Training a labrador puppy

Tips For Family Friendly Labrador Retriever Training by Mr. Glenn

Today my guest is Tango, a 3 years old British Labrador dog and his owner Mr. Glenn. Tango is a popular dog in our locality. Everyone wants a Tango. The Labrador’s gentle manner, friendliness and congeniality make him a textbook pet.

He walks beside daddy Glenn, always off the leash.  He goes hiking,boating, & fishing at Powai  lake  with Glenn where other dogs seldom go.

Tango makes you want to have a pet.

We decided to interview Mr. Glenn  to find out how Tango groomed and how he was able to provide obedience training to Tango as a first time, but hugely successful, dog owner .

“Welcome Mr Glenn . You are an expat in India. Tell us something about yourself”

“Thanks Mita. I came India in 2005 with my family & 10 years old Macaw to serve as marketing head  for a large multinational pharmaceutical company. My father was veterinarian in Innsbruck , Austria and that’s how my bonding with animal started from my childhood days”

 “So, Glenn what’s the secret of raising the perfect dog through puppy hood & beyond.”

Glenn lovingly pats the head of Tango and starts scratching behind Tango’s ears while replying to my question, “Look! Mita there is no magic in raising a lab puppy.  Tango’s perfect manners are the result of constant attention and patience from all of us”.

Training a lab puppy
Training Lab puppies is fun

“OK! Glenn, if you could only share one tip with a first time dog owner, what would be your response?”

Glenn asked Tango to sit next to his chair, answering while looking at him lovingly “Training is not a one-shot job where a trainer whips (sometimes literally) commands into a dog. It is a continuous process. To make a Tango, you need to teach him manners and remind him to use them constantly. Put patience, consistency and repetition in a bowl, blend and apply liberally. You learn much more if you listen to your dog. Try listening to your dog.”

“Mr. Glenn, there is various equipment around, and lots of new people but Tango is sitting so calmly in this new environment.  Please share with us what methods exactly you followed for the obedience training of this Labrador dog.”

‘Mita. First, training a puppy is important, but training the owner is more important. Let me share with you how I selected Tango from a litter and how I introduce him to my family while giving basic dog obedience training."

Glenn continues, “You need to understand canine psychology and behavior first, because puppies will teach you what motivates them.Selecting a puppy should begin by selecting a breeder who shares yours values. It takes time and research in the form of phone calls, e-mails, and kennel visits. After working with 5 dog breeders for a English Lab, I selected Mr. Sawant’s Kennel at Alibagh near Mumbai.  I first checked the health records of both of the parents, being sure to avoid any genetic problems like Epilepsy or Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). Both of Tango’s parents are from champion breeds. In addition, they have both won several awards at state & national level dog shows. Lastly, I checked the last three generations for Mango (Tango’s mother a chocolate Labrador) and Leo (Tango’s father a yellow British Labrador Retriever).  Mango is 20 months old and Leo is 24 months old. This was the first time Mango had been pregnant."

I became curious after hearing such a story about the selection a British lab puppy. “Mr. Glenn! Why are you so specific about your British Lab puppy?”

“Actually, you should know that English Labrador Retriever puppies are typically sold with registrations, papers and health checks because they are pure breed. But, American labs are generally of mixed breed.”

“Glenn! How did you select Tango from the litter?” I asked him

“Oh Mita! It was simple. I was looking for a puppy with an active temperament because normally they are smart and interactive, which means a lot of work but also a lot of fun.  Temperament study is an important step of preparation from an owner’s point of view. Also, Tango was 2nd in the litter. Normally second puppy  is more healthy than puppy number 5th  or 6th. Though initially I was looking for chocolate lab puppies but I really liked white one. “

“Glenn! You have a large family and two kids at home. Also, you have a hand tamed Macau. Do you carry Macau on your shoulder or on your hand? When people see Tango, how do you introduce them? In addition, when did you begin calling him Tango?

“Mita! This is a good question. We decided on the name Tango beforehand and shared this with
the breeder, Mr. Sawant.  I think this was a very good step to take."

Glenn continues "Yes! I carry the Macaw on my shoulder or hand. I just love it when he pulls my hair or ear
Glenn with his Macaw
lob.  I first introduced Tango to my Macaw “Ku”. After that, I wrapped him with a warm towel & took him around all the places of the flat.

I introduced him to all the members of the family so that everybody could greet Tango. I put Tango on the floor. Immediately, he raced around the house in overstimulated overdrive.  After that, he calm down and I took him to patio, the designated place for his forth-coming potty training. Now, Tango and Ku (Macau) have a good friendship."

“I received Tango when he was 49 days old,” says Glenn. “I didn't want to enter him in any competitions; I just wanted a dog that was controllable, obedient, friendly, confident and well-socialized.  I feel it is cruel and unsafe to have a disobedient dog. I can take Tango anywhere I go and he listens to whoever takes her for a walk.”

“I have never raised a hand against him. I always use a low voice, treats and we play with a ball whenever he would jump. Note that it requires patience, attention, realization of a dog’s needs and the ability to identify behaviors. However, the magic ingredient is that no good deed goes unrewarded — especially when it occurs voluntarily. This builds the dog’s self-esteem. “Reward doesn't necessarily have to be a treat,” says Glenn. “It could be a kind word or petting. Even today while walking on a busy street, I talk to him [in a low
voice] and praise him when he stays close to me and ignores other dogs.”

"How you would you advice to train a Puppy to stop biting and mouthing?"

"Tango has a biting problem. I consulted Daniel from Kingdom of Pets and he has advised me to allow Tango to socialize with other puppies and socialized dogs. Puppies need to roll, tumble and play with each other. When they play, they bite each other everywhere and anywhere. This is where they learn to inhibit their biting. This is where they learn to control themselves."

Mr. Glenn and I started to play with Tango, getting out a ball. Tango showed us how perfectly he would execute the commands like sit, stay, fetch and down from Glenn & from any one of us. We like his style of welcoming. Glenn presented us a signed copy of his new eBook as well as a copy of "Just Labs" and "Cesar's Way" where he writes about how to train a lab puppy & take care of any health problems. In those articles, he shares how he potty trained Tango and stopped his jumping & chewing habit. He also expresses his strong opinion against using clickers & crate training.

Before we bid good-bye to Tango & Glenn, we asked Mr. Glenn for his departing advice for all new dog owners. “Train puppies most humanly. This will help your puppy to earn his/her freedom. It is the greatest gift we can give our beloved friends.”

Subscribe to 7 part email course to know how to train a lab puppy of any breed. or do obedience training for an aggressive dog or to stop any behavior problems. This free course will teach you how to build a relationship with your puppy or dog. You have to  consider puppy is your buddy and you need to make the training fun for both of you.

A disclaimer from Glenn to my readers: Be careful  with a “reactive” dog or a dog you don’t know.  When in doubt, consult with a professional trainer. For more information, please refer to Dr. Dunbar’s information-packed website, or sit stay fetch ebook guide by Daniel.

About author : Mita is final year student of Journalism at Mumbai University. She is pet lover and often work with me ( Arindam Chattopadhyay )to raise funds to take care of rescued dogs. She prefers to work with Labrador. She arranged basic obedience training for puppies & young dogs and complete medical check up etc. Later she finds a proper home for those trained Labrador retrievers for adoption & collect some donations for the NGO. She spends all the donations to look after other old dogs.

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