How to educate a farmer?

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The labrador retriever It is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Not surprisingly, his noble character, adaptability, and intelligence make him the ideal fit in many families. Apart from being good companions, these dogs are also known for their aptitudes as a working dog in many different fields, be it in the police, in search and rescue and even as a guide dog for the blind..

That said, if we have considered welcoming a dog of this breed at home, or we are already living with one, it is necessary to understand that it also needs a correct education to be able to live in harmony. For this reason, at AnimalWised we explain what you should know about how to train a labrador, puppy and adult.

You may also be interested in: How to train a rabbit? Index
  1. When to train a Labrador puppy?
  2. How to train a Labrador puppy?
  3. How to train an adult Labrador?

When to train a Labrador puppy?

All dogs from the moment of birth are constantly learning. In the same way as human babies, puppies are in a process of capturing and processing the stimuli that surround their environment.

In the first 3 months of life prior to weaning, the mother provides the education appropriate to their litter, such as what they can eat or that the human is harmless. Conversely, a mother with fear of humans will transmit that same fear to her cubs. For this reason, if you have had the opportunity to get to know the puppy since its birth, you should not start teaching it basic obedience exercises yet. For now, if you relate to him in a calm way, and as long as the mother is comfortable, it is enough. In this way, the puppy will start to trust you..

From 3 months of age, the furry one can already be separated from its mother, since she generally begins to distance herself from her puppies and avoids breastfeeding them, since her teeth are growing and hurting her. We must always respect this natural weaning period, since a puppy separated before its time from its mother usually shows socialization and mood problems, which will be a learning problem and generally cause long-term behavior problems. It is their mother who initiates the socialization of the children and we must not hinder this moment.

Once at home, the puppy is already approximately 3 months old, you can start working on your education. In this first stage, you must establish the rules and habits that you want him to comply with as an adult, although never through the use of punishment, since you will become a threatening stimulus and he will lose confidence in you. That is, if you do not want your Labrador to get on the couch when he is older, start avoiding him now that he is a puppy. In this way, you will be consistent in your behavior and your dog will understand it. In other words, it will not make much sense to him that you have let him get on the sofa as a puppy and that when he is an adult do not allow it, this will only confuse him and could end up developing a behavior problem.

At this stage it is also very important encourage the puppy's curiosity and exploration through games, as well as introducing new objects and diverse environments that encourage stimulation. In this way, the puppy will develop its physical and cognitive abilities.

Similarly, a adequate and progressive socialization it is also vital when educating our farmer. And, since puppies are in a period in which they are especially receptive to environmental stimuli, if during this stage they learn to normalize being with other dogs, animals and people, when they are adults they will not present problems as long as they relate the interaction with a positive emotion. That is, this sensitivity can represent a double-edged sword, since a bad experience will leave a strong impression on the child's learning. For this reason, you should avoid forcing situations in order not to associate negative experiences and reward your puppy with food and games..

If you want to learn more about the socialization of your Labrador puppy, you may be interested in this other article: "¿How to socialize a puppy correctly? ".

How to train a Labrador puppy?

We must understand canine education as layered learning, in which the puppy must first acquire non-basic instructions in his learning and gradually increase the difficulty. On the contrary, if we want our dog to learn complex commands in a short period of time, we will only manage to stress him out and get frustrated..

Learning must be done through positive reinforcement, that is, we must associate the behaviors that we want our Labrador to perform with positive emotions, giving them treats, words of encouragement, caresses, etc. We also have the option of rewarding it through games. Now, Labradors tend to have a rather sweet tooth, therefore rewarding them with food would be the best thing to do. In addition, when the puppy performs behaviors that we consider inappropriate, but that are due to its nature, we must provide alternatives to take care of the welfare of our animal.

Once the previous points are understood, we provide you with a small guide on the basic education that you will need to provide your puppy so that you can avoid behavior problems once it is an adult. So let's see how to train a labrador puppy:

Teach him to come to your call

The usual thing in the Labrador puppy is that it follows us constantly because we are its reference figure and we provide it with security. It is possible that he will go a few meters away to browse the surroundings and then return, even if we have not called him. Yes We warmly reward this behavior, The "return ", through a very succulent reward, we will make the adult dog much more obedient and come when we call, since it will relate it to something positive. We must, therefore, also accustom him to relate this action to calling him, always using the same word (his name or the command "come ", for example).

As our Lab grows into a teenager, he will begin to develop more independent behavior and may start to ignore us. It is common in these cases for owners to lose their temper and scold their dogs. However, we must be patient and never punish or yell at our dog, much less when we want it to obey us in coming to our call, since it is counterproductive because if it sees us angry it will want to leave. We must therefore continue to encourage our furry to associate coming with something rewarding, playing with him or giving him prizes, avoiding that every time we call him it is for something negative for him. For example, if when he is in a free environment we only call him to put him on the leash, he will not come.

Help him inhibit the bite

Puppies have a habit of biting for two reasons: first, it is their way of calming the pain caused by tooth growth; second, it is their way of exploring and interacting with the environment. Now, when our Labrador bites us while playing, it is important that we indicate him by saying a "¡ay! "or similar and let's stop playing with him. In this way, it will interpret that when it bites hard it hurts us and it will learn to control its strength. Also, when we play we can use ropes and similar objects that can bite and positively associate with the game..

Similarly, when we see that he chews on inappropriate objects, we will provide him with toys that he likes to chew on (such as those with prizes inside) and we will reward him when he plays with them. We must therefore, give you more interesting alternatives and thus we will dissuade you from biting something unwanted.

For more information on how to teach a puppy not to bite, we recommend reading: "¿How to teach a puppy not to bite? ".

Provide hygienic habits

To educate a Labrador puppy to relieve himself in the right place, we must, first of all, determine a place at home that is his bathroom to place his newspaper or a soaker there and encourage him to do it there. When you do it correctly, we will reward you with praise and treats so that you understand that you have done well. It is important to note that this option should only be used when the puppy cannot go outside at the request of the veterinarian. Once the little one can start walking, the ideal is get him used to relieving himself outside.

So, when we go out for a walk and see that he defecates outside, we will reward him for learning how to do it outside the home. We must be understanding, since puppies are not able to control their bowel movements well and, therefore, it is possible that many times they cannot hold it. As our work grows, it will internalize this learning and better control its depositions..

Teach him to stay alone

It is very important that your dog learns to be alone in a positive way, and this learning will prevent him from developing separation anxiety. This should be a gradual process, since we cannot pretend that our Labrador being a puppy feels safe being alone from one day to the next. For this purpose, we should leave our puppy alone in the room where he feels most comfortable along with a toy with which he can entertain (we recommend the use of the kong), for a few minutes, without coming if he cries or calls us (from otherwise, it could mistakenly learn to bark to get our attention).

We will carry out these sessions several times throughout the day and progressively increasing the time. Little by little, our puppy will learn that, even if we leave, we always come back and he will find himself calm and distracted with the objects that we have left him. Then, we can start doing these sessions leaving home for short periods of time.

Educate him to walk on a leash

Proper learning from a puppy on how to walk on a leash will prevent our dog from pulling it in the future. We shall normalize belt so that the puppy does not perceive it as something negative, since from the perspective of our puppy, wearing a leash is an impediment to move freely. For this reason, we will calmly put on the collar and leash and reward you at the moment so that you associate them with something positive. We will also try not to abuse with the time that the puppy spends with the leash on and we will always be watching him, since if we get lost he could break it.

To practice the ride, we will try to move inside the house with our furry and we will reward him for staying by our side. When you walk away and the leash is tightened, we will stand still, call you back, and reward you again. In this way, you will learn not to pull on the leash. Little by little, we will have to practice this activity outside the home. You may be interested in reading: "Walking the puppy on a leash for the first time ".

Once the puppy has acquired the habits described above, we can consider teaching him new instructions, such as dropping objects, sitting down… It should be noted that despite being Labradors, each dog is unique and, therefore, your puppy may have more facilities or difficulties to learn some things.

How to train an adult Labrador?

Once our labrador already has completed the year and has acquired the necessary routines for coexistence, we can consider learning more complex exercises.

The Labrador is a very adaptable breed to all kinds of situations and activities, therefore, our dog has great potential to acquire all kinds of abilities and tricks if that is what we want. We must always bear in mind that for our farmer to learn a complex slogan, it must be made up of more basic orders. For example, to teach him to "make the croquette ", it will be necessary for him to first learn to lie on the floor and follow our hand. We invite you to read the following article in which we offer you all our tips and tricks to learn how to teach your dog different basic commands.

In addition, we must be constant, dedicate time each day to our furry and practice for no more than half an hour or an hour with a break in between. In fact, it is much better establish short sessions, of about 15 minutes, spread over different times of the day. In this way, we will ensure that our dog is focused and motivated. Likewise, if we are not animated enough or we are down and stressed, it is advisable not to do any session with our dog, since it could capture our mood and negatively associate it with exercise..

If we do not seek to teach our dog to perform a lot of different exercises, we must bear in mind that although it is not strictly necessary, it is important that we keep our dog mentally active through environmental enrichment, for example. Learning exercises is one of the different ways to achieve this and, together with the care that this breed needs, such as adequate physical exercise, we can keep our Labrador calm and without problems in his daily behavior.

On the contrary, a dog of this breed that is bored, can develop various difficulties, such as pica syndrome (ingestion of objects such as dirt, paper…). And we must not forget that the Labrador is a working dog, which need to stay active so that your well-being is covered.

Tips for Training an Adopted Adult Labrador

Now, if you happen to have adopted an adult Labrador Retriever and wonder if you still have time to educate him, the answer is yes. However, in these cases it is important that we try to know the history of the dog, if possible, and that we learn to identify its signals to know if it is afraid, scared, stressed, etc. Dogs that have been abused, especially, tend to be adopted with a number of traumas that must be addressed before any basic order is taught. For this reason, we advise go to a veterinarian specialized in ethology for you to evaluate it and indicate the steps to follow before starting the Labrador training on our own.

If the adopted dog is in perfect condition, then we recommend starting with socialization and gaining their trust. From here, we can start education from the beginning, but keeping in mind that an adult may take a little longer than a puppy to internalize the rules and orders..

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