In parts 1 and 2 of this article, we listed 20 tips for training a Labrador puppy. We noted that all tips for training a Labrador puppy apply to all Labrador puppies.
The following is our third and last installment of Labrador puppy training tips.
- Training a Labrador puppy not to chew the wrong items is vital. The owner must realize first that chewing is part of being a dog. Begin “chew training” by making sure your Labrador puppy has several chew toys. Place the chew toys in a basket or box that holds nothing else but chew toys. Name it for your puppy. Touch the basket or box repeatedly, saying the puppy’s name and “toy box” or “toy basket”. For example, “Toto’s toy box.”
- When training a Labrador puppy not to chew the wrong things, praise it and pet it when it chews on a chew toy. If it chews something else, do not hit the puppy. Say “No!” in a quick, sharp manner and remove the item. The sharp “bark” in your voice is punishment enough, since your Labrador puppy will want to please you.
- Your Labrador puppy may at first need a taste deterrent on items it should not chew. “Bitter apple” is available at most pet stores.
- Tips for training a Labrador puppy would be incomplete if we said nothing about socializing the puppy. From the time you get the puppy, provide frequent opportunities for it to meet other people and other animals. Encourage others to pet it. If you pass the puppy to another person to hold, be careful to make sure they have a firm hold on it before you let go. Socialization should help your Labrador puppy feel comfortable, safe, and happy with others.
- Training a Labrador puppy to fetch in water can begin very early. Put the puppy on a long leash and let it walk into shallow water. Do not throw it into deep water, as it may become frightened. Let the puppy wade around in shallow water – on leash. Your Labrador puppy will go into deeper water as soon as it feels ready to do so. Keep it on leash so that you can help if it becomes frightened. Once the puppy has learned to go a few yards from shore, throw a favorite, small toy into the water – with your Labrador puppy on leash. When the puppy retrieves the toy, guide him to your feet with the leash, and praise him for a job well done. Repeat this game frequently, always on leash until your puppy knows exactly how the game works.
- If you are having difficulty training a Labrador puppy to come on command, use the leach in a similar manner to the above. Put a long leash on your puppy, and let her wander to the end of it. Then call in a happy voice, “Come.” As you call, gently pull the leash toward you until the puppy is at your feet. Praise her and give her a treat. Then repeat the lesson.
- Use leash training when out walking. Put the leash on your Labrador puppy and take him or her for a leisurely walk. Go to a place where you know the puppy will be tempted to do something you don’t want it to do. When the pup starts the unwanted action, give one gentle tug on the leash and command, “Come.” If the puppy does not come, tug again, and repeat the command Be gentle. You don’t want to choke the puppy. Remember, it wants to please you. When it does come, lavish praise on your puppy.
Find additional tips for training a Labrador puppy in other articles on this website.