Crate Training for Yellow Labsby Jennifer Banfield
The yellow Labrador retriever, or yellow Lab, is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. The yellow Lab is highly intelligent, eager to please and possess a willing attitude. They have a reliable temperament, are very friendly and excellent with children. Labs require leadership from their owners. They require daily exercise and thorough training. Crate training is an excellent way to housebreak and create good household habits in a yellow Lab.
The optimum crate size should allow the animal to sit up or lay down comfortably. Make sure the crate isn't so large that it hinders the feeling of security that a crate provides. Place a soft mat or blanket inside the crate. The lab will not want to defecate in or around bedding and food. Therefore, a small area will encourage the puppy or adult to wait until outside to go potty.
Entice the dog to enter the crate on its own by throwing in chew toys or treats. Before the Lab can enter, close the door. The playful and curious nature of a Lab will cause the dog to try and get into the crate. Open the door and let the Lab enter and exit at will. Give praise every time the crate is approached or entered. Labs have a strong desire to please and this encouragement will maximize progress.
Once the Lab appears comfortable in the crate, close the door. Leave the door closed for a few seconds. Again, Labs have a strong desire to be with their owners, so they initially may be confused or upset once the door is closed. Remain calm and relaxed and praise the animal while in the crate. Gradually increase the length of time the door is closed. Feed the dog inside the crate. While the dog is comfortably eating, try leaving the room. Only leave for short intervals. Do not open the door if the dog begins to fuss. Wait for the fussing to stop before opening the door. Otherwise, the dog will associate fussing with the door opening. Yellow Labs are extremely intelligent and pick up learned behavior quickly.
Yellow Labs are family oriented and have a keen eagerness to be amongst people. While learning to adjust to the crate, move it into different rooms. This will keep the Lab from being separated from the rest of the family while adapting to the restrictions of the crate. Yellow Labradors are active. Teach the dog to view the crate as a resting place, feeding area or safety zone.
Crate training a yellow Lab is imperative for household life. The yellow Lab has a double coat that requires consistent grooming. During times of heavy shedding, or when the coat is soaked with dirt and debris, the dog can be placed in the crate. Labs love the water and to swim. A crate is perfect location for the dog to dry after a swim or bath. Some Labs may suffer from separation anxiety. The crate helps the dog feel secure while preventing damage.
- Labrador retriever litter image by crazy.nataly from Fotolia.com