Labrador Puppy Training

puppy-trainingWelcome to our Labrador Puppy Training Center. This is your complete guide to training a happy and obedient puppy, with expert advice and clear instructions for new puppy parents.

Training your puppy should be fun, and we’ll help to make sure that it is!

We help you decide when is the best time to start training, and help you choose what to teach your puppy and which methods to use.

Clear instructions – kind methods

We also provide a range of free in-depth training guides written by best selling author Pippa Mattinson. Our guides all use gentle, modern methods

Use the green menu to go quickly to the topic you are interested in, or scroll down for more alternatives below

Let’s begin with two important topics, biting, and potty training, then move on to puppy obedience training

Potty training your puppy

For many puppy owners, potty training or house training, is the top priority for the first few weeks.

You’ll want to know how long it will take, what the best methods are, and how to deal with any problems that arise.

Some of you may want to use a crate, and some of you may need information on potty training a puppy when you work. All this is covered in our three key articles

Teaching your puppy not to bite

Biting can be a big shock to new puppy parents.

Not just how hard and how much puppies bite, but how aggressive they sound when they do it and how much it hurts. Those tiny teeth are sharp!

We have two important articles to help you through this phase in puppy development

When to start training your puppy

House training and no-bite training are self explanatory, but many people are unsure when to start training their puppies tricks and obedience skills.

At one time, dog training involved quite a lot of corrections and firm handling. It was a fairly stressful process and for that reason, serious training often did not begin until puppies were 5 or 6 months old.

Times have changed, and dog training has moved on.

Most dog trainers now use predominantly modern positive reinforcement training methods and a growing number are what we call force-free trainers. Which means that they don’t use any aversives (things dogs will try to avoid) in training at all.

Start training your puppy early – at 8 weeks old

If you are going to train your puppy with modern positive reinforcement methods, you can start training your puppy as soon as you bring him home at 8 weeks old.

The methods we give you on this website do not involve any force and won’t cause puppies any stress. So it is fine for you to get started straight away

This is important for any large dog that lives indoors with his family. A five or six month old Labrador is quite strong and will be up to all kinds of mischief if he is not given some training and boundaries

Puppy training methods, principles, and puppy management

Here is some more information about training methods, and getting off to a good start with your puppy

What to teach your puppy

Most people want to teach their puppies to come when they are called, to sit, to stay, and to walk nicely on a lead. These are all important skills, especially for a large dog.

You can find our in-depth training guides using these links

More information

Don’t forget to check out our main Labrador Puppies page and our main Dog Training pages for lots more information about raising and enjoying your puppy.

The Labrador HandbookYou can also join our free forum for puppy advice and support from other experienced puppy owners.

If you would like to keep much of the information on this website in one convenient place, you can purchase The Labrador Handbook, a definitive guide to raising and training your Labrador.

The Handbook is written by Labrador Site founder and Labrador specialist, Pippa Mattinson.

It will be published on the 1st October 2015 in paperback and kindle in the UK and in kindle in the USA – paperback to follow.



  1. Hi we have 4 months Lab, He came to my house at 25 days because his mom died in a accident, so we adopted him, we are following vet suggestions. feeding 3 times a day. Then we don’t have separate house for him, full day he play, sleep in our house, we have small garden for his play, in night time we left him outside for safety purpose. We have compound walls and shed, so he is safe. but when we close the door he start crying, full night he will cry, everyday this was happening, we don’t get sleep everyday. He sleep few hours then again he start crying in the early morning. we keep him inside for 2 months then 3 rd month on wards we left him outside but just 1 months he is crying. After his long cry some times we allow him to house but in middle of the night he bite the face, lick and pass the urine on us. In day time He likes to sleep in bath room and kitchen. We open the bath room in night times but he thinks bath room is his bed room, so he don’t pass urine in their he pass in our bed room. the only solution is we keep him to out side in night time, but he don’t like. I don’t know how to handle him pls help me

  2. Hi,

    I have had my black lab from 12 weeks, we have crate trained him though this first year, but im really in need of some adivce now. During the day I work but I go home at Lunch to let him out of the crate for a walk, pee etc. I put him back in his crate then go back to work. He is left on his own for approx 4 hours in the morning and 2.5 in the afternoon, which he seems fine with. When my kids get in from school at 3.30 they let him out of the crate and he stays out for the remainder of the day and all night. He sleeps upstairs with us then we repeat the process the next working day. Weekends he is crate free also. My question is I would like to leave him out of the crate during the day now and have asked my dad to pop in about every 1.5 hours to check and ensure he doesnt chew everything. I have provided bones, chew toys etc but wanted to know if there was anything else I could do ? am I actually doing this right and do you suggest anythig else I might try.

  3. We have a seven month old choc lab, who is in general very well behaved and trained (walks off a lead, answers to commands etc.) but will not stop barking at people – and it seems it is a fear thing as the hair on his back stands up at the same time (although his tail can also be wagging). This can go on for a considerable amount of time before he realises that there is nothing wrong and then he is everyone’s best friend.
    Can he still be trained by ourselves or is he now too old to stop being fearful and therefore do we need professional help?

  4. I have a black labrador bitch who is 1 year 4 month and she has became increasing disobedient over the last 3 months. We are currently taking her to 1 to 1 training and she has improved slightly over 3 months however she has now started with new things such as barking at anything that goes past the house and stealing any items possible i.e cushions, slippers, clothes etc. she also has stopped listening on walks and will just run off if she sees any dog or person on the walk which is very embarrassing. Any advise please. I want my lovely dog back.

  5. Hi Pippa, I have a nine week old black lab and I have been trying to get him to come to me with little result, he is a very clever dog as he will sit, stay and give a paw on command but will not come to me on command. I know it is very early but is there something I may be doing wrong.

    Thank you

  6. Sometimes My five month young lab is getting too much off anger and trying to bite me….is there any problem… After few minutes it began to play with me as usual

  7. My Labrador is 2 years old but he doesn’t barks when any stranger enters the house instead of that he just start moving his tail.
    Please help me

  8. hi, i have a 7 week old lab puppy, i have a large kennel outside and he hates it howls and barks whole time in it, in the house i try to walk him a lot, but he still uses in house, also hates the crate, tried what was on your site but nothing so far, he has to get use to outside kennel little at a time any suggestions on all ?

  9. Hi! Pippa I hope u can help me my lab dog and all my other dogs they always come in my feet and I get very annoyed so how can I train them not to come in my feet or is it just in their nature ?

  10. I have a black lab puppy who is around 2 nd a half months old. The problem i have is that it was gifted to me by someone. It was separated from its mother wen it was 8 days old and the people who took care of it fed it milk and cerelac (baby food). On enquiry i found that they never bothered for a vet’s advice. Now that i have it i want to take good care of it. But i feel as if the loss of mother’s milk is bad for my puppy as it isn’t as healthy as it shud be…although i am consulting a vet I don’t think i am getting good results. It weighs 3 kgs for now. And she is really playful. I wound be thankful if you can suggest me something for this puppy. I just feel that its growth isn’t as good just because it was separated very early from its mother. Is it true??? Please help!! :)

  11. Hi !! i want to buy lab puppy..
    there are lots of sellers in my town..
    i saw some pups.. bt am not sure which pup is origenal labrador ..
    i saw black lab under 3 month old in some pet shops..
    Every time i saw different size and shape in those puppies….
    help me .. i
    I want black male puppy.. pure breed

  12. I have a wonderful black lab that is almost two years old. Over the last month, he has begun to suck on a pillow (the same pillow that he has had since a pup and was in his crate when we crate trained him) and even knead with his paws. It’s very cat-like. How common is it for labs to suck on items. I thought he was doing it out of boredom, but over time, he just begins sucking on it right after playing fetch for 20 minutes. Any thoughts?

  13. I rescued Molly at 9 months old. She has developed posession agression. When she is fed, if we come into the room, she growls. I have moved her dish out of the room and near me. She will not eat if anyone is around. She stands over the food protecting it. There are no other animals or children in the house. She also growls when in her bed, but will come freely and sit on my lap and cuddle. She has only experienced love here. How do I train her that this behavior is not acceptable?

  14. Hi,

    I will have a labrador puppy soon, he is still with his mother. I’m planning stuff at home. What confuses me about toilet training is :
    I will be at home all day for the first 5 days in order to get him used to the house. I ordered a playpen for him to spend his time when Im not at home… I will put a training pad in a corner of it so that he can pee whenever needed. But the first 5 days , shall I take him out to the backyard each time he needs to pee or shall I teach him just to pee on the pads? If I do both, will it confuse him?

  15. I want to buy a chocolate lab. But according to pippa site there are many lab that dont get tarin properly bt why?? Plz tell me i want to. Know shall i buy that lab i mean choclatey lab or i dont??

    • I have a 4 months male lab. He does not wants to run, walk. Just wants to come back to home when taken out. He is healthy, eats proper diet. How to make him run more?

      • My puppy went through the same as that age, you just have to keep taking him out regularly to get them over the fear. Just keep temping him with treats until you get further and further away from home. Maybe try when hardly anyone’s around as noise can be is a big distraction/ fear to them

  16. Hi,

    I will have a labrador puppy soon, he is still with his mother. I’m planning stuff at home. What confuses me about toilet training is :
    I will be at home all day for the first 5 days in order to get him used to the house. I ordered a playpen for him to spend his time when Im not at home… I will put a training pad in a corner of it so that he can pee whenever needed. But the first 5 days , shall I take him out to the backyard each time he needs to pee or shall I teach him just to pee on the pads? If I do both, will it confuse him?

  17. I have bought a 35 day old Lab pup but is it ok to leave her alone at home for almost 9 hours because everyone will leave home for work and school.

  18. Hi, I have a 5 month lab and she is very friendly and lovable but when we are playing in the backyard she turns vicious and attacks me. Is there a way I can change that? Thanks :)

  19. I Have 3 months old lab puppy, He used to biting and running everywhere, but since 2 days he eats and sits. He do not like to play or he dos not even responds when i call him. Does he scared or anything??

  20. Hi pippa,i hv a 50days old female lab.she s always traing to bize my foot.will she do d same when she get der anythng to do to stop her dis behaviour?

  21. Hi Pippa,
    My Lab Ceaser is 13 mths old, weighs a healthy 30 kgs and stands a good 55 cms. He has a very healthy bone structure. The issue is that he is very fussy in his feeding habits and due to that looks very skinny, unlike other labs in the locality. Energy levels are also low and spends most of the time napping. We feed him fresh chicken, eggs, whole wheat chapatis, rice, bananas, boiled potatao and yogurt. But unlike other labs , we have to run after him to make him eat . Frequency of feeding is 3 times per day. Require your help, please.


    • Jayita, do you have your pup away from mom? Because a puppy that is only 4 weeks old is way too young to be away from mom and brothers and sisters, between 8-20 weeks is the most critical time for teething and mouthing. Do you have any kongs or rubber toys to keep your pup busy with? When he/she bites the skin, how do you correct the behavior so they know that you don’t want that?

  22. I have a 36 week labrador puppy. I m giving him ceralc (wheat) 3 time a day. but cry a lot and he doesn’t stay in the carat. and he don’t sleep at night and thats making me hectic. wat to do?

  23. Hi , we have a golden lab that is 18 weeks old and is a little menace all she does is do her business around the house and rips the bin open when she gets put in the kitchen if you have any advice please let me know many thanks

    ( also we have tried so hard to train her )

  24. Hi,
    Would u have any advice/tips on how to go about introducing a new lab puppy to a 5 year old cat? Please help if possible

  25. Hi
    I have a 2year old female lab, we have had males in the past(2) both were very quick to train, heel,stay, recall etc. Piper is a totally different kettle of fish, has selective listening, will sit, wait till I tell her to eat, I have tried letting her off the lead but if she saw someone or a dog she knew she is off and won’t come back, I don’t want her to spend the rest of her live on a
    lead, what is the best way to deal with this problem, have done training classes.

  26. I have a 9 week old female black lab. She’s a really smart dog. I have her sitting, lay down and almost staying. She like to play with bumpers and brings them back sometimes. I don’t want her picking up any bad habits with dropping or not delivering to hand. What are some tips to get her delivering?

  27. My 6 weeks Puppy which i bought from 2days back is too ill. Physician is suspecting it could be Parvo diseases. I am Just worried how to tackle this. Breeder says it was not Infected while giving to me. Physician is saying it’s too Ill and must be 4-5 days over it got effected.

    Can puppy survive. What care i need to take care.

  28. I have two lab puppies from the same litter. We are trying to train them simultaneously but they seem to distract each other. Should we separate them for training?

  29. Hi…i have a 7month old labrador….Plz help me to train my lab to Get inside his own shed….when i release him from there…he do not want to get inside…i give some rewards but no use of that

  30. I’m wanting to get a labrador puppy; however, I’m at work all day from 9am till 7pm, five days a week. My husband works from home a minimum of 50% of the time. When neither of us are at home should I be putting the puppy into puppy daycare? At what age could I start leaving it on its own?

  31. Hi, I have a 43 days old female Lab puppy, I have observed that after having food (pellets with water) she pee’s almost 4-5 times very frequently i.e. every 10-15 mins, is this normal.

  32. Hi!
    I live in a dense jungle isolated from the city and township. I am buying a lab puppy for the first time. The point is that i have everything prepared for him but i am afraid if the isolation would be a problem for the puppy. I will be there with him most of the time but should i take precautions for send ing him on a walk outside the house for a little alone time or something like that.. Would he try to run away?

  33. i’m getting a lab soon,both my kids go to school and my husband and i go to work,is that fine for the first few weeks?

    • Are you asking if its ok to leave your puppy at home alone all day? If so, the answer is no I’m afraid. Check out our puppy care articles for more information. Pippa

  34. I have a 13 week old chocolate. He chews on things (he is a puppy)
    He potties in the house sometimes (he is a puppy)
    He eats when he wants and what he wants (he is a puppy)
    He runs and bites and barks and wines and chews on my wife, daughter and myself ( he is a puppy)
    We are in the process of training him to be a dog when he grows up.
    I guess what I am saying is I enjoy my dog doing all these things. We are growing together.
    (You should enjoy the little things your puppy does. They will eventually grow up and the little things will be gone)

  35. i have one very basic question to ask, i have recently booked a puppy out of a litter of ten, they are 16 days old and currently with their mother, what is the best age that i can take custody of my puppy? and what is the best recommended lactation period for pups ? as we recommend 2 years for humans with first 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, is there any for dogs?

  36. I have a black 45 days old lab and she is very disobedient. She doesn’t listen to anyone and she keeps on biting every possible thing she gets. I even got her all the toys she needs to nibble on but still it doesn’t work, she comes and bites us too, her teeth too are very sharp. I don’t know what am I supposed to do, please help me.

    • Hi Prajala, your puppy is not definitely not disobedient, she is just a baby :) It takes months of careful training to teach obedience. All puppies bite and you can find lots of information on dealing with this here For training advice, look in the training section in the menu above. At 45 days old, your puppy is too young really, to have left her mother. Please read up about using modern force free training methods with your puppy, then you can start training just as soon as you want.

  37. I just got a 7 month old yellow lab from the humane society i suggest getting your dog there its cheap, most are already fixed and have their shots, most are potty trained and know commands and not only that you get the pride of knowing you are that animals hero and the animals understand that and are forever loyal think about that the next time you get a dog and training a dog is all about redirection

  38. My puppy keep coming in to my outside room and eating everything. He knows its the wrong thing because once he came in when I was in there a then ran out like nothing happened. How do I stop him from doing this?