There’s not a better companion than a yellow lab. Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular dogs in the country and for good reason. They’re friendly, loving – not to mention smart. Our yellow lab puppy didn’t come with a manual and at times we needed one. So here are five tips we learned through the years in raising a lab:
1. They are escape artists – don’t underestimate a lab puppy: The first night we took Cobi home, we had her barricaded in our small kitchen with plenty of food and drink, along with a comfy dog bed. But she wanted to be by us, and it didn’t take her long to escape. For us, crate training turned out to be the best way to raise and train a yellow lab puppy.
2. Exercise is your friend: A well-exercised and worn out lab puppy is one less likely to get into trouble. Take lots of walks, and let these social dogs see the world. When you’re ready for bed, your lab puppy will be too and that helps everyone sleep.
3. Use positive re-enforcement but provide discipline: You have to be firm with your lab puppies but most of all they love to be praised. Make sure you’re pointing out the positives when they happen and not just getting angry at the negatives. In our case, that included a chewed up fireplace.
4. Provide chew toys: These adorable labs love to chew, like most puppies. It’s better for them to chew a toy rope than your new shoes. And believe me, they’ll try. Give them plenty of alternatives and maybe you’ll survive the first few months without too much damage.
5. Love: You can’t outlove a lab. They will return every ounce you give them and then some.