Labrador Retrievers or Lab’s are one of the truly old and elite purebred strains of dogs in modern society. A symbol of England since the 1500s, the Labrador Retriever, originally from Newfoundland, were initially used in work alongside fisherman.
They Helped to pull in nets and catch fish that escaped from fishing lines. After being crossed with Setters, Spaniels, and other Retrievers, the Labrador Retriever honed its skills and became a truly magnificent retriever. From this point in the breed’s history, “Labs,” as they are affectionately called, were bred primarily to perform as an efficient retriever of game, with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of activities beyond hunting.
Labrador Retrievers are energetic, courageous, loving, and very eager to please. So, Labrador Retriever puppy training can be quite easy and very enjoyable. Most Labrador Retriever training can be done as very simple games.
Choosing Your Puppy
When you choose your Labrador Retriever puppy, keep in mind how much goes into this breed. Labrador Retrievers are prone to many health problems, due to poor breeding. Get your puppy from a reputable breeder.
The best breeders screen and certify their dogs against genetic defects. Breeders that use organizations like OFA, AKC, IPet Guides and CERF can be considered top-notch. If you are looking for a hunting Labrador Retriever, choose a breeder of field trial or hunting specialty.
Choose a puppy that is at least seven weeks old, friendly, and not aggressive. Make sure it is in good health with a vet, as there are a number of puppyhood health problems that a Lab might have, especially with their ears.
Labrador Retriever puppy training should start as soon as you bring your puppy home, but only if the dog is old enough and has been properly socialized. If the puppy is not yet 10 weeks old or if it has not been properly socialized with people and other dogs, make sure you do this first to avoid the creation of any excess aggression issues.
Training Your New Puppy
Once your puppy is old enough, start training with basic housetraining. Labrador Retriever can be especially stubborn at a young age, so it is highly recommended you use crate training and are home as much as possible during housebreaking.
It will take slightly longer than normal to finalize the housebreaking process, but once they are broken, a Lab is extremely careful not to violate its home.
Labrador Retrievers respond very readily to praise. To make praise very highly effective, start with a small treat with the praise. After a few days, stop the treats but continue with the praise. Your puppy will have learned praise is the same as a treat.
After you’ve established the basics, start creating an environment in which you are the clear and obvious alpha pack leader. Train your Lab puppy not to bite or nip using toys and a clear whining sound to show that it hurts.
Very often a light flick on the nose and stern NO will do the trick. Do not allow your puppy to jump on the couch and never let it sleep in your bed. The crate should be used as much as possible in these early months as you stretch out how long the puppy can stay in there.
Labrador Retriever puppy training should move into the obedience phase at about 10 weeks for hunting dogs and 4 months for general house pets, with focus on basic commands like lying down, sitting, staying, focusing on you, coming when called, waiting inside doors, and not pulling on the leash.
Starting training very early in the form of games creates a Lab that readily learns for the rest of its life. At seven weeks old a Labrador Retrievers brain is fully developed and ready to accept early training if done in the form of games.
Training a Lab for hunting requires the dog to learn a number of very specialized commands and actions. It is imperative the hunting Labrador Retriever be started in his training at a young age.
You will find that a Labrador Retriever is very adept at picking up on these cues, but may not initially want to follow your lead due to its energetic curious nature.
You will need to direct and focus this high energy on your commands. By starting training early and making it fun the puppy will happily “learn to Learn”. It’s very easy to teach an old dog new tricks if he learned to learn at an early age. (Pro Tip: If you want to see next level pictures of Lab Puppy Then check this Facebook Page out)
Using Labrador Retriever Puppy Training to Protect Them
Because of their innate curiosity and courageous nature, a Labrador Retriever will try to explore as much as possible. Teach them early not to chase cars, to stop at the curb, and to make sure they don’t run away from you in public.
Never take a Labrador Retriever off its leash until you can be sure it will return upon being called and not run too far from you. The risks are higher with Labrador Retrievers than with many other small breeds. This is due to their very social and friendly nature
Proper Labrador Retriever puppy training may seem a little tougher than normal when you first get your new little friend, but eventually, you’ll find that a Lab is among the most loyal, attentive dogs you could possibly own.
They will stubbornly stay by your side, follow your instructions, and stay clean indoors. But, only if you lay down the law early and make sure they follow your instructions in the future.