How to train a Lab Puppy?
Labradors are domestic dogs that are known as a medium-large breed of dogs. They have strong legs and a reliable, sturdy build. Labradors are the most common and favourite breed of dogs in many countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, India and many more.
Lab Puppy Training
A lab puppy growth rate is moderately fast. It can grow to adult size in 6 to 12 months and keeps on filling till two years.
It Experts say that when your lab puppy is young that is about 8 to 12 weeks old, it is the best time for the Training as the puppy can learn faster and is not significant in size to perform activities.
Things to Keep in mind before Training
There are a few things that the Owner needs to understand to start the Training:
- The puppy should be at least 7-8 weeks old and not younger. Puppies under the age of 7 weeks should spend time with mother and other siblings so to learn some dog habits like eating technique, running, etc.
- The puppy must be healthy and should not have any medical disease or problems. Forcing the puppy can lead to many difficulties for the puppy.
- There should be a good relationship between the Owner and the puppy to start the Training. If there is a factor of trust in puppy for the Owner, he/she will obediently follow his commands and orders and happily accept the treats as rewards.
Different techniques of Training a Lab Puppy
A young lab puppy can be trained in many different ways, and every method has its pros and cons. There are different techniques that give answer to the question How to train a lab puppy.
Some of the ways are listed below:
This technique is the most common and easy for both the puppy and the Owner. In this technique, the Owner rewards the puppy with some food that the puppy likes when he does a specific task that the Owner wants him to do. As this rewarding technique continues for a long time and the Owner always rewards the puppy after performing the job, the puppy learns that he will get a reward after doing this and starts to do it by himself to earn that reward.
The Owner can take the puppy to a toilet spot and wait until he urinates and then rewards puppy with little food and lot of praise which conveys to a puppy that this is a good thing to do and he will get paid for it. This technique can be done with simple commands like sit, stand, fetch.
Advantages of Reward Technique:
- It is easy for a puppy to learn.
- It is easy for the Owner to perform.
- Rewards keep the lab puppy happy and motivated.
Disadvantages of Reward Technique:
- Reward technique can make the lab puppy overweight and obese as it requires to give him a small amount of food several times a day.
- It creates a habit in lab puppy to get a reward after specific tasks even when he is fully grown.
- If the Owner suddenly stops giving rewards to the puppy, he can get demotivated and sad and will eventually stop following orders and will stop performing those activities.
How to perform Reward Technique Correctly?
When the Owner is following reward technique, he/she must not forget to give the lab puppy his reward as food when he performs the task they want him to do.
This process can go on for several weeks until the puppy is grown enough to be called as an adult.
After sometimes the reward of food must be replaced with some praise like tapping on his head softly, showing love with little cuddling, or even a rub with hand on the back.
In the Clicker technique, a clicker which makes a ‘click-click’ or ‘click-clack’ noise is used to train the lab puppy.
In this technique, instead of voice commands, a clicker is used. Whenever the puppy is about to do a task like sit, stand or run Owner must click the clicker, which creates a sound. Now puppy will think this sound is to perform this task, and whenever he hears the clicker, he knows what to do, and he will be getting a reward as food for the job.
Reward part is the same in both techniques and food is always the reward at first because all lab puppies are food lovers and food is the only thing that keeps them motivated.
When the puppy is about to sit, stand, run, the Owner has to click the clicker, which makes puppy suspicious sound. After doing this several times when the Owner clicks the clicker puppy knows it is time to do the task and will get a reward after it.
Advantages of Clicker Technique:
- It does not include commands and includes clicker noise which can be differentiated by puppy even in noisy environments.
- Easy for the puppy to understand as he only has to listen to clicks.
Disadvantages of Clicker Technique:
- It isn’t straightforward for the Owner to perform as he has to click the clicker at the very right moment to tell puppy what the click means.
- The Owner must always have the clicker for the puppy to obey his commands.
Enrol for Dog Training Programs
There are several dog training programs available for lab puppies and puppies of every kind that teach them how to follow basic commands, how to behave appropriately in public and other areas, how to be obedient and friendly.
In these programs, the puppy is handled by professional dog trainers who have a unique skill set of working with dogs and teaching them.
Advantages of Dog Training Programs:
- In these programs, the instructor is well experienced and knows how to communicate and teach the dog.
- Dog training programs can teach lab puppies to follow basic commands and be obedient in a short time as lab puppies are brilliant and obedient by nature
Disadvantages of Dog Training Programs:
- It disrupts the bond between the Owner and the puppy, which is essential for a long relationship between Owner and dog.
- It is costlier then training the dog at home.
- During Training, the Owner should not harm the puppy in any way possible. If the puppy does not follow any order or command owner should not get angry and shout or beat the puppy as it creates a fear in him which is a negative effect.
- The time of Training should be short at first with shorter steps and quicker task as long time and steps will make puppy confuse and tired.
- The reward of food must be of small quantity and something light like Biscuit, chips etc. that doesn’t affect the health of the puppy.
- The reward must be replaced from food to praise after some time as rewarding lab puppy with food from time to time can make him fat or obese, which can create a negative impact on his health.
- It’s better to give Training to your lab puppy in a short burst of time rather than to stretch it long. It will keep the puppy energetic and motivated rather than tiring.
Labradors are very intelligent and obedient breeds and are not only pet animals, but also, they are recruited by agencies and army for screening and detection purposes. It is not very hard to train a lab puppy, and it is not a piece of cake either, it depends upon the trainer on how to train a lab puppy.
The Owner must dedicate his/her time to the Training and do it correctly by making sure the puppy stays happy and in good health. Last but not least, a good relationship between the Owner and the puppy is the key to ensure that Training goes well, and the results are excellent.
To know more about training your lab puppy, refer these videos :