Do you know that Labradors are one of the easiest breeds to train? Hence Labradors are used for various purposes. They serve as guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs for people with autism, and also help the investigative agencies as sniffer dogs. To say they can perform various kinds of activities only if they are properly trained.
Every Labrador needs to be trained not only for the above-said purposes but also to make them excellent family dogs. A trained Labrador is usually happy and mentally healthy because it is well adapted to your family and does not get any trouble from you. But on the opposite side, an untrained Labrador has to be kept tied for long periods (because is destructive), has to be kept away from people (because of its aggressive behaviour) and consequently unhappy.
Hence every labrador owner has to train his/her lab by investing quality time. I have compiled some important tips every dog owner has to know for overall well being of your dog.
Labrador training tips- What are they?
1. Start training at a young age
What does a young age mean? It is generally advisable to bring labrador puppies home after completion of 8 weeks of age. It is healthy to leave the puppy along with the mother at least till 2 months of age. So when the puppy comes home it is usually around 8 weeks of age. And at 8 weeks age, you can initiate the basic training.
It is always easy to train a young lab rather than training an adult lab. Hence basic commands such as sit and stay can be taught to your puppy. You can also habituate the toilet area to your puppy and start potty training.
2. Establish yourself as his master
A dog wants you as a master as it depends on you for his food, for his play and for his security. Hence provide him food, play and a sense of security. Whatever you speak, say in an assertive and firm tone. Finally, your puppy needs to understand that you are his master and you are in charge of everything.
3. Perform reward based training
Reward-based training or training with positive reinforcement is a kind of new age training that works very well when compared to punishment based training. Dogs, especially Labradors are fond of rewards and treats. My lab goes mad out of happiness when I offer him his favourite treats.
Whenever your puppy does the right thing by following your command, offer him a nice treat immediately. Dogs especially labradors act like children who tend to follow and repeat things that are rewarding. Your dog associates some acts with treats and performs the act upon your command to get the treat.
4. Socialize your puppy
It is very important to socialize your puppy in the beginning stages of his life. Let your labrador puppy interact with as many people and as many dogs as possible. Take him to various places and let him explore the world. A dog which is properly socialized in its beginning stages of life tends to be more friendly towards other people and other dogs.
It is very easy to socialize a breed like a labrador as they are people pleasers and one of the most friendly dog breeds. Lack of proper socialization during the puppy stages can cause various behavioural problems such as anxiety and unacceptance of new people and circumstances.
5. Do not punish your dog
Some people use punishment as a training method for their labradors. But do you know that punishment based training causes more disadvantages than advantages in dog training? Punishing your dog causes severe behavioural issues such as aggressiveness and anxiety in your dog. It also impedes the learning capability of your dog.
Some dogs simply stop performing all kinds of activities during training due to fear of punishment. And how far is it fair to punish a living creature for not performing the training commands? Remember, you always need a fair amount of time and patience to train your lab effectively.
7. Train against distractions
It is very important that you need to train your labrador not to react to every kind of distractions. Have you seen guide dogs walking on the streets even in the middle of heavy traffic? They are trained not to react to all kinds of distractions.
In the beginning, my lab used to be very attentive in training but used to get distracted very easily in the midst of other people and other dogs. And this kind of behaviour causes many problems. So it is important for you to train your dog against distractions. An undistracted dog can be considered a well trained dog and follows all the training commands very well in any kinds of circumstances
8. Find the right training guide
It is not training that is important, but the right training. Many people follow various training methods that often don’t work and in turn cause harm to your dog. Hence find out a Good training guide to train your dog in the right way.
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