Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fun Tips for Training Your Labrador

As an animal lover you're probably the type of person that buys the healthiest dog food and the best pet insurance. You’re proud to see your Labrador impress everyone at the dog park with his or her speed and agility. But sometimes, your Labrador’s energy, intelligence and athleticism can make training seem more difficult.

That’s why it’s important to train correctly and train early so you can bond as the top dog and get down to the business of enjoying one another.

For fun and effective training, follow these 6 tips:

6. Say No

Labs are highly people-oriented, sensitive and eager to please. They can sense the slightest annoyance in your voice and will do whatever they can to change it. Set boundaries by using a firm tone and not giving in once your dog flashes that heartbreaking sad puppy face.

5. Don’t Punish After the Fact

That said, try to keep it positive and avoid punishment, which will only make your dog anxious, confused and possibly aggressive. If your dog’s transgression happened more than ten minutes ago, let it go. They have very short memory spans and will know only that you’re mad, not what they’ve done wrong.

4. Use Non-Violent, Reward-Based Techniques

Labs will do almost anything if they know it will be rewarded with a treat. Their sensitivity also means they react favorably to praise and immediate recognition of their good behavior. Consider purchasing a clicker from a pet store and using it to acknowledge every element of a complicated trick, like rolling over. Once your dog understands the click means praise, you can use it to learn even more complicated tricks.

It should go without saying, but never use violence. If the dog is acting aggressively, there are likely deeper issues involved, ones that need to be addressed with patience and focused training. Any violence against your dog will only increase their anxiety, which will make them more violent themselves.

3. Leash Train

The last thing you need is to be dragged down the street by your muscular dog. Using the techniques above, train your dog to walk with a slack leash. Jerk the leash and say, “heel” when they get out of control. For particularly leash adverse puppies, have them wear the leash as they walk around the house until they get used to it.

2. Use a Crate

When used correctly, crates can be an effective way to potty train your lab. Make it as comfy as possible with your dog’s favorite chew toys and blanket so that it’s a sanctuary, not a place of punishment. Once established, you can use a crate for potty training and to keep your dog away from the rest of the house when you’re gone during the day.

1. Let them play and treat them well!

Just like kids, puppies need time to romp and play if they’re going to be happy and stimulated. A good diet and plenty of exercise will help, too. The better shape they’re in, the more easygoing they’ll be.

Throughout all of this, be persistent, consistent, and above all, patient. Your lab will be a quick learner, just as long as you stay on message. Have fun!

Fun Tips for Training Your Labrador is a Guest Post by Rob Toledo:

Rob Toledo has grown up with several Labradors always running around the house. He currently volunteers at a local animal shelter in the Pacific Northwest. He recommends considering dog insurance for your four legged friends.

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1 comments:

Jenna May 31, 2012 1:27 AM  

Nice stuff! Keep up the work on posts like this....enjoyed it.

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