Labrador Retriever Behavior Problems: What Do They Mean?
The following are some of the common behaviors associated with Labradors. Some of these may or may not be present in your dog. However, if they are, then you need to understand how to deal with them so that it doesn’t escalate into something worse. If none of these behaviors apply to you dog, then there’s no reason why you should feel guilty about having one!
A Labrador may be very friendly at first, but over time he will start acting aggressively towards other dogs and humans. He may even attack someone. You might think that this is just a phase, but it could become severe enough to cause him harm (or death). If you notice any of the above mentioned behaviors, then you need to get professional help immediately.
Your dog needs to learn that aggression toward others isn’t acceptable behavior in our society!
You have probably seen many pictures of Labrador puppies that are completely wasted from drinking too much water. These puppies don’t seem to be suffering from any health issues, but their parents must suffer because they aren’t feeding them properly. Labradors are known for being lazy and not wanting to work hard like other dogs, so when they’re given a chance to exercise, they tend to waste most of it!
3. Aggressive Towards Animals
Labradors are known to be friendly and loving towards people, but they aren’t as kid-friendly as you might think. If you have small animals at your home, then it is advised that you keep Fido on a leash or separate him entirely while you’re out in the yard. Your dog may also have an urge to hunt animals like squirrels, birds, etc. This urge can be very difficult to suppress, so you might want to keep him on a leash.
If your labrador gets too excited when he meets new people, or he just wants attention, then he may start nipping at your visitors. You might think that this is no big deal, but if he keeps it up long enough, then he will definitely cause harm to someone. Your dog needs to learn that nipping is unacceptable behavior!
Labrador Biting Problem: How To Solve It?
Before you can find a solution to your dog’s biting problem, you need to find the reason behind it. The following are some reasons behind a labrador’s biting behavior:
“My Dog Bites Me!”
If your dog is biting you, then there may be more than one reason behind it. The most common one is that your dog is trying to play with you. This may not necessarily be true, though. For all you know, your dog just doesn’t like you and he is showing it by biting you.
You can solve this problem in two ways. You can solve the problem by dominating your dog (not physically) so that he doesn’t try this with you again. Or you can solve the problem by teaching your dog to behave properly around you.
To solve the problem by dominating your dog, you need to be consistent and show no emotion while you’re doing it. When you pet your dog or give him treats, you need to do it in a way that doesn’t allow him to move towards you or lick you.
If he starts to lick you or bite you, then you need to act very serious and growl at him. He needs to learn that your actions are not to be messed with.
If you want to solve the problem by teaching him proper behavior, then there are two ways in which you can do this as well. The first way is by luring, and the second way is by performing muzzle training.
First, you can try luring your dog with treats. Whenever your dog does something good, then reward him with a treat. This way, he will learn that whenever he bites you, he doesn’t get anything from you. Eventually, after many repetitions of this method, he will learn that biting you gets him nowhere.
The second way is by using a muzzle. Whenever you are around your dog and he starts to bite you or gets rowdy, you need to put the muzzle on him. As he gets used to the muzzle, you can leave it on him for longer periods of time. Eventually, he will learn that whenever the muzzle is out, he needs to keep calm.
Before you try either of these methods, make sure you watch some videos or talk to a professional so that you’re doing it right!
Who Is A Labrador Retriever Right For?
In general, Labrador Retrievers are great dogs for everyone. They are very easy to take care of, they are very friendly towards both humans and other animals, and they can be great fun to be around.
That being said, there are some instances in which owning a lab may not be the best idea. If you don’t have the time to take care of a dog, or if you don’t have enough space for it to run around and play, then a lab may not be the right dog for you.
Labrador Retriever Puppies
If you’re looking to get a Labrador Retriever Puppy, then you can either look for a breeders or look for rescues. Pet Stores are not an option as you probably know due to the awful places they buy their dogs from.
Labrador Retriever breeders tend to be few and far between. Due to the massive amount of labrador puppies that get produced every year, they end up getting bought very quickly. If you have any connections with any hunters, farm owners, or other people that own Labs, ask them where they got their dog from. Chances are they know a breeder.
Otherwise, a quick Google search should provide you with a few leads. Also be sure to check out the directory on the American Kennel Club Website.
Labrador Retriever Rescues are far more common. Many times people will buy puppies without realizing how much work they are, and end up dropping them off at rescues. Check out the ASPCA or Petfinder to see some of the Labs they have.
Section 4: Labrador Retriers in the Wild
Unlike the other chapters in this book, I’m not going to be giving you a step by step process on how to approach your problem. This is because your problem should be going away on its own.
As you may or may not know, dogs in the wild (aside from feral dogs which are covered in the next section) are all owned by someone and as such will have homes.
Labrador Retriever Hunting Dogs
These dogs will often be used by hunters to retrieve animals that have been shot. They’re excellent at this task due to their strong swimming abilities and general willingness to please.
These dogs are very rare and will often be kept on a leash when around humans due to their strong predilection for hunting animals. As such, you’re unlikely to come across them in the wild.
These are dogs that have been abandoned by their owners and ended up living on their own. Like wolves, these have formed packs in order to survive and pass on their genes.
Feral dogs tend to be skittish around humans and as such are unlikely to approach you. That being said, some of them have learned that they can get food from humans, and as such they may come up to you.
Feral dogs are less likely to be carrying disease due to not being owned by anyone, however, they have a tendency to be more aggressive because they need to protect their food more than other dogs do.
As you may have guessed, feral dogs are more likely to end up being hostile towards you. Their long term exposure to the outdoors is also likely to have given them a more rugged, wolf-like appearance.
Note: Feral Dogs are dogs that have been abandoned by their owners and ended up living on their own. They tend to be less predictable than other wild dogs due to not having a master. As such, they may end up attacking you if you come into contact with them.
That being said, it’s still possible to train them as you can with other dogs. Check out the training section for how to do that.
That’s it for the dog section, I know it took a lot longer to write than I thought it would, hopefully you found it interesting. If not then I guess I’ll just have to try harder in future.
Thanks for reading!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Inappropriate behavior of potential guide dogs for the blind and coping behavior of human raisers (N Koda – Applied animal behaviour science, 2001 – Elsevier)
- The Labrador Handbook: The definitive guide to training and caring for your Labrador (P Mattinson – 2015 – books.google.com)
- The experiences of present and former non-aboriginal teachers teaching in an aboriginal school on the north coast of Labrador (NL Denney – 2004 – research.library.mun.ca)
- Hearing young people talk about witnessing domestic violence: exploring feelings, coping strategies and pathways to recovery (S Collis – 2012 – books.google.com)
- Who’s afraid of Kaassassuk? Writing as a tool in coping with changing cosmology (B Sonne – Études/Inuit/Studies, 2010 – erudit.org)