Retriever Obedience Training

The wonderful thing about Retrievers is the fact that they are highly trainable dogs, so Retriever obedience training should be a fairly straightforward matter. The problem with most dog owners though, is that they need to be trained how to train.

retriever obedience trainingWhen you train a Retriever you have to apply doggy thinking to get the best results. Dogs are primarily pack animals and are most comfortable when they know their position in the pack and they have clear leadership from their owners. This means that establishing yourself as the alpha leader is the cornerstone of Retriever obedience training.

Retriever Obedience Training Tips

There are a few key elements to training that you should keep in mind.

  • Consistency. If there was ever a core principle for training, it would be consistency. A Retriever that knows what to expect and when, every time, is a secure dog.
  • Repetition. This very much ties in with consistency. You have to keep repeating the same behavior until your Retriever acquires the right habits. You will then reinforce those habits over time.
  • Patience. Keep in mind that a dog does not understand language, but takes his cues from your body language and tone of voice. If the signals you are sending out are confusing, you cannot expect the dog to read your mind. Take it slow and don’t overdo the training.
  • Praise. Your Retriever is eager to please so use positive reinforcement by praising him as often as possible when he responds appropriately, however small the action is.

Core Training

In any Retriever obedience training you would start with the basics.

  • Sit. Having a dog that sits on command is vital. Repeat the word sit with a treat held just above your dog’s head when he is standing. Move your hand back towards his tail and he will automatically sit. Then reward him with affection and the treat. Keep repeating this until he gets the idea.
  • Stay. This is an extension of sit and can only be accomplished when your dog knows the sit command well. Have him sit and then step away, holding up a flat hand and repeating “Stay”. This might take a bit of time. Gradually increase the time he sits and the distance you move away before he is allowed to get up.

Retriever Obedience Training Classes

Taking your Retriever to formal training classes can be a great way to learn how to control your Retriever from a professional and give you an opportunity to socialize your pet.

  • Choose the right class. There are many different methods and theories, so make sure you choose a trainer that is experienced and effective. Stay away from trainers that use force and bullying tactics as there are better ways to train.
  • Follow up. Training does not finish as soon as you leave the class. Your job is to continue with the lessons at home.

Training a Retriever well is worth every bit of time and effort that you invest. You will not only have a well behaved Retriever that is a pleasure to have around, but you will also strengthen the bond between you and your pet by dedicating yourself to Retriever obedience training.