1st photo, Scout the first time he really looked happy with us iygwim, we've had regular smiles from him since. 2nd photo, Scout on the beach. Still a long way from wanting to swim in the sea, but he will at least have a little paddle now without completely freaking out.
Update: he is just fabulous, a few hiccups at the beginning but with flat out constant training we have probably what can only be described as the perfect dog, indoors. He has been boundary trained so doesn't enter bedrooms or kitchens or the dc's "safe area" in the lounge (open plan) He doesn't jump up on the kids anymore and lies down for them if he wants a belly rub/ear scratch, waits for his release cue before eating. Had no inside accidents since the first week, loves his crate and happily takes himself off there for a rest after walks or if I say "bedtime" Sleeps perfectly all night (except when the paramedics turn up next door) Hardly ever barks in the garden anymore when he hears the neighbours dogs and if he does he quietness down on the "quiet" cue.
This is the first time I have clicker trained a dog and it has been absolutely fantastic.
Questions. I need to get a good recall outside, in the house, great, outside with no dogs, great but he just gets so unbelievable excited about other dogs all recall goes out of the window if any are around. Not good when the other dog is being walked nicely on a lead or an off leash dog is happily minding his own business and doesn't care at all about my dog. Some owners haven't been to happy either. I want him to be able to run around on the beach and play but until his recall around other dogs is up to scratch I don't feel I can let him. How do I handle this?
Also, I want to get the head collar off him. It's been great so as not to pull my arm out of it's socket but actually I'd quite like to work at getting him to walk nicely without it. Any tips?
As for walking our lab has a sensible front leader. With her as a youngster I used to stop everytime she pulled. I would say 'steady' and then stop. It took a long long time to go a very short distance. Now she is great, doesn't pull at. When we see another dog I make her sit and wait and it works most of the time. Fortunately she is fairly polite when she gets to the other dog especially little dogs as she gets savaged by them on a constant basis. Good luck!