Whether your new family member is a rescued Labrador, an outdoor dog you're bringing inside or one of those "long stories," housebreaking an adult lab is a straightforward process. With patience, consistency and a set routine, your Labrador will quickly learn the proper place to do his business.
Crate train your Labrador. Select a crate that provides your lab enough room to stand up, turn around and lay down but not one large enough for your pooch to do his business in one end and sleep in the other. Use the crate to create a safe, secure place for your adult dog to relax, sleep, and hang out when you can't directly supervise him.
Supervise your dog at all times when he's out in the house. If you can't keep him in your direct eyesight, crate him. Preventing accidents and minimizing mistakes before they happen expedites the housebreaking process.
Take your lab outdoors on a set schedule. Adult Labradors need to go outdoors first thing of a morning, one to two hours after eating and right before bed. Additionally, take your pooch out every couple of hours while you're home and give him the opportunity to do his business.
Feed and water your pup at the same time, every day. When you know when something went in, you can predict when it comes out. Labradors are notorious for trying to convince their people that they're starving, all the time. Don't give in and feed your pup extra meals, snacks or treats. Maintain a schedule.
Praise your lab enthusiastically for doing his business outdoors. Offer him a small tidbit or treat after he's completely finished. Labradors are highly social, intelligent dogs who thrive on learning, pleasing their people and getting things right.
Since 2001, Kea Grace has published in "Dog Fancy," "Clean Run," "Front and Finish" and an international Czechoslovakian agility enthusiast magazine. Grace is the head trainer for Gimme Grace Dog Training and holds her CPDT-KA and CTDI certifications. She is a member of the APDT and is a recognized CLASS instructor. She's seeking German certification from the Goethe Institut.