Basic commands, such as sit, down, stay, come and heel should be part of labrador puppy training. However, regardless of the commands you teach your dog at his young age, one thing must always remain the same, the method you use to train your pet.
The following are 4 rules you need to keep in mind when engaging in labrador puppy training.
1. Establish routine training sessions - For starters, lessons should be no longer than 5 minutes at a time and should occur in a room with limited distractions and after your dog has been exercised. When the 5 minutes are up, take a nice long break, especially if you plan to resume training again the same day. There is no need for you to train your lab pup every day, but a few days per week is a good idea. After all, your goal is not to hurry your dog’s learning as fast as you can, it is to allow them to learn at their own pace so they gain understanding.
2. Know when not to practice - There is a time for training and a time when practicing commands is counterproductive and a waste of your time. Since the whole point to labrador puppy training is for your small companion to learn, you will want to teach him when he is at his best. Times when you should avoid practicing include:
- After he has eaten
- After he has been crated for a few hours
- When he has too much energy
- There are other people present, especially guests
- He has not had sufficient time to rest
Essentially, you will want to avoid any situations when he feels sleepy, excessively excited, hyper or distracted. You want his focus and excitement to be directed at you when you train.
3. Using treats effectively - Treats are excellent rewards for training but they can become ineffective if you do not use them to their full potential. Here are some treat tips:
- Use goodies he does not have often (i.e. special dog treat or a safe human food morsel) for labrador puppy training.
- Only reward him when he does the command correctly
- Give him a treat each time he performs the instruction right the first few times to motivate him and to help him understand this is the desired behavior you want.
- Once he has complete understanding of a command, no longer reward him with a cookie every time. Give rewards randomly so he doesn’t get into the habit of only performing for food.
Remember the only type of reward a canine should always be given every time he performs correctly is praise.
4. Use verbal commands and hand signals - For each command you teach you should have a word and a hand signal that you use so your puppy can associate the sound and signal with the instruction. For instance, when you teach down in Labrador puppy training, say your dog’s name and the word "Down" in a firm tone and point to the floor at the same time with your index finger. By repeating this every time your pooch will eventually associate the sound and action with the command.
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Filed Under: Labrador Training