the morning
- 5 minutes after every meal or drink
- After every hour
- After playtime and/or exercise
- Whenever your dog seems unduly excited
- Right before going to bed
It is also crucial that you reward your Lab every time that he does something right. So for every time he goes outside to relieve himself, you need to make him feel like he has just won a prize. This positive reinforcement will encourage him to keep going outside. On the other hand, if he does not go outside and has an ‘accident’ in your house, do not lose your temper and start to shout or hit at your dog. Yes, it is essential to exercise discipline and firmness in training, but keep in mind that no dog is perfect so there will be times when your Lab will get on your nerves and even frustrate you, but always try to exercise patience. You may be surprised to see how your dog will come around.
Labradors in general enjoy the physical and mental stimulation of obedience training. Obedience training can therefore turn into a fun bonding experience for u and your Lab. Labs are affectionate and eager to please, so there will never be a dull moment playing with and training your dog. There is no need for harsh methods or punishment with a Lab. They are clever, love to play and catch on quickly. All the basic commands such as “Come”, “Sit”, “Stay” and “Heel” should be taught to and will be picked up quickly by your Lab. As well, Labradors are very excitable and affectionate, so an essential command is “Down”, to stop them jumping on people, as they tend to be large dogs. Always remember that the key to Labrador training is consistency and patience, just like training any other dog.