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Lab Puppy Training: Starting On The Right Foot

Labradors have been named the best breed for a number of years. They are lovable and easy to train.

Yes, labs are easy to train but it’s hard to get their attention once it shifts to another object – like a bone or a tennis ball. That’s why it’s important to teach them discipline at a young age.

Read below for some tips on how you can start training your lab. These will definitely help you and your pup get used to each other, and your lab to his/her surroundings.

Puppy Socialization

This means you should introduce him to as many new people and places as possible during his early months of life. Keep each new meeting and experience positive and upbeat. Doing this will reinforce your Lab’s natural tendency to be friendly and accepting of everyone.

Exercise Every Day

Labrador Retrievers are high energy dogs which is what makes them such great pets for active families. But if Labs aren’t given sufficient exercise, they can quickly become bored. This often leads to destructive behavior and other common behavior problems, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Plan on giving your Lab an hour or more of exercise each day. Most Labs love long walks or a game of fetch. These are the perfect way to burn off your Lab’s energy.

Start a Basic Obedience Program

Classes are a great way to train your Lab while socializing at the same time.

Since Labs get to be fairly large and have a tendency to pull on leash, make walking on a loose leash your first priority. You should also teach your Lab to “come,” “drop it,” and “fetch,” so you can take advantage of his natural tendency for retrieving.

Use Positive Reinforcement Training

Their eagerness to learn, playfulness, affectionate natures and their love of treats make Labrador Retrievers fantastic candidates for positive reinforcement dog training. Reward their good behaviors with a small treat, a game, or some cuddle time with you. You’ll find your Lab is soon offering you the behaviors you like with little prompting from you.

If you decide to use treats in your training, remember that Labs have a tendency to become overweight. Use the smallest treats possible to reward behavior, and be sure to reduce the amount of food you’re giving at meal times or increase exercise to compensate for the treats.

Plan on a Long Adolescence

One of the most endearing qualities of Labrador Retrievers is that they remain very puppy-like long after they’ve reached adulthood. The downside is that their energy level and tendency to get into mischief continues well into adulthood as well. Therefore, it pays to have behavior management tools handy.

Consider Advanced Training

Many Labrador Retrievers are happiest and the most well-behaved when they have a job to do. Consider getting involved with a dog sport or training you Lab as a pet therapy dog. Keeping your Lab busy and active is sure to keep one of those famous Lab smiles on his face.

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