Training a labrador puppy

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Training a Labrador puppy is a lot of fun.

Provided you have some sensible information and advice at hand.

Modern labrador training methods are gentle,  positive, and very effective.

Smacking and rolled up newspapers are a thing of the past!

Training your  puppy can be challenging, but it is an important part of puppy care and management.

Training is also an important ‘safety feature’ of owning a large and relatively powerful dog.

A full grown Labrador can easily knock a person over or drag them along on the end of a lead.  Or cause a serious accident if he were to stray onto a road.

What to teach

For safety’s sake, the minimum any Labrador puppy should learn is how to sit and to wait calmly to be stroked or fed,  and to walk nicely next to his owner on a lead.

Dollarphotoclub_64465786Most importantly we need to train a puppy to come back reliably when he is called.

When to teach

With modern training methods, which are largely force-free,  training can begin at a very early age.

The secret to successful early training lies in keeping the whole process stress free and cheerful.

Your puppy should have no idea he is being trained, and will enjoy his training sessions as if they were games.

How to teach

You will find lots of information on puppy training in our training and puppy sections.

Check out our popular Recall Training Centre to help you get this important skill underway,  and find out how to get your puppy walking nicely next to you with our Clicker Heel article

You will also find information lots more information on other aspects of puppy care in our labrador puppies section.

One article you may find particularly helpful is  :  ‘How to train a puppy to sit’   To make sure you don’t miss any of our other articles,  you can request free email updates using the box to the right.

More help and information

Happy Puppy jacket imageIf you enjoy Pippa’s articles, you will love her new book: The Happy Puppy Handbook published  in 2014.

Now available in most countries, the handbook is already a bestseller in the UK.

You can buy from Amazon using the links below.  If you do,  the labrador site will receive a small commission which is greatly appreciated and won’t affect the cost to you!


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Pippa Mattinson

The Labrador Site is brought to you by Pippa Mattinson. Pippa's latest book The Happy Puppy Handbook is a definitive guide to early puppy care and training

by Pippa on December 14, 2011

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane September 26, 2012 at 12:42 am

Hi, my friend has a beautiful black female lab just under a year old. She was a rescue dog and totally loves her. However, she has consistently eaten her leather chair, her shoes, clothes, jewelry, any food on the counter to name a few. She jumps on her owner and I only, and recently started sniping at my hands and clothes, as well as her owners. My friend works full time and has asked me to help train the dog or look for a dog trainer since I introduced them :) Help! What should I do?


Pippa September 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

Hi Diane,
Not sure if you are asking whether you should go ahead with taking on the dog, or how to go about it?

Are you considering having the dog in your home all day, full time? Young Labradors are often very destructive if left unsupervised. This can go on up to around two years of age. Do you have a crate? Do you have room for a crate? Are you willing to devote some time to reading and learning about canine behavioural modification and training techniques?

You might find it helpful to chat to other Labrador owners on the forum and to read through the articles in our Training and Behaviour sections



Gabriela May 9, 2015 at 7:08 am

I just got a 4 1/2 week lab mix. She’s very active and likes to bite and chew on things. How do I break her from chewing on everything and get her to stop using the bathroom inside?


Liz Jones November 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm

My Labraodor puppy is 9 weeks old and has been with me for 1 week. He is wearing a collar fairly happily but rolls over and chews the lead every time I put it on. He does not seem to be afraid of it but wants to chew anything he comes into contact with.
How can I get around this?


Pippa November 18, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hi Liz,
Your puppy’s reaction is pretty normal. The lead is a bit of a novelty for now. Just pop it on for a few moments and keep the lead held so it goes straight up from the back of his collar to your hand. Then distract him with plenty of walking up and down, changing direction every few steps and lots of encouragement. Dropping the odd treat behind you as you go will also keep his mind off the lead.
Fortunately your puppy doesn’t need to walk on the lead just yet so you can keep ‘lead times’ very short, just a few seconds, several times a day and he will soon get used to it.


Desmond April 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

update on how to train my 2 months Labrador puppy


Pippa April 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Do you have a question Desmond? Or do you want to post a story about your puppy?


Garry Curve April 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

How to know the age of my yellow labrador and how to know if my puppy is pure labrador breed


Pippa April 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Hi Garry, no one can tell you these things without any information I’m afraid. If you post a picture up of your puppy in the forum we might be able to give you a very rough idea of age, but unless he is clearly not a pure bred Labrador, we probably can’t help you with the other question.


Bud Lawson July 20, 2013 at 1:25 am

I have a 14 week old lab and may need some info about making this a fun time .Bud


Pippa July 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Hi Bud, hope you find the articles in this section helpful. Pippa


john August 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I just bought a 4 month old black lab last Saturday I bought a large pen in the basement for him. He won’t stop barking I am home for 2 weeks to train him I put him in the pen 3 times a day for half hour he will not stop barking I am concerned when I have to go to work I work from home 3 days a week.


Pippa August 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hi John,
Have a look at this article: Click for Quiet


Holly November 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I have a 9 month old lab who bites (well, more like mouths but it can turn into biting when he really gets going) When will this stage stop? I correct him by saying no, and walking away from him but sometimes I think he thinks its a game. Any advice?


TiLyn December 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

We have a 4 month old yellow lab puppy ” Major” he’s the greatest puppy we’ve ever had, we had Siberian husksys before & just had no luck, Major is already SO much more loving, loyal & caring..and he’s a perfect family dog however…we can’t get him to get potty trained all the way yet. We have gated him off into the kitchen until we get him house broken. (Is that bad?) He usually barks if he has to go out so, we’ll leash him & take him. We have him on a eating schedule& every time after he eats we always take him out. He’ll go pee outside & does great but, never fails…He’ll come right back in & pee on the kitchen floor….ugh! Please help!!!!!!!!


Pippa December 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

Hi there, check out all the house training articles in the Puppy Care section. You might also find it helpful to join the forum. Lots of other puppy owners there :)


Prathamesh December 22, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I have approx 2 mnths old female lab… Her name is Kyra… And I love her…She is so playful but mouths so hard when excited… Everytime it leaves a big scratch of her sharp tooth… I have tried all time out sessions etc… But still when she become excited she bites badly… Please help…


gowtham January 13, 2014 at 7:11 am

hi, i have a 5 week old cute little lab .. i got it 2 days back.. on the first night he didnt sleep at all.. and didnt leave us to sleep,but i think its normal for it in a new place right?.. in the past two days all he did was eat n sleep… is it okay?.. wl it take more time to adopt??


Bella January 21, 2014 at 6:19 am

My mother bought a beautiful 6 week old golden lab girly for my little sister (4 years old) and myself to own a few days ago, and she is struggling to be potty trained. I have tried lots of different ways, such as closing her off in just the garden or holding her until she whines and needs to wee. After all of it, she just won’t wee. Only once I take her from there and put her down does she wee. She has begun to favour our carpet, despite spraying and cleaning her wee every time. Are there any good secrets to training her to wee in the garden? (She will be an outside dog, but we don’t want her to wee on the patio.) Please give me some advise.


Pippa January 21, 2014 at 8:06 am

Hi Isabella, here is the article you need. You might also find it helpful to join the forum for support from other puppy owners. Pippa


ayesha April 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I have two labras one is female and the other is male female is stella and male is shadow this is my very first experiens with dogs and theyy are out of control they dont know anything like when i say sit they dont i say stand they dont when they are playing the dont even stop and listen to what i am saying now plz tell me what should i do to make them good plz help me


Alyssa April 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm

I have a beautiful 6.5 lb. baby girl named Rarri who is 9 weeks. She is actually half lab half German Shepard and quite beautiful. Already she is showing how playful she can be, and bites many things, she loves to wake us up at 6 am (no joke) We are kennel training her and I do not know much about training a puppy although I am aware both breeds are very smart, playful and large in size. I cannot express how excited I am to see her grow I actually hope she is larger than average since she is a mix! That would be great. Although since she is a mix I am worried this can become a problem when training her?


Pippa April 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

Hi Alyssa, the fact that she is mixed breed will make no difference to her training. Enjoy your puppy :)


Nayanathara April 24, 2014 at 6:00 am

I have two months old labrador puppy, i wanna potty train for her, how to do that pls help me



Pippa April 24, 2014 at 7:51 am

This is the article you need


Kaitlyn January 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Hi! I have a 15 week old male black lab puppy who has stolen our hearts! I found him off of a posting online. When we went to go pick him up, we found him in a run down, disgusting place. He was malnourished, and the mother was no where in sight. Normally I know this is a danger zone for picking a puppy, but I couldn’t leave him behind. I knew if I did he would be dead.

We have had him 3 weeks now, and he is healthy, hearty puppy. (his vet gave him the all clear). However my fiance and I noticed that he went from licking us to biting us, and he tends to growl. When we scold him he only barks back. I’m worried we might not break this behavior, and I don’t want him like this as an adult. How do we stop him from biting us and growling and just be a loving puppy?



Pippa January 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

Hi Kaitlyn, all puppies bite and growl, check out this article on coping with biting. Your puppy may also be short on socialisation. You’ll need to spend some time on this


Michael Stewart March 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Hi . Bit of advice please on how to stop our 18 month old from running up to other dogs not in an aggressive way just an over friendly way. He hasn’t been neutered.


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