Labradors, like all breeds of dogs, have their own specific requirements when it comes to keeping them trained. Even if you have had other dogs in the past, Lab puppy training can be vastly different, especially if your Lab is being difficult.
But what is involved, and what parts of the puppy training are the most important? If you are not sure what your Lab needs or how you could get proper training for them, then hopefully, this breakdown can help.
One of the most important parts of Lab training is teaching them how to behave. A Labrador can only act and react based on what you teach it, which means getting started with training them to behave how you want them to behave.
For example, you can’t complain about a Lab doing “Lab things” when you have not tried to prevent it. Use positive reinforcement to help coax your Lab into doing the right things, not negative reinforcement to punish them for mistakes – they will not make the connection.
It is also not a good idea to repeat commands until they follow them. If a Labrador learns that you will repeat commands, then they might start only listening after you repeat a command a few times.
A lot of Lab puppy training is focused on making sure that your Labrador actually trusts you, something that matters a lot when dealing with a Lab that might not have had the best upbringing. Even if a Lab puppy is happy to sit near you, they might not trust you.
Do not try to trick your Labs to get them trained or to make them listen to you. If you offer them a treat and then do not give them the treat, they might start to understand that you are lying – which can lead to them not listening when you need to give them medicine or something else important.
A lot of future training relies on your puppy understanding that it can trust you and that you are trying to help it learn new things. If you can’t build up long-term trust, then the training will be dramatically less effective since they will not inherently trust whatever you are doing.
It is important for Lab puppy training to give your Labrador some free time. They can use this to explore, play, wander around, get some rest, or do whatever else they need at that point. This is vital for making sure that they stay healthy and develop well, especially in the long term.
This is also important for making sure that your Lab can socialize with other dogs, enjoy their training, and get some downtime that might help them rest. Even in shorter bursts, training can be exhausting since they might be in an unfamiliar place with none of their toys.
A break between each training activity helps a lot, too. If you are training your Lab to understand certain isolated things, like how to behave around certain things, then it is important to separate each training session – otherwise, they might associate things in the wrong way or mix things up.
A Lab puppy will often need to be potty trained if you have not acquired them from a previous owner that has already trained them. It is important to make sure that they know where they can go and which symbols they will give if they need to go.
In this instance, you are learning just as much as your Lab is. You need to understand one another and be aware of how your Lab may react to needing to potty, especially if you are not familiar with dogs as a whole and might not realize some of the common signs that they show.
It is important to get the potty training handled as soon as possible. This helps you avoid any accidents in the near future and should make it easier to teach them more advanced behaviors later on, as well as make it easier to take them over to other people’s homes without issue.
Your Lab puppy needs to be having fun for the training to go well. While you can force a Lab to learn certain behaviors, that does not make it easier for either of you and can put a lot of stress on your dog before they are really even settled in.
Making sure that they are enjoying themselves is important to keep them comfortable, which reduces the chance of them getting anxious or developing nervousness issues in the future. The way that you train your dog can stick with them for their entire lifetime, so do not rush things.
Sometimes the easiest way to train your Lab is to help them develop through play, even if that means simple things like getting them to jump up or figure out how certain toys should be handled. If you can get them engaged, then you can get them trained.
There will always be things that you struggle with in Lab puppy training, especially if you have not been following a plan that is beneficial to your Lab’s learning. A lot of Labrador owners do not even think about the training at first, and that can delay some important behavioral changes.
If you are stuck for where to start or do not know how to train your Lab puppy at all, then you can always turn to professional training tips and assistance. These make it much easier to ensure that your Lab is properly trained without needing to dedicate your own time and effort towards all of it.
It is generally a bad idea to send your Lab puppy away for training since the training itself also concerns you. Proper Lab puppy training is about building a connection and making sure that your Lab actually listens to your commands, especially when it concerns their own safety.
If you want to know more about certain training techniques that might help, or ways that you can get assistance with your training, you can find out more here. The more you know about how you want to train your puppy, the easier it will become to get a proper plan in your head.