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10 Items Checklist for Labrador Puppy Training

Labrador puppy training
13 min read

First off, Congratulations

Labrador retrievers rank number 1 on most dog popularity lists in the US and the UK. They are smart, social dogs who are known for their amiable temperaments and their patience.

Their built-in instincts make them natural protectors and companions.
  Also, They are just so damn cute,
So there is no wonder you got yourself one!

Labrador Retriever pups are working dogs. This means they live to please you for a treat. The more you engage them with different puppy training behaviors the happier they will be. That’s why Labrador Puppy Training won’t be an easy ride

In this article, we hope to help you out with that.

Here is a Checklist of everything you need to do to ensure the success of your Labrador puppy training

  • Research the breed
  • Start training immediately
  • Give him a good name
  • Socialization
  • Focus-Based training
  • Commands teaching
  • Housebreaking
  • Exercise schedule
  • Be the alpha dog
  • Quality time designation

Now for the nitty gritty details of this checklist, Shall we?

10 Things to Check for a Successful Labrador Puppy Training

Do Your Research

Read a book, ask a friend, surf the internet (dah!!), do whatever you can to Be aware of this breed’s distinct personality traits. Just to have a complete picture of what you are getting your self into

It’s most important to make yourself aware of the type of dog that you are going to handle, as well as the right time to start training your puppy.

We did the work for you, Here is everything you gonna need to know about your Labrador puppy

A Labrador at A Glance

Labrador retriever. Labrador Puppy Training

Bred For:
Water retrieving

Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day.
Energy Level: Average
Longevity Range: 10-12 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low. 
Tendency to Snore: Low.
Tendency to Bark: Low.
Tendency to Dig: Low. 
Social/Attention Needs: Medium.

Physicality

Height at the Withers: Males 56 – 61 cm, Females 56 – 61 cm

Average Weight: Males 29 – 36 kg, Females 25 – 32 kg

Labradors are a strongly built, medium to large size dogs that are broad and deep through the chest and ribs. They possess strong and compact webbed feet which are perfect for the hours Labrador Retrievers generally enjoy spending in water and marshlands. Their coats are thick, dense and extremely water-resistant perfect for the environments they were bred to work in and they boast otter-like tails.

The Labrador’s Coat

The Labrador Retriever’s coat is short and, unlike a Golden Retriever, has no feathering at all, while the tail, a defining characteristic of the breed, is powerful and rudder-like being thick at the base before tapering away at the tip. Labradors are primarily a solid yellow, black or liver/chocolate in color. However, the yellow variety ranges from a light cream to a red ‘fox’ color, sometimes displaying a white spot in the chest area.

Personality

Needless to say, Labrador retrievers are excellent family dogs, as long as you keep in mind their need for exercise and training. These are dogs bred to work and work hard and they love to have jobs to do, particularly retrieving.

Labs are usually good with other dogs, other pets, and children as long as training has toned down their natural exuberance. They are tough dogs who need some obedience training at an early age or they can be seen dragging their owners down the street at will.

Labrador puppy. Labrador Puppy Training

Owing to their energetic nature, Labradors who are left alone or not well exercised can become destructive — chewing, digging and barking to excess.

The field line of the labradors is especially high-energy dogs, while some of the show line dogs become perfect couch potatoes at an early age. Chewing can be a problem because the strong retrieve urge gives them an oral fixation. Sturdy chew toys exercise and training all help with this.

What It Is Like to Live with A Labrador

Obviously, Labradors have a number of endearing traits or they would not be so popular. They are intelligent and fairly easy to train, partly from their desire to work with people.

Labs are “easy keepers” and can become overweight if they are not exercised and food portions adjusted as needed. They are exceptionally excellent family dogs because they do want to be with people and many do not do well as kennel dogs.

Dogs of this particular breed do tend to be protective of their families and homes but are usually happy to greet company, too. With the strong retrieving instinct, they can develop into destructive chewers if not given appropriate toys and guidance.

Labrador sitting on a rock. Labrador Puppy Training

Labs may tend to “mouth” people and the solution is often simply to give them a toy to carry around, so their mouths are already full! These are very strong dogs and early training is necessary to have a dog that walks nicely on lead.

The wonderful double coat of a Labrador is kind of a mixed blessing. On one hand, it keeps the Labrador warm while retrieving in icy water, On the other hand, it gives this breed top billing as shedders.

Normally, their coats do fine with quick weekly grooming, but at shedding time daily grooming is needed. The amount of exercise they need varies with the different lines: field line dogs can run all day, whereas show line dogs only need moderate exercise.

NOW, after you got everything you need to know about your labrador puppy let’s get down and dirty with the training process

Start As Soon As Possible

Labradors are one of the most intelligent and energetic breeds out there.

They have the ability to catch on training quickly through repetition, so it’s advisable you begin issuing clear commands and cues early on as soon as you bring your puppy home.

Labrador puppy. Labrador Puppy Training

Make sure to keep training sessions short but fun for puppies at this young age (8 to 12 weeks old).

For example, whenever you bring your new puppy home, take him to the toilet spot designated for him, shower him with praising when he uses it.

In your puppy’s mind, This will connect that behavior with praise from the start and make him more likely to repeat it.

Start your Labrador Puppy Training with simple commands such as “Sit”.

It won’t be hard with a young puppy, just whenever you spot him about to sit anyway, point and say “Sit” loudly and when his hind leg hits the ground, making a bit of a fuss about it, so he understands what the relation between the word sit and that action.

He’ll be perplexed at first, but soon he will get it.

A Good Name for Effective Training

It goes without saying that giving your puppy a proper name ensures that your puppy knows when you are speaking to him and trying to get his attention.

This will come in handy later when following their name with commands during training.

smiling Labrador. Labrador Puppy Training

Pick a name for your new puppy that you love, but also suitable for the purposes of training.

It is preferable to give him a short name ending with a strong consonant. So whenever you call him, your puppy can always hear it clearly.

Names with a strong ending such as (Jack, Ginger) are easy on your puppy’s ears, especially when you place a strong emphasize at the end.

Whatever the name is, try to associate it with pleasant, fun things, rather than negative. The idea here is that to make him think of his name the same way he thinks of other great stuff in his life, like “walk,” “cookie,” or “dinner!”

Socialization Is Vital

Labrador puppies are lovely and friendly, they need interaction during the entire training process.

In general, a labrador puppy loves to fool around, make foolish stuff, be with other human beings, and need some form of recreation.

3 labs. Labrador Puppy Training
credit: natural dog company

If you were able to integrate this into the training environment, your puppy will be more into the training and he will grow up more responsible.

Labradors do not like to feel lonely. They need to socialize with others just like humans.

If not properly exposed to other humans or other puppies on a regular basis, your puppy may show aggression problems such as biting, chasing and barking loudly. This might arise unexpectedly and would be difficult to correct.

Focus on Reward-Based Training.

This method works by rewarding good behavior while ignoring the bad.

This employs the idea of Reward-based training, meaning you use whatever motivates a Labrador puppy to train him: Rewards of Food and Attention/Affection.

It is known that Labradors like food and attention, so this is the best way to train them

The idea here is that your Labrador puppy will work so hard to repeat the behavior which has earned him a treat or a fuss before.

a lab with his owner. Labrador Puppy Training

Also, whatever behavior was ignored by you, will be in your dog’s mind, Non-beneficial at all, and a waste of energy, and therefore is not worth repeating.

Punishment?? NO.

Punishment is not a part of this training technique.

Never beat your dog.

Beating or hitting dogs when they behave undesirably is not a useful training measure.

We know Labrador puppy training can be tiring sometimes, Be patient, punishment is not an answer!

Instead of getting him to learn, punishment will lead your pup to instead become fearful of you, which ultimately defeats the training process since that is not the desired result.

In the end, rewarding good behavior is more useful and constructive for training purposes than punishing bad behavior.

Start with Basic Commands.

Unlike most people think, teaching your labrador puppy basic commands such as “Sit” and “Stay” is super easy, You don’t want a professional trainer to do it for you and it goes like this:

Give your puppy a command, Point to where you want the command is done, Mimic it and then Reward him immediately after the action is carried out.

It’s that simple.

woman treating her Labrador. Labrador Puppy Training

This creates a correlation, a link in the dog’s mind between the command word, action, and reward.

Let’s start with a basic command, such as “Sit”, and work on that until your dog has it mastered (I have mentioned it before but this another way of doing that).

  1. Grab a treat, show it to your puppy, and let the puppy sniff the treat in your hand so he knows it’s there.
  2. Hold the treat just above the pup’s eye level, over the head, so he has to look up to keep it in view.
  3. Once his eyes are locked on the treat, draw an arc in the air over his head so that when he looks up to follow, his bottom naturally sinks down.
  4. When you realize that he starts sitting, say loudly the command “Sit” and give him the treat.
  5. Repeat this procedure several times until in your puppy’s mind he connects the command “sit” with the action of sitting and being a good boy so he can be treated
  6. After several attempts, repeat the previous steps but without the treat

Use the same method with other commands or tricks, such as “Lie down” and “Paw” (where he extends his paw to you). Reward-based training is the best method to get your dog to understand and follow all kinds of commands and cues.

Housebreaking The Puppy

Whether it is Labrador Puppy Training or any dog training for that matter, the following is essential for your comfort in your own home!!!

Potty training.

When your puppy is old enough (about eight weeks or so), you can start teaching him where to go potty.

First, decide on a designated command for this action like “Potty here” or “Potty outside”.

Usually, after eating or in the mornings, your puppy will need to go potty.

When you suspect that, take him to an appropriate “potty spot” outside and say your chosen command with his name.

When he does go potty, praise him and maybe even give him a doggy treat.

If he starts to go potty inappropriately, pick him up quickly and say “No, Potty outside!” Then immediately take him to the correct potty zone outside.

Exercise, Keep Your Labrador Puppy Active

Labradors are high-energy dogs, So you must have the energy to exercise them daily! Anything less is unfair to them and can set them up for training failures as well.

If you don’t have a large fenced-in yard for them to run in, take them to a dog park or on a nice, long walk around the neighborhood at least once per day to alleviate pent-up energy.

a Labrador swimming. Labrador Puppy Training

You can teach him to perform certain canine exercises such as playing fetch, walking swimming or running on a leash, or other outdoor activities as part of their Labrador Puppy Training program

This will help to keep him engaged and most importantly for you to manage his indoor energy level

Believe me, you need that, you don’t wanna go back home to see him destroying your furniture or cloths

Train Yourself to Train Him

This Labrador puppy training program is not exclusive to your puppy, you should train yourself to train your pup.

For example, Once you know your puppy is likely to need to go potty at certain times (first thing in the morning, shortly after eating, etc.), train yourself to automatically take them outside during these times.

a Labrador with his owner. Labrador Puppy Training

This will help minimize the chances of “accidents” and set him up for success.

If you are busy and going to be gone for a few hours, try to limit feeding to the hours when you will be home to let them outside to go potty

Be The Alpha Dog

It’s essential for you during the Labrador puppy training to assume The role of a leader.

Your Labrador puppy should always treat you as his master and have no control over you.

You are the Alpha dog, Remember that, especially during leash training. As his leader, you should be strict and dominant especially when setting rules.

You must have the power over him and not allow him to overtake you.

Stick to this strict regimen until your dog fully learns and understands what behavior is acceptable and required and what is not.

Believe me, this will pay off later.

Quality Time

Labrador Puppy Training sessions can be stressful, That’s why both you and your puppy need some time out.

woman with her lab hiking. Labrador Puppy Training

Aside from the training sessions, It’s essential for new owners to spend extra time with their Labrador puppies whenever they can.

Make sure that you set aside time every day to be with your puppy to reassure him that he is your companion and an important part of the family.

By doing that, you will enhance your puppy’s trust and loyalty to you and assist with training.

That’s it.

That was our Checklist on Labrador Puppy Training, I hope you have enjoyed it

If you liked this post, share it with a friend, she might be wondering about this too.

Good luck with your Labrador Puppy Training

Remember, Love is the most important part of this equation, let your puppy feel your love

Love is the answer to all Problems. Love yourself and love all the living things around you

What did you think about this article?

Whatever you think, comment below and let me know!

If you liked what you read here and want to read more check out my other articles like 8 Fun Dog Training Games to Play with Your Pup or 10 Tips to Calm a Dog During Fireworks

If you have any questions or further tips regarding Labrador Puppy Training that I might have missed, Feel free to tell us in the comment section, We are all here to learn for the sake of our beloved furry friends

Have a nice day and Read you next time.

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