Labrador Retriever Puppy Training – 12 Weeks

guys it is a cold and gloomy day in the bluegrass but never fear because uncle Stoney is here to bring a ray of sunshine into a dark and dreary day oh you might wonder why I said that I am thinking about becoming a poet and transitioning my youtube channel from dog training to poetry so if you think that's a good idea leave me a comment down below but know in all reality I'm not doing anything different with my YouTube channel because I don't do anything different so what we're going to do today is a whole bunch of the same stuff that we always do only we're going to do it with my new puppy mr. no-name and now that's not is that's not as full-time name right guys that's just kind of a stand-in name because I haven't figured out what I'm gonna call him yet so if you have any ideas about that let me know maybe you'll come up with something I haven't thought of but we're gonna go out back we're gonna do a little bit of adventure training okay now you've seen my videos before and I'm a big fan of informal learning a big fan of putting dogs into a wide variety of environmental conditions and letting the dog learn naturally okay but to go into an informal session I need to kind of knock out a little bit of formal work I need to make sure that my lines of communication are open and I need to know that I have a you know a pretty well-developed motivational base so I'm gonna kind of show you what what I think I need out of a puppy before I can go out and do a whole bunch of adventure training with it and mr. no names gonna be 12 weeks in about two or three days don't you know you don't necessarily have to judge your dog by my dog standard but this is just kind of you know this is kind of what I think I need before I start going out and subjecting the dog to a lot of environmental impediments and distractions mr. no-name come here buddy so what do I need first I need him to come right to me when I call him right if my puppy won't come to me when I call him I pretty much don't want to be taking him out and doing much with him right saying he might just run off and so I need to make sure that my whole basic vocabulary that I use with puppies is kind of coming along and what do I say the dogs I say come when I want him to come to me I say let's go like let's go for a walk when I wanted to walk with me politely on a loose leash I say HUP that's kind of my catch-all term for negotiating obstacles I say easy when I want them to be cognizant of where their body is and not knock into stuff I say wait that's kind of a little temporary pause thing I say like I would say to my children and I say stay like hey stay there for a long time it's gonna be a while before I get back so this is kind of where I think a dog needs to be before you go out and start your adventure training very nice good talk easy oh I'm gonna be real careful here if I'm not knocking to these planners good boy very nice well still be giving him quite a few treats at this stage that's okay wanting to be excited and he's gonna need help on a lot of these obstacles like right here we get on a balance board he's gonna need a little help he's gonna need a little guidance that's okay I just need him to have the basic constructs of how our interactions go I've been very calm and patient they're easy come on offer they're very nice I need to get excited oh my gosh when I get excited good boy good boy and then calm down when I'm called that's what we call the motion matching very nice oh what a good dog even have good balance and not be afraid of you know getting off the ground a little bit very nice good easy you're very aware of his foot placement good boy and then not be worried about sounds too much like hear that sound you know auditory socialization is super important because when you go out in the real world there's all kinds of you know sights smells and you just don't think about sounds very much but you know dogs are very sensitive to sounds at least some of them are you know good boy different textures oh look at this see this metal oh oh you're too confident dude oh let's see this metal here it sounds funny and it's cold like the difference is something that you wouldn't think because you don't go barefoot very much but the difference in how this metal feels to your hand and how this wood feels to your hand it's really way different just metal it just really just suck the heat right out of you can be mr. no-name so we need mr. no-name to understand the textural differences and the temperature differences you know very nice wait there for a second good now easy oh that's pretty good for 11 we go baby up up up up come on up up very nice hub oh very good oh my gosh oh oh oh you a very good dog now even though it's cold we like to get the dogs down to the river and do a little bit of kayaking with them we take them down there and let them get used to the water and stuff but before we can take them and get them you know to riding in a kayak we have to acclimate them to the kayak so look I'm going to get over here and encourage the dog to get into the kayak good and I might have to just kind of drop a treat in here they're very nice oh that's a good dog mr. no-name very nice all I'm doing is just kind of letting him walk around on here very nice you're a smarty you're very smart dog mr. no-name and you see how this is you know like again we get back to these textures this this plastic it's very slippery and it's also very cold there's a lot of sharp edges not really really sharp but I mean rounded edges there's little holes in here these are all things that I need the dog to be completely familiar with before we're out in the middle of a cold river no because I don't I don't want to get any any more wet than I have to get you know very nice oh my gosh very good dog now we're gonna go over here get him up here on this table and again he might need a little help but so always be ready to give them a little help but try each day to give him a little less help than you gave them the day before so we're just gonna kind of get him up here you know and get him used to being on the four-wheeler the four-wheeler feels a certain way it's a certain height off the ground it's got a certain odor to it you know and you know then as he gets more comfortable just sitting on the four-wheeler you know in general then we'll start to turn the four-wheeler on and at first we won't leave it on for too long I just turn it on kind of let him kind of let him figure out that it's gonna be you know a little do me a little bit of vibration there's gonna be a little bit of noise and stuff oh we should tell him it's okay nothing to worry about good then we turn it off and then every day you know we kind of keep at it and add a little bit more time and then once the dog is set up here and he you know shows real nice calm confident demeanor then newing take off riding with them and that makes it easy on uncles don't except don't have to walk as much alright then we kind of do other little fun stuff you know I want to make sure that like I have the ability to influence the dog under you know I took my leash awful early but I want to make sure that can influence the dog under relatively high levels of distraction so I might have my son come over here and like ride his scooter around and while he's riding a scooter around I'm gonna keep working with mr. no-name for a minute just to let him know that we're liable to see some motion in the environment it could be another animal or it could be some kids or whatever and it's Dean he still needs to focus on me not worry about what's going on in the environment very good so I just have George kind of following me around make noise and ride a scooter very nice good dog now when the scooter comes into play my reinforcement schedule has to be a little bit faster oh very nice I have to talk to him a little more very nice good boy easy good dog oh you were smarty you were smart very nice okay George that's enough of that good and then I like to you know like always like to know that I can hold my dog's attention in a variety of ways and before I put them in her high distraction environment so not only do I want the dog to perform well like when I'm working so like I had him on a leash a minute ago but I want him looking for chances to interact with me and do things together where like it's completely voluntary I'll show you another example i Georgie bring me that stick so a fun exercise we do around here and I just do this to kinda help Eli and Jorge develop their timing and their ability to influence the dogs is I teach them to teach the puppies to follow these sticks around now see this is completely voluntary on this puppies side he's not having to follow this stick around I don't have a leash on I'm not making him do it I'm just allowing him to do it and you might think what is the point of doing this there's no point not really gotta do something fun to do you know I mean like we can guide them into positions oh my gosh you're very nice dog very nice very nice you can bring them over here good boy I can ask him to sit very nice we can ask him to lay down very nice we can ask him to come good boy Oh smart you're a very smart dog you can ask you can ask him to spin Oh a couple of times very nice good oh you can ask him to heal Oh can you heal for me very nice so that's just a little simple test just to see if the puppy wants to stay engaged with me before we head out back you know is he interested enough in me you know when I get something out like this stick and I just go to doing something goofy does he look at the work as you know something fun or does he look at the work if something has to do you know if you go to take your puppy out in a high distraction environment and he's viewing the work that you're doing with him if something has to do well as soon as he gets a little distance you know away from you or as soon as the environmental distraction level gets too high he's probably gonna lose focus okay and so I like to know that like the dog is actively seeking participation in the activities that I'm engaged in you know that's what lets me know that we're ready to go out in the world and get away from this formal stuff and get into the informal situations where I think the most important learning happens all right so let's go on out back now George just reminded me that one of the reasons we're going out back is to desensitize this puppy to gunfire and to take him and let him get a little bit of experience to follow on our mentor dog Henry around while Henry looks for dummies in the brush and stuff okay so you did a little fetching and you don't have to have this before you go do your adventure training but it's you should definitely be working on it like if you have a puppy that you plan on doing some retrieving with later on by ten or twelve weeks you need to be you know you need to be having like your your your the basic understanding of what's going on here so we have an item and we want this dog to take this item in his mouth and then hand it to us so we tease them as soon as he puts his mouth on it we say yes that's super important right now I'm gonna do it with a clicker so you guys can hear when I'm happy with the dog you don't need this clicker I'm just gonna do it so like you guys can hear so I'll get two puppies a little bit excited oh my gosh and then when he's reliable about putting the dummy in his mouth then I'm gonna start letting him hold it in his mouth for a second good good and once he's pretty reliable about that get him excited oh my gosh you a good dog how'd you such a fine animal oh my gosh then I'm gonna start tossing it a little ways oh the funny animal very nice oh now look what you guys when you're doing this inductive retrieve don't do much okay less is more when it comes to retrieving the biggest mistake with the retrieving is people throw things too far and too many times oh you want it you want it you're gonna let me have it if you want it looky here very nice oh my gosh you're smarty all right now we do one more time weird a little bit longer this time because mr. no-name is over achiever oh my gosh what a fancy animal come here come here you fancy animal very nice oh now see you kind of he kind of mouthed on it a little bit there I'm gonna get greedy oh you should never get greedy but I'm gonna get greedy because I want you guys to see oh my gosh just outside and mr. no-name can get oh you can go get it yourself oh that's so perfect Oh almost Oh local stone he's gonna get a little bit more greedy should never get greedy this is such bad advice guys oh that's a perfect one for me very nice never get greedy like that it is literally I try to fight myself you know if something goes wrong I try to just like roll it off and be like all guys that happens don't worry about it but ultimately you know I mean I'm a fallible human beings I wanted you guys to see how well mr. no-name can actually do that and that was pretty good for 11 a half week old puppy alright so now let's go out alright so now what we're gonna do is we're just gonna walk around a little bit and I'm gonna throw the dummy and there's these puppies chase Henry around kind of get used to moving around out here in this you know this a little brushy grassy area and again guys you know I always want to draw your attention to all the things that are going on in these grassy areas look you have so many different textures like this grass is a texture and a smell and this leaf is a texture in a smell but not only does it have a you know a tactile you know aspect to it an olfactory aspect to it okay it also has a audit or don't put them on with my microphone and all the Tauri aspect to it right and all these things are you know dogs have to get used to these things you can hear this see how that's different you know and like we pick up something's kind of dead here here it's snap snap it feels different see these things these things are sharp and it's good for puppies to get experience with sharp things when they're young so they don't just you know go go crazy and throw their bodies into dangerous situations later alright so now we're gonna walk around out here in my field and George is gonna be over here and whenever i signal George he's gonna fire a blank out of a 22 rifle and that's gonna be kind of how we start to acclimate these puppies to to gun fire okay so I've got two puppies with me one of them is a name stole he's a Jack Russell and then I have my dog and then I have Henry so look see these dogs are just kind of chasing boy Henry good boy very nice good and everybody's just learning they're just learning about environments you know okay so like one of the things that we run into in these fields back here all the time which Henry has walked himself right into a look at this let me get this there pocketknife see these are things that puppies have to learn about it early age make that just old briar bush and you know it's funny is you know you get to a point in your outdoor career where you want to buy nice fancy stuff like this Outdoor Research jacket you know and it's pretty expensive you come out here and spend a day traipsing around in these and don't know so you know don't pay attention to what you're doing and these little nylon jackets like that rips them just to pieces so like look you're gonna go outside can't depend on this you have to feel and get your nice goose down jacket nice duck down jacket whatever they've got then make sure that you get a Carhartt jacket or some other appropriately dense cotton weave to go over it that's just a little side note from your dog train I don't want you go out and ruin your fancy jackets so we're going to walk around those briars as much as possible okay we're gonna get over here pretty good distance good and come on mr. no-name with a practice call and mr. no-name very nice come here buddy very nice don't let him see Henry go over here and do some fetching Oh what's Henry doing oh good boy hander he'll stay good right so I take my dummy I'm showing mr. no mr. nudie what are you doing drawers for Henry good and Henry just crashes through all that stuff you and mr. no-name follows right along so there's Henry good and there's mr. no-name perfect working out perfectly oh my gosh just jumping around running nothing – I'm gonna put Henry over here on a sit stay stay all right and I'm just gonna play with mr. no-name so you saw earlier I had a little retrieving going he's kind of getting a hang of it so I'm just gonna come out here and I'm a start where there's not any brush there's no grass and there's no little trees there's no sticker bush just oh my gosh so this is just like we were doing up there at the kennel in the small challenges course Oh with though the dummy oh my gosh mr. no-name you're such a good dog oh my gosh can we here very nice dog and he comes back and I said hey I appreciate that very good dog very good dog now I'm gonna move over here I'm just gonna kind of throw it in this brush a little bit get him teased up there now he jumps off into the brush now he's heard some birds and he's looking around oh my gosh but he came back to his work and I really appreciate that – very nice now I'ma throw it in a little bit bigger clump of grass bigger clump of grass oh what a wonderful animal fine animal you are very nice oh and we just keep working our way you know into harder and harder situations so you know at first I just let him run around out here then we did a little retrieving and there was no grass and then I kind of threw it in some grass now I'm gonna move over here and I'm gonna throw it kinda into this tree area where he's got to work to get it a little bit come here mister new name do you see it good boy and I really want you to think about all the differences guys where we were just a minute ago was just there was just grass where Eli most during the summer and then we moved over into some clumps of grass like this clumps of grass and now like where I'm sitting and standing here listen to this you hear that hear it okay well it hears it you know it sounds dry and crackly well it feels dry and crackly on the puppy's feet you know so this it's way more than just fetching you know we were up there on the small challenge course had those little mats out it's a pretty sterile environment and so of course it's easy for your dog to focus the more sterile the environment is okay we move out here dogs really got a like rich really got a focus and his senses are getting flooded with all this information now I'm gonna throw this over here underneath the snow tree good and those old trees like that they have all kinds of stuff in them there's birds that live in those trees oh my gosh very nice mr. no-name what are you where are you going good so as mr. no-name works as he navigates through here he's got to go over this dry crinkly stuff look you see here it's muddy it's been raining in Kentucky I mean it's like like biblical level flooding in Kentucky he's got to go through that he goes over here and now he starts smelling this smells a whole different you gets under here it's in wet and it's right up there some birds nests and they you know what are the birds doing they're pooping and so there's bird poop under there and so this right here just being right out here in my backyard it's a it's a complete adventure for the dog always remember guys like just because you don't think of it as an adventure doesn't mean that your puppy doesn't think of it as an adventure just because you don't think of it as a as extremely rich a stimulating environment does not mean that your puppy does not think of it as a rich and stimulating environment because I guarantee you if you spent – just a little bit of time coming out and looking at stuff like this smelling trees I mean look at this what is that you know what that is I don't know what it is either one oh it tastes like mmm yuck don't taste very good I need to know that see I know one more thing in life now I've probably come out here and tasted some poison but I'll never have that problem again because I know it takes my head so with my puppies that's what I'm trying to do I'm trying to get this this toes to nose stimulation right I'm trying to get them high I'm trying to get them stimulated I want information coming from every direction I want it coming from their sense of taste their sense of hearing their sense of sight their sense of smell I want everything I want to flood it with information and I want them to learn how to work in those situations where they're hyperstimulated you know so watch one more time I'll show you how we went from just doing some basic run-of-the-mill 12 week old lab training up at my kennel to coming out here and putting it to work in a real-life environment mr. no-name doughnut tree get that look at that 12 weeks old not even 12 weeks old B 12 weeks old next week oh my gosh such a smarty oh you're such a smarty you're such a smarty good boys do it again let's show them how smart you are hey that awesome oh my gosh good dog oh my gosh and so that's fun you know that's a big part of this learning process and so earlier you know said you know we're gonna do formal and then informal right well look guys there's not a die-hard line between formal informally and of course I came back here and I worked on some formal concepts like come to me go with me retrieve for me but really all those things are just tapping into a dog's natural instinct to kind of hang out with you and do the type of activities that's been bred to do most of what we're doing out here it's just putting the dog in these environments and letting them like experience you know and so what they start to do is they start to see things happen and and they start to form associations like they'll see George put the backpack on let's let me put the backpack on let's see it start to four-wheeler and you know when they do they really really really like get excited you know and around here they understand that that excitement must be controlled because whatever it is that they're excited about the only way to access it is through indirect action in other words if you want to go out back and you want to have a big adventure if you want to get to fetch and play and and Tromp through the woods then you have to predicate you get to preface that activity with calm attentive and polite behavior okay so we're just going out and moving around having a good time don't-don't-don't oh and you guys have seen my infamous brush pile out here with the all the various things that live in this brush pile and we got a new pack of coyotes out here that's keeping us up all night we're watching I'm just gonna come out here and I'm gonna start walking on my brush pile now there's no pressure on this dog to try to navigate this brush pile he doesn't have to come up here you know I'm not making him I'm not forcing him to allowing him an opportunity to engage in an activity with me that's completely different at this age you don't really want to be forcing your dogs to do stuff not not too much I mean obviously there's some things they have to do right because nobody lives a life where you just get to do what you want all the time but primarily I want to approach our activities as mutually beneficial exchanges like so the puppy gives me something which is calm attentive polite behavior and I give it something back some fetch eating some adventuring some climbing some running some jumping some swimming some kayaking it's a pretty good deal all in all mr. no-name show them one more time show them one more time how smart you are oh and uncle Stoney is not his uncle Stoney is not as coordinated as he used to be but all my puppies are doing good just like always that's right because we have a big time big adventure now so look at this guy's I fell down in this brush pile and he lies laughing at me back there George is happy but look at me I just turned my frown upside down and said I'm gonna embrace it and you you know have a little fun so I just call mr. no-name up here and I'll give him a big hug and I'm so proud that he came to my rescue oh maybe I'll send him over to work in the Swiss Alps or something be a rescue dog turned him into a st. Bernard there we go all right now let's go back up here got one more thing that we want to work on before we head into the house and I'm gonna have George I'm gonna have George fire the rifle a couple of times and we're just shooting blanks dummy launcher blanks all righty George give me a little give me a little action there very nice and you see see mr. no-name had not a lick of bad experience with that now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have George he's gonna he's gonna fire the rifle I'm gonna get mr. no-names attention with this little dummy George is gonna fire the rifle and I'm gonna throw the dummy mr. no-name mr. don't go ahead George II know I forgot Henry was that's hair look at his feet Henry you're supposed to be a mentor dog you're not supposed to be taking over hey you sit nerd sit stay Oh mr. no-name it's your turn it's your turn mr. no-name okay Georgie okay so you see right there right as I went to throw that dummy I didn't time it right okay and George made the noise and the dog looked over there so I'm just gonna walk around out here and show the dog that sometimes you'll hear that noise oh my gosh and he won't know exactly where the where the thing that he's supposed to retrieve fell right and so we just walked out here and we found it okay again that's a that was a that didn't happen on purpose right don't get so excited about like your whole training session going to plan if something happens that's not expected just embrace it and roll and sort of like right now for instance we have the rest of this video to make and we're gonna get to make it because one of my clients who I thought would not come since it was cold and rainy has just showed up so we're gonna have to go up here and do a little regular road public dog training go get it mr. no-name so I'll get just a couple of more retrieves on my way out the gate oh good boy mr. no-name so I just kind of walk and play a little bit oh my gosh just go ahead and finish out our environmental socialization Oh teach that dog to go look for things and if it can't find them and start using its nose oh my gosh very nice oh you're a good boy mr. no-name you found it good boy but just gets a few retrieves on the way out of the field oh my gosh what a good dog what a good dog he is very nice oh my gosh now these are easy right here you know or there's not there's not any brush and I'm gonna throw it into the brush now he's gonna have to climb and jump and deal with those textures and smells and different kinds of sensations oh my gosh mr. no-name oh you a great dog you were great 12 week old dog almost it's almost year 12 week pretty good very nice now see he lost it there right he thinks it's right here it's really over there so even at this age he's gonna start learning to use his nose to find it I'm just gonna walk up here with him kind of get him moving in the right direction I'm not gonna do it for him just gonna help him well move my body in such a way is that his body gets put in a situation where he'll notice that dummy oh and there he is there he did he did it oh that's a good boy mr. new name right through that brush oh you're a smarty you're smart oh my gosh we'll come up here find us another little spot you don't need a weed oh you don't need a weed come on see right there you run into a you run into a little snob and lost his place I'm just gonna let him work for it look at that very nice oh what a good dog what a good dog working through adversity oh you such a hard worker you're such a hard worker come on buddy don't there we go just let him work for it and see what will happen guys you don't think about you throw it where you can see it but like see this brush here like that's inside his line of sight so he didn't see it where it fell exactly so he's got to come over here go on he's got to come over here and use his nose to find it so I'm not gonna do it for him I'm just gonna walk around and let him find it himself this is us working together okay and that's what it's all about is learning to work together not doing it for him right not forcing them to do it but learning to work together and this might take a minute but watch oh he found it mr. no-name that's awesome dude your best dog okay so I hope that kind of gives you an idea of what you guys should be one Oh with your little puppies all right let's get back to work Eli

38 thoughts on “Labrador Retriever Puppy Training – 12 Weeks

  1. Maybe not a youtube channel…but something like an Uncle Stonnie's Poetry Corner twitter account? :p

  2. My 10 week old lab puppy isnt very motivated. Doesn't listen well. I've tried treats, toys, love. What do I do?

  3. Wow very nice job. Learned a new term: Small Challenge Course. But…. darn you now I must make one.

  4. Hey Stonnie, though I quickly say hi, since we’re both working to help dogs. I am on a mission to fix the pet food industry and would love your feedback: is a free, public resource for pet owners to check the quality of their dog food. Just a small team of volunteers and vets who love pets and want the pet food industry to improve. Would LOVE to hear your expert opinion. Thanks!

  5. Hey Stonnie.. i'm 6mts into your channel what do you use for bait? is it home made? great videos keep up the good work.

  6. Hey Stonnie, Can you do a video on mouthy pups? We have a 6 month old Red Heeler who is mouthy with both humans and dogs. We know it is a characteristic of her breed and she does it in a playful manner, but we would love to know if there are any tips you can give us to deter this from becoming an issue later on 🙂

  7. Your videos are making me more confident about getting a puppy! Our lab puppy will be with us in about a month and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm so excited to start training it! You make it look so easy and enjoyable and as someone who has never had a dog before, you have given me confidence! Thank you for reminding me to always put myself in the dog's shoes!

  8. I appreciate the video! My dog never pays attention to the TV, but she was honed in on that puppy run around haha.

  9. Your channel is the best one I have come across when it comes to training puppies. You explain everything in a layman’s terms unlike other trainers who use all fancy terms or techniques.

  10. Very nice pup! I have a 6 month old Golden Retriever that does not want to pay attention to me unless she is on her leash and have food. When she comes she stays about 4’ from me so if I ask her to do something she runs away. Any hints?

  11. I thought I got a shepherd lab mix—DNA results say Pyr 50%; 12.5 lab; 12.5 American foxhound; 12.5 working so I’m learning all I can about this independent young man 🥰 He’s super mellow and about the size of No Name. We named our guy Duke! Maybe No Name could be BLUE as in Kentucky Blue Grass ❤️

  12. Hi Stonnie,
    Have a few ideas for you for a name for Mr. Noname……..
    How about naming him for a Kentucky bourbon…or a favorite local beer…..
    Or, (Mr) Bourbon
    Or , Mr. Ken-tucky or. Mr. Kent
    Or, since you were named for Stonewall Jackson, how do you like. Mr. Jackson …."oh, what a good dog, Jackson…oh my gosh, you're a very nice dog….you're such a smartie… " 🙂
    Hope you like one of them or they give you some other ideas.
    I love your videos, Uncle Stonnie!

  13. Name suggestions: How about Allen Tate or Tony Crunk to pay some tribute to Kentucky poets? Tate and Crunk for short. Or Commenter, so that you can tell Commenter to just be quiet or to settle down when you feel the urge.
    Love your videos! Thank you for posting they are inspiring.

  14. You say a tired dog is a good dog. We see you out in your training site and running them outdoors. Then what? When they are tried do you crate them because you have other dogs to deal with ? Where do they go to  hang out when they are tired at your place? What happens to them at night? What about your family dogs ? Does Henry lie in front of the fire? or put in a run?

  15. Stonnie, i absolutely love watching your videos. I was just wondering what's your way of dealing with puppy biting (10week old German shorthaired). He's very nippy even after hes tired out.

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