Labrador obedience is vital. They are an exceptionally clever, loyal and keen breed of dog, but even so, they have several behaviours that can create a lot of headaches for you and your home if they aren’t checked properly.
Establishing the Ground Rules
Labrador obedience starts at a young age with teaching your puppy the rules of the house. It can be difficult laying down so many commands on a young one, particularly when they can’t always remember them, but young puppies are most receptive so it is the perfect time for them to learn. Specific actions you should take to make these ground rules include:
• The Expected Types of Behaviour (Especially when they’re young) - If you ever met a person who growled over toys and food, grabbed things without permission, struck out at others, whined, and just kicked up a fuss in general, then you’d consider that pretty bad behaviour wouldn’t you? Well it’s the same thing with you dog. Labrador obedience is about correcting those basic attitudes, and doing it as early as possible will provide excellent results moving into the future.
So make sure that when they are still puppies, young puppies at that, they should wait to be given things. Food comes to them on your terms, and you also control their water, and treats. Extending that even further they need to know that YOU are the one who draws the lines and makes the boundaries. The kitchen is out of bounds, the couch is, the bed is too – all those common places that a dog should be kept away from. This one first point sets the standard fro everything else.
• The Baic Commands Your Dog Should Know- Early Labrador obedience training includes simple commands such as “sit”, “down”, and “speak”. By helping your dog to understand these simple words, you’re teaching them the right way to behave in certain situations. Also remember that it’s one thing to get your pup to follow these instructions, but you need to develop your Labardor’s obedience by extending the period of time that they will follow these for. Getting them to sit or stay means almost nothing if they get up three seconds later. So focus not only on the initial response, but the patience and temperament to hold onto that command as well.
• Spatial Guidelines – Make sure you establish some very clear boundaries during your Labrador obedience training so that your dog understands exactly where they can and can’t go. There’s no hard and fast rule for this, but make sure you pick some places and stick with them. I know some people who let the dogs inside, but not the kitchen or bedroom part of the house. I know other people, farmers for example, who won’t even let their dog on the deck. So long as they know their limits. This will also help enforce your role as the boss of the household too, which is helpful for all kinds of training.
• Leash Training – After all those basics have been ticked off, or at least are well under control, you should also be thinking about how you can get your dog to behave on a leash. This can be a particularly difficult moment in Labrador obedience training, but there ar e a few things you can do which will make the process a whole lot easier (in most cases that is).
For example, you should start inside the house, where you have your puppy learn how to sit and wait while you get their lead. This simple trick is very important as it forces the dog to remain calm and subdued until you are ready to initiate the walk. If you have your puppy behaving itself before you even get out the door, you should be able to shift that attitude to the walk itself.
Getting your dog walking in your home while they’re on a leash is a helpful way to have him or her get used to the rules. He should always remain by your side, not pulling.
• Exercise – Dogs, in many of the fundamental behavioural aspects, are very similar to humans. They respond well to routines. When it comes to exercising your dog, if you organise a clear timetable when they are young, and stick to it as they get older – for the rest of their lives if possible, then you’ll find a lot of problems will be a lot more subdued. One of the biggest behavioral problems with Labradors is that they grow bored which leads to disruptive behaviour. This can be as simple as barking and playing up, to getting aggressive or distructive with things around the house. If you can avoid that boredom then you can overcome 90% of the problems people encounter with this particular breed.
Basic rules like these ones will develop a good starting point for training, but they are just the beginning of Labrador obedience.
Advancing Your Training
So once you have those standard things sorted, you should find that you have a perfectly happy, well-adjusted addition to your family. But if you’re like me, and want to take your Labrador obedience training to the next level you could try looking past the basic techniques and into some really fun and challenging tricks and behaviors. You know… the kind that get your neighbours going “How did you get them to do that?!” Improving their behaviour to the absolute top level will involve consistently introducing them to situations with other people and animals so you can correct any behaviors you’d rather avoid. These could be snapping at others, chasing animals, growling or jumping. The more your dog experiences unusual or new situations with you by their side, the more experience they’ll have to call on.
You can also begin Labrador obedience training for tricks such as rolling, turning, fetching, jumping and more. Labradors are typically a very intelligent dog, loyal, and look to please in general. If you expose them to tricks not just once a week, but on a daily basis then you’ll find you get a lot more success with even the more complicated of endeavours.