Labrador - Introducing Outdoors

All puppies should experience the outdoors as soon as possible. Provide essential vaccinations and identifications, and accustom your young Labrador to a collar and lead. Ask friends to help you create situations in which the puppy can meet new people and other dogs in controlled circumstances.

Introduction to Collar and Lead:
1. Collar and lead training can begin as soon as you acquire your puppy. Start by letting the dog see and smell the collar. Then, avoiding eye contact, kneel down and put the collar on, distracting with words. Reward your puppy with treats, physical contact, and praise. Actively play for a while, and then take the collar off. Your puppy will quickly learn to associate the collar with rewards, and should accept it without reluctance.

2. Once your puppy is content wearing its collar, kneel in front and attach a lead. Keeping the lead slack, entice your dog to one side with a toy or food reward. When it moves towards the reward. When it moves towards the reward, apply light tension to the lead. Allow the puppy to have the toy or treat, and give it copious praise.

Meeting Strangers:
Arrange for canine-loving friend to meet you and your puppy outdoors. Ask your friend to kneel down to greet the puppy, as this will help curb its inclination to jump up. Also discourage direct eye contact, which can provoke an unduly excited response – not uncommon in very young dogs. Finally, provide your friend with your puppy’s favorite treat to give as a reward for relatively calm behavior.

Essential Puppy Inoculation:
Your veterinarian will vaccinate your new puppy against a range of infectious disease, and for additional protection may also advise avoidance of unfamiliar dogs for a few weeks. Contact with known healthy dogs should continue, however, to ensure that your puppy becomes properly socialized.

Encountering Other Dogs:
Ask a friend with a relaxed dog to meet you on a walk. Have your friend instruct her dog to sit as you approach, and reward your puppy’s calm response with treats and praise. Through routine meetings, your puppy learns that there is no need to jump on anything that reminds it of its mother. Regular interaction with puppies of a similar age will also help in developing important social skills.

Discourage Jumping Up:
Labrador’s love life and are exhilarated by the outdoors. In their exuberance many, if not most, tend to jump up onto people by way of greeting. Do not encourage this annoying habit yourself by slapping your thighs when calling your dog, and ask others to get down to puppy level during meetings to dissuade jumping up.