Labrador Retrievers are one of the most energetic, playful, and intelligent dogs in modern society. They are great with kids and have the desire to please their owner as well as the rest of the family. Labradors are quick to pick up on training habits, so the earlier you begin a routine for training Labrador puppies, the better.

Labrador Retrievers originated on the island of Newfoundland. The founding breed was thought to be the St. John’s Water Dog and they were used for retrieval and to help the fishermen pull in nets from the water. Today, labs are known to love the water and need a lot of exercise to stay healthy.  Because of their energetic personalities, though, they can be a handful to train.

Finding the Right Puppy

When you decide to get a Lab puppy, there are some things to take into consideration.  First of all, make sure you purchase your pup from a reputable breeder that has taken care of all shots and has had the puppy’s dew claws removed.  Also, the puppies need to be at least seven to eight weeks old to be ready to be on their own.

Next, you need to determine if you would like a black, yellow, or chocolate Lab. Each breed has its own unique genetics and disposition. As you analyze a litter, you will see that some pups are more outgoing and friendly while others are nervous and shy, and some can even show signs of being aggressive at this early age.

Examining at least one of the parents of the puppies can also give some background on how and where the Labs were raised.  By doing this, you can decide if the owners are running a mass-producing puppy mill where little consideration is given to the welfare of the dogs. Taking some time when you are choosing a Labrador Retriever puppy will assure that you will find the perfect companion for you and your family.

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Training Labrador Puppies

Once your puppy is old enough, you can begin with basic home training. Labs are especially energetic, so it is highly recommended that you use the crate training technique. You also need to be home as much as possible during this important period when training Labrador puppies.

To some, crate training seems cruel but in all actuality, most dogs feel more safe and happy in their crate. Their crate also provides some structure to the training routine. You need to be consistent in making their crate where they eat and sleep.

Another bonus for training Labrador puppies is the fact that dogs rarely go potty in their eating and sleeping area, so once they are broken, a Lab puppy is extremely careful not to violate its home. The crate should be used as much as possible in these early months as you extend the time period that the puppy can stay kenneled. The crate only needs to be big enough for your Lab puppy to turn around and lie down.

An important reminder when training Labrador puppies is never to use the crate as punishment.  Your puppy needs to be able to feel safe and secure in the kennel so always make it a positive experience to be in the crate.

When training Labrador puppies, you should move into the obedience phase between 3 and 6 months with focus on basic commands like lying down, sitting, staying, focusing on you, coming when called, waiting inside doors and not pulling on the leash.

Training Your Puppy for Their Protection

Because of their innate curiosity and energetic nature, a Lab will try to explore as much as possible. It’s important to teach them early what their physical boundaries are, not to chase cars, to listen to your commands, and to be sure they don’t run away from you in public. Labs are very independent thinkers and are very social, thinking everyone is their friend.

Training Labrador puppies may seem a bit challenging when you first get your new little friend, but eventually you’ll find that a Lab is among the most loyal, fun-loving dogs you could possibly own.  Not only do they make wonderful family pets, but Labradors are great for sharing outdoor adventures. Labs are active dogs and require early training to ensure obedience but your efforts will reward your for many years to come.

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