Best Training Tips for New Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever Puppies
Updated: Sep 20
You are getting up all hours of the night, every time you hear a whimper, and letting little Fido out of the crate to go to the bathroom. It's freezing cold, you're in your robe and slippers with one eye half open, and he's sniffing the ground looking for something interesting. After 15 minutes, and a great deal of coaxing from your aggravated and sleepy self, he returns with a stick, and never went to the bathroom.
When will this end??
It won't if you keep doing it his way. So, what's the alternative, you ask?
Here are some helpful tips to make sure You are the trainer and Fido is the student.
Tip #1 - Train the puppy on YOUR schedule, not the other way around.
When it's time for bed, Fido goes in his kennel, you go to bed. When it's time to get up in the morning, you let Fido out to the bathroom, using one word commands such as "bathroom" or "outside". When Fido does his business, reward him with positive words of affirmation and say those words again - outside and bathroom. He will start to make the proper associations.
As you start crate training, you are likely to have a few accidents in the kennel. That's ok, he's learning. Make extra time in the morning for cleaning the kennel, and the puppy if needed. Routines are important to establish early in training.
If he cries at night, as harsh as it may sound, let him cry. He will lay down eventually.
Tip #2 - Use a sound machine or radio
Your puppy wants your love and attention and if he hears people voices, he will want to be in the center of it. When you put them in the crate, turn on some noise for them to drown out anything else they might hear. This could be a radio or even a sound machine. This actually helps with neurological stimulation as well.
"You may need to put a crate in a quiet part of the house so he won’t be distracted by the hustle and bustle that may be going on during naptime." – AKC staff
Tip #3 - Timing is Everything
What time you feed and offer water to your puppy is very important. Just as important as what time you take it up. If you leave it out all the time, you'll see more accidents in the house as you try to potty train.
Let him eat and drink as much as he wants and when he walks away, take it up. Take him out to the bathroom soon after he eats. If you play throughout the day, he will want water, so make that available during your play time, just make sure to take him out afterwards. Feed early in the evening and take water up no later than 6:00 pm. Make sure he's had plenty of time to go to the bathroom before bed. This will help cut down on nighttime crate accidents.
Tip #4 - Treats count as food
Treats are a great option and our dogs love their TLC biscuits, but treats are calories and part of their daily intake. Don't be surprised if Fido needs to go to the bathroom during the day because he's been training with some treats. Many will use their food as treats and that's fine too as you train.
Tip #5 - Get help with training from Baxter & Bella
Sometimes training can feel a bit overwhelming. You've researched and researched and you've got so much, you aren't sure where to even begin. Baxter & Bella make it easy for you! This online puppy school has tons of How To videos, Step by Step lessons, printable charts and checklists and even one on one professional help! You can join an online coaching group to learn tips from others that are also starting out with a new puppy!
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Make Training Fun!
Your puppy is learning just like you are. They can see, hear and feel your frustrations. Be patient and have fun with them! Even if they do chew up your favorite pair of shoes... that's a whole other training topic.