Labrador Retrievers make great family pets. They are loyal, gentle and provide a great playmate for the children in your household thanks to their abundance of energy.
These are also large dogs that can reach their full adult size in well under a year. This is one reason that training your Lab should begin sooner rather than later and why how to train a Labrador is so important.
One thing to keep in mind when training your Lab is that, as is true with all dogs, positive reinforcement techniques will work better than punishing your dog for bad behavior.
Yelling and hitting should NEVER be part of your training program. Such actions will only cause your Lab to become frightened and confused.
Instead of punishing bad behavior, work to highlight to your pet which behaviors are acceptable. This can be accomplished through a variety of training methods, and one choice for how to train a Labrador could include clicker training.
With clicker training you use the sound of a clicker as a bridge between the good behavior and a treat. The clicker sound is made instantly upon the dog performing the desired behavior, and then a treat immediately follows. Soon, your Lab will do whatever he has to do to hear the sound of the clicker so that he can get his reward. When it comes to how to train a Labrador, this method works very well.
Another thing to keep in mind when training a Lab is that this breed has a propensity for becoming overweight. For this reason, it is important to use small training treats rather than larger treats when training. Also, you may consider slightly cutting back on the size of his meals during training to make up for the calories of the treats.
While the clicker training method is very effective, it is only effective if properly administered. There are several books available that outline this method as well as other positive reinforcement methods of training your dog.
If you are new to dog training and want to learn how to train a Labrador, you are going to want to get some advice from experts either in the form of reading a dog training book or attending an obedience class. Most pet supply stores as well as local chapters of the SPCA offer obedience classes.
You will be able to have the guidance of a professional who can make sure that you are handling your pet correctly and establishing yourself as the Alpha male. Making sure your dog understands who is in charge is especially important when dealing with a larger dog, such as a Lab.
Another option for how to train a Labrador is to hire a professional trainer to work one on one with you and your Lab. While this option affords you more personal time with a trainer, many pet owners prefer the less expensive obedience class option because they can be sure that their Lab will obey even in a setting with lots of distractions.
When trying to train a Lab, you want to make sure that you get it right the first time. Mistakes made during training can be difficult to undo. Just remember to be patient, and soon your Lab will be happily obeying your every command.