Walking your new labrador pup

Controlled Walking

I don't recommend long walks for you new pup. I suggest that you wait until after 14 mths of age when the growth plates are set. You woundn't take an adolesant on a 1/2 marathon. The stress on the young joints will have an early debilitating impact on hips and elbows. Adolescent arthritis may occur. Lots of vigorous retrieving and fetching in a confined area is much more beneficial. Obedience and obstacle activity is much more mentally stimulating for the pup. When you eventually do start walking, a choker chain is a great investment. Use it to mark a noise, not a strangulation device. Walk the puppy properly on a lead without it pulling or jumping up. Use only one word commands. Teach the puppies to sit, stay, come & heel. When the dog starts pulling give a sharp tug and say heel. Your dog will associate heel with the pull and walk quietly by your side. Remove the lead and concentrate on getting them to stay by your side. Teach your labrador to stay. Hard work, time and patience will bring about a very satisfying outcome.

You will keep your labrador out of a lot of trouble if you can control your dog from a distance. Practice the stay command from a distance and increase the gap gradually. Never push your labrador puppy too far or they will lose their focus and confidence. If they regress then go back to the previous step and start again. Labrador puppy training must be in shortbursts at first. The puppy's concentration span is only a few minutes. Rewards and affirmation work better than fear. A trained Labrador is a happy labrador.