Training your Labrador to come requires patience, commitment, and patience.
Wait… did I already say that one? Oh, yeah, I did.
Because it’s going to take A LOT of patience.
Training any dog is a process, but training your Labrador can be an entirely different animal, as it were.
We all know that Labs have a reputation for being goofy, but unlike other breeds like the Pit Bull, Labs came by their reputation honestly. LOL
Related: What is the best dog for a labrador?
Easy Mistakes to Make When Training Your Labrador
Labradors are the perfect storm of space cadet. While they are intelligent, they are also highly excitable and easily distracted.
That means you have to bring your A game. Because while Labs might not be the hardest dogs to train, they do require a little elbow grease every once in a while.
The biggest thing to remember when training your Lab is not to let impatience or frustration sabotage you. In your quest to get results, you could end up crippling your training.
Bribing is a common mistake that’s easy to make when training a dog.
In fact, many people don’t even realize they’re doing it. His treats should be a reward for completing the task, not a catalyst for it. So don’t do things like shake the treat bag or wave the treats towards your dog. Keep them out of sight until your dog follows your command.
No Moving Towards Your Dog
Chase is the classic dog game, and no dog loves it more than Labs.
When training your Labrador to come, NEVER move towards him. If you take one step towards him, it’s all over. He must come to you 100% to get his reward.
Training without Treats
If you want reliable results, you have to train with food. Lots of people think their dog should obey just for the affection they’re receive, but if you think that through, you’ll see it doesn’t work. Think about what training your Labrador is. You are teaching him to obey a specific command, and it requires a specific reward.
Your dog gets an ear scratch and a belly rub from you whenever he enters your orbit. It’s old hat. Sure, he likes it, but will it stand up to a squirrel racing across his path? Nope. He can get that belly rub from you at any time, but that squirrel is in front of him NOW!
That’s why you have to train with treats, and they have to be treats so good, you’d think they were crack. Your dog’s reward must be something so outstanding that he will always be eager to follow your commands.
Training your Labrador requires a distraction-free zone, at least at the beginning. The last thing you need when training your Labrador is anything more interesting than you and your treat crossing your dog’s path.
No Training on a Full Stomach
Even though a Labrador would eat until he exploded if you let him, it’s still a good idea for him to be a bit on the hungry side before starting a training session. You want him to be a little hungry so that his super cool, super delicious treat is extra enticing.
Training Your Labrador – Avoid the Pifalls
When training your Labrador, it can be so tempting to take a shortcut here or there or give him a little extra enticement to get him on his way to learning, but that is a mistake.
If any dog needs structured training with absolutely no deviation, it’s the super adorable, super goofy Lab.
These guys are just too all over the place for anything other that laser focus and a strict adherence to training principals. So stick to your guns, and don’t fall into the above training traps.