We all know we have to train our Labrador Retriever puppies at some point to ensure that they grow to become well-behaved pets. However, do you know when to start training your Lab puppy?
Let’s discuss when you should start training a Labrador puppy and other common questions in the sections below.
When to start training your Labrador puppy?
The best time to start training a Labrador puppy is when they are 2 months old (7-8 weeks old). Most puppies will easily learn how to follow basic commands like “stay” and “sit” at this age.
Some people think that 2 months old is too young for a Lab puppy to start training.
However, Labradors mature faster than human children. Therefore, they will be at the right age to start learning new things, especially since they will already be an adolescent by the time they are 6-7 months old.
When you start training your Labrador at this age, it will let them know that you are the alpha and that they need to listen to you.
Hence, it will be so much easier to train them and teach them new tricks when they are older.
It is also a perfect time to start correcting behaviors. If you train them early, they will not let bad habits form. Instead, you will prevent bad habits from forming or stop them before they can become normal for your dog.
Can you wait until your Labrador Retriever puppy is 6 months old?
Some people believe that you should wait until your Labrador is 6 months old before you can train them.
However, most dogs are in their adolescence at that age, and this can make it harder to train them.
At that age, you should already be reinforcing everything that you taught them before rather than just starting to train them.
Do not underestimate a Labrador’s intelligence. Even at a young age, most Labrador Retriever puppies can already pick up tricks and learn how to be obedient pretty quickly.
It is easier to mold good behavior and obedience when they are young. Otherwise, it will be difficult to change their behavior when they are older.
When dogs are 6 months old, they are already slowly but surely forming adult behaviors and habits.
However, that does not mean they will grow out of any bad behavior or disobedience. It means that if your dog is disobedient at 6 months old because you did not train them early, it will be harder to train them on how to be obedient.
Additionally, if you train your puppy at an early age, it will be easier to know what they will need when they are older.
Because many behavior issues will be apparent by the time they are 6 months old, it will be easier to focus on behavior issues when they already had their obedience training.
Bear in mind, though, that you should be very consistent when you train them while they are young.
Although your Lab pup may be able to quickly learn whatever you teach them. They can forget it if you do not do training drills.
Therefore, you need to do regular training drills even when they have mastered a command.
How often should you train your Lab puppy?
There is no standard set time that you need to follow. However, it would be best to train them daily, especially when they are young.
However, you do not want your Labrador puppy to train for hours, as they will get tired and frustrated. Plus, their attention span will not last for that long.
What you can do instead is train your Lab for short intervals. For instance, you can train a 2-month-old puppy for 15 minutes, twice a day.
When they are older, you can slightly increase or decrease the time and frequency as needed.
Can you use food to train your Labrador puppy?
Ideally, treats are the best way to train dogs, especially Labradors. Labs love to eat, so they are very motivated by food.
Healthy snacks and treats will help you quickly train your Lab puppy, particularly at the start.
However, that does not mean that you need to give them a reward every time they listen to you.
Once you think your Lab puppy masters a command, you don’t have to give them treats each time they follow your command.
Other than giving them treats every now and then, you can try petting your Labrador Retriever and telling them nice things in a kind tone.
Labradors adore their owners, so simple words of praise and physical affection will be more than enough for them.
Labradors are a smart breed, so the best time to start training a Lab puppy is as soon as they reach 7-8 months old.
If you start their training later, it can be harder for you to control them and change their behavior for the better.
For tips on how to start training your Lab puppy, feel free to check our post on the subject here.