Prior to looking at the different things you need to do during Labrador retriever training, you should know one important thing: the best way to train any dog is through the use of positive reinforcement. This should be combined with unrestricted treats and praise to boost your dog’s self esteem. The first step towards a happy training period is bonding with your dog when still a puppy. The bonding should start immediately you bring your puppy home through playing. This bond will better during training and will be a plus during the sessions.
The training should be similar to how we handle our kids, they learn better through game and different activities. The best time to start Labrador retriever training is when they are 8 weeks old and above. The only training lesson that should be administered before this age is toilet manners. When you bring your Labrador puppy home, ensure that you take them to a convenient spot where they can be doing their toilet business all the time. Stay there with them until they do something. The first time they do it there will leave a smell that they will sniff around for to find this spot.
The next step on the Labrador retriever training is house training. Being dogs, Labradors will always see the family as a pack and will identify you and other members as the pack leaders that is if you portray those qualities. You need to set boundaries according to what you expect of your dog. If you do not want an adult Labrador retriever sleeping or jumping on the bed or couch, you must instill expected behaviors while your dog is still a puppy. The best way to approach this is introducing a crate. Let your dog find the crate by themselves as forcing them will only spark a rebellion.
As the name suggests, this is a dog bred for retrieving and thus you should ensure you tap their natural abilities. Labrador retriever training is incomplete without retrieving training. This involves simple things such as fetching or hiding things and letting your dog find them. Teaching your dog how to fetch is the simplest thing to do. They are natural in fetching and all you have to do is throw their favorite toy a distance a way and tell them to “fetch”. They will run bite it and come back to you, take the toy from them and throw it again. With time, they will know that when you throw the toy or anything and tell them to fetch, they are expected to bring that item to you.
It is important that you follow useful tips for Labrador retriever training to ensure that your dog grows to a responsible obedient adult. If you have the money, you can join a local formal dog training class to make sure you are handling your dog properly. Though this is great, always practice what you learn in class and have some time to play and bond with your dog.