How to Train a Black Lab Dog

By Catherine Hiles

According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador retriever is an intelligent, versatile breed of dog that excels at obedience training and is used for search and rescue, drug detection and service. The Labrador comes in three colors: yellow, chocolate and black, which is the most common color.

Begin training as early as possible while the puppy is still small. Start with an easy command such as “sit.” Hold a treat above the Lab’s nose and move it back toward its tail slowly. The dog’s rear end should sink to the ground to enable its nose to follow the treat. Give the treat to the dog as soon as its buttocks touch the floor and say, “Good sit!” Repeat this process until the dog is sitting on command and the lure is no longer necessary.

Use the black Lab’s natural retrieving instinct to teach it to fetch. Wave a ball in front of the dog’s face to get it interested. Toss the ball about two feet away from you. If the dog is interested, it will go and pick up the ball. Clap your hands and run in the opposite direction, encouraging the dog to follow you. Do not run after the dog if it tries running away from you; keep clapping and running in the opposite direction to lure the dog. Throw the ball as soon as the dog drops it at your feet to continue the game.

Build on basic commands such as “sit,” “down,” “stay” and “come” by teaching tricks such as “shake” and “spin.” While the dog is sitting, hold some treats in your left hand and use your right hand to tickle behind the dog’s paw. Say “shake” as the dog lifts its paw and touch its paw with your hand. Give the dog a treat as a reward. Repeat until the dog offers a paw on command. For “spin,” stand in front of the dog with a treat in your hand. Lure the dog in a circle with the treat and say “spin” as the dog moves around. Treat the dog after it has completed a full circle and repeat until the lure is no longer necessary.