A healthy dog needs to exercise regularly, which means you have to take him outdoors. However, you wouldn’t want him running off with you following wildly. He may harm himself or hurt others in the process, and that is why leash training is an important part of Labrador Training.
Your dog should learn how to walk beside you. He should learn not to wander off or to pull you along. Labs are big dogs that can drag you around, so this training should be started as soon as you bring the pup home. Patience and rewards are the important factors here.
Once you get your pup, you should get a suitable collar for him. The collar should not be too tight or too loose. Your pet should be able to breathe comfortably with the leash around his neck, and he also needs to get used to the added weight around his throat.
Put the leash on for short periods at first. He will naturally whine and scratch, but don’t take off the collar when he is whining. This will send the signal that the collar is a bad thing. Let him get used to it, and once he relaxes, you can take off the collar. Repeat this process till he gets used to the collar.
Next comes the leash; attach the leash and let him run around the house dragging it. Once he gets used to the leash and collar, you can take control. Take him out for short walks. The Lab is naturally inquisitive, and he will try and pull you ahead by dragging you along on the leash. Be sure to correct his behavior as a pup, because it won’t be easy to control a big dog.
As your Lab starts pulling on the leash, you can do two things: one is to stand fixed at one spot. Don’t call out to him and don’t try to pull him back. Stand still till he realizes it is futile to pull. Once he stops pulling, you can resume walking.
The other trick is to immediately turn around and walk the other way. In this way, your pup, which was a few steps ahead of you, will now be behind you. This will confuse the pup as he tries to concentrate on you. His attention will be on you instead and not on pulling ahead. Don’t allow him to drag you, or it will become a part of his behavior. Keep turning till he realizes that this is going to lead nowhere.
During Labrador Training, you have to understand your pup’s mood. The pup might splay down and refuse to move. Here, a treat might come in handy, but don’t give it to him or call him to you. Put the treat near your foot and let him come and get it. Keep repeating this, and he will eventually learn that he will get treats if he follows you.
Give him treats in intervals so that he associates good things with his walking on the leash. Some pups might try to bite on the leash. To stop him from doing so, don’t yank or pull. Just point the leash straight up. Once he finds it difficult to chew on it in this position, he will soon give up.
Remember to always praise him on his achievements and good behavior. Make a strict rule never to allow bad behavior. Labs are good natured dogs. They try hard to please their masters. With a little patience and encouragement reinforced with some doggy treats, you will soon achieve this essential part of Labrador Training.
An important factor to consider is what kind of collar you should use. If you are using a pinch collar or a choker, you have to be very careful while handling the dog. Don’t pull or yank the leash, because you might end up hurting the dog’s neck or even worse, this might affect him psychologically. Also make sure never to put him in the crate with the collar on, as it might get entangled and choke him.
Leash training should be fun. Your dog must realize that going out on a leash means going for a walk where he can come across so many interesting things. It is supposed to be your special time with him, and once he realizes this, you will have a well trained dog walking by your side. This will be one big achievement in your Labrador Training routine.