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Training might be the last thing on your mind when you get your new Lab puppy home. But, that little bundle of joy is at a crucial developmental and learning stage. That’s why it’s important to start training your new puppy as soon as they come home. Fortunately, labrador puppy training can be easy and fun. Check out a few of the tips and ideas below to get started. 

Why Start Early With Dog Training

All puppies stand to benefit from the special attention of training. Labs are no exception. Their minds are like sponges in the first year of life. From the age of eight to 12 weeks they’ll absorb a tremendous amount of information.1

This time is crucial for your Lab’s doggy development. Things they learn now will lay the foundation for how they behave for much of their life. So, the more you teach at this time, the better.2

When To Start Training A Puppy?

As noted above, puppies are ready to start training at about eight weeks old. This aligns nicely with the time when most puppies move into their new homes. If you are bringing a new dog home, then you can start establishing good manners as soon as their paws hit the ground.3

Why It’s Important To Train Your Labrador Puppy

Labs are some of the most receptive dogs to training, so they don’t present many learning challenges. However, they are very active and intelligent dogs that require lots of exercise and stimulation. Be generous with your time and training, and your Lab will repay you with lots of impressive manners.4

lab puppy training | Ultimate Pet NutritionA Good Outlet For Extra Energy

Labs are active dogs who love to play and learn. Training is an excellent outlet for extra energy. Mental stimulation from training may help discourage less desirable behaviors — like chewing or digging.5

Labs And Their Endless Training Possibilities

Labs can learn many skills and succeed at a wide variety of training tasks. This is probably why they can grow up to be so many things, like: 

  • Show dogs
  • Service dogs
  • Guide dogs
  • Hunting dogs
  • Search and rescue dogs
  • Therapy dogs6

Tips On Training A Labrador Puppy

Even though Labs are one of the easiest dogs to train, it still helps to have a plan in place. The more you know about training, the more skills you can impart on your furry friend. Check out a few of the ideas below to get started.

Choose A Lab Puppy Training Method – Positive Reinforcement

Quite simply, dogs repeat behaviors that are rewarding. The positive reinforcement training technique takes advantage of that impulse in dogs. It rewards good behaviors you want to see repeated with a dog’s favorite treats.7

This creates a positive connection that becomes easier to replicate with continued rewards. Treats equal repeat. Over time, your dog will continue those good behaviors and avoid the ones that bring no rewards.8

Clicker Training

A clicker is a great supplemental management tool for positive reinforcement training. Everytime you reward your dog with a treat, you can click with this nifty device. The dog will learn to associate the noise with a job well-done. You can then use the clicker to prompt commands like “sit” or “stay.”9

Pick Up Some Labrador Puppy Training Essentials 

Once you have a dog training method, you can equip yourself with the right gear. Depending on your obedience training style, you may want to have the following items:

  • Clicker
  • Portable mat
  • Tasty treats
  • Leash and collar10

Prepare Your New Puppy Home

If you plan to bring a young puppy home, then you’ll want to get some things ready in advance. That means putting things away to prevent chewing. Lab puppies love to gnaw on things to help with their teething. Have lots of chew toys available, and hide anything you don’t want chewed. Also, put away any food or plants that might make your puppy sick.11

Keep Training Sessions Brief

labrador on leash | Ultimate Pet NutritionPuppies aren’t famed for their ability to focus. It’s a good idea to limit training to short periods to suit their short attention spans. Your puppy can learn a lot in a little bit of time, so there’s no need to overdue it. Your puppy will thank you, and you can avoid frustration on both sides.12

Play A Training Game

Doggy training doesn’t need to look like a bootcamp. Your puppy can pick up some useful training by playing a few games. For example, you can turn a lesson on “sit” and “stay” into a game of hide and seek. When you get your dog to sit patiently, you can go and hide. Then, call them to “come.” Offer lots of rewards when they find you and for practicing those important skills.13

Professional Trainer And Training Classes

A professional trainer can help your puppy or dog learn more advanced tricks or skills. This can be a good option if you want your dog to learn how to be a therapy dog or how to play dog sports.14

Practice Patience And Stay Positive

It’s easy to become frustrated during the training process. Maybe your puppy doesn’t match  preconceived ideas of how a dog should act? Or, they keep forgetting a trick. Don’t worry. No two dogs are the same, and everyone learns differently. 

The best thing you can do is stay positive. Dogs can sense when their owners are happy. So, try to keep a smile on. It can improve their mood and make for a productive learning environment.15

How To Potty Train A Labrador Retriever Puppy

House training a new puppy can be one of the most challenging parts of dog ownership. But, with some consistency and patience, you can teach your dog this crucial skill.

Routine will be your greatest ally as you try to housebreak your Lab. Stick to a consistent schedule to give your dog the best advantage possible. This includes:

  • Food and water at scheduled times
  • Walks outside on the leash every two hours
  • Revisiting favorite potty spots outside
  • Lots and lots of treats when they do their business outside16

A Well-Trained Lab Is A Beautiful Thing

chocolate lab graduate | Ultimate Pet NutritionTake advantage of your Lab puppy’s super ability to learn as soon as they get home. Those first few months are perfect for basic obedience training. This is when puppies are best able to learn lots of new skills. Reward any good behavior, including when your puppy follows basic commands like “sit,” with lots of yummy treats. By building these skills early, you can set your dog up for a lifetime of good manners. Then you can focus on the real fun stuff — like playing and cuddling. 

Learn More:

How To Start Leash Training A Puppy

How To Stop A Dog From Jumping On You And Others: Puppy Training

Puppy Training: How To Stop A Puppy From Nipping


Sources
1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/your-puppy-weeks-0-12
2. https://www.veterinarianedu.org/2017/03/dog-obedience-training-and-the-importance-of-puppy-training/
3. https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/when-start-training-puppy
4. http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/labrador-retriever#overview
5. http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/labrador-retriever#personality
6. http:// www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/the-10-most-trainable-dog-breeds
7. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/training-rewards/
8. https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/evr_dg_how-to-train-your-dog
9. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/clicker-training-your-dog-mark-and-reward/
10. http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/dog-training-101-essential-tools-youll-need
11. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/train-labrador-retriever-puppy-milestone-timeline/
12. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/puppy-behavior-and-training-training-basics
13. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/fun-cognitive-training-games-for-dogs/
14. http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/dog-training-101-choosing-the-right-class?page=2
15. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/12-useful-dog-training-tips/
16. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/how-housetrain-your-dog-or-puppy