General Principals In Dog Training
First of all, why do you want a labrador puppy? Do you want to have a great experience with your puppy? If so, then don’t make training a dreaded affair for both you and the puppy – make it fun. In fact, don’t begin a training session just because you should if you are not feeling up to it. If you are feeling bored or stressed, you are surely going to transmit that negative energy to your puppy and the training will be a bore and a bother. Make labrador retriever puppy training fun that both of you will enjoy.
Make Labrador Retriever Puppy Training Fun
Your scheduled training time should be a time to look forward to; not a reminder that causes you anxiety. To ensure you don’t strain your puppy during training, make your training sessions reasonably short – between 5min – 10min is sufficient enough time to teach your puppy something and still keep it motivated.
Here’s the catch – reward positive response from your puppy and do not reward non-responsiveness. Of course, in the initial stages of training you can repeat a command or an instruction, but if the dog does not provide the expected response, take a short break.
After a moment, you can resume your training, but this time issue a command that is much simpler than the earlier one. Once your puppy responds appropriately, you can proceed to issue the more complex command you had tried before without success. And hopefully, will recall how it goes.
And who will argue with the adage that all’s well that ends well? When it comes to puppy training, it helps your endeavors a lot when you end each session on a high note. It actually makes your puppy cherish the just completed experience, and makes it approach the next training session on a positive note.
End On A Positive Note
So, how do you end on a positive note and this is not a kindergarten class where you can end with a fun song?
- Well, back to commands – only this time issue one of the simplest commands; one you are certain your puppy will adhere to.
- After your puppy gets responds appropriately to the command, reward it for the good work.
- Now, issue a command that the puppy should understand to mean ‘the end’. A good example of a suitable ending command is ‘free’; or ‘dismiss’; or ‘release’.
- Just ensure you are not using a common term as your ending command. If you use a word like ‘okay’, for instance, don’t you think you’ll be confusing the puppy, since it will be hearing the term every time, everywhere?
Anyway, you want to end your training session feeling good at what you have just done, and your puppy feeling excited about the whole experience. That’s why it matters how you finalize your labrador retriever puppy training session.
Familiarize Your Puppy With The Basic Commands
If you begin to speak to your puppy in sentences, that will be as good as singing an unfamiliar song to it – pretty much what happens to a baby. If even the size of vocabulary the baby can retain in its mind is limited, what would you expect if you converse in complex sentences? When it comes to training your puppy, you need to pick a select few commands that are relevant to your relationship with your young dog. You can call them obedience commands.
Here are some of the most basic of them:
- Come; sit; stay; heel; stay
- Sit-stay; down-stay; off leash
- Leave it; cease; stop it; enough
If you think about it when in school, you often found yourself loving the subject you were good at, and not like the one you performed poorly in. Similarly, when a dog can grasp your commands, it feels motivated to learn from you and respond accordingly. And it often grasps those commands that are simple and direct. Obviously, that’s the way to go if you want to keep your dog motivated to learn.
Reward Only Correct Responses
And remember the reward system is such that you only reward for correct responses. As such the dog loves the session if it is getting rewarded frequently. Still, on your part, patience is paramount. Remember you’ll be teaching your puppy using human language and not dog language; so you to expect your dog to learn your commands like a, b, c, d would be expecting magic.
These commands will be very useful, but you should focus on getting your puppy house trained first. If you are planning to crate your puppy, a good idea to work on crate training in parallel with house training.
Do Not Even Contemplate Punishment In Labrador Retriever Puppy Training
Do you remember the warning given earlier on in the book that if you are not in a good mood you need to skip training? One of the reasons is that it is bad to take it out on your puppy because if you do lab will hate training. The point you need to register is that training sessions should be upbeat; exciting; and relaxing.
However, since you know it is not fun for the sake of it, you ensure you reward every correct response that the puppy shows you. What you should not do under all circumstances is punish the puppy for failing to respond appropriately. Instead, you ignore that response, and you, obviously, don’t reward it.
Things You Should Avoid During Puppy Training
To be clear, you should not execute any punitive measures during puppy training sessions, like:
- Yelling; hitting
- Hanging; chain jerking
- Electric shock
In short, nothing that would introduce negative energy should be introduced in labrador retriever puppy training. In any case, it is well known that a dog feels good to please its owner; so when it responds poorly, it is not out of stubbornness but misunderstanding or inadequate training. In fact, the motivation you give your puppy for appropriate responses – like food; toys; and even attention – is enough to motivate the puppy into doing its utmost to respond to its best ability.
Time Your Highest Reward To Coincide With Training
The reason you want to reward your puppy the highest during training is that then you motivate it into concentrating in the training and into obeying your commands. After all, training will mean receiving the greatest rewards. And obviously, training a motivated dog is much easier than one whom you have to convince to pay attention.
Tell People You Are In Training
Often strangers think it is cute when a pup comes over and greets with a jump. Let them know that you are in training and ask them to wait to pet your dog until he sits. Use the – step on the leash – method (above) and most people will understand. At home try a note or sign on your door simply stating, “Dog in training, please ignore!” Or give your visitors a call before they come. Tell them what you want them to do. If you have unexpected visitors (especially children) it is a good idea to keep your dog’s leash on so that you can step on it as you answer the door. Remember, touch is a reward, even if you think grabbing a collar is negative. Your dog is still thinking that every time I go to the door you touch me. Pulling on my collar. So the dog keeps doing it.
It’s much easier to grab the leash, move away from the door and step on the leash than try to catch a pup in training.
The Best Way To Tailor Your Reward System
Training Just Before Meal Time
The best time to hold your puppy training session when the reward you have in mind is food is just before its meal time. At this time, if the puppy does well and you reward it with something to eat, it will value your reward more than anything else you could think off; it will already have begun to think of feeding. And whatever another command you issue after some food reward, your puppy is likely to respond to it fast and with enthusiasm. Why? It will be looking forward to another similar reward – some more food.
Training When The Puppy Is Longing For Attention
Your labrador retriever puppy training is likely to be greatly effective if you hold the session soon after you have come back after many hours; possibly after work. At such a time, your puppy really longs for time with you. So if you enter into training almost as soon as you get home, and then every time your puppy responds appropriately you do some petting or give it some loving attention, it’s going to feel great and well appreciated. It’s going to feel that the reward of attention you are giving it right at that moment is the best ever. Needless to say, any other command that you issue will be met with readiness to obey and motivation.
Schedule The Exercises According To Puppy’s Energy Levels
If you want to train your dog in something like leash down-stay, for the sake of obedience, just precede that with some exercises that will get the energy out of your dog – at least moderately. You don’t expect a dog that is steaming with energy to just sit put without getting restless and eager to stand up and expend its bubbling energy. In short, reclining positions as training commands are not good for your early training stages. Wait until your puppy is a little bit tired, and hence glad to rest.
Food In Puppy Training
The best reward for your dog (90% of all dogs) is food. Each day we give our dog food, freely, in a bowl, and most of us do this without asking for anything in return thus missing a great opportunity to train. Clearly we have something they want, deserve and rely on us for, and clearly, we can use this time to train big things or even tiny little things.
That is training. Every day you walk, play, feed and live with your dog. These times are the times we have the greatest opportunity to train them about life. These times are probably the only times we actually have the time (these days). Training begins with opportunities to show a dog what is expected.
Food (their food) is going to be the treats. Not Snausages, not Beggin’ strips, but their food or a portion of it.
We suggest you take some of your dog’s food (or all of it) out of the bowl at least once a day, use it to train, create behaviors and overall create a dog that is willing, able and well adjusted to deal with life.
To make it more interesting you can (at the beginning of each day) cut up low-fat cheese or turkey-dogs and mix them into the food. Store this mixture in the fridge to create a yummy food, with a treat portion. Later in the day the kibble will smell like hot dogs and get a bit softer. At home, when feeding time approaches, start your training session. When the food and treats are gone the session is over. If you feed canned as well, simply feed that portion at the end of the session.