We have a beautiful yellow lab and he is now 4 years old. His training was not what it should have been because after he came to us, my mother needed 24 hour care and moved in when he was 11 weeks old. He has learned more from our black lab than from us. He seems to have decided to become deaf when we call him. He has a tremendous nose and is distracted by nature and people. We adore him and want to be able to get his responses to be immediate. At this time there is no money for "professional" training since I can't work. He is a wonder in every other way--loving, sweetly natured and adored by us. What can we do to train him to listen to us and not ignore us.
If you have answers we will try whatever will work. I used to be a member of this board when I first got the black boy. You are always a great source of information.
I will stop begging now
Two things -- I suggest you Google Nothing in Life is Free and read some of the discussions of that type of training. Then feed your Lab using that method for training. In brief, it involves giving a command and, after it's followed, feeding the dog a few kibbles from your hand with praise. Meals are consumed in this fashion and training is fairly swift.
I do strongly suggest that you and your husband take equal turns in being the command giver and NILIF feeder so that you don't get one more dominant to your Lab than the other.
Also, I suggest you get a copy of Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash" -- this is about $12 + S&H from Amazon -- possibly available from your public library. It's mainstream, scientifically sound advice on how to train a variety of responses. Donaldson is a little too smart alecky or chippy for my preferred taste but her advice is very sound and it's probably the dog training book with the highest number of recommendations from experienced dog trainers.
Good luck, happy training.
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 07-26-2009 at 04:47 PM.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":