We have been extremely lucky with our Chocolate Labrador as she is very bright and biddable. However she is now rapidly approaching nine years of age and it took us a while to reach this harmonious understanding. It is harmonious as the whole point of training your dog is for them to have a clear understanding of boundaries and expectations. Once you are clear on your objective, that is to say what you would like to achieve; there are several training methods you could use. Below are just some of the acknowledged training methods that we used for labrador training.

Clicker – this is where you have a small clicker responder in your hand and every time the dog performs the give task you reward with a click and then a food treat. (Eventually you fade the food treat out and the click and praise is enough as a positive association)

Hand signs- these can be ones that you have taken from the kennel club or you can make up your own so long as you are consistent to keep the same gesture for the same word and the same action by the dog.

Whistle- You have probably most commonly seen this training with Collie’s but it does work for most breeds.

With all of these methods we prefer to use treats to ensure concentration in the early stages and then phased the treats out as your dogs understanding grows.

Please remember not to over feed your dog. Work out how much extra food your dog is consuming in the trianing sessions and take some of that out from their meals given to them by you. We used to weigh our dogs’ food and then take a small proportion away depending on how much training and how many treats were used. There should be guidance on your pet food but most vets are more than happy to advise you if you are unsure.

It is worth at this point mentioning that different breeds respond differently to different training methods but most should respond to the above methods if they are delivered consistently and effectively.

Most of all remember to enjoy it, owning a dog can be extremely rewarding we have loved and are still loving our dog.

We trained our dog to walk to heel, sit, bow, lay down, come when called, right and left paw, roll over. We also took her regularly to the vets even if we did not have an appointment just to encourage her understanding and reassure her that they are not scary places. We also trained her to let us check her, ears, her paws and her mouth so when she had her annual check up she was comfortable with the vet handling her.

http://www.labradortraining.org

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