How to Teach your Labrador New Tricks

Labradors are known for being one of the easiest dog breeds to train, but that does not mean that there are no challenges in teaching them new tricks. One of the most common challenges people have is getting their Lab to stay in one place.

This can be difficult because Labs are naturally very active and love to run around. It is essential to be patient and keep rewarding them with good behavior to make sure they stay motivated.

Start with Basic Commands

It is essential to start with basic commands when teaching your Labrador new tricks. This will help them learn the basics and make it easier to understand what you are trying to teach them. Once they have mastered these commands, you can move on to more complicated tricks.

Basic Commands

You should start off with sit, stay, come, and down. Make sure you have their attention before trying to teach them anything. One of the easiest tricks that are relatively easy for Labs to learn is teaching them how to shake hands.

To start this trick with your Lab, hold out one of your hands, make a fist, and put it in front of your Lab’s face. This should cause them to paw at your hand or nudge it with their nose. If they do this, immediately give them a treat after releasing your hand.

Do not expect perfection the first time. Even though Labs are known for being one of the most intelligent dog breeds, this trick takes time to master. Some Labs do not pick up on it at all. If you have no success teaching your Lab how to shake hands after trying for several days, you can move on to another trick.

How to get your Labrador to stay in one Place

Say the word “stay” and have them sit before you, standing up. Then hold a treat above their head, so they have to stand on two feet to reach it. When they do this, praise them and give them the treat for being such a good dog. If they get down before you provide them with the treat, do not give it until they stay in a sitting position without getting up again.

How to get your Labrador to come when Called

When you say “come,” walk away from your Lab with a piece of cheese or a favorite toy in your hand. When they follow you, praise them and give them the treat as a reward. Keep calling your Lab to you until they come every time you say “come.”

How to teach your Labrador to Catch a Ball

If you want your Labrador to play games with you, the easiest way is to teach them how to catch a ball. It is also relatively easy for Labs to learn how to do this. Have your Lab sit about five feet away from you to start this trick. Throw the ball to them, and as soon as they catch it, praise them and give them a treat. Keep repeating these steps until your Lab knows that catching the ball is what makes you happy.

Balance Beam

If you want your Labrador to be able to walk on a balance beam or tightrope, it is essential for them to first master walking on a straight line. To do this, you should have a long leash attached to the Lab’s collar and walk alongside them as they practice walking in a straight line. Once they have mastered this, you can move on to having them walk across a balance beam.

Rewarding your Labrador

Rewarding your Lab for good behavior is one of the most essential parts of training them to do tricks. You must do this after every trick or command they perform successfully. You can give them a treat like a piece of cheese, kibble, or peanut butter in their Kong toy. Another idea for rewarding them is giving them praise and cuddles after doing their trick correctly.

Treats

One of the critical elements of training your Lab is rewarding them for their successes. Using treats as a form of praise and encouragement will work very well, but only if they like the treat. If you use peanut butter or cheese, make sure it is something your Lab likes. If your Labrador never wants to eat more than kibble and you give it a treat they don’t like, you will not be successful.

Praise

Labradors are big-eyed, friendly dogs that love attention. Another very effective way of praising your Labrador is to give them affection and cuddles after correctly doing the trick. A great idea for ensuring success with this is telling your Lab “good boy” or “good girl” before they do the trick. When you say this, they should do the trick. This will indicate that doing tricks gets them praise, which is what they want.

Toys

Labradors are exceptionally playful, and having a favorite toy encourages playtime. Toys are usually great incentives for Labs because playing with toys makes them very happy, which means they will want to do more tricks.

Cuddles

Labradors are also very affectionate. One of the best ways to reward your Labrador for performing a trick correctly is giving them cuddles and love in addition to praise. Cuddling with your pet is very rewarding for both of you.

Playtime

One of the best ways to reward your Labrador for doing tricks is playing with them. When they are done performing a trick, they will be thrilled and pleased with themselves, meaning they will want to play immediately afterward. This is excellent because Labs love to play, which makes for an even better way of training them how to do tricks.

Conclusion

To teach your Labrador new tricks, start with the basics and work up from there. Your Lab may already know some commands, but chances are they will be able to learn how to do more as you continue training them. Rewarding good behavior is integral in getting a Labrador’s attention when you’re teaching them new tricks. You must find out what treats they like best so that they enjoy learning these skills for years to come!

FAQ

Q: What kinds of rewards should I use to reward my Lab?

A: There are many different kinds of rewards you can give your Lab for good behavior. Some great ideas include treats, peanut butter and cheese, and playing with their favorite toys.

Q: How do I get my Labrador to enjoy learning new tricks?

A: Labradors love attention and playtime, making them very eager to learn how to do more things. When they perform a trick correctly, they receive praise, affection, cuddles, and playtime as a reward. This will ensure that they want to learn even more!

Q: How old should my Labrador be before I teach them tricks?

A: You can begin training your Labrador as soon as they are ready to learn. 3-4 months old is a great time to start teaching your puppy some commands, but it is never too early or late to train them how to do tricks!

Q: How long does it take my Lab to learn a new trick?

A: This all depends on the specific trick you are trying to teach your Lab and how motivated they are. Some Labs may pick up on a few things faster than others, but overall most dogs will be able to successfully learn 10+ tricks within 6 months of training.

Q: I’ve been told that Labradors aren’t brilliant dogs. Is this true?

A: Although many people say this about Labs, studies have shown that this is entirely false. They are actually very intelligent dogs that can learn over 200 different commands. This is because Labs were bred as hunting dogs, so they were trained to pick up on things quickly and follow their owner’s directions without hesitation.

Q: How can I teach my Labrador how to catch a ball?

A: Because Labradors love playing and chasing objects, teaching them how to catch a ball will be easy! Start by holding the ball in your hand right above their head and tell them to “catch” while giving them lots of praise and affection when they do it correctly. Repeat this process until you think they get the hang of it.

Q: How will training my Labrador help them in the future?

A: Since Labs are very intelligent dogs that love learning new things, teaching them how to do tricks will have positive effects later on. They will be more attentive and obedient, which means they will be less likely to get into trouble or destroy things if they are given proper attention and activity throughout the day.