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Labrador Puppy Training Tips

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    Is a Lab Right for You?

    • Before going to the breeder ... wait. The minute you see these adorable creatures, you'll fall in love and come home with a dog that may not be right for you or your family.

      Lab puppies, like most puppies, require lots of attention and patience. However, Lab puppies are extremely high energy and do well with an individual or family who is active. If you like to jog or play in the yard, run to the breeder or Humane Society now. If you like to hang out inside your home and aren't active, you may want to re-consider a Lab. When they aren't exercised, they look for other things to do---like chew everything in sight.

    Now What?

    • Puppies as young as eight weeks old can learn basic commands. The sooner they learn the basics, such as sit, down and wait, the better. Training your puppy early will set the stage for future behavior, especially if you have a particularly dominant dog.

    Getting your Puppy to Respond to Commands

    • Dogs, especially Labs, are like little garbage disposals. They'll eat anything (and everything) but especially love treats.

      Begin training with the sit command:

      1. Show your puppy the treat and say, "Sit."
      2. Gently push his hind legs down into a sit position and then reward with the treat.
      3. Repeat this step until the puppy understands that when he sits he gets a treat.
      4. Train for sit approximately five or 10 minutes tops. Wait approximately half an hour then return to practicing the sit command.

      Train your puppy on one command at a time so he fully understands the command. Also, use one-word commands so that your puppy understand. Use the same word consistently or the puppy won't understand the command. For example, say, "Sit" instead of "Sit down." Or sometimes "Sit" and sometimes "Sit down." Be consistent with your verbiage.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    • Be patient with your dog because you want him or her to succeed. Never yell, scream or hit the animal under any circumstances. He will only resent you during training and won't learn the command. You also need to be clear about what you want him to do while training in a quiet, calm environment.

      Don't forget that this should be a positive experience for everyone, so reward with both food and praise when he completes a task. Most importantly, don't forget to get out each day for exercise.

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