Dog training is essential so they can live comfortably. You can teach your dog some commands and activities at home using simple methods.
Are Labradors easy to train?
Labradors are highly trainable dogs. This dog breed is known for their high motivation level, making them excellent to train. You can get the lab to be the friend you can bring along whenever you are ready to work out and exercise optimally.
We researched to find out how dog owners train and raise Labrador retrievers. We talked to Labrador breeders to find out how trainable they are. A few dog parents also shed some light on their experiences with labs which helped us conclude. Read on to learn about training labrador retrievers.
If you’re interested in more Labrador training tips, check out our article on whether male or female Labaros are easier to train.
Understanding the Labrador Breed
Choosing a dog breed depends on several factors, such as trainability. A well-trained dog will understand your commands and know how to behave, such as using a crate properly.
Labrador retrievers are known as sporting dogs for a good reason. They are highly active and are known as great hunters and retrievers. However, due to their gentle personalities, they make the best family dogs too.
Due to their initial breeding aim, these dogs now get the best of both worlds. They are excellent sporting dogs and great family dogs because of their good temperament. Their versatility adds to their charm and makes them a good fit for most dogs.
While Labradors are highly active, they are also prone to obesity when they don’t get the daily exercise they need. It would be best to control the food type and portion you feed them daily. Be careful about what you feed them and what you allow them to consume frequently.
Besides that, you also need to watch for the different conditions they are susceptible to.
For instance, most Labradors struggle with hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecan, and patellar luxation. Other dogs could battle with diabetes, entropion, and muscular dystrophy.
It is essential for pet parents not to ignore these conditions because they could get worse. Vet visits are equally necessary because labs struggle with other minor health conditions.
Have your pet’s eyes checked at least every two years to prevent cataracts and other eye conditions that labs are prone to.
How Easy Is It To Train a Labrador Retriever?
Most breeders can agree that training a dog is not always easy. The breed also matters since some species are stubborn and almost impossible to deal with.
But just how challenging is it to train a Labrador?
The good news for new pet parents is that Labradors are highly trainable. They are adaptable and very easy to and eager to please. As such, they will do anything their master wants to be on their good side.
You do not have to worry about getting the Labrador ready for training.
These dogs are highly motivated and prepared to learn. The fact that they are willing to be taught makes it easy and accommodating.
The love these dogs have for their owners makes the training phase smooth. Bring enough snacks to make the process fun for you, the trainers, and the dog. As much as the lab is always ready to please, they enjoy eating.
A few yummy snacks to reward them when they get commands correctly will hasten the training process. You will be surprised at how responsive the labs will know that their excellent work will be rewarded.
Besides their desire, willingness to please, and ability to work hard for the treats, labs are easy to train because of their nature.
These dogs are naturally intelligent and have sound temperaments. Labradors are not aggressive as most other dog breeds, making it easy for them to respond to every command.
General Tips that Help with Training Labradors
The good news is that the Labrador is already naturally endowed to make training easy. Their ability and desire to please their owners, coupled with their receptiveness, is excellent.
The only secret is to start the training early.
Puppies will get used to the training commands if you start early. Generally, there are things you should consider doing before avoiding any resistance.
Socialize Them as Puppies
The first thing you should start early is socializing the puppies. Make sure they have the essential vaccines to allow them to interact with other dogs safely. Introduce the puppies to other dogs by taking them to parks or planning for pet dates.
Besides introducing them to other animals, ensure they get acquainted with people. They must get familiar with the kids around the home. While labs are generally friendly, patient, and kind, they can hurt the children as they tease and play around.
Proper socialization is needed to make sure such accidents are prevented. This allows the dogs to learn how to interact with the kids and older adults without unintentionally harming them.
Have them Exercise Daily
It is essential to have the labs exercised daily. These dogs are highly energetic, so they are likely to have a lot of pent-up energy. The last thing you need is to have a lab bored and idle.
Such unused energy is what leads to a lot of behavioral mishaps. The excessive energy should be channeled and used up the right way. Fix this by planning for games and lots of activities during the training phase.
Basic Obedience Program Works
The fact that labs are naturally trainable makes them interesting for the trainer. These dogs have an innate nature that they love to learn. Get a local trainer or learn how to train the lab on some basic obedience commands.
From this, you can advance and get them to try more complex commands after some time. Start this training when they are puppies, and they will grow with the knowledge. Some basic commands include teaching them to walk without pulling the leash or something as simple as fetch, pick and drop training.
Positive Reinforcement is the Way to Go
Labradors are always eager to please. However, a little positive reinforcement will make them even more responsive.
Rewarding good behaviors make the dogs want to do better to get more treats.
The puppies will be eager to learn and master new tricks to please you and get the treats. Choose treats that they enjoy more to make this more attractive.
Focus on Behavioral Management
Labradors are a bit easy to deal with at all stages of life. In fact, many pet parents love them for remaining puppy-like even in adulthood. The friendliness and good nature never really go away.
However, when they get to adolescence, their energy can make them a bit naughty. While there is no harm in this, the dogs can be a nuisance, especially if you are not in the mood. Training is thus very crucial to curb such unwanted behaviors.
The goal is to train them to become manageable. Your lab should be able to identify when their playfulness can be accommodated and when their owners need peace of mind. A bit of behavioral training goes a long way in managing such stages.
Hire Training Experts
While you can dedicate some time to training your lab with the basics, it is a different call to advance the training.
Unless you are a dog training expert, it is best to hire a service provider to take it up. This is the best way to achieve the discipline level you may be seeking.
You should have a service provider dealing with Labrador training come on board if the dogs are to help people with mental or physical illnesses.
Labradors can make excellent service dogs with the proper training. However, not everyone has the skills or know-how to train service dogs, so you need to pay experts.
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Managing Labrador Behaviors – Proofing Works
An idle and bored Labrador can be a headache to deal with. Many Labradors are at their best when they have something to occupy themselves physically and mentally. The stimulation helps them control their behavior and focus on being pleasant.
Enroll your lab in a sporting activity for dogs if you want them to maintain good behavior. This is part of the training. But what are some of the things you can do to achieve good manners?
First, consider crate training. This is especially important for the puppies. It helps them stay put and not run all over the house unsupervised. It is the best thing to do when you are not around.
Toy training is also a great way to beat boredom. If you are not in a position to keep the dog engaged by playing with them, you should consider getting those toys.
Various toys will help stimulate the dog’s mind and distract them from unwanted behaviors.
Make sure to include several chew toys if the dogs are younger. This way, you get to protect the upholstery in your home since the dogs will not chew on everything they come across.
Insist on Basic Obedience Training
Continue to enforce the basic obedience training commands you started before. Dogs learn by repetitive teaching. Therefore, keep practicing these commands until they become second nature to your dogs.
Does Age Matter When Training your Labrador?
Most experts believe taking advantage of different growth stages to train your lab is a great trick. The good thing is to start early.
Contrary to what many believe, puppies have a big brain capacity and can soak up lots of information.
What Do You Need to Train your Labrador?
Training a dog is a meticulous process. This means you need the right tools to achieve meaningful results. Some of the items that will help with this process include:
- A soft collar
- A treat pouch
- A flexible but firm harness
- Soft bed or non-slip vet bed
- 2-meter training lead
- Enough Treats. Choose those with inviting scents, as they will be more inviting
- Two identical toys
- Playpen or crate
- A soft grooming brush
Besides getting the right tools for the training, you also have to prepare yourself mentally for the process. Training a dog/ puppy can be draining. Practice the following traits:
- Patience: It takes a lot of patients to make a puppy learn a basic obedience command. Note that great results will not be achieved in the first few days; hence the process can be frustrating. Be patient with the puppy always.
- Persistence and Consistence: Training dogs can take a toll on you, especially if you have high expectations. Dog training works on consistency and persistence, like all things that require habit formation.
- Create time for practice: Dogs may be intelligent to absorb lots of information but also unlearn everything if they don’t practice. As you get excited that your dog is grasping everything quickly, prepare for them to practice a lot more to retain the new knowledge. This can only be achieved through practice.
What does Labrador Training Entail?
When you decide your Labrador puppy needs training, you must learn more about the available training [programs.
This can vary from one trainer to the next. However, all trainers must cover some basics, including training the dogs on various elements.
Some of the areas that are likely to be covered include.
- Sitting up
- Lying down
- Learning and responding to their name
- Coming when they are called
- Walking as you lead them
- Playing without being aggressive
- Crate sleeping
- Staying on their own when you leave
- Toilet/ potty training your Labrador
Make sure to get these items to improve the success of th training. Professional trainers use these and more to help your dog develop the discipline they need to thrive.
Most trainers will follow a weekly training program that lasts eight weeks. The results of the previous week’s training will determine how to proceed. Most of the training is progressive, from simple basics to complex commands.
Note that at every stage of the training, socialization is a priority. Your dog needs to learn to be around people and other pets.
Milestone Expectations from Training
There are certain things you should expect from your dog with regular training.
These are often dependent on their age.
- 3- 6 months: Your labs should learn how to swim, take stairs and perfect their obedience command responses, take longer leash walks, and handle teething properly.
- Seven and more months: Should be ready for sexual responses
- Twelve months: The dogs should be able to take a food transition and start jogging without straining.
- Labradors are extremely easy to train,
- They have a teachable spirit and eagerness to please their owners.
- Make sure to have a routine and stay persistent when training Labrador puppies
- Start your training early to enable your puppies get accustomed to the commands.