Labrador Training

Are you struggling to train your labrador?  Do you need a little help?

We can help you with:

A trained Labrador is a pleasure to own, and training your dog should be fun.

Most people have problems at some stage, and with a little help you can overcome them.

Common training problems

Common problems are dogs that drag their owners along behind them,  dogs that won’t come back when they are called,  and dogs that jump up and push past people!

You will find information about these and many other labrador training problems in the sections above and in our training articles.

You can find them using this link:  Labrador Training Articles

All the training advice on this site is reward based and effective, and provided by experienced labrador trainers.   We hope you find it helpful!

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This page was written by Pippa Mattinson. Pippa’s book:  Total Recall is a complete recall training programme for dogs and puppies.   



  1. hello, may I ask a toilet training question please?

    I have my 15 week old puppy doing very well at night in the cage. She has never made a mess or barked etc. I started letting her out every 2 hours for the first few days and then since we have got down to one visit and now it is at 6 hours. We tend to go to bed at 10pm and rise at 6.30 am because I have the one visit. Without a visit I would make it a max 8 hours. But when do you think I can open the door of the crate at night? I am sure she will be toilet trained if she isn;t already (although she will toilet when I let her out) and she isn’t chewing stuff. I dont like the thought of her being in the cage and shut in 8 hours but maybe it is good for her? She isn’t in her cage in the day as I work from home and if I do go out for a couple of hours she is good left in the kitchen.


    • Hi Tina
      I don’t let pups out of the crate at night until around the end of the first year. Longer if they are keen chair leg chewers!

      You may find that she remains clean and dry if you open the crate door at night from five or six months old, but I probably wouldn’t attempt it before then. It is much harder to solve a night time pooping problem, than it is to avoid one ever getting started.

      The downside of night time crating is that you may need a bigger crate as she grows. She needs to be able to stand up comfortably and turn around easily.

      If you decide to do this, don’t worry about her. She will be fine in the crate at night. Dogs really don’t mind being confined whilst the household is sleeping.


  2. I’ve been reading Keith Erlandson’s book, “Gundog Training”, published in 1976. He says that, although it is impossible to state the ideal age to start training, “a pup should never be started earlier than six months”. He suggests that “a pup’s mental processes are not sufficiently developed before six months of age to absorb training” and quotes an example of a case where “too early training” killed a dog’s drive and “effectively ruined this pup”. His firm advice is not to start until around eight months.

    If he’s right, I may have made a bad mistake. I started gentle “fun” training for my labrador pup Oscar when he was about four months old – for example, he quickly learned to sit and wait for his dinner alongside is father Ned (a five year old trained and reliable gun dog) and only move when told (sometimes dad goes first and sometimes he does). I got a little more serious (but still fun) at five months and now, at six months, have a pup who walks nicely to heel (on the lead – sometimes a little erratic off the lead), sits and stays happily (to voice, hand and whistle), is remarkably steady on simple retrieves – and can remember two marked retrieves and, aided by early hand signals, loves to search for a hidden dummy. And he’s just as eager as ever.

    Have I gone too far, too fast?

  3. Hi :) I have a 6 month old yellow lab named petals. Overall she listens when we say no bite, but I think she can be much better. I want to teach her not to do it at all instead of just stopping after we say no. What is the best way to train a lab to never bite me or our guests?

  4. My son just brought home a five week old yellow lab and I have a few concerns. The biggest is that this parents are brother/sister. How big of a problem can this be? Also, he has fleas and we have another dog and three cats, how can I treat the puppy at such a young age for the fleas?

    • Hi Angel, please have a look at this page Your puppy should remain with its mother until he is about 8 weeks old. Brother and sister should never be mated as this greatly increases the risk of genetic disease. If you cannot take the puppy back, you will need to contact your veterinary surgeon for advice. Pippa

  5. I would love to get a lab puppy and train it as a bird dog. My concern is I work full time. How can achieve this task and have a good bird dog at the same time.

    • Hi Don, there are people who successfully combine a full time job with looking after and working a gundog. There is no one right way to do this. It depends on your hours, your support (at home and from other gundog folks) your access to training facilities and so much more. Everyone’s situation is unique. What you need to do is look honestly at what is involved in raising a puppy and training a dog, and ask yourself if this can be combined with your working hours. Don’t forget that small puppies need regular attention throughout the day, whereas older dogs can be kennelled whilst you are at work. A compromise might be to buy a part trained dog. Hope that helps a bit. Pippa

  6. Hi Pippa
    I have a 13 week old black lab and am a first time dog owner. I am keen to have a happy, well-behaved dog for our family (3 kids, 13, 11 and 7) We have had her for 2.5 weeks and as of next week she is free to mix having had her last jabs. I would be very interested in gun dog training for the pleasure for both of us (it’s unlikely I’d work her but who knows?!!) but I have been given different bits of advice. Do I take her to puppy training classes in a few weeks time or do I try and do things at home? I have been given pointers from both schools of thought but as I am a novice myself, i’m finding it difficult to know which path to follow. Any advice, gratefully received!

  7. Hi Pippa
    We have a 6 month old black lab. When it’s just us at home he is as good as gold, but as soon as we have guests he starts behaving really badly. He constantly jumps up on our visitors, barks and generally will not leave them alone, no matter what we or they do. He’s going to puppy classes and is well socialised, but meeting other people is becoming a pain. Any tips? Thanks. Amanda.

  8. Hi
    my lab is 9 weeks old. I put him in the crate at 9 in the night and he wakes up at 5 in morning at starts barking for food, which disturbs me, as I woke up at 8 in morning
    what should I do?

    • Hi Jason,
      A nine week old puppy can’t last from 9pm til 8am. You will have to go to bed later or get up earlier until he is older. Check out this article for more information. Pippa

    • I have chocolate coloured lab. female 8 weeks old named Sasha, it frightens from stray cats and starts barking like weeping. It barks at night at around 1-3am, I speculate due to hunger or may be some other reason. How much food shall I offer her daily in terms of weight.Please reply?

  9. Hi
    We have a beautiful black Labrador, and although she is very good when with us in the house, she seems to change into another dog when we go out, the other day on our way back from a walk, she slipped her collar and she ran off not a long way but ran in front of a car which luckily wasn’t going too fast and stopped, but she just wouldn’t come back, she stood and looked at us then decided that she would rather carry on having a look around other peoples gardens, this has worried us as if she had slipped her collar earlier when we were on the main road she could have been seriously injured and caused an accident, could you please give us some advice to get her to come back when called. Thank you

    • Hi Julie,
      You need to teach your dog a good solid recall. Have a read through the articles in the Recall Training Centre and pop into the forum for help and support. If you enjoy reading, you can take a look at my book on the subject.
      But do come and say hello in the forum, it is much easier to answer questions there.
      Best wishes

  10. Hello,
    We adopted two lab rescues a few weeks ago. One is about 5 years old and very mellow while the other is about a year old (as best as our vet can guess) and he is loveable but active. That is not the problem; his biting is the problem. He bites us on the hands and arms and grabs our clothing with his teeth to pull us along. He does not break the skin, but the bites are beginning to hurt. He has lots of chew toys and rawhide bones that he likes. When he bites us, we have tried a spray bottle with water and that will stop him for a bit. We are just not sure what to do to help him stop so we appreciate any advice you can give us.

  11. my lab puppy is 3month old and it is kind of biting every1 and jumping on every1 , it always does toilet for mostly 10mins everytime !! can you help me out with some things to make it control .

  12. My red lab is 9 weeks old. We just got her @ 8 weeks. Her name is Ginger and she is very sweet and extremely smart. I have only had lap dogs till now so I’m new at the big dog thing. I am crate training her and she is doing pretty good. She has NEVER went in the crate and goes from 11pm-ish till around 6 am till she hollers to go out. Doing really good. BUT…during the day I am letting her out of the crate and she is STILL going in the house. Not a lot but it’s been at least 10 times with the pee and about 3 times for the poop. I have tried everything. And she goes in her designated area everytime I take her out so I don’t understand why she goes in the house even though she just went outside. Do I just need to give her more time? The vet said she would be trained within 2-3 days after I kept her in the crate. Not true. Help!!

  13. I have a 7 week old lab named cherry and i wanted to know how to train her to poop n loo in the right place cause she is messing around pretty much. Also at night she doesnt prefers to sleep in her bed n walks in d whole room…… plzz help

  14. Hi Pippa,

    I got my lab at 16 weeks old after the family couldn’t take care of her anymore. She’s very well trained off the lead but I have just two problems.

    If shes on her lead I can get her to heal a few times and then she starts looking for treats if she doesn’t get a treat she starts pulling again!

    The other problem is my partner works away and only comes home on the weekend, she doesn’t listen to me when he’s around and if we’re out together she can be quite disobedient and will attack other dogs if they come near! I don’t have any problems like this on my own and and neither does my partner.

    Any advice?

  15. Hi pippa,we have a 10 week old puppy..Simba,he has done so well with his toilet traing in the day but every morning it looks like he’s exploded in the night

    • Hi Nicola, what time do you shut him in at night, and what time to you let him out in the morning. What time does he have his final meal of the day? Pippa

  16. Hi Pipa
    My lab puppy is 3 month old she dont listen to me at all she keep bitting my son who is 7 yrs old in excitement and keep barking she also torn all my furniture n clothes she doesnt obey at all …please help


  17. Hi, we have a 7 month old black lab, he’s fully toilet trained but the last 3 nights he has been wetting and messing his bed overnight which he hasn’t done for months.

    We have recently changed his food from Burns puppy food to the Burns puppy food which is the larger size biscuits and he is 14 kilos.

    Do you have any advice on why he could suddenly be doing this?

    Thank you, R

    • Hi, a sudden change in toilet habits in a previously clean dog could be due to a physical or an emotional (anxiety issues) problem. Have a chat with your vet to exclude any physical problem and then you will need to mull over what has changed in his life that could have caused him stress or anxiety. In the meantime, I would get up during the night for a few nights, to let him out and attempt to break the pattern before it becomes a habit.

      Good luck, Pippa

      • Hi .we have a 7 month old labrador puppy & this has happened to us this week too.she has been clean for weeks now then 3 days ago she has started to mess in her crate,this is the first time we have ever used a crate for any of our previous dogs ,but this one chews anything she can get hold of,but thinking about it I thought that she was in the huff about something,but this week our young grandson has broken his elbow,so we have had to put the pup in her crate in case she knocks him over ,as she jumps up at him..then our son daughter in law & grandson lost there black labrador suddenly at only 6 years old,we are all devastated ,we usually take our pup up to there house but left her at home in case it upset any of them,because it’s only just happened,& she loves our son & he loves her too,so I do think it’s emotional with the pup, so we are trying our best to make her feel fingers crossed she will not mess her crate tonight,if fact we have even thought of taking her to bed with us tonight,but will we be making a rod for our own back.??? X

  18. Hi, we have just welcomed an 11 month old labrador into our family, she is house trained and I am starting recall training, as per your book. When using food as treats, are you better doing this when she is hungry, so on a morning walk before her first meal, for a few minutes at a time?



  19. Hi My 3 month old labrador puppy seems to be taking a long taime to house train We have had him just over 4 weeks. He is quite good during the day but still dirty at night we are using newspaper and he is restricted to a kitchen area. Our problem is we are on the 1st floor with a door and fire escape leading to garden but the door is not in the area where he sleeps at night. so we cannot move paper close to door. do you have any advice or should we just continue and give him more time.
    thanks david

    • Hi David, I don’t use the newspaper method and recommend crates for house training. Most three month old puppies would not be clean overnight if not crated. I am not sure how long it will take with your method, but it is early days yet. Pippa

  20. Hi Pippa

    Great site, really enjoying reading all of your training tips.

    I have a question about crate training. We are intending to crate train our pup, and we are also planning not to allow the pup upstairs.

    I have seen a lot of people mention keeping the puppy in your bedroom when the pup first arrives to help it settle at night.

    Should we do this if we are not intending to allow the pup upstairs long term or will having the pup upstairs for the first few days confuse things.


    • Hi Aaron,
      Glad you like the website. Provided you make it no more than a few days, keeping your puppy by your bed when he first arrives will not do any harm. When you move him downstairs he will still probably cry, but he won’t be so distressed because by then, your home will be familiar to him.
      Best wishes, Pippa

  21. hi pippa,
    i have a 12 week lab yellow puppy.i feed him thrice a day with the special kibbles for lab puppies but he is still always hungry, he is over excited and sometimes obeys me and sometimes doesn’t and he is also very aggressive if he does not get what he wants he just starts biting hard and slowly .. slowly. i am loosing control over him. can u tell me the reason for this and what should i do to overcome this problem.

  22. HI, I have an 16 month old male Labrador, over all he’s not a bad dog, he walks well, always goes to the door when he wants to go to the loo and basically well behaved until he’s left on his own, I work days and my daughter who lives with me works night so to be honest there is someone in a lot of the time but we cant both be in all of the time, as soon as i leave the house he’s destructive, toilets on the floor, chews furniture etc, you can latterly only be out the house 15 mins to go to the stop and you come back to a trashed living room, I have tried putting him in a large crate but he barks so much that both my neighbours have complained so have had to stop using it, any help or advice gratefully welcomed

    • Hi Allison, the crate is the only effective way to stop the destruction. He will eventually grow out of it but the sooner you prevent him from doing it, the sooner you will break the habit. You can teach him to be quiet in the crate using this technique Click for quiet. Best wishes Pippa

  23. Hi,

    i have 1.7 years yellow labrador dog. What we usually ask him that not to bite, break things, take things . he do not listen us. He break our plants after then we beat him wit stick. But he again do same thing after some time.
    Please do let us know what we do in this case.

  24. Hi I have a 7 year old yellow lab and now have a choc lab we had him from 8weeks old he is now 7 months old.
    Our old lab was toilet trained in one night(I know this is extremely lucky!!) but the pup hasbeen very difficult to train. He took a few weeks to stop him messing in the house but he finally got it after we did all correct training. Unfortunately he was still messing at night. We were unable to crate him as he liked cuddling up with other dog. So we made bed area smaller in our utility room. He has gone ages with nothing but has started doing it again. And will even lie in it until we go to him. He doesn’t wine or bark in the night although When I shut them in there leaving access to the garden in the daytime he will pull on handle trying to let himself in and whine a little. He goes out in the evening before bed and I’ve tried taking him a small walk before bed but he won’t go to the toilet always. I try and feed him between 4-5 pm and we go to bed about 10 and up at 6. He is a good dog very obedient on walks, is learning new tricks and doesn’t chew much apart from sticks he finds in the garden. Although he is a real sclem and will steal food and will raid the kitchen bin at every opportunity. I’ve noticed if he has got hold of anything he will almost def mess in the night and it’s sloppy so I kind of understand that. Please any ideas would help. Do I need to get up in the night to let him out??? Thanks

  25. Hi,
    My name is samantha and I have a 10 month old male lab x pointer. Dallas is a wonderful dog, but I have been having some serious troubles with leash biting. We have been letting him off to play in the near by field and he is great with me and won’t leave unless someone is in the distance. When I want to leave I put him back on the leash and he goes nuts trying to bite the leash out of my hands and jumping around and just will not stop! I will loudly say no and stop and make him sit but as soon as we get going again the whole process starts over. I’m starting to loose my cool with him as he thinks it’s just a big game! HELP what do I do?

  26. I ‘ve a Labrador Retriever puppy called Tiger of 6 months age. It’ve 13 kg of weight… The only problem I am facing is that It is not barking when he see a stranger rather he jumps to him and show affection just like what he is doing to us… Is there any problem in him..??

  27. Hi I am looking for some training advice, I have a 3 year old female black lab, two years ago we had our first daughter followed by twins recently, our dog growls at our two year old everytime she goes near her, unless my daughter is carrying food then they are best friends :-) what can I do to resolve this issue? Many thanks

    • Hi Vicky, you should probably see a good behaviourist as soon as possible. They’ll need to assess the dog in your home in order to figure out what is going on and work with you on resolving the problem. Your vet should be able to refer you. Best wishes, Pippa

  28. My daughter has a labrador and he is nine years old. He has taken to making horrendous messes in the night. He is on one and a half pills twice a day for lachmaniosis and has been for some time.l He stays with us frequently and am not enjoying clearing up after him!! He gets two not very large meals a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Should I cut out one of these meals and give him more at the other. How long does their digestion take? Very many thanks for any help you can offer.

  29. My dads friends lab attacked me this weekend, and by that i mean i have a 2 inch gap near my elbow. He usually doesnt go on walks, and when he does its with the same person (his owner). when i took him for a walk, and got to the backyard, closed the gate, I was cornered, and he started growling at me. I don’t have a dog, i was planning on getting a dog, so i didnt know what to do. I tried walking around him, but he attacked me and sunk his tooth into my arm. I didnt hit him back, because it happened to quickly, and as soon as his owner called out “Max!”(the labs name) he stopped and got put back into his fenced area. what caused this, and how can i make him a happier less aggressive dog

    • Tackling aggression is complex and is a job for an expert. Your Dad’s friend needs to have a good behaviourist visit the dog and assess him in his own environment. In the meantime he has a duty to ensure that the dog cannot attack anyone else, and I recommend you stay away from this dog until he has received professional treatment. I hope your arm is better soon. Pippa

  30. I adopted a 3 month lab mix about 2-3 weeks ago. At first, he was very gentle and learned quickly. I took him to the beach and dog park and wouldn’t have to put a leash on him for he never left my side. He learned to sit real quick and is doing really well potty trained. My parents have 4 yorkies and I am living with them. My lab really wants to play with them, but they are not having it. How can I help them be better with each other? Also, in the past week, my lab has not been listening very well. He use to listen to sit and come here with no hesitation. Now, he wanders off and does his own thing. Am I doing something wrong or is this him being more comfortable now than before?

  31. Hi. I just got a 11 month old black lab puppy and I am having a hard time getting her to stop pulling when I am trying to teach her how to heel. She doesn’t respond to my “leave it” commands she just keeps on pulling. But she is doing good with the sit, down, and stay. Is it too early to teach her how to heel? I just got her last Friday night.

  32. Hi again. Both my lab and my Australian Shepard/ Cattle dog are both throwing up constantly. What could be wrong with them? They were fine yesterday and they threw up 4 times this morning! What should I do?

  33. Hi
    We have a 12 month old lab x border collie, he is much bigger than our other, older dog and seems to ‘bully’ the other (border x beagle). Can you offer any advice or tips, we have other problems with him but this seems to be the main problem at the minute.

  34. My lab keeps on running away in the yard and even when I call her in the same tone for her to come back, she acts like her ears are made of stone. How do I train her not to run away?

  35. My lab is about 9 weeks old and when I take him outside to play in the yard he wants to go towards the yard and in the large grass from the empty lot next to us and when I pick him up he growls at us. I read in a book that if I push on his shoulders and growl at him like a dominant puppy will that he will know we are the dominant one and listen. Is this good and what can I do about this behavior?

    • Hi Rebecca, at 9 weeks old, puppies only growl if they are playing, or if they are scared. It sounds as though you are frightening your puppy when you pick him up. Please do not growl at your puppy or try to dominate him. You will make things much, much worse.

      Have a look at this puppy recall video, and teach your puppy that following you and being with you, is the best thing in the world. The puppy in the video is the same age as yours. Pippa

  36. My puppy is going out of his boundary in our yard and when I call him to come he ignores me, I go pick him up and he growls at me.

  37. Hi, my 14 month old yellow labrador pulls clothes off the line after they are hung out, and i don’t know what to do… any suggestions??? thanks.

  38. my 2 month old lab is still in training I cant get her to stop pulling or chewing on her leash or stop jumping or biting or stop scratching and I’ve tried all your tricks what do I do

  39. hi pippa
    m a first time time pet owner ,we have got one month old lebra female could you pls help us regarding its training and regular diet and one more thing i want to ask she sleeps a lot is dere any health issue or what?

  40. Hi-we have a 6 month old lab puppy who we have had since he was 8 weeks. We go to puppy training classes every week and he has really come along with his heal, sit, down etc training. Howeve, over the last week or so when we take him for a walk after he’s had lunch and dinner he often will become jumpy, and tries to bite. If I ask him to sit during these episodes he will sit and if I drop the lead and walk away and make him wait he will also do this, but then when I take the lead back and try and get him to walk to heal again he starts jumping and biting again.when he is on the lead he jumps, bites and tries to grab the lead. Any tips to help stop him? We can go for walks when he doesn’t do any of this and walks well-it’s usually during his lunchtime and evening walk.

  41. My 6 month old black lab bites a lot. Sometimes I feel like she is after me to hurt me. I try to push her away and ignore her but sometimes I feel like she bites harder so I look at her. I put her in her bed to let her relax and teach her that that’s she is doing is not good. How can I stop this. She only does it to me and I am the one that always takes care of her. Help please!

  42. Hi,
    I have a 4 month old black Labrador Retriever called Chester and he is totally out of control. He jumps all over my guests, chews my stuff, bothers the other 3 dogs, and everything else that is obnoxious. He also bites me and chews the other dog’s ears. He is super hard to train too. Help!

  43. Hi, I have two lab puppies. 80 days old. I have problem with training. This is my first time. I usually take him to the crate at about 8-9pm and then morning 6-6.30 am. But there is always poop inside the cage. How can I train them?
    I take them out each separately and wait for them to poop , at the same place always, but if I’m lucky they might. It not habit yet. Should I be patient or ll they be never trained? How should I proceed?.
    And also what else should I need to train them?


  44. does a professional trainer has to be applied or can we teach a pup basic training at home by ourselves. if yes then how shall i potty train my pup? please suggest a way.

  45. Hi
    I have 3 month old labradore and I want to know that how to train him for peeing because he pees every were in the house

  46. Hi

    I have a 10 wk black lab puppy – Sophie. I have had two other puppies in the past so I’m quite familiar with chewing the house down. So it’s no suprise she is going through all the same chewing issues as read above. My concern however, is that she is also chewing the clothes off our backs – while were still in them! I can be walking through the kitchen wearing my robe and next thing I know, without warning, I’m dragging a 25lb mass of activity across the floor as she latches on to the hem. Truly a Kodac moment! lol. She goes for the pant legs, hems of skirts and even sweaters if they hang close enough to reach – I’m short so that pretty much means shes attached to me at every opportunity trying to play tug of war. We’ve been trying to give her alternative things to chew but tug-of-war with our clothes is her big thing. She lunges at the children – especially our 9 yrs old – for aggressive play and tries to get hold of our skin, legs, ankles and hands. This is starting to become quite worrysome. I’ve deliberately yelped at her like a puppy to make her stop and realize she’s going too far and too hard, but that is very temporary as she sits looking at me confused and tries again. Any verbal punishment – strict firm loud ‘NO’ Just makes her bark back like shes yelling NO in return. Any advise? I can replace pillows and furniture, I can replace limbs. Thanks.

  47. We have a 5 year old, 130lb, lab who has always been well behaved inside. In the last year things have changed. When it comes to outside he freaks out, breaks down our fence to escape and even our doors. We don’t leave him outside for long. For years he has been used to it during the day as we are at work but it has grown worse day by day and now he won’t go outside to pee. We have a 9 month old and another coming in Oct. In the last 3 months he has begun targeting all of her things and chewing them up as well as acting out in the house. We love on him and give him attention. I am very allergic to dogs and am unsure how we can keep him. My husband loves his dog so much. Help?

  48. Hello there! I have a seven month old black lab puppy. I love her to bits and pieces but she is a bad dog! She doesn’t listen, she steals bags (including my wallet), she jumps on the coffee table, she steals food, and she pulls while out on the leash. I have tried training her multiple times but it just won’t work what am I doing wrong? She loves water and I live by a lake but I cannot take her outside because she tries to run away after people and other dogs.

  49. Hi Pippa,
    We have two very adorable yellow labs who are 15 weeks this weekend. They are doing very well, one of them is mrs goody two shoes and like to out do the other, but they do squabble over objects and toys – I want to start training them to retrieve, how do you do this with two? Do you have to separate them to train? Is that best? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this? Thank you Dee

    • I meant to also say that they are two girls, and are taking to recall training and other basic commands very well. One of the pups belongs to our 12 year old son and I want him to be able to play ball etc with his dog, but it seems impossible with the other always trying to take the ball.

  50. I need help!! I have a 9 month (9 months today) old chocolate lab puppy and the owners before me never trained him!! I have him potty trained and that’s about it. He will sit with a treat and he’ll play catch. How can I get him leash trained and teach him other things at this old?

  51. Hi I have a 3 1/2 month old puppy who won’t stop mouthing and biting. I have tried yelping or timeout but its not working. I am totally at my wits end as I have a 4 year old girl who is starting to get scaird. My pup only acts up this behaviour in the house. Please please help me. Kathryn x

  52. Hi there I really hope someone can help! I have a 17 month old choc lab who was quite tricky to housetrain. I think it was giving her too much space to begine with so she was disorientated and messed in the house…however, she is till doing it! It is mainly overnight but can be in the evening. She is always taken out last thing and often does both, then will poo on the floor in the night. I get up at 6.15 to let her out and she will often do both again…Where am I going wrong? It’s getting embarrasing when we have people to stay as I don’t know what they will find in the morning if they get there first! I didn’t mind when she was a baby but now…She is shut in the utility room overnight with our other, older lab who is fine. Other than that she is wondrful and healthy and happy as far as I can tell!
    Help please!

  53. Hi,
    I just got a lab 6 months old, she is not trained at all I think, she gets her playing time and she is not aggressive but how do you think I will be able to train her?


  54. Hi Pippa,

    What’s your view on having two puppies but with separate owners, living in the same house – such as my sister and I plan to do.

    I’ve read information about this as a negative thing to do – but does it work with two owners?

    Also what about having two females but from different litters?

    We’re thinking possibly a lab and a golden retriever or both labs.

    I’ve read about working separately with them…

    Do you have any suggests how to this could work?

  55. Hi there just a quick few training questions I need to ask.

    I have a 6 month old lab, training is going generally well except the only problem is pulling on the leash when walking . This generally happens at the very start of the walk (she’s a very excited puppy) and when she she’s other dogs and people. This gets extremely bad as she’s getting a fair bit of weight behind her (25kg) and I’m finding it hard to keep her under control and listen.
    If there are no distractions when walking she is generally very good and will stop and sit when I stop walking without me asking her now. But as soon as a distraction happens it’s hard to make her listen to us. Any tips on how to correct this behavior? We have done a fair bit of clicker training with her and is helping a lot , and doing recall training with a 15 leash and is improving alot. But as soon as distractions happen she doesn’t listen. As interesting as we try make ourselves.


    • Hi Pippa,
      I have a 15 wk old puppy.
      I don’t work so he has been around me all the time.
      When I go out for short periods i.e school run he howls from the moment I go out until I get in. What can i do to stop this?

  56. I just changed my 18 month old lab from a lead clipped to his collar to a halter meant to help keep him from pulling. He has started sitting down during walks with the halter. Today, i put the lead back on his collar because I wanted to do a walk and he jumped around and tried to carry the lead in his mouth. Is this challenging the new halter and trying to be dominant? What should I do? Thank you.

  57. Hi Pippa,
    First of all thank you for all the information,I bought a 4 weeks old lab now he is 8 weeks older,I would like to ask you that he gets very aggressive most of the time and is biting toes/every thing that fits into his mouth.
    Secondly he goes out for shit but every time after shitting he runs into the house and is never ready for a walk.
    Please help me,as I am from India there are dog training centres as well as lanes are full of stray dogs and garbage.
    Please tell me steps regarding the problem.
    Thank You

    • Hi I have a 7 month old lab who is brilliant at going to the toilet in the garden however does not ask to go out just sits by the back door. If we see him we let him out however if we are upstairs or somewhere else he will go on his pads. If there are no pads down he will go on the floor where the pad will have been. He also never goes when on a walk? We take him out first thing in the morning and he will hold it until we get home. Is there anything we can do to get him to stop using the pads and to go on walks. Thanks

      • Victoria,
        I was just provided this helpful hint. Cut off a piece of the pad that your dog has urinated on. Place it in a zip lock bag.

        The next time you are out on your walk, place the pad down and hopefully he will smell his sent and potty.

        Best of luck.

  58. Hello Pippa
    First of all I appreciate your work.
    I have a 52 days old labrador puppy.I have a couple of queries.
    When do i start training my dog?
    How can I control the over aggressive biting?

  59. we have a 10 year old lab who is crate aggressive. She LOVES her crate and prefers to hang out in it. Our cat wandered into her kennel she just snapped she pinned her hurt the cat. She has snapped at our Yorkie too. Any suggestions would be appreciated

  60. We got our 4 month old lab puppy one month ago.

    The first week was hell. She peed and pooped in her wire cage kennel no matter how many times we took her out and even if just for an hour or two. The kennel was huge and I tried using the decider and covering it with a blanket, but every time we came home she had soiled it.

    I purchased a large plastic kennel, which is way smaller than the wire kennel and my husband and son were home during the holidays. She was trained in about two days.

    We have been allowing her to sleep in a dog bed next to our bed since she is in the kennel 8 hours a day with a 1 hour break in between.

    Our problem is that she is waking at 2 or 3 a.m.. We take her potty and bring her back to her bed, but she is ready to be up.

    Should we place her in the kennel at night, take her out at 2 or 3 and then back into the kennel? We are exhausted, but feel she is in the kennel too much during the week with both of us working.

    I appreciate any suggestions!

  61. Hello. We have an almost 5 year old chocolate lab named Solomon. He is a good dog and has always been obedient. My husband takes him out pheasant hunting. He retrieved his first pheasant at 6 months old. However, recently, he doesn’t want to listen while on the hunt. He acts like he is in charge. The past few hunts have ended miserably. Not only that, but he uses his nose to “boss” me around. Nudging me with it as if to get me to do something or get something for him. I told my husband that Solomon is acting as if we are all there for him and he is the center of the universe. How do we go about getting our “old” Solomon back?

  62. I have a 7-8 month old black lab. We worked on training him when he was younger and he was great! He would come when called and didn’t jump. He was always great when myself or my boyfriend were away, but lately he’s been acting out. He runs away and does not come when called when we take him out to the park, and he’s started to escape his puppy area and destroy the rest of our house. We have lots of toys for him and take him for a walk at least one hour a day. What else can we do? Is this because of his age?

  63. Hi Pippa,
    We just rescued a 13 week old lab mix. It’s our first lab and first pup. It stayed outside with it’s 6 siblings for most of it’s life and is now inside with us. I have no idea where to start potty training or any other training for that matter. Any help with training at this age? Thank you!

    • Hi Suzanne, just start at the beginning as you would with an eight week old pup. You’ll have the advantage that your puppy will have better bladder control. :) Lots of articles on housetraining in the puppies section on the menu at the top of the page

  64. Hi,

    My daughter has a 4-1/2 month old choc female Lab. She has had her since she was 9 weeks old. My daughter is also a night nurse, working from 7p – 7a. Her Lab is crated during her shifts and someone comes to let her out around 10p. She goes potty outside and has not made any messes in the house. She is very smart. She has escaped her crate 3 times and climbed over the gate. Her crate is now padlocked. She puts lots of effort into getting out that she totally exhausts herself. If she is left alone in the living room for an hour or two she is fine, doesn’t make any mess in the house or chew on anything she shouldn’t. We tried a taller gate and kept her in the bathroom one night only to find her totally exhausted when my daughter came home from work. On off days the Lab sleeps on the floor on her pillow. How do we keep the Lab and the household items safe, just in case, during those long overnight hours? She is really a good dog otherwise.

  65. hi.
    i have a 9 weeks old labrador puppy.. every time when i took him out for a walk he pulls himself backwaard or lay down didnt walk proper if i have to walk him i have to drag him with me or do it forcefully….
    Help me how can i fix this problem

  66. Lab mix now 17 weeks, always used pads, since 6 weeks, she will not go outside, she holds till we come in, no matter how long outside.

  67. My name is Marisol and we just adopted a female Labrador. We are having problems her running away. Any advise on how can we train our lab not to run away? The old owner of the dog didn’t want her because she was having the same issue with the dog and we adopted her.

  68. We have a 15 week old lab. She is wanting to go out up to 13 times a day to relieve herself. We just realized that sometimes she is doing a fake squat to get the treat- smart dog, dumb owners. She is being crate trained and has urinated 2 x in her crate but it was our fault, she hasn’t done it in a long time. At night she can make it from about 10:30-6- usually but sometimes she will do an early wake up.Any suggestions as to how to stop the multiple unnecessary trips? HELP!!!

  69. well, its really nice post. i have two years old Labrador (Casper). he is aggressive and fast. growth of his is flawless, he learned everything in just limited period of time during his training session. and now he is like our family member. even he can understand our feeling. he is the best breeder among all <3 <3 <3

  70. I have a 12 week year old pup and I want to start clicker training. Just wondering what are the best treats to give him to avoid him becoming overweight please

    • You can simply use your puppy’s food Lee. Weigh out his daily allowance and take his training treats out of that. If you need to use extra special treats for proofing you can just feed him a little bit less of his regular food.

  71. We just took in a 5 yr old yellow male lab who is house broken, we have had him for a month now, the previous owners said he never messed inside and he did do the same for us until this last week, we went away for a week n my mom watched him and he peed on the floor b4 we came back home, now he has peed on the stairs and pooped once, what is going on!!!??? Any suggestions please!!

  72. I hv a 4 month lab puppy….we give him 3 meals a day…bt he remains always hungry…always….why he do so?? is it normal??

  73. hi could do with some advise please i have a black lab thats 3yr old in august we put him in his crate when we go out and at night and he sometimes gors in it on his own accord through the day and sometimes he just stands up and pee’s in his crate doesnt make a noise or anything to indicate he needs toilet just does it in his crate or on floor
    what could be the problem or cause

    many thanks

  74. Hi,

    I want to get a lab, but unfortunately I do not know anything about how to train a dog and as I was a kid I did not have any experience with a dog. I would be grateful if you could recommend me a book to read before getting a puppy lab.


  75. hey!
    I have a black lab puppy 6 months old and he was vry naughty.He doesnt show that he wants to go toilet & he often does toilet on floor inside home.
    what i have to do????????
    pls help me……♡♥♡

  76. Pippa,
    I have a 9 week old lab. We are anxious to get him in the water. How old does he have to be to go swimming in a lake? I read he section on how to get them swimming but want to verify when. I think my other labs started around 4 months but if we can do it earlier that would be nice. Thank you!

  77. Hi pippa. I have a 3yr old black lab from working lab family. He is adhorable and a fantastic dog . His house behaviour is great but im lost when we go out. We back onto a field so evrtyday we walk out there off lead . We have done since a puppy. Over last yr though he has started to run too far out of sight and not obey my comands . He always returns within a few minutes but i dread it that he may come across other dog walkers and run over to pester them before i can see them . Is there any way to train him to be better off lead and do as hes told. Many thanks paul