Training Labradors is a joyous task – but it is a task. Labrador puppies, sparkling eyes so full of life, are bundles of inquisitive energy. Their mischievous dashes across a room or yard often end in a tumble, and then a silly antic as they shake off the tumble.
Training Labradors is made more difficult by their cuddly nature. They are eager to please, but they are also strong-willed.
Training Labradors Requires Commitment
Before you begin training Labradors, make up your mind that you will be committed to it, come what may. Imagine what it will be like to live with an extremely well-mannered companion. Imagine how nice it will be to take him into the field and have him obey you. Picture a gentle, well-behaved Lab that is comfortable with guests, and polite to them. After you have imagined, set your will to do a thorough job of training Labradors in your home.
Training Labradors Requires Patience
Labrador puppies are aggressive, active little beings. You will need a large supply of patience to get the puppy to work with you. Remember, when it does not cooperate, that it has nothing to do with your relationship. He is not trying to snub his nose at you. He is just being a Labrador puppy.
Make a point of giving your puppy short lessons, repeated often. Five minutes is long enough for one lesson. Repeat the same lesson 4 or 5 times during the day to help him remember. Short lessons will also keep your puppy from becoming bored.
Training Labradors Requires Treats
As with any puppy, training Labradors requires a large bag of soft, chewy treats that appeal to your puppy. Be prepared to give a treat after every success, no matter how small.
Training Labradors Requires Praise
“Praise-with-treat” is the key to training Labradors. After every small success, praise lavishly while giving your puppy the treat. Use a high, excited voice when praising your puppy.
Training Labradors Early
The first 6 months are the most important when training Labradors. The puppy that learns your expectations at an early age will be ready to build on that learning. The first command should be “Sit!”
Sit! Can Be Taught with These Steps.
- Take your puppy to a quiet place where there are few distractions.
- Get the puppy’s attention by sitting down near it.
- When the puppy approaches you, hold a small treat above its nose.
- Say “Sit!” Your voice should go down, not up, as you say this. Do not shout or sound angry, but be firm.
- As you say the command, move your hand so the treat is right over your puppy’s head, forcing him to sit to reach it.
- The moment his bottom hits the floor, praise-with-treat.
- Let the puppy stand up, and repeat the lesson.
Tip: End every lesson on a success.