Let me tell you, as the owner of more than a couple of dogs, that a well-trained dog is a joy unrivaled. Labradors are large and strong. Their famous and endearing “otter tails” can clean off a table top quicker than your hands can! Usually, the clanging, crashing, spilling sounds that accompany this “clearing” startle the Labrador just as much as the owner. (I often wonder if the Lab has any idea what their tail is doing, or if it is independent of its body in some way. At least independent of its consciousness.)
This past December the AKC held their National Obedience Championships and the winner was a Labrador named LEAP. In her video interview after winning, his owner/trainer states that even as a puppy LEAP never did anything wrong. The video is cute and she seems very happy with him, as she should be!, but somehow I highly doubt that she got the only Labrador on the planet whom NEVER misbehaved. But, let’s take what we can from this: inspiration that a WELL-TRAINED LABRADOR is possible, and worth the work.
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That is not to say that a puppy who starts out with the benefit of great genetics and parents with fantastic temperament don’t start out ahead of the game.
The vast majority of Labrador retriever owners, or dog owners in general, will never enter or train for an Obedience Championship competition. But the skills that are exhibited in the NOVICE category of the competition are ones that every Labrador retriever owner should employ. They are listed from the AKC website as follows:
- Novice: Dogs in this class need to demonstrate good companion skills such as coming when called, standing for an examination, staying in both a sit and down position with a group of other dogs, and heeling both on and off-leash.
You can read more about what is required here.
The AKC provides a number of free/inexpensive online tools and ebooks to help dog owners teach their pets obedience. A Well-Trained Labrador IS possible! You can see more info, and sign up for their eBook here:
So, Kindred Pup family, what are some of your favorite obedience training tools? Do you have a book/video series you like? Have you sent your pet to an Obedience Training Center? Comment below!
Next time I’ll be sharing some of our favorite tips and sources for helping your Labrador learn to please you! Remember – A well-trained dog is a happy dog.
Until then… here’s some cute photos of our puppies learning doing some early “Manding”.
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Check out our Upcoming Litters Page to see if we have any Available Labrador Puppies. We are located in Colorado but occasionally will arrange to bring your puppy to you if you are out of state. Contact us for more info!