How to Train Your Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are incredibly intelligent, highly motivated and patient dogs. They are known for being one of the easiest breeds to train because of their eagerness to learn and please. It’s best to train them from a young age, from around about 7 – 8 weeks old. If you’re getting a rescue don’t worry, it’s never too late to train a dog just a little more difficult. The earlier you train them will prevent behaviour problems later in their life. Let’s take a look at how…
1. Socialise them
It’s important to ensure that your dog is comfortable around other humans that are not just you and your family/friends. Lucky for you, Labrador Retrievers are extremely friendly and naturally people pleasers. You should make sure your puppy socialises with as many new people as possible from a young age. Take your dog on frequent walks so they can encounter many different people each day. Because let’s face it, a lot of people will stop to stroke your puppy! This introduces them to many different strangers and human smells. This will help ensure that your dog is friendly to everyone they meet throughout their life.
2. Exercise everyday
Labrador Retrievers have A LOT of energy! That’s why they make great pets for families with young children to play and chase them around all day. In general, it’s recommended that adult Labrador Retrievers have 80 – 90 minutes of exercise each day. Many owners break this into 2 – 3 walks per day. It’s important to go somewhere with open space so they can run around and let off steam. If they do not receive sufficient exercise, they will quickly become bored. This often leads to misbehaving and developing behavioural problems. Which often includes barking too much, digging and destroying anything left unattended in the house – not ideal! Make sure you let them burn off their energy each day to avoid this.
3. Positive Reinforcement
We all like to hear when we’ve done something good sometimes, right? not only is it nice to have the recognition but it also gives us enthusiasm and motivation to do these things again. Labrador Retrievers are the same as us. They have a great eagerness to learn and please their owners. It’s important to reward their good behaviours with something they enjoy – a treat (go easy on them though) a pat on the back, a game etc. They will soon learn what behaviours are good and bad with your prompting.
4. Create an obedience programme
It’s important to create a basic obedience programme when you first get your Labrador Retriever. There are many different books you can buy to help, check out our Best Books on Labrador Retrievers page for some recommendations. You need to take advantage of the fact that Labrador Retrievers love to learn! Once they learn and master something, move onto something harder. It might also be a good idea to go to a local obedience class – this will not only give them basic training but also allow them to socialise with other dogs. And make some furry friends!