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Socializing Your Labrador Retriever

Socializing your Labrador Retriever will help him or her learn to become comfortable with their everyday environment and surroundings. Your Lab will become familiar with a variety of surroundings including noises, people, cars, kids, sights, scents and other animals in the neighborhood. As a dog owner you will want to expose your Labrador Retriever to his or her new environment immediately upon arriving home. There are a variety of steps listed below that will help guide you on your journey of socializing your dog.

  • Visit the Veterinarian – Once you arrive home, you will want to contact your local veterinarian to inquire about vaccinations. There are important vaccinations that need to be given to your Lab pup before you can expose him or her to other dogs or animals. Always assure your pup is updated on vaccinations and have the veterinarian’s approval to be around other dogs and public environments.
  • Explore the Area – While waiting for the veterinarian appointment for your Lab’s vaccinations, you can allow your pup to explore your home and fenced in yard. This will allow him or her to understand that they are in their home and this is the surroundings. It is also an excellent time to introduce your pup to family and friends by inviting them over to play with your pup.
  • Environmental Exposure – Once your Labrador Retriever pup has received the veterinarian’s approval to explore the world beyond the walls of your home, you will want to gradually expose him or her to the environment. Whether you live in the city or the country side, your pup will need to get accustomed to what their surroundings have to offer. If you live in a busy city, you will want your dog to feel comfortable and behave safely around buses, cars, motorcycles, strangers, barking dogs and other animals they will come in contact with. If you live in the country, your dog will have regular contact and exposure to live stock animals and farming equipment. Training your Lab to behave safely in their environment through proper training will help him or her enjoy a safe, healthy and happy life.

Labrador Retrievers are friendly, sweet and kind. When they are socialized from a young age they will surely thrive in their environment.   As a dog owner you will want to be patient during socialization training. There are moments when your Labrador Retriever may feel overwhelmed or fearful. If this happens, slowly remove your pup from the environment and bring him or her to a safe location where they can feel calm again.

Beware of over exposure. This happens when pet parents get too excited about socializing their Lab and they do expose their dog to a large amount of situations in a quick time frame. You will always want to start socialization at home and work your way out of the house. This is easily done by taking your Labrador Retriever pup for a walk around the neighborhood or to specific destinations that you will be frequently visiting throughout his or her lifetime. You will then want to continue to expand your pup’s exposure gradually by adding a new area every three days or at least once a week. Socialize your Labrador Retriever and you will have a well-balanced dog that enjoys life in almost any environment.

Photo credit: Paul David/Flickr

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