4 Simple Training Commands for Your Labrador Retriever

Here are some simple training commands for your Labrador retriever. We’ll start with just the basics for now.

Sit!

This command should have your Lab stop what she’s doing and sit on her hind legs. This is the simplest command for any dog to learn, especially you Lab. You can begin teach your puppy this command at an early age and you’ll continue re-enforce through out her life. It is the building block of other commands because it also teaches you how to handle your Labrador retriever.

While your puppy is standing and focused on you place your hand right above her hip bone by her rear and tell her to ‘Sit’ in your best command voice. While simultaneously saying ‘Sit’ press down on her butt. This will let her know what you want done. When her butt is on the ground praise her for a job well done.

Continue doing this daily until you no longer need to re-enforce the desired behavior by placing your hand on the Lab’s rear and pushing down. Though this can be done when your Lab is very excited and not listening very well. Be careful not to push too hard or you may injure your Lab.

Stay!

With this command you will be able to have your Labrador retriever sit and stay at a specified place until your ready. This is very useful when attempting to cross a street or if your hands are to full deal with everything life is throwing at you including your Lab!

Begin this training exercise with your puppy sitting in front of you. Place you full extended hand palm forward (like you are telling a robber to stop) so your Lab can see it. While doing this say ‘Stay’.

The objective with this command is to have your Lab freeze like a robber. While one of the easiest commands it is also very hard because your Lab will want to come to you! At first begin this teaching this command while she’s right in front of you. If she stands up and commands towards you, then tell her to ‘Sit’ and make sure she sits. Then repeat the ‘Stay’ command with your hand extended palm out. Continue doing this until your Lab stays while in front of you.

Over time you will be able to back up a little bit farther away from your Lab and tell her to ‘Stay’. Guess what? She will! A little bit later down the time line you should be able to tell your Labrador retriever to stay while quite a ways away. Some very well trained Labs will stay even if the master is not present. In these situations its important to release the Lab from the ‘Stay’ command. This can be done with the ‘Come’ or ‘OK’ commands which will be covered in the next part.

Come!

You’ve began training your Labrador retriever to ‘stay’ in place, but how do you him from that stance? The easy answer is with the ‘come’ command. This command will let your pup know that he can come towards to you. This is best practiced at first with a leash on your Lab so that he will know to come to you when call.

To begin the training have your Lab ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ while on his leash. Walk backwards enough to at the end of leash. Now call your puppy’s name and say ‘Come’. Your Lab may not know what to do at first so you can give a simple tug on the leash. This will let him know it time to come to you.

In the beginning stages of training your Labrador retriever may be paying attention to you. In these instances you can tug on the leash a little stronger to get his attention. Over time your Lab will listen to you while not on the leash. You can start this when your puppy is young as well.

Leave the leash off your Lab and have him ‘sit’ and ‘stay’. While moving backwards quickly call your puppy’s name and say ‘Come’. Your lab will chase after you in a fun, energetic way. Your Lab will love this! Make sure to praise him once he gets to you.

No!

This is the easiest and hardest command to teach your Labrador retriever. This command is used to let your Lab know that his current behavior is not what is expected of him and he should stop it immediately.

In a firm, loud voice say your Lab’s name and then ‘No!’. You can extend your pointer finger towards him to enforce it. You Lab puppy should stop the bad behavior and look at you after hearing his name. At that time make any corrective behavior adjusts necessary to reinforce the positive behavior you want from your Labrador retriever.

What makes this command so difficult for us humans is that when our Labs are acting inappropriately we want to act inappropriately as well by hitting or whipping them. This does not correct any behavior in your puppy. Most of the time it only confuses him because he did stop when he heard the command and now he is being punished for doing so. Be careful you don’t fall in to this trap when first learning to train your Labrador retriever or you may find yourself and your Lab in deep waters later.

There are many more tricks to teach your old Labrador retriever or puppy. These require a Lab to have these basics down firmly. You should train your Lab puppy everyday in order to practice these commands and have them understood properly for a long and safe life for your Lab.

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