Labrador Training & Breed Information

Part of successful labrador training comes from understanding the breed, it’s temperament and characteristics. So let’s begin…

Labradors are a lively, carefree and attentive dog breed. They are very alert and playful and enjoy lavishing affection on their owner. Labs are extremely lovable and will work hard to please.

Labradors are highly intelligent which makes Labrador training easy. Furthermore, the breed excels as show dogs and at dog sporting events. In fact, Labradors are happy in the great outdoors and love to swim. This is because the breed was bred for hunting both on land and in water. A Labrador is very energetic and is the perfect compliment to an active family.

Labradors is another name for Labrador Retrievers and is, therefore, the same breed.

The History of Labradors

Contrary to popular belief, Labradors were developed in Newfoundland and not Labrador. In fact, the first prototype of the breed was created by crossing a Newfoundland with a small water dog, and was originally known as the St. John’s Water Dog.

The first time that Labs became known as Labradors was when they were called the name by the Duke of Malmesbury in the early 19th century. This was also the same time that Labs became popular with the British Royals who value the breed for their sporting characteristics, which proved useful for hunting.

The Labrador breed that we know today was developed in 1878, after interbreeding with other Retriever breeds took place. Luckily the interbreeding did not cause the Labrador to lose their most desirable qualities or their popularity.

Labradors were recognized in 1903 by the UK Kennel Club and in 1917 by the American Kennel Club. Currently, they are still one of the most popular breed of dog.

The Basics of Labradors

Labradors are a devoted breed that can be a wonderful asset to a family. Their friendly and lovable temperament makes them good with children, visitors and other family pets. They can also be extremely flexible with different environments, as long as they receive sufficient exercise and attention.

Labs have a strong build, plenty of energy, and high intelligence. They are natural hunters and are equipped with an exceptional sense of smell. These traits are what have made them ideal hunting dogs, police dogs, rescue dogs, and even seeing-eye dogs.

Even though Labradors are an impeccable breed, they aren’t for everyone. There are certain traits about these dogs that simply do not compliment the needs of some dog owners.

For instance, while Labs have a shorthaired coat, they still shed quite a bit. Furthermore, their strong build and medium size can make them hard to control if they are not properly trained, and even growing Lab puppies can easily knock down small children.

In addition, since Labradors are friendly dogs, they are by no means guard dogs. This isn’t to say that a Lab wouldn’t protect you if it sensed you were in danger, but they also won’t bare their teeth at an intruder either. Therefore, if you are thinking about getting a Labrador to protect you, think again.

All in all, Labradors are remarkable dogs that make excellent pets, friends and family members. Give them a little love, and they’ll return it back ten fold.

Labrador Training – Know What You Are Doing

Labrador training isn’t difficult if you know what you are doing. That is why so many first time dog owners struggle with this element of owning a dog. It is essential that you take your Labrador to be taught at a proper obedience school, so you can gain the confidence you need to effectively teach your Lab how to be the best he can be.

Below are tips that can help you with your Labrador training adventure.

Labrador Training Tips

House breaking – The first lesson a Labrador will learn is understanding that his washroom is outside, not in your house. This lesson needs to be taught starting from the first day he arrives in your home. You can be successful at early housebreaking by following these simple steps:

Any time you suspect your Lab needs to do his business, take him out
The first 8/9 weeks are critical when it comes to housebreaking. At this time the lab needs to be taken out:

  • Every hour
  • 5 minutes after eating or drinking
  • After playtime and/or exercise
  • When your puppy becomes excited
  • right before bed
  • immediately in the morning (after waking up)

Every time your Lab successfully eliminates outside, praise him as if you’ve just won the lottery.

Obedience class – Enroll your Labrador in obedience classes as soon as he meets the age requirement. Proper obedient training from a qualified dog instructor will help you build the confidence to train your dog, which will help your Labrador take direction from you.

Training consistency – Labrador training needs consistency. This means using one word commands and the same hand signals when training. The more repetitious you are, the faster your dog will learn. In addition, don’t forget to take breaks when training and make it fun. Your dog has a limited attention span.

Discipline – No dog is perfect, and there will be times when your Labrador will frustrate the life out of you and try your patience. This is when you need to enforce discipline. However, this doesn’t mean you should shout at your dog. When your Lab does something you dislike, look him straight in the eye and say in a firm tone “No”. Show him how to properly do as you asked, and then praise him immediately to help him understand. Remember, discipline needs to start at puppyhood. Note: Never hit your Labrador!

Praise, Praise, Praise! – When your Labrador listens to your commands and does things that please you praise him over and over again. He’ll never get tired of hearing it, and will only be more devoted and determined to do things the way you like it.

Proper obedience Labrador training is the best thing for your dog. That being said, there are other things you can teach your dog that you don’t need a class for, such as swimming lesson.

Swimming Lesson For Your Lab

Teaching your Labrador how to swim is a fun experience you can both enjoy. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Choose a warm day and take a trip with your Labrador and another person to a pond or lake. Make sure the water is calm and that you are wearing bathing gear or clothing you don’t care about. You will get wet.

2. Pick up your Lab and take him out into the water with you. Stop when the water has reached your thighs. The other person should wait on the shore.

3. One hand should be securely placed at the base of your Lab’s tail, and the other supporting his tummy. Gently talk to him as you lower him to the water, and do not release your hold even when he makes contact with the water.

4. When your Lab makes water contact he will immediately start to move his paws and paddle. Give him praise when he does this to encourage him to continue.

5. Once he has some strength to his paddle, take your hand from under his tummy, but do not let go of his tail. Keep your hold so that his backend is level with the front. Continue giving him words of praise.

6. As soon as you think your Labrador is ready, tell the other person to start calling him. Let go of your hold on his tail once you feel him paddling stronger. Follow him closely while he swims to the shore just in case you need to rescue him from the water should he stop moving.

7. Lavish him with high praise and give him a treat as soon as he is successful at reaching the shore.

8. Repeat the lesson and each time increase the distance from the shore.