training my LAB

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by kimmy.doglover, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. kimmy.doglover

    kimmy.doglover New Member

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    Training my Lab!!!

    Hi,
    As i've mentioned i have a 3 month old labrador...and as early as now i want to traing him sith atleast some of the simple command and obedient training...wwhere would i start??
     
  2. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I would start with a puppy class. Make sure they only use positive reinforcement methods.
     
  3. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    Imagine him as a grown dog, 80 to 100 pounds. Would you like him jumping on you and Grandma? If not, teach him to sit front and center when he greets you. Would you like him on your furniture? If not, don't let him on the furniture now. Where do you want him relieving himself? Take him there when you take him outside for potty.

    Get yourself a clicker training book, there are several out there. Find one geared to puppies. With a clicker, "charge up the clicker", and start training him. Sit is easy because puppies sit a lot.

    Potty: Have him sit at the door, out of the way of the swing of the door. Clip on leash if it's not already on. Open door, say "puppy, out" and go outside with him. Bring him to the potty spot. If he doesn't go right away, ignore him but walk back and forth in the proper area. The instant he starts, give a cue (hurry up, or go potty). Make sure you have a treat in hand. The INSTANT he is done, praise and treat. Then, pat your leg and get him to follow you around the yard. Change directions. He is learning 1) proper door manners, 2) where to go, 3) fun begins after potty not before 4) to follow you to the leg pat.
     
  4. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    Start with sit, and walking on a leash..get him use to it first, and then take little short positive steps. Do not scold or punish. If the dog isn't doing what you want it is because your not communicating in a way he can understand. If one thing isn't working, try a different approach. Try to always leave it on a positive note..the first time he gets it right stop right there letting him know he is the smartest and best dog in the universe then pick it up a few hours later. If he tries to mouth or chew on the leash, get some bitter apple spray. Do not let him mouth the leash. In the beginning just put it on him and praise..take it off. Put it on and walk a few feet, praise and take it off. Keep it by the door so it means oh boy were going to do something! The leash will become a good thing. Do this now. It will be a whole lot harder when he is a year old. By a year a lab should be able to hold steady on line and not break at field trials where guns go off and bird drop,without being held. They are way smarter than a lot of people give them credit for.

    My old boss had three rules for training a puppy. Always make sure they are having 50 percent of the fun. Never give a command you don't enforce, and always leave them wanting more. Especially in the retrieving dept. For a young dog we would do three retrieves and stop. Maybe an hour or so later, a few more and stop. Keep your walks quick paced, and positive. You can train a lot during those walks. If he pulls turn around and go the other way..pulls turn around again and again and again even if you get a bit dizzy. He will get that his pulling isn't going anywhere and he will then focus on what they heck your doing, which is exactly where you want his focus to be. If he does it right, reward him by a little run. Do not run him far on concrete. IT is very hard on their feet and legs. Running on turf is a different story. Vary your gait after he gets it right so he understands sometimes you go slow, and sometimes glory be you will trot along with him. Don't walk him too far to start. Let him know that if he does it right, you will be willing to go farther. Walk different areas so it will always be interesting. Let him know where and when he can sniff about, and where it is all business.

    Work on your recall each and every single day no matter what. Start inside with a hallway where he has no where else to go. You can teach sit, stay and come all at the same time. If he sits, back up a foot..if he gets up..back him up and sit him again. Be happy that he stayed for a foot. Celebrate. Next time shoot for 2 feet..half a hall way, the whole hallway. This is where hide and seek comes in with a whole lot of fun. Once he learns to stay while you duck out of sight. Teach him to use his nose too, hide treats and let him seek them out. Then move to a long line outside. Use can use the garage with the same effect as the hallway. Where there is no where else to go but to you. The line will keep him from dodging around you. Never ever chase him. Do not practice off long line until you are a hundred percent. By now he should have an idea of how to control himself, and know that pleasing you is his number one joy. Reward with games. You can scent your training dummy with anise oil and teach him to find that. Big praise when he brings it to you. Lots of games, lots of fun, lots of exercise.

    We stop and sit when cars come...later you can work stay in and leave it when it comes to squirrels and cats. A lab pup is smart, very smart, and you need to get a daily routine of basics down pat as soon as possible. Just keep your lessons, short and positive and never stop. They can always be learning something new which is great for their mental health, as well as the exercise is great for their physical. Hide and seek is great for working on your recall. IF the pup doesn't want to come, run the opposite direction and act like your having more fun than ever. My boss would take a white handkerchief out of his pocket and toss it in the air which often got their attention and brought them running. I do not use treats for training, I use lots of glorious praise and love. A well trained lab is priceless, an untrained lab is a nightmare. It's just a matter of making up your mind to teach him all you can, put in the work early and consistently and know that it takes time. In the end you will have the dog of your dreams. Remember that they too have good days and bad. If it's a bad day, find something else to do that is easier. If it is a good day, don't push for more...repetition is how they learn best. Socialize him early with people and dogs. If you can pair up with someone that has a well trained dog to start. My old dog Mary was great for this and helped many many dogs in this way. Do not let him hump or be too aggressive in his play. If he does this, leash him up and time him out. If you do this early enough he will figure out that is the end of his fun. Good luck and congrats on your puppy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  5. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    PUPPY CLASS! NOW!

    I'm a professional trainer, and when I get a puppy in a year or so I plan to take two weekly classes with him. I really do think they're THAT important.

    Good luck!
     
  6. RawFedDogs

    RawFedDogs New Member

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    Anytime you are with your puppy, training is taking place. Either you are training him or he is training you. :) Back in my professional training days, I trained many puppies as young as 8 weeks. 3 months is a great time to teach him stuff. He soaks up knowledge like a little sponge. If you aren't knowledgable about training, go to a puppy class. Make sure it uses only positive reinforcement and make sure there is plenty of socialization. Take your puppy everywhere you can starting tomorrow. Its critical he gets a lot of socialization in the next month.
     

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