Teaching Your Old Labrador New Tricks

Taking an older dog into your home instead of a puppy can be one of the kindest things you ever do. Older dogs tend to spend more time in shelters before getting rehomed as they don’t have the cuteness or bounciness of their younger counterparts. By welcoming a more mature mutt into your family, you are taking on board a character who has already got his own personality traits and habits for you to discover.

 

If you are one of the many households that choose to have a labrador retriever as their pet, you will grow to love them as if they were a member of your family. The joy of a labrador is his inability to grow up even when he’s a fully mature dog. He’ll still bound around like a puppy, flop on you as if you’re his bed and try to raid the fridge at any given opportunity. However, labradors love to please and will be eager to learn. This makes them the ideal breed to train.

Get Your Lab Healthy

When your labrador takes his first steps into his new home, he’s going to be nervous. Give him time to explore his new surroundings and let him settle. Before you know it, he’ll be joining you on the sofa as you watch your favorite TV show.

As a rescue dog, he may have some health issues. At the very least get a vet to check him over. This needn’t be an intrusive examination, just a basic check up. It’s also wise to get him a top quality dog flea treatment and worming medicine straight away to kick start his monthly regime of medication. By using a flea spot on you are keeping him parasite free without traumatizing your new canine pal with tablets or injections.

Exercise

When your mutt is healthy, begin his exercise. Labradors have boundless energy so will love heading to the local park with you to play fetch or going for a long walk in the countryside. This is a great opportunity to see if your labrador will follow basic commands. See if you can get him to sit, stay and come to you. Although he may find it tricky at first, he’ll soon get the hang of it especially if you use treats for positive reinforcement.

Classes

Registering your labrador into a dog obedience class isn’t admitting defeat. This is simply a great way to get your pooch some professional training as well as getting him used to socializing with other dogs.  Because of their size and enthusiasm, they may walk you rather than you walk them so quelling their eagerness to pull will be a top priority.

Labrador retrievers are the epitome of man’s best friend. They are fiercely loyal, have the kindest of temperaments and take instruction well. This is why they remain a leading breed to become guide dogs. Although the puppy days of your mutt may be long gone, your older labrador is more than capable of learning new tricks.

 

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