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A:Advice on Lab Puppy Training & Socialising Please PetPlanet Talk Adminstrator PPAdmin firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ami You are off to a good start by training him to newspaper. Certainly, early
training to outdoors is important, but you are being equally responsible in not exposing him to the risk of infection. Don't worry, though, he will still learn the new routine easily enough. I think the desire to get outside will help greatly in the change over. Initially take him out after meals and if you see him heading for his paper, and reward him when he 'performs'. I think he'll catch on quickly that outside is better, then you can remove the paper. At this stage he will 'ask' to go out. It really is just the same as training at any age and seeing as you trained him indoors quickly, he sounds pretty smart. As for socialising, yes the first 12 weeks are better, but it is a gradual decrease in receptivity, not a sudden switch off. See if your vets, or any neighbouring ones, run 'puppy parties', where he can mix freely with other, vaccinated, youngsters. Some training schools also run puppy only classes. Labradors are a good natured breed anyway and do normally socialise well. When taking him out, remember that he will pick up quickly on your attitude to other dogs. Try not to seem defensive or afraid and do not comfort him if he seems fearful. This will actually reward the behaviour. You are his leader and if you are confident, then he knows there is nothing to fear. A good training book, perhaps using clicker training, will help a lot to understand
the way a dog thinks. Get to know people with friendly dogs he can run and play with. He will get growled at by some dogs, but then he is a youngster, and needs to learn his place. He is unlikely to meet real aggression until he is older and could
seem a threat to other males. To be honest though, I don't think you need have any worries. June Third-Carter B.V.M.S., M.R.C.V.S., Vet.M.F.Hom. for PetPlanet.co.uk