One of the best family dogs are Labrador retrievers. Once upon a time, they were known as 'St. John's Dogs' and were brought to England from Newfoundland Canada in the early 1800s. These dogs were used by Canadian fishermen to retrieve fish that feel off the hooks and even haul swimming lines and fishing nets. Today, these dogs are popularly known as 'Labs' and come in three colors; black, yellow (light cream to reddish) and chocolate (light to dark brown). They are the best dogs for children of all ages. However, many people believe it is rather a bit tough training Labrador retrievers. However, if you follow some basic Labrador retriever training tips, you will soon see a perfectly housebroken, trained and obedient pup making its way in everyone's heart. The following paragraphs will discuss some of the basic Labrador training tips for new owners.

Basic Labrador Training Tips for New Owners

When I talk about basic Labrador training tips for new owners, it is to be assumed we are discussing puppies. This is because, a new owner would probably choose a puppy over an adult dog. A puppy is easier to train and mold according to ones family needs and labs are mostly good dogs for kids. Bringing home a puppy helps strengthen the bond between a kid and the pup. Anyway, let us now begin with some Labrador retriever training tips, starting with the most important part.

House Training Labrador Retrievers

The moment a puppy is born, his mother begins to train him to feed, play and defend themselves. One needs to be consistent with the rules from day one. A small puppy make look really cute doing its funny antics, but, by overlooking their mistakes, you are encouraging bad behavior. However, training Labrador retrievers is not very complicated and can be fun for both the owner and the pup. You see, a puppy is just like a human kid, it does not know right from wrong. As an owner, you need to guide your puppy and undertake his dog obedience training in the right manner.

By the time a lab puppy is 2 to 3 months old, he should have begun his dog training lessons. You should teach him his daily routines, that is, location of food and water dishes. He should know he will be fed 3 times a day; morning, early afternoon and night. He should be aware of his bed, time of going to bed and the time to wake up. He should be aware of the route to be taken for his daily walks and the place he needs to go 'potty'. You should teach him the word 'NO' means to stop immediately with whatever that he is doing and 'Good' means he is being praised. This will help you with this housebreaking exercise. You see, a puppy needs to go to the bathroom many times a day as he still is not able to control his bladder. You should make sure he is taken to the same spot everyday at the same time to answer natures call.

You should wake him up at the same time in the morning from his sleep and immediately take him to the spot where he needs to go 'potty'. While he is doing his business, you should utter the word 'potty' or 'go potty'. This will help him associate the word to his action. Next, you should feed him at the same time and once he finishes, take him to the same spot for 'potty'. If he does not go 'potty', wait for sometime and allow him to pass urine to stools. As a puppy, he will have many accidents, thus, the minute you see him trying to go 'potty' within the house, shout out a loud and firm 'NO'. Clap or make some sound that will distract him and make him stop what he is doing. Immediately, take him to the spot where he needs to go 'potty' and allow him to relieve himself. If the puppy does have an accident within the house, there is no use lecturing or punishing him. He will not be able to comprehend what is upsetting you and will further push away the dog from your dog training efforts.

A Labrador retriever puppy may need to go and relieve himself many times a day. You should take him to the assigned spot every 1 ½ to 2 hours, whether or not he shows signs of 'potty'. Make sure you make him go to the bathroom, before he sleeps in the night. You may have to get up once or twice during the night and take him to the bathroom. Puppies as I said are like kids, they may need to use the bathroom at night too. When your puppy relieves himself at the assigned place, praise him and reward him. If your puppy has no accidents for a month, it means you have successfully house trained your Labrador retriever. If the pup has an accident, it means you have not been consistent and need to start all over again.

Leash Training Labrador Retrievers

Next in Labrador retriever training tips, is leash training. Your Labrador retrievers needs more than just a simple walk. He needs to be properly exercised and given ample of play time. Labradors are energetic dogs that love activities and games. They are good with fly ball, swimming, tracking and even playing fetch. But, before you take your puppy out in a park, you should make sure you have successfully completed dog leash training.

You should always have the length of the leash consistent. Never shorten or lengthen the leash as it will confuse the dog. Keep a comfortable length of the leash as it will help the dog know the distance he can be away from you. Keep in mind you are to be the alpha dog, the leader. If you give in to any of the dogs demands, you will have obedience problems. Dogs are pack animals and learn to follow a leader. You have to remain the leader for your dog.

While taking a walk, you should pull the dog in the direction you want to move. If your dog pulls you to a certain direction, stop in your tracks immediately. Do not move till the dog stops pulling you. Once the Labrador stops pulling, you should start walking in the direction you want to move. The dog will have no choice but to follow you. Make sure you take the same route everyday to help the dog recognize the way back home. Once you are successful with leash training, your dog will never leave your side. When your Labrador retriever follows your commands, make sure you shower him with praises. You can offer him dog treats as rewards for his good behavior.

Now, it is time to teach him to play fetch. You should toss a small flying disk or tennis ball towards your dog. Then, shout the word, 'Fetch'. When he has the ball or disk in his mouth, call out 'come' and allow him to drop the object in your hand. Once he completes this task successfully, praise him as much as you can and reward him with a treat.

Command Training Labrador Retrievers

There are a few basic commands a Labrador retriever should be taught as early as possible. These commands include; 'sit', 'sleep', 'stand', 'come', 'go', 'fetch', 'stop', 'no', etc. These commands should be as short as possible and very clear to understand. Do not use long words or sentences as the puppy will get confused. While you are leash training your Labrador retriever, make sure you teach him to 'sit' while on leash. This will help you break the habit of pulling the leash while going on a walk. Teach the dog to 'come' by saying the word or by using a whistle. When your dog comes to you on hearing the word or whistle, praise him and reward him with doggie treats.

If you are wondering how do you teach a dog to 'stand', 'sit' or 'sleep', well it is very simple. Sit or stand opposite your dog with a dog treat in your hand. Make sure the dog sees the treat and hold the treat over his head. Then move the treat in your hand from front to back and utter the command, 'sit'. Initially, you may have to direct the dog towards the ground and make him understand what 'sit' means. Once the dog sits, praise him and give him his reward. Repeat the same command for a few more times and give him a break. After sometime, repeat the same command, till he is trained properly. Continue the same process for the other commands. You should teach him to sit before you place the food bowl in front of him. This way you will have a well-trained dog on your hands. When you use 'NO', make sure you use a gentle, yet firm tone. A positive reinforcement is one of the key Labrador retriever training tips.

Labrador Retriever Training Supplies

You can visit a pet store or an online pet shop and find many Labrador retriever training supplies. These Labrador retriever training supplies include leashes, collar belts, beds, dog toys, dog treats, etc. You can even find kennels for your Labrador retriever that will help you kennel train him. There are many Labrador retriever training books available, that will guide you with the training process. These books also contain a lot of information related to Labrador retriever care. There are many professional dog trainers who offer services and train your puppy with the basic and advance dog obedience tricks.

You may have observed that nowhere in the above paragraphs, dog punishment has been mentioned. This is because punishing your dog will do more harm than good. It will create a negative image of the owner in the dog's mind, making him even more rebellious. Good dog care along with positive reinforcement, will help you inculcate good dog behavior in your dog. Hope the above paragraphs on Labrador retriever training tips have proven to be useful guide for you and your pup.

Santa Clarita, Calif. (PRWEB) August 21, 2014

When was the last time your cat had a check-up? If you are like thousands of cat owners, it has probably been a while. Even though cats outnumber dogs in the U.S. (there are 95.6 million cats compared to 83.3 million dogs, according to the American Pet Products Association), cat owners are less likely to schedule annual exams than dog owners are.

Like their counterparts, cats need regular exams and vaccinations, too. With some owners avoiding veterinary visits due to an anticipated negative reception from their cats, some choose to forgo the visit altogether. However, a visit to the veterinarian does not have to be a dreaded and stressful event, reports Animal Behavior College (ABC).

August 22 is “National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day.” To heighten awareness, ABC not only encourages cat owners to schedule regular veterinary visits, but also suggests behavior modification techniques that teach cats to make positive associations when being crated, which in turn could make for a more peaceful and less stressful ride to the veterinary office.

“Many cat owners are not aware that there is a direct correlation between their cat’s behavior and how they develop negative associations over time, which can occur every time they are placed in a carrier or riding in a car,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College. “There is a misconception that cats cannot be trained and that challenging behaviors are not treatable. In fact, you can modify cat behaviors. You can train them to enter a carrier for transport. Behavioral changes are attainable by employing positive associations for desired results.”

The 2012 American Veterinary Medical Association U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook affirmed that total veterinary visits for canines in 2011 was 130.4 million compared to veterinary visits for cats at only 60.5 million visits.

In addition, 38 percent of cat owners admitted that taking their cat to the veterinarian caused much anxiety and stress, according to the Bayer-AAFP study. As part of ABC’s program for professional cat trainers, the school teaches positive reinforcement training to correct undesirable feline behaviors.

Positive Association. Unlike dogs, most cats are not accustomed to being in a crate or transported via a carrier. To create a positive association, ensure that the carrier is large enough for your cat to move around comfortably. Set it in an area on the floor that is easily accessible. Place, treats, catnip or favorite toys inside it. Leave the carrier out for two to three weeks until your cat regularly enters it on his own; he might even sleep in it. Every cat is different, so be prepared to make timeline adjustments as necessary.

Take Your Cat on a Test Drive. Once your cat is familiar with the carrier, put him in and take him for a short car ride that does not end at the veterinarian’s office. Do this a few times so that your cat does not always associate the car (or the carrier) with the veterinary or vaccinations clinic. When it comes time to take the cat to the vet, he should be less-stressed out upon arrival.

Prepare for the Ride. Once your cat has adapted to the carrier, you are ready to prepare him for the journey to the veterinarian’s office. A day or two before the trip, place your cat in a confined area so he does not hide when it is time to leave. Ensure he has access to food, water and a toy and place an extra blanket or towel inside the carrier. Repeat this process an hour before the trip so that your cat has time to enter the carrier on his own. While in transition, periodically observe your cat’s behavior to make sure he is not in distress.

ABC also offers an online continuing education program that teaches the proper socialization techniques for developing happy and healthy human-to-feline relationships. The Cat Management and Training Program is available to all of the school’s certified graduates. To become a dog trainer and obtain dog training certification or enroll in the veterinary assistance or grooming programs, please visit our website at or call 1-800-795-3294.


About Animal Behavior College

Animal Behavior College is the premier international vocational school specializing in certified animal career training programs. ABC has created a powerful team of skilled advocates who are devoted to nurturing the human-animal bond The founders of ABC have spent years developing and perfecting affordable career programs, many of which combine home learning with hands-on training externships with professional mentors. To date, more than 28,000 students have enrolled in ABC programs including over 1,900 in ABC's cat training program.

Positive dog training was developed under the principles of Skinner's operant conditioning. While it's not a new technique, it didn't get enough popularity until the nineties.

Former students of Skinner, psychologists Keller and Marian Breland, pioneered commercial applications of operant conditioning when they created Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE) on 1942. ABE was the first company that offered positive training services.

The huge popularity of traditional training prevented ABE to succeed in dog training. So, the Breland's company was forced to look for new niches and ABE got focused on training animals for TV shows and commercials. Keller and Marian also pioneered dolphin training for aquaria and US navy.

Positive reinforcement is the main teaching way of these techniques. Positive reinforcement is not the same as reward, though this is a common misconception.

Positive reinforcement is the process that strengthens a behavior because a pleasant situation occurs as a consequence of that particular behavior. For instance, if you give a food treat to your dog when he lies down, he will tend to lie down more frequently to get that delicious treat. Thus, your dog will be learning to lie down through positive reinforcement.

On the other hand, if your dog lies down and you reward him after 10 seconds, he may not associate the action of lying down with the reward. He may think you gave him the treat because he was looking up, or moving his ears. So, you rewarded your dog but you didn't reinforce the desired behavior.

Some people think that positive trainers never teach to the dog that a particular behavior is unacceptable. This is a common and big misinterpretation. Practitioners of positive training do teach this to dogs, but they don't use punishment or negative reinforcement for that.

Clicker training is the most popular of these techniques in many countries. It is the same technique used by Keller and Marian Breland, and was popularized by the biologist and dolphin trainer Karen Pryor.

The main difference between clicker training and other positive techniques is the use of a clicker in the former. A clicker is just a small device that emits a click-click sound when squeezed. It is used to mark the exact moment in which the dog performed a desired behavior.

The absolute absence of negative reinforcement, punishment and training collars (choke, prong or shock) make of positive dog training a very friendly technique to both dogs and owners. This could be the main advantage of this kind of training.

Other advantages are that positive dog training is easy to understand and fun to carry out. Besides, these techniques are not only focused on obedience exercises. Instead, they are widely used to solve behavioral problems.

Detractors of these techniques claim that dogs trained in a positive way won't be able to respond properly unless they can see (or scent) a food treat. These people also claim that positive trained behaviors are not reliable under variable circumstances.

Although very common, those claims are not true. The efficacy of positive training is demonstrated each day by hundreds of service dogs for disabled people, police dogs, competition dogs and performing dogs.