Possible New puppy

abclements

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
765
Hey all,

We're looking into getting a new black lab puppy and want to do all the research I can before jumping into things. I had a yellow lab growing up, so I know the basics. But I wasn't old enough when she was a puppy to really remember and participate in preliminary training.

Does anybody have any good books/websites/experiences with training labs that they could share with us?

Thanks!

@Tom since I know you train dogs, but anybody and everybody is welcome to chime in!
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
My lab was probably the easiest dog I have ever trained. She is super smart and always intent on pleasing. She has health problems though, allergies to foods. That has been a challenge.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,264
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Tips for puppies.
1. Too much freedom is a mistake. Crate, kennel or leash the pup for at least the first year and until you have a solid obedience foundation.
2. Don't give a command you can't or won't enforce. It teaches the pup to ignore you, or choose when it feels like listening.
3. Never let anyone approach your pup. Tell them to stand back and let the pup approach them. This will give the pup much more confidence in you, its leader, and therefore much less worry about the world.
4. Never go to a "dog park". This is the worst thing to happen to dogs in recent memory. Bad. All bad.
5. Train your dog. You get out of it what you put into it.
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,030
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
My lab was probably the easiest dog I have ever trained. She is super smart and always intent on pleasing. She has health problems though, allergies to foods. That has been a challenge.
Have you tried a raw food diet? It can be very effective in treating food allergies. But you have to do it right or you can make your dog very sick or even kill them. my dog is half Springer half lab, she is extremely smart and responsive. She is much smarter than I am. and she knows it :) I know people love purebred dogs but if you get a cross with two breeds that you know it can be just as good. My dog was bred as a hunter and even though I don't hunt all the instincts are there. Even as a puppy she would point, flush, and retrieve. My friend. A professional dog trainer, called her "stable" and often used her for distraction or socialization when she had difficult dogs to work with. Nothing phases her. ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1421906270947966 So my suggestion to the OP is to not disregard mutts, lab crosses can be just as good.
 

Team Gomberg

IXOYE
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
7,692
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Oregon
Research the raw diet. I've used it with 2 Danes, 1 cat and am considering it again with our "future" puppy.

Diamond Bar Kennels in FL has a wonderful training program for labs (among other breeds). It's called About Turn Pager Training. I LOVE it. Used it with my most recent Dane. The trainer, Kelly primarily uses the vibration feature of the E collar and it's results are just wonderful. She offers lots of online support should you be interested.

Like Tom said, I've always leashed to me or kenneled the dogs the first year-ish. It's harder to re train than it is to lay the good foundation.

Those are my general dog tips...I've never had a lab. But still, it's some good food for thought.
 

abclements

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
765
Tips for puppies.
1. Too much freedom is a mistake. Crate, kennel or leash the pup for at least the first year and until you have a solid obedience foundation.
2. Don't give a command you can't or won't enforce. It teaches the pup to ignore you, or choose when it feels like listening.
3. Never let anyone approach your pup. Tell them to stand back and let the pup approach them. This will give the pup much more confidence in you, its leader, and therefore much less worry about the world.
4. Never go to a "dog park". This is the worst thing to happen to dogs in recent memory. Bad. All bad.
5. Train your dog. You get out of it what you put into it.

Perfect! Thanks everybody.

Tom: 1) do you just mean in public and when nobody is home? I plan to have her crated when we're not home, but I'm going to set up a run in my backyard for some outside time. Obviously, she will be mostly indoors for a while and then transition to more outdoors as time progresses.

2) hear you loud and clear. Watched my brother get into trouble with this Not too long ago

3) I never thought of that but very good point.

4) Not a fan of dog parks either. Too much distraction and a breeding ground for sickness and badness for lack of a better term lol

5) Training is very important to me. Hopefully she''ll be a upland bird dog for years to come :)
 

abclements

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
765
Thanks Heather! Already looking it up and it looks pretty good.

What are your guys' thought on treat training versus other methods like the E Collar or the pinch collars?
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,030
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
I have had great success with the raw diet for my dog and two cats. I will never go back to kibble if I can help it.
I like treat training at the beginning when learning a new behavior, but labs seem to so food distracted, I told my friend her lab is a stomach on feet :), so I think it could cause problems if it's used to much. That is totally my opinion I am not a professional dog trainer I'm just going but what I have seen with other labs. I think God every day my dog is only half lab :) when I see other labs going crazy for food. I have no experience with the E callers sorry. My dog trainer friend thought about using them briefly with my dog for off leash and recall but I do not have good enough vision to be able to give a correction at the exact right moment and if you do it at the wrong time you will just make your dog confused even if it's just on the vibrate mode. I liked the pinch collar once I knew how to use it. my dog was very high strung and she did not respond much to the regular choke chain, but the prong collar worked beautifully. congratulations I'm getting a new puppy, don't forget pictures :). One question, are you specifically looking for a black lab or are you also considering yellow or chocolate? I have talked to many trainers at guide dogs schools and they have had poor luck with the chocolate labs, for some reason they just don't respond to the training and flunk out at a much higher rate than the other colors of labs. Don't know why but it may be something to consider.
 

naturalman91

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
2,015
Location (City and/or State)
Medford Oregon
Tips for puppies.
1. Too much freedom is a mistake. Crate, kennel or leash the pup for at least the first year and until you have a solid obedience foundation.
2. Don't give a command you can't or won't enforce. It teaches the pup to ignore you, or choose when it feels like listening.
3. Never let anyone approach your pup. Tell them to stand back and let the pup approach them. This will give the pup much more confidence in you, its leader, and therefore much less worry about the world.
4. Never go to a "dog park". This is the worst thing to happen to dogs in recent memory. Bad. All bad.
5. Train your dog. You get out of it what you put into it.

if you don't mind my asking what is the best way to enforce a command? specially with a pup, its been a while since my little pitty passed and i got her a little older she was pretty much trained and listened well
 

lisa127

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
4,333
Location (City and/or State)
NE Ohio
Tips for puppies.
1. Too much freedom is a mistake. Crate, kennel or leash the pup for at least the first year and until you have a solid obedience foundation.
2. Don't give a command you can't or won't enforce. It teaches the pup to ignore you, or choose when it feels like listening.
3. Never let anyone approach your pup. Tell them to stand back and let the pup approach them. This will give the pup much more confidence in you, its leader, and therefore much less worry about the world.
4. Never go to a "dog park". This is the worst thing to happen to dogs in recent memory. Bad. All bad.
5. Train your dog. You get out of it what you put into it.
I'm so glad to hear you say this about dog parks!! I so agree.
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
Have you tried a raw food diet? It can be very effective in treating food allergies. But you have to do it right or you can make your dog very sick or even kill them. my dog is half Springer half lab, she is extremely smart and responsive. She is much smarter than I am. and she knows it :) I know people love purebred dogs but if you get a cross with two breeds that you know it can be just as good. My dog was bred as a hunter and even though I don't hunt all the instincts are there. Even as a puppy she would point, flush, and retrieve. My friend. A professional dog trainer, called her "stable" and often used her for distraction or socialization when she had difficult dogs to work with. Nothing phases her. View attachment 115144 So my suggestion to the OP is to not disregard mutts, lab crosses can be just as good.
She is a mix actually and yes changing her diet is what we did to manage. I cannot feed raw. I hate raw meat. Can't do it. Did find very expensive bagged though that is working.
 

Team Gomberg

IXOYE
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
7,692
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Oregon
I used treats with the e collar. I only ever had to use the stim feature twice when the distraction from another dog was high.. every other time I simply used the vibrate, with verbal command and a treat upon completion...especially in the beginning. Eventually it's the command, vibrate and praise.
E collar in this training style isn't used for correction... they can be used that way but in the About Turn Pager Training it's used with vibrate to work with the verbal commands. Mostly for heel, down and come.
I love her training method for come. You don't place the dog, walk away while the dog is watching you, then call it to you... there's no practical application for that. How many people train come that way but their dog doesn't come when the owner actually needs it to. You call the dog to come when facing away from you and either accompany it with the vibrate or a pull on a long lead then treat once it comes to you. Watch some of her videos...it's good stuff. Good stuff for the average pet owner who wants a dog that is trained with of leash basics... I'm sure Tom with his methods and his professional training goes much further.

Tom's 1.
I literally kept the puppy tied to me almost at all times as a pup. So, I don't think he means just when you aren't home..But also when you are. If you can't watch them, keep them out of trouble.
I hardly used a kennel. I primarily had the pup tethered to me. That is, on a leash, tied to my waist (belt loop) and it went where I went. Unless the pup was sleeping. This way I could make sure the dog didn't chew stuff, eat toys, go potty in the house etc. You gradually give the dog more freedom (roam the house) as it's older and more established with the rules.
Some might think it's an over kill but hey, I've never had potty accidents..(wait, 1 ever), no destruction chewing or getting into things and hey, the dog wants to be with you anyway. Put in the effort in the beginning, lay a good foundation and you'll be rewarded with a well behaved dog in the house.

How this helps!

I'm currently in my search for our next pup too. Been dogless for..4 years now? Ya...
Looking forward to having one again. :
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,264
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Tom: 1) do you just mean in public and when nobody is home?

I mean ALL the time. A puppy running loose in a large area is making all of his own decisions. He may or may not decide to come to you. If he doesn't come when you want him to what will you do? Call him and let him learn he can ignore the recall whenever he wants? Try to lure him with a treat? What is chasing squirrels or running around the house is more fun than your tid bit? In the house the pup should have a drag line when not crated.

One of the main techniques of top trainers is simply NOT creating problems early on. A loose puppy is going to either learn bad behavior on his own, or his people will unintentionally teach him bad behavior.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,264
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
What are your guys' thought on treat training versus other methods like the E Collar or the pinch collars?

ALL methods are good and all methods can be the best method for a given dog or situation. Over time I'll use the whole spectrum of training techniques with nearly every dog that I train.

I say beware the trainers who limit themselves by decrying one method or another "bad".

In general I train young dogs and new dogs using lots of treats and primarily positive reinforcement methods. I don't drop the hammer until they get a little older and willfully disobedient, and sometimes even then I don't need to do that. Cookie training is great. Its a good way to introduce new behaviors in a fun and positive way. But cookie training is not the be all, end all training method that some trainers want to promote it as. At some point with most dogs they will need to learn that there are consequences for disobedience, and the punishment must fit the crime. Most cookie trainers are not willing to leave their dog on a stay and cross a busy street without their dog. And for good reason. I do that all the time as part of my job. My dogs WILL stay.

To summarize, the training method should fit the dog and situation, and I would avoid the trainer who tells you one method or another is bad and should never be used.
 

abclements

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
765
Thanks again everybody! Your help, as always, is invaluable!

So in summary, I am hearing (please correct me if I am wrong)

1) When I'm out of the house, put her in the crate. When I'm home, at a very minimum, keep at drag line on her at all times
2) Keep on top of training
3) The reward/punishment must fit the action
4) Have set ground rules for human interaction with the dog

I am planning on purchasing a 10 foot lead for a drop line around the house and in the run, but I am also planning on a 50' lead for fetch training and other long lined training. Also, I'm really looking at Heather's training collar.

Thank you all for your help! :)
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,264
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
if you don't mind my asking what is the best way to enforce a command? specially with a pup, its been a while since my little pitty passed and i got her a little older she was pretty much trained and listened well

The answer to this is going to vary greatly with each individual dog and many other variables.

With a pup, I find it better to just not give any commands. They can't ignore or disobey a command that isn't given. Training a working dog is totally different than training a house pet though. For a working dog I try to create a dog with no inhibition and super high confidence. A pet needs some inhibition.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
90,788
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
When I got Misty, my doberman, she was already 3 months old, but had been living in a kennel with her 5 brothers and sisters and not much human interaction. So she didn't know anything, nothing, zilch, nada, zero. I didn't give her any commands. We just lived together in the house and she followed me everywhere. I was her surrogate mama. She just learned by every day living. When we went to the door to go outside I made sure that I was there first and there was no room for her to squeeze past and get out first. Then I'd go out and tell her ok and hold the door wide. When she came out I told her what a good girl she was. Eventually, I would put my hand in front of her nose at the door and say 'stay.' Then praise when I went out first and she followed. That's how she learned everything. Just by everyday life. I never reprimanded her. I let her chew up all her toys all over the floor. If she took something of mine, I just quietly took it away from her and said no. She's never been through any kind of formal training, but she's a very well-behaved dog.

I got her because I wanted some noise if there was ever anything going on outside. So I don't care if she 'heels' etc. She comes when I call her and she barks when people come over. Then she minds when I tell her it's ok. We fit each other perfectly.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,264
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thanks again everybody! Your help, as always, is invaluable!

So in summary, I am hearing (please correct me if I am wrong)

1) When I'm out of the house, put her in the crate. When I'm home, at a very minimum, keep at drag line on her at all times
2) Keep on top of training
3) The reward/punishment must fit the action
4) Have set ground rules for human interaction with the dog

I am planning on purchasing a 10 foot lead for a drop line around the house and in the run, but I am also planning on a 50' lead for fetch training and other long lined training. Also, I'm really looking at Heather's training collar.

Thank you all for your help! :)


All that sounds pretty good in a general sense, but its the day to day specifics that really make or break you. There is no substitute for professional help. Find a working dog trainer near you and enlist their help in one way or another. Best to bring them in early and explain your goals and aspirations to them. Then they can set you on the most advantageous path toward those goals. For example: You need to be careful about disciplining the wrong things early on, if you want a confident field worker down the road. Too much pressure and control early on will soften a working dog right down. I prefer to let puppies be puppies for at least a year. I let them run amok, pull on the leash jump on people and basically go nuts having fun. If I don't want them to jump on someone or get into something, I physically prevent their access to it with the use of a leash, crate or kennel. Basically I teach them "GO!" Stay, slow down, take it easy, be mellow, don't jump on people, etc... all comes later. I can create inhibition in an adult dog very easily. It is much more difficult to create drive and confidence in a dog that has been squashed and told "no" all its life.

Basically, I saying to call in a qualified trainer to help you out.
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,030
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
All that sounds pretty good in a general sense, but its the day to day specifics that really make or break you. There is no substitute for professional help. Find a working dog trainer near you and enlist their help in one way or another. Best to bring them in early and explain your goals and aspirations to them. Then they can set you on the most advantageous path toward those goals. For example: You need to be careful about disciplining the wrong things early on, if you want a confident field worker down the road. Too much pressure and control early on will soften a working dog right down. I prefer to let puppies be puppies for at least a year. I let them run amok, pull on the leash jump on people and basically go nuts having fun. If I don't want them to jump on someone or get into something, I physically prevent their access to it with the use of a leash, crate or kennel. Basically I teach them "GO!" Stay, slow down, take it easy, be mellow, don't jump on people, etc... all comes later. I can create inhibition in an adult dog very easily. It is much more difficult to create drive and confidence in a dog that has been squashed and told "no" all its life.

Basically, I saying to call in a qualified trainer to help you out.
So you're working dogs you let them "go" and your pet dogs you recommend keeping them on a leash, crate kennel etc. just clarifying. if this is what you mean it would be interesting if guide dog schools would follow the same philosophy.
 

New Posts

Top