how to train labrador retriever

How Trainable is the Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever has been a well-known breed for centuries, consistently staying at the top for favorites. In fact, the Labrador has been United States’ top breed for 26 consecutive years through the American Kennel Club.

But not all loveable breeds are easy to train. Take the English Bulldog for instance. It is a fan favorite, yet it’s stubborn streak makes it incredibly difficult to learn anything aside what the dog wants. The Labrador Retriever has a different reputation.

In a nutshell, the Labrador Retriever is indeed a trainable dog. There are many factors that go into a dog that is willing to learn new commands, let alone follow through.

In this article, we will look at why they are so easy to train, including the history of the breed and if they start out trainable, or if it is after they mature.

The Temperament of a Labrador Retriever

The temperament of a dog does have an impact on the trainability throughout its life. The Happy Puppy Site highlights how important it is to find a trainable temperament, that can be found in some breeds more than others.

Labrador Retrievers are known for having a “happy” disposition. This can also be described as a kind, easy-going dog that is tolerant. They are always ready to follow their owner around.

These dogs are also trusting of any newcomer, whether that be a child or a stranger. They are dedicated, paying close attention to what they’re being asked to do. Unlike the English Bulldog mentioned previously, they do not possess stubborn qualities. Here is a guide about Labrador Retriever temperament.

The Devoted Labrador Retriever

The Labrador is a devoted dog, from its nose to the tip of its rudder-like tail. Pet Coach mentions how this can be manifested through obedience to their owner or relentless fetching of their favorite ball.

No matter the subject, these dogs are loyal. But why exactly are they so devoted? This can be pinpointed back to their origins.

The History of the Labrador Retriever

The first evidence of this breed began near Newfoundland, not from Labrador, Canada, as most would assume. These ancestors were present in the 19th century, where dogs were imported from Newfoundland to Labrador.

The first Labradors were actually referred to as “St. John’s dogs”. They were used to retrieve fishing lines and lost prey. This job took all day, meaning that the breed needed to be hard-working, sturdy, and resilient to the water.

These remarkable traits turned the water dog into the hunting labs that we have today.

Labrador Retrievers were at the heels of people from the start, always eager to work. When comparing that attitude with the Labradors of the present, there are significant similarities. This continued devotion plays into the trainability of this breed as a whole.

What Jobs Do Labrador Retrievers Have Today?

With a consistently hard worker, this breed has been promoted past the jobs of its historical origins. Listed below are a few other tasks that Labs participate in nowadays, showing their ability to be trained in a myriad of ways.

  • Hunting
  • Guide dogs
  • Therapy work
  • Search and Rescue
  • Detection
  • Tracking

How Intelligent are Labrador Retrievers?

Intelligence in dogs is measured through a series of tests involving their ability to learn complex exercises and perform them without excessive cueing.

Psychology Today confirms that although there are two different kinds of intelligence, adaptive and instinctive, this form of evaluation is adequate.

According to the Canine Journal, the Labrador Retriever has been labeled as the seventh smartest breed to currently exist. This breed is enthusiastic when it comes to learning, making their ability to focus quite useful.

What Kind of Training Does a Labrador Respond Best to?

Depending on the breed, training can be easier. Understanding the currency, or way that you can connect best with your dog will aid you in getting the best results. As mentioned by Sport Dog, reward based training is the best kind of training for a Labrador Retriever.

The reason for this system relates back to their history. This breed has a great sense of drive, taking a greater sense of accomplishment after earning a retrievable item, or a treat. Labradors area already intelligent and loyal, but the added reward gives them even more motivation.

Can Labrador Retrievers Be Hard to Train?

As with all dogs, the breed is only a standard. Not every individual within a purebred line will respond and react as you’d think. Some Labs, for instance, may be more stubborn or independent, making training a little more difficult.

Are Labrador Retriever Puppies Trainable?

As with all puppies, they are known to bite, whine and urinate in the house. Compared to young dogs of a different breed, Labrador puppies are known to want to be by your side from the start. They have been known to be easier to train as they are loyal and eager to please.

Professional breeders who aim to raise hunting dogs begin the training process from day one. Brookstone Kennels explains the intricacies in raising a young Labrador for a happy, thriving relationship between you and your dog.

How Do I Set My Labrador Up For Success?

Regardless of the breed of dog that you own, training cannot happen without all of their needs being met. When you try to teach a dog that has too much energy, they are unable to focus. The same goes for a Labrador Retriever, even if they are easily trainable.

Dog Time mentions that a Labrador requires a sufficient amount of exercise each day in order to avoid any unwanted behaviors. In terms of exercise, they should get about an hour per day of physical activity. In addition, they will need to be properly socialized.

Taking your dog or puppy to an obedience class or training is a great way to set them up for success. Yes, Labrador Retriever’s are easy to train, but this does not mean that there will be hiccups as you are both learning each other.

Take the time to learn your Labrador as you proceed with training. This breed is eager to please, making trainability a wonderful trait when teaching either a dog or a puppy. But with every dog, make sure to meet their needs first so that they can give you their full attention.

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