Labradors were originally bred to be gundogs or fishermen dogs. They would accompany the hunters and retrieve the birds they’d shoot, and with fishermen, they’d jump in the water and retrieve the fish or the complete fishing nets! Their love for fetching a ball or a frisbee originates from being a retriever only.
But that’s not all. One of the main reasons why Labradors are loved across the globe is their amazing temperament; which is why they are also quick learners. As soon as you get your hands on that little one, start teaching them how you want them to behave. They learn better than a grown up dog!
Some of the basic things that you can begin with are:
They are born pleasers. So make them meet as many people as you can. This will make them friendly. But make sure everyone knows the boundaries and there isn’t teasing or hurting involved.
Labradors are highly energetic and playful. And they need a lot of exercise (45 minutes everyday, at least). Take them out for a walk, or a run, or practise the “fetch”, “come”, “drop” activity, which is also one of their natural retrieving tendencies.
-Practise positive reinforcement:
Reinforcement doesn’t have to be a food-treat, since Labs tend to gain weight very easily. Whenever you give them any command and they follow it, make sure they know that it is appreciated. You can reward them with a small game, cuddle time, or a lot of love-shower.
This will ensure that your dog knows that a particular place belongs to it, and he doesn’t roam around the house all the time.
Watch Out For These Behaviours
An absence of either of these necessities can lead to a destructive behaviour in your Labrador dog. For you to resolve it, it is necessary that you watch out for the following habits, and address them quickly:
-Nipping, or rough play
Leave the game so they know it’s not acceptable
Get them variety of toys to chew and play with so they don’t lose interest and chew on house essentials (specially shoes)
It can be annoying for everyone around. Figure out whether your dog is bored or lonely, and then indulge it with another activity, or play some calming music. Try closing the curtains so it doesn’t bark at everyone passing by outside.
Make them sit by your lap every time you eat, and don’t treat it to anything. You don’t want them to be overweight. Be tough, you got this!
It can be a medical issue too. Arthritis can prevent the dog from going out as often as it would want to. Stress is another reason for the same. Find out the cause, and then you may want to go over the potty training steps with your bug again.
Leave them for shorter durations first, or just pretend you are leaving, but don’t leave.This will prepare them mentally.
Doing this every time it (a full grown dog!) sees a new person can be discouraged by asking that person not to pet it and simply turn the other way.
So hooman, we are all set! Happy Lab-training!