Last Updated on September 20, 2021
If you’re looking to add a Lab puppy to your family, you’re in luck and have made an excellent choice. But one of the biggest parts of owning any kind of dog is knowing how to train it. Are lab puppies easy to train? Keep reading to find out!
Labradors are highly trainable and extremely intelligent dogs. They’re also very family-oriented and are very out-going dogs with a great attitude when working or playing.
So, Are Lab Puppies Easy To Train?
Labrador Retrievers come from the east coast of North America. Specifically, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Their main use at that time was as a working dog for fisherman on boats, as well as efficient waterfowl hunting dogs.
You’ve also likely seen a Labrador Retriever as a service dog or guide dog. But, is it easy to train these silly little puppies to be so focused and obedient? Well, as one of the smartest dog breeds, the Labrador Retriever is highly trainable and very willing to please its owner.
How Long Does It Take To Train A Lab Puppy?
It’s never guaranteed, but you should expect to spend the next year or so training your lab puppy. Of course, this could be different, if you have a particularly stubborn puppy. But, if you’re as persistent as she is, you shouldn’t have much of a problem keeping to that timeline.
What Affects Your Training Time?
While labs are generally pretty smart, every dog has a different intelligence and defiance level. Some puppies will be more resistant to training than others, which may prolong things a bit. Here are some other factors that may extend your training timeline.
- Your time and effort
- Your lab puppy’s age
- What your training for
- Your knowledge of Labrador training
Generally, a lab puppy will test boundaries and push buttons when she can, but you must remain firm and calm. When you invest your time and effort, as well as your knowledge, you can easily train your lab puppy in a year. But, it’s a good idea to purchase a training book or to watch videos for lab puppy training.
It may be smart on your part to enlist the help of a professional trainer in your area as well. They can lay down the foundations you need to get started effectively and the correct way.
How Do You Train A Lab Puppy?
Start young – about three months of age is the rule of thumb. At this stage, they’re starting to grow out of their puppy phase and will start testing boundaries. After three months old, you can just chalk an eaten shoe up to “puppy antics”.
The Essentials For training Lab Puppies:
When you bring your new lab puppy home, you will be spending the first few weeks doing crate and potty training. This should be paired with bonding exercises and some positive reinforcement training for the boundaries you’re setting with your lab puppy.
Once she’s got house training down, you can start doing some basic-level obedience training. This includes following commands like “sit” or “stay”, as well as some walking etiquette. Remember to make things positive and to always end on a good note, positively rewarding your lab puppy.
Once your lab puppy has gotten the most important commands down, you can add things like laying down, rolling over.
Not all Labradors are born with the natural “retriever” instinct, meaning that they don’t just know that when you throw something, they have to bring it right back to you. Some lab puppies will be extra resistant to retrieving or will refuse to give up a ball.
So, make sure that some of your structured bonding exercises include playing fetch and giving up toys willingly. If your lap puppy shows aggression when this happens, make this your first priority, and work on it until your puppy places the ball or frisbee at your feet.
Three Important Lab Training Tips
Be persistent, don’t give in to their big brown eyes. It may be hard to resist the puppy-dog face, but your lab needs to know boundaries and rules. Here are the most important tips when it comes to training a lab puppy.
Start Early: It’s absolutely crucial that you start training as soon as the new lab puppy. The sooner you start, the easier the training will be in the long run. That way, there’s no time for bad habits to start or become instinct.
Positive Reinforcement: Never discipline your dog with negative reinforcement like yelling, smacking, etc. This only puts fear into your dog, which can be very dangerous for you and the rest of your family. Instead, use positive reinforcement when she does what you want and for discipline, the calm and stern, “no” will do. If that doesn’t work, redirect their attention away from misbehaving.
Be Consistent: Consistency is key, especially because dogs, like all animals, are creatures of habit. They need a routine or schedule, such as walking and training time. This may not be so important later in life, but for a lab puppy, being consistent is the only way to properly train.
Conclusion – Are Lab Puppies Easy to Train?
Labs are wicked-smart and highly active dogs. Sometimes, this combo makes for a willful puppy, but more often than not, Labradors are extremely easy to train.
The Labrador breed is famous for being eager to please its owners. Whether you need to just do essential training or you want your lab to run full agility courses, you need to know that this is going to take a while.
If Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t expect a dog to learn everything in a day- or even a month of training. When you do research, continue being persistent with your methods, and follow the right guidelines, you won’t have any problems with training your lab puppy.