If a Labrador is disobedient, it is probably the fault of the owner for not teaching him the right way to behave. Labradors are eager to please and quite intelligent, so it really doesn’t have to be this way. Begin a training routine and establish all the ground rules, from the very first day you take your Labrador home. Here are some useful training tips you might need.
Stock up on training equipment
You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment for training your Labrador. However, you will definitely need some treats. Choose some healthy treats made especially for puppies. They should be relatively low in fat, but still tasty enough to tempt your pup. If you feel you are giving your puppy a lot of treats in one day, you can cut down his main meals to compensate for the extra calories.
Other equipment you might need:
- A crate (large enough for your pup to stand and turn around in, but not too large that he will choose to pee in one end of it)
- A lead or harness
- A clicker tool
Walking and rewarding
For the first few times you walk with your Lab off the lead, you can use a reward system to make sure he doesn’t stray too far. Bring some treats with you and reward your pup for staying by your side. If he wanders away and comes back to you, reward him each time he returns. He will soon spend more time by your side and less time wandering off! Make sure you choose a park that’s securely fenced off for the first few weeks.
Using a clicker
If you want to train your pup to do specific commands that aren’t as easy to lure him into doing with a treat, then you may want to try a clicker. A clicker makes a sound which the pup comes to associate with the idea of being rewarded. It’s a good way to teach your Lab a desired behaviour. Simply click when you see your Lab performing the command correctly, and reward him with a treat. You don’t have to use a clicker for this of course – you can simply choose a certain word to let him know he has done the right thing.
To crate or not to crate?
For a large dog like a Labrador, crates can be quite restrictive. However, if used correctly, they can be the quickest and easiest way to toilet train your pup. That’s because the crate will become your pup’s bed and he will not want to mess it up by going to the toilet in it. Instead, he will whine to be let out. However, you shouldn’t wait for things to get to this stage; on a pre-emptive basis, you should let your pup out to pee in the garden every hour. Leaving him as long as two hours may be cruel and could also lead to separation anxiety. Before you begin using the crate for training purposes, you will need to read up on the correct way to use it. Used incorrectly, it can create more problems instead of less.