Labrador Training

Labrador training is the process of teaching your boisterous, enthusiastic Lab to become a gentle and obedient family dog. And my Lab training techniques will enable you train your dog in achievable positive steps.

The Labrador retriever is famous for being easy to train and the Labrador is renowned for their service as therapy dogs, guide dogs for the blind, detection dogs, hunting dogs and much more.

Your Labrador training journey begins the day you bring home your 8 week old puppy, and continues for every moment of the long and lovely years you’ll share together. Because even when you aren’t actively training your dog, they are still learning from you.

The Labrador training information you will need will depend partly on the role you have in mind for your Labrador. All Labs need socializing as puppies, and basic obedience training. But there are lots of ways that you can take training much further if you want to.

You’ll find links to resources on every aspect of Labrador Retriever training listed below, from puppy training to advanced training, with step by step training guides, tips, and advice.

Labrador Puppy Training

A trained Labrador is a pleasure to own, and training your dog should be fun. All the dog training advice on this site is reward based and effective, and provided by experienced Labrador trainers.  We hope you find it helpful!

Labrador Training Techniques

You can find a broad overview of the current most popular dog training methods here.

Recall Training

Basic Obedience Commands

These Labrador training guides focus on a particular command or cue.

Labrador Training Tips and Tricks

Labrador Behavioral Training

Big bouncy, friendly, dogs can be challenging at times. Especially when they are young. Labrador training can resolve your every day problems. Leash pulling, running off and jumping up are all common issues, which you don’t have to live with!

Your Training Questions Answered

Most people have problems at some stage, and with a little help you can overcome them. Before you begin, make sure that you have the right Labrador Training Supplies and Equipment. And don’t forget to join the buzzing community of Lab fans over on our Labrador Facebook Page. You’ll be able to see photos of Labs owned by other readers and share your dog’s story there if you want to.


  1. We adopted a 6 month old lab/ shepherd mix. Potty trained but barks and bites and is not afraid of punishment such as firmly saying no and stop. She’s from a shelter and we’re afraid something happened we don’t know about. She’s ruining our lives and hurting us badly. Please help I don’t want to have to return her. ?

  2. My lab is a year old nd he dosent knows any tricks. Nothing and he dosent obeys me. Giving smallbtips while traning dosent works nd he thinks i am feeding him so he isnt learning.there is no dog trainers nearby so i want to know how to train him

  3. Hi Pippa

    I have adopted a 15 months lab 2 months ago. He is too cute & obidient . but once in a while he himself removes his leash & running away( in these two months it happend for 3 times )

    Another important thing is he is not barking when outsiders or strangers entered the gate.

    Plz suggest me how to train my cute friend.

  4. Hi Pippa…discovered you last night and I love what I have read.
    I am an Australian living in France (not fluent in French) and we are adopting a huge (35kg), 16 month old gentle giant named Owen.
    We met him today..and he is a delight! However, apparently he has not been socialised with other dogs and when he comes into contact with another dog, he gets frightened, he bristles and runs towards the other dogs to “face the danger”.. (as translated by my French husband). Back in Australia we have “dog parks and off leash ares” where people take their dogs to exercise and play….perfect for “socialising” but I have not come
    across any here in France.
    HELP…we need some guidance…as we want our newest family member to feel at ease …. but mostly we would like to take him out and about with us as much as possible.
    I have also been told that he pulls on his lead…and through a quick game of ‘tug-a-war’..I discovered that I am no match for this beautiful 35kg baby…I will follow your training program to solve this…(and other issues).

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and for being their for us.

    Kindest regards,

  5. Hi Pippa
    I hope you well.
    I brought 2 female white labs. I have already started to training them together. Unfortunately, in this days, it’s getting difficult because sometimes one obey, while the other is not paying attention. So, how to solve this issue? Please some suggestion.
    Also, they are starting to fight while we are walking around yard

  6. Hi,

    My Labrador is 2 years old. I work full time and have arranged for a company to come in and walk in on a Tuesday and Thursday. The other days My dad pops in for company and to let him out for a wee.
    He doesn’t chew our furniture ( thank goodness) but he will chew pillows, DVD’s etc and its driving me mad. I have spent a small fortune on chew toys and I am desperate on any suggestions. Please can you help

  7. HI pippa i have a 11 months black labrador when i take him for a walk he does not pee & poopout but when we return home then he pees in home what should i do for that.

    2. how i can train my dogs to catch, sit, stand, down play with us, catch and so on plzz give some advice and ideas

  8. HI pippa i have a 2 months black labrador when i take him for a walk he does not pee out but when we return home then he pees in home what should i do for that

  9. Hi Pipa,
    I have 13 weeks old labrador and i still cant teach her to wee and poop outside.
    I take her out after eating, but she does that right after coming back home, it doesn’t matter how long we stay outside.

  10. I have an 18 month old yellow lab that I just adopted one month ago he is 86 pounds I am 104 pounds so taking him for walks is basically a nightmare his previous owners didn’t do much training other than potty training he’s a great dog I just can’t get him to walk on a leash without pulling and dragging me. And god for bed another dog person or squirrel crosses our path.
    I can’t get him to come to me. It’s like he’s too distracted by everything around him and there’s never really much going on it’s almost like ADHD . I’ve been trying to train him with training treats he’s kind of coming along but he’ll snag a treat and runaway. And don’t even get me started on the jumping up on people
    Is it too late to train him because he’s older can I break these habits he has ? I love him to death I’m just hoping that it’s just taking a while to bond because I’ve only had him a month
    Any suggestions would be great

  11. Pippa your methods are amazing. I’ve had my lab puppy for just 10 days and he is already walking next to me without the leash and following me everywhere. I’m so glad I did not miss this valuable period for training (he is 3 months old). I was afraid to buy another lab because our old lab was never trained and was so much work until he got old. But reading your book gave me the courage to buy another puppy and now I am so glad I did! This one will be so much easier to live with, thanks to your methods. Thank you!!!

  12. Hi Pippa

    I am shortly going to start training two Labrador puppies. Do I need two whistles with a different pitch for each or can I use the same whistle?

    • Hi Sharon, you have to train your puppies separately so it isn’t a problem to use the same whistle. I use the same whistle for all my dogs πŸ™‚

  13. Hi, we have adopted a yellow lab that will be 2 March 8th of 2016, he can sit, fetch a ball is house broke but is very very wild and bull headed. He is pure bread with no papers and loves kids and other pets. I need help teaching him to calm down, he is very um, needed I guess. As soon as I let him in the house and tell him to lay down he mellows right out and just hangs out. I would like to train him on retrieving ducks and may be shed antlers, any help you can give me would be wonderful. Thank You

      • Yes, if I let him out of the fence him will take off, he is very jump happy and is bull headed. I have been able to get him to listen with training collar using a vibration. Any advice would be great

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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……β™‘β™₯β™‘

  17. 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.


  18. 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

  19. 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??

  20. 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!!

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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!!!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 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. πŸ™‚ Lots of articles on housetraining in the puppies section on the menu at the top of the page

  29. 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?

  30. 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?

  31. 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!

  32. 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

  33. 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?

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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?

  37. 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?

  38. 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?


  39. 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!

  40. 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

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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?

  45. 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.

  46. 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