There are six key principles when it comes to selecting and training a Labrador Retriever puppy that I have learned over the years:
Everything that you hope to accomplish as a trainer will either be reasonably easy or almost impossible depending on how well you do at selecting the right pup.
How do you pick the right pup? You don’t pick the pup, you pick the puppy’s parents. Nobody in the world can look at a litter of 7 week old pups and say “this one will be a champion and that one will be a biscuit eater.” You’d better bet on the track record of the parents if you want a nice puppy.
What you are looking for is a pup with superior DNA. That’s only going to happen if both the dam and sire come from bloodlines in which every dog in the pedigree has magical DNA.
You may be a wonder at making chicken salad, but if you had to use chicken poop instead of chicken meat, my bet is that you wouldn’t want to serve it to the preacher.
Start with a quality puppy and you won’t regret it.
Here’s where you enter the pup’s life. Ideally the pup is between 7 & 8 weeks old. It has learned everything about being a dog that it can learn from its dam and littermates. All the people who have shown it attention and care are gone. And all the people who created room in the puppy’s heart for human response are also gone. The pup is looking for somebody to bond with. Do you think you know what to do?
The period between two and three months is a magical time to socialize and bond with a puppy. This is when you begin to teach your puppy self-esteem. If you want your pup to be special, you’re going to have to make it feel that way.
At about this time you might consider the housedog /kenneldog debate. No!! Not here!! To paraphrase Judy Aycock, one of the Queens of Retriever Training: “If you want an outdoor animal, get a horse or cow.” I completely agree.
The world’s greatest retrievers all sleep by their owner’s bed or in the bed with the owner’s kids. Besides, living daily with a magical dog will make you a better person.
Next time we’ll talk about blending nurturing with teaching.
About Woody Thurman: Woody and Judi Thurman of Twin Lakes Kennel have been breeding and training world class Labrador Retrievers for more than 35 years. Twin Lakes Kennel is the number #1 resource for Labrador Retriever puppies. We select from the most dominant American field bloodlines and breed for natural hunting instinct and tractability. Our Labs, both puppies and adults, are out of the top working Labrador Retriever bloodlines in the country. The end results are the most talented, well rounded Labrador Retrievers possible, making them a most desirable family pet.
More than eight thousand (8,000) Labrador Retrievers have been bred and trained during those thirty-five years. During this time, Woody has titled more than 200 AKC Master Hunter Labrador Retrievers. Woody has also qualified 47 retrievers at AKC Master Nationals. He has won the Ducks Unlimited Open Championships twice. In addition, two of his Labs, Drake and Rondy, bred and trained at Twin Lakes Kennel, are in the Master National Hall of Fame.
Our Labrador Retriever puppies are the culmination of a 30 year search for the most talented, well rounded Labrador Retriever possible. We select from the most dominant American field bloodlines and breed for natural hunting instinct and tractability. Our puppies begin a structured socialization program in the litter box and are introduced to birds at six weeks.
All our Labrador Retriever Puppies carry a guarantee against hereditary defects and to have basic retrieving instincts. Parents of all our Labrador Retriever puppies are physically sound with certified hips and eyes. They are out of the top working Labrador Retriever bloodlines in the country.
We guarantee all our Labrador Retriever puppies to be free from hereditary defects.
Become a happy owner or learn about our Labrador Retriever training services: Call Woody and Judi at (910) 462-3246 for more information.