Bringing home a Labrador retriever puppy entails a lot of your perseverance and patience to raise an obedient and well-trained member of the pack. The early stages of training a Labrador puppy is primarily made up of potty training and crate training.
Many lab owners are lucky enough to bring home a sweet puppy that does not cry out when placed inside its crate for the first time. However, there are those who suffer from several days and nights listening to their new puppy’s whining and barking.
Crate training is very important and should be the first one that should be given attention before potty training. Crating your puppy will help prevent accidents at night time or while you are away.
Crate training involves creating an environment inside the crate where the puppy will feel comfortable thus encouraging him to spend time inside. You can achieve this by placing your pup’s favorite toys and blanket inside. Start by letting your pup spend a few minutes inside the crate and gradually increasing it. Be sure to give him his favorite treat when he remains quiet inside his crate.
Training a Lab puppy involves consistency. Creating a schedule and sticking to it is a major step than can contribute to the success of a dog’s training program. Feeding time is an important highlight of a Labrador’s day, thus it should have a set schedule to enable you to estimate how much time it will take for digestion of his meals and consequently when elimination can possibly take place.
Labrador retrievers are very particularly about assigning tasks or experiences to specific sites. A potty spot should be designated in your yard and this is where you should take your puppy each time he has to attend to the call of nature. You should be the one who will designate a specific spot in your yard rather than the other way around. With consistency, your Lab puppy will learn to associate this potty spot with urination or defecation. With their very keen sense of smell, maintaining a small area will give him focus while helping keep your yard clean and free from “land mines” courtesy of your Labrador retriever.
A Labrador puppy needs to urinate frequently because of its small urinary bladder. Thus you need to take him outside frequently to avoid accidents inside the house. The best times to lead him to his potty spot are upon waking up and after finishing a meal.
While your puppy is doing his thing, stand quietly and avoid providing any distractions. Your Lab is exceptionally alert and can easily get distracted. Any movement or noise that you make might distract him from his “task” while on potty break. As playful as Labs can be, your puppy might try to play with you and refuses to pee or poo. When he does this, turn away and ignore him in order to make him realize that it’s not the right time to play. In time he will learn to give in and take care of his “task”.
A Labrador retriever thrives on praise and rewards. Every time he successfully pees or poos on the potty spot, lavish him with praise and give him his favorite treat. This will convey a message to him that you are pleased with him and will continue to do so in return for a short play session, his favorite treat or a tummy rub.
The average time for a Labrador puppy to be successfully potty-trained is around 10-14 days. More often than not, there may be times when you don’t want to take all the trouble to bring him outside every hour or two but a successfully housebroken puppy is worth the trouble and effort.
Consistency in puppy training can never be overemphasized. Dogs are a creature of habit and being consistent in your efforts will easily train your dog to an established routine.
While potty training your Labrador retriever, never assume perfection because there will be the possibility of accidents. Practice patience and tolerance for your body language will reveal negative vibes that can be perceived by your sensitive Lab. Your attitude as alpha dog is one of the most important factor that will determine how fast your puppy can learn and establish the accepted routine.