All too often the Lab Brats receive such compliments as: “They are so well behaved.” “What trainer did you use?” “They are just so sociable and calm.” Well, yes, yes and yes again. They may be called the Lab Brats but that is due to their goofy nature rather than any social flaw. They are calm, stable, gentle, friendly, submissive, well-behaved and extremely respectful.
So, what caused them to become this way?
Our breeder enlightened us to the important of puppy socialization. That is to say that from a very early age (shortly after birth through today), our pups have been introduced to a variety of different people, places and things that may make other pups run with their tails between their legs if not introduced properly.
The AKC had recently released a “must read” article entitled “The Importance of Puppy Socialization” by Arliss Paddock, in which the author walks the readers through an brief introduction of newborn social behaviors, windows of opportunity, strategies, “100 people by 12 weeks”, and a standard of care.
I found myself nodding along with the article and wishing that more Labrador Retriever dog owners would take the time to read it – especially during the early stages of their pup’s life. The article itself mirrors the process by which Cricket Hollow Farm Labradors (breeder of the Lab Brats) own breeder follows on each and every puppy. This particular breeder has outlined the following information on their puppy page:
“We are careful about where our precious little ones are going. We do our utmost to ensure the babies will be all they can be, we start them off right by using the BioSensor method of neurological stimulation. We also socialize our puppies extensively to ensure they will be happy, healthy additions to their new families. We take special care in deciding which puppy goes where by use of extensive puppy aptitude testing.”
So before the Lab Brats even came home, at 8 weeks old each, they had extensive socialization. Once they became part of our pack, we continued that socialization slowly but progressively.
That, coupled with daily training, bonding, and exercise, has produced highly social, well-behaved, thoughtful, intelligent and awesome family canine companions that continue to make us proud and add more joy to our lives every day.