If you are now the proud owner of a new Silver Labrador puppy, then you might not know exactly how to start training them. With so many different specific ways to train certain types of dogs, it can be overwhelming trying to find the best options for your new furry friend.
However, getting the basics down is not as hard as you might think. It is everything else that can become complicated, especially if you make a mistake or take misinformation and myths as fact.
The basics of training most dogs will always be the same – getting them potty-trained, building a relationship with them, and generally trying to get them used to life with you and/or your family.
Labradors were bred for intelligence, and they are smart dogs that can sometimes learn up to hundreds of commands. However, to do this, they need to be trained well by somebody that they can actually feel comfortable around.
Before you dive into any complex or risky training, take some time to just enjoy your dog’s presence, doing the very basic types of training that all dogs will need anyway. If they can get comfortable around you and learn to trust you, then everything else becomes a lot easier.
How should I teach a Silver Lab?
Silver Labradors are highly training-friendly, boasting good moods and a fairly high level of patience alongside being quite smart. They can also be very social, both with humans and other dogs, which allows them to become integrated well and avoid anxiety or isolation.
However, when it comes time to teach your Silver Labrador puppy more than the bare minimum, what do you want to train them on first? More importantly, how should you approach their training in a way that actually benefits them?
Always make sure that you give your Lab puppy chances to interact with others. While Labradors get a good reputation for being social animals, they still need to develop this themselves – ideally across a range of activities and with a range of different people.
The best way to do this is through exercise, either by taking them for walks and meeting new people or allowing them to play with other dogs. Shrug off bad interactions with angry dogs and try to aim for good ones – the more positive they are, the better they are for your Lab.
This is also important for preventing unexpected outbursts. If a Labrador feels like it can get along with most dogs and people, it will not get into fights as often and will be more likely to simply avoid a snarling or barking dog instead of engaging with them.
Always use positive reinforcement to train your Silver Lab, not negative reinforcement. While it can be tempting to punish them for doing things that they should not be doing, the Lab will usually interpret this as you being mean, which can drive a small rift between the two of you.
Positive reinforcement is far better. By praising, cuddling, or giving treats to your Lab after they do something good, you can reinforce good behavior and make it a lot easier for them to adopt habits that you want. Be sure not to over-feed them with treats, or they might gain extra weight.
Positive reinforcement should also be considered if they start demanding more treats or doing things that they should not be doing. Even if they are trying to get your attention, you should not simply feed them – this could lead to them getting greedy and trying it over and over again.
Potty training often means that you have to praise your dog for doing his business in the right place. Make sure that you teach your puppy where they should be going, and try to learn the signs that they might show if they need to poop while they are still indoors.
A large part of the training is learning how your dog reacts to different things, so you are also training yourself to understand what your pup is communicating. If they have a certain habit – like scratching at the door or staring out the window – then be sure to learn what it means and why they do it.
Potty training is also important for any Silver Labrador puppy that came from another family. You never know where they might have taught it to do its business, so be sure to re-teach them instead of assuming that they are already fully potty-trained.
Other Training Tips
Working with a Silver Lab can be complicated at first, so being able to adapt might be key for getting them to behave how you want. Never just rely on the basics when there might be other options that you should be using instead.
Try to put your Silver Lab in unusual situations, like adding distractions or giving it food in different places instead of one spot. This can help them develop to be a bit more observant, instead of relying on the exact same routine and not having to think about much.
This might also help if you have a very consistent schedule that means you always come home from work at the same time. Teaching your Lab to be patient and deal with unexpected situations can be very important and is not always something that you will consider at first.
Third-Party Training Help
Getting outside help with your training is always a good idea, especially if you have never owned a Silver Lab puppy before – or any kind of puppy – and have no idea where to start.
Online puppy training is a good option, allowing you to build up a proper training structure without having to keep a trainer in the same physical room. This makes it far easier to improve your relationship with your puppy and allows them to focus entirely on you.
On top of that, many online sites run by professional trainers will have a whole host of other facts on how to care for your Silver Lab puppy. Considering how much misinformation is out there about dog training and development, getting advice from actual experts can be a huge benefit.