Labrador behaviour

Everyone loves a well-behaved dog.

And Labradors that are well-behaved are welcomed everywhere they go.

But lots of dogs develop behavioural problems at some point in their lives.

Behaviour problems can be challenging.  So we have gathered together lots of information on labrador behaviour to help you with your dog.

Choose from:

Your vet

Sometimes there is an underlying health problem behind a Labrador’s bad behaviour.

Always check with your vet before attempting to modify your pet’s behaviour at home


  1. recently my labrodor puppy was treated for worms right now it is rest less and cannot walk properly please tell me what should i do

      • i bought a new labrador which is 10 months old.i bought it from my friend.will he bite me or try to harm me.or will he adjust himself with my much time will he take to get alright with my fmily.

        • Hi there,
          I’m afraid I could not make an assumption about the temperament of a dog I had never met. Many labradors have a great temperament but there are dogs of any breed that can bite or be aggressive. Nor could I predict how long your dog will take to settle in. Much will depend on how the dog was raised.

          • hi…. I have 2 years old lab and left it for breeding. got a puppy after breeding. that pup was wit me for nearly 2 months and I just gave him to a family. will he adopt wit him soon?? I’m so worried about him . cos when he was wit me I used to take care of him like my kid and he will never be wit out of even for a min. now I’m so worried wit out him. will he be wit out thinking about me and worrying??

          • I am sorry, but I don’t really understand your question. Are you saying you have bred from your Labrador and she only had one puppy, and that you are worried about the puppy now he has gone to his new owners? If so, then provided he has gone to a good home that will take care of him, he will settle in and be happy quite quickly. Pippa

          • We have a chocolate labradoor. She is 2 years old and our only pet. She has been spayed and not had puppies. The dog prefers my wife as she is her primary carer but when I am at home alone with the dog she will not take food from me or eat the foods I put in her bowl. Also when I get home she does not come and greet me unless my wife is in and then she is excited to see me. What does this mean and what can I do to rectify it.

          • Hi i have a 13 month old spayed female black lab named bailey, and we have to take her everywhere with us! When we leave her at home she shakes, cries and will sometimes even bust our back door open so now we put our dryer in front of it to keep her from getting out, and she has a crate but she manages to always get out of that too! Im kinda stuck on h ow to get her to stay .. o and shes extremely attached to my husband and when hes at work she just sleeps all day and when he came home yesterday she sniffed all over him then peed all over the floor in front of him it was the strangest thing i just dont know what the problem is!!!

          • Yeah my parents have a black lab we got her when I was 8. I am 22 now she is still with them. We would put her in a dog cage when we left places and she would get out of it black labs are smart dogs. We put her in her cage on Thanksgiving one day and she got out, we came home and couldn’t get back in our house. Sasha being only 10 months old had dragged the lazy boy chair infront of the door and I had to crawl through the window lol. When we finally got in she had made it snow in side lol she tore the chair apart OHHHH were we mad!! But she was so cute you couldn’t stay mad <3 But yes she favors my father and I but if we are not around she favors my Mother lol But yes the bad behavior will get better as she gets older:) She also got really mad at me a few years back I was at a summer camp and she pooped all over my bedroom floor It was a miss me type of thing that may be what baileys problem it that she misses your husband when he is at work<3 :) I hope I helped alittle

          • Hi, please help, i have had a 5month old lab bitch returned to me today. My bitch whom is the mother to the pup, is being aggressive and i am keeping them separate as its alot of adjusting for the pup. What can i do to reintroduce them the right way. I will be keeping the puppy as a pet. Thank u.

          • Hi I have a lab…. I sent him for mating with my friend’s lab. After returning he is not interested in having food, can someone advice me on this.

          • Ruby ie three years old and a rescue dog we have never seen her being snappy infill presently .we have friends that call with there dogs and she is fine. Ruby is a loving and affectionate always wanting to help in day to day taskes helping me .please can you help me

        • Labs aren’t aggressive at all. I have a 5 year old lab and the most aggressive thing he does is licks! Labs are so sweet even to strangers. My dog does bark when he sees someone he doesn’t know but if I’m with him he just wants to play with everybody.

  2. I have a 11 month old female lab. She is fantastic with my family and my children but recently she has started barking and showing aggression to people outside my immediatmily. How can I correct this?

    • Hi there, sounds like there are some holes in your socialisation process, but occasionally aggression can be caused by a medical problem. Have your dog checked by a vet to make sure she is well, then take her along to a behaviourist who will help you overcome her fear of strangers. Pippa

  3. Hi I have a chocolate 10 month lab who is lovely. The problem I have is that he is so vocal not barking but an excited wining. As if he is talking to you how do I control this behaviour?

  4. hi pippa(my last labs name). i have recently adopted a 7yr old labrador from the lab. welfare. as u would expect he has a few issues which we are dealing with,but what i am concerned with he scratches all the time, have checked his coat and cant find flea droppings and he does not have dry skin,also he was flead before i picked him up 4wks ago.

    • Hi Stella,
      Congratulation on your new rescue lab. There could be lots of reasons for the scratching, best to drop him into your vet for a check up. Pippa

  5. Hi Pippa
    My 10 month old lab just doesn’t care about the food anymore. I tried 3 different flavors/brands and she is still not impressed. She used to love her food and eat in 3 seconds..

    • Hi Victor, a healthy dog won’t starve herself. Have her checked by the vet and if she is well, offer her food, leave it for ten minutes then take it away. She will eat when she is hungry. Switching brands is just training her to be fussy. Pippa

  6. hi pi
    ppa,hearing a lot about toxic food that we share with our dogs.the foods that my lab shares are apples,chunky homemade soup (low sodium stock cubes.and his favourite weetabix /hot milk semiskim. stella.

  7. Hi Pippa, a month ago we adopted our beautiful 20 month old Coco. We’re her 3rd home in 6 months, 1st owners were divorcing, 2nd owners and their 2 toddlers were overwhelmed by her excitedness, they had her for 4 months so poor Coco has been through the mill and is so desperate to please. She’s really well behaved in most situations and sits on most requested occasions and has total recall, however, she’s so excitable when; we come down in the mornings (jumping up and dragging her bed to us), when we prepare her meat (she doesn’t stop barking) and is so excited when we try to take her for walks that it takes ages to get her collar and lead on. She seems unable to respond to anything if she has a toy in her mouth and has to collect 2 of anything in the vicinity (or as much as she can fit in her mouth!) to please us. We love her to bits and will persevere no matter what but need some tips to calm her down. She’s also very dominent with our 2 older female dogs, growls at them occasionally and puts her head over all other dogs necks to try to be the Alpha female. She also has Stephaccocolas on her sides which the previous owners say is due to seperation anxiety, we’re treating this with a cream to stop itching which seems to be helping. Any tips will be gratefully put into practice. Thanks Debbie

  8. Hello my name is Angela and I know this might be a stretch but I was wondering if anyone on here would be willing to donate blankets, food bowels, treats, leashes and collar. I am fostering and the rescue program I am helping out with only provides food and coverage of vet bills. I had to buy a crate so now I need help with the other things. Like I said this might be a stretch but if someone can help please e-mail me at

  9. Hi..

    I have recently bough 8 weeks black Labrador puppy. I take care of him completely but he always barks and bites me aggressively. He hates me. I don’t want him to go away as we love him like our own child. What should I do to calm him and love me like normal dogs?

  10. Hi Pippa,

    We recently got Benny. It’s only been 5 days with him and we’re really worried because we’ve noticed that he’s been peeing very frequently. He’s about 8 weeks old. We noticed that he peed 12-15 times today! We’re not sure if this is okay. How often are they supposed to pee? He wasn’t peeing as often before. But he’s eating and he’s quite active. Any thoughts?

  11. Hello! I really need help with my labrador Rox. I got him when he was 1 month old, now he’s 1 year and 3 months old, I wasn’t here all year, and now the dog is jumping crazy I can’t even tell you how. He pulls crazy, I can pet him but sometimes he bits me. Rox is playful but sometimes I want to leave him, because he runs like crazy when we get his leash off, sometimes when we get his leash off, he jumps off, and goes to the road, we can barely get him. I really need help, I go to get his plate to give him food I can’t get it, he jumps and doesn’t wait. Even though I started doing those methods, still after 4 days nothing, I will write another comment after 1 month to see changes…

    • I have a 2year old yellow lab that runs away and doesn’t listen when she does too. So I’m working on that but feel your pain. On the other issues of jumping when food is given I think I can help cause my lab use to do that all the time. I broke her habbit by blocking her food bowl with my feet, tell her to sit and waited untill she sat before I picked up her food dish. I do the same when giving food but in revere. She doesn’t get her food untill she is sitting and I slowly put the food on the floor and if she moved, I would straighten up and start the process over again untill she got it. Labs are smart and will catch on quick. Also ignoring them and not looking at them when there bad also helps. It takes practice and lots of patience but it works in the end. The best way I’ve found to walk my lab is either on a gentle leader or a harness. The choker chains are hard to work with unless it’s all the way up on her neck. Also basic training commands( sit, stay ect) with treats every day also helps too
      Hope this helped and hang in there.

  12. We have a 13 month old chocolate lab and her 5 month old pup. Since having her pups she has taken to roaming and have to resort to tying her up. We live in the countryside and she will chase sheep and bark at cows. We are considering having to rehome her which we don’t want to do. Is there a way to stop them roaming – does steralisation help?

    • Hi Clare,
      Very few dogs can be relied upon to remain within some imaginary boundary of your property. Dogs need to be either supervised, or confined within a suitably fenced area.

  13. Hi there,
    Wondering if you can PLEASE help us, Ned our 4 year old Choc Lab used to be perfect in everyway apart from having o.c.d in his back hocks. He now seems very sad and showing signs of aggression, mainly to me for some reason. We are keeping his O.C.D pain maintained, but wonder if getting him castrated would make him less aggressive (growls at me a lot), and I do fear he will hurt me. He used to be the best dog ever, so kind and affectionate. We dont want to put him down, instead try every option we can to help him. We didnt get him castrated when he was younger as the vet said we wouldnt have him past a year old due to his O.C.D but hes now 4. My thought would be to get his legs x-rayed to see if they have got worse, and if that isnt the problem then to try neuturing. Would that fix the problem??? Thanks, Emma

    • Hi,
      Aggression in a previously good tempered dog needs veterinary investigation. There are various possible causes and pain is definitely one of them. It may well be that your dog is in pain and needs his meds increasing.

      I have seen no evidence that neutering is likely to reduce aggression towards people and would strongly suspect a medical reason for your dog’s behaviour. The only person who can help you make a diagnosis is a qualified vet. Good luck and I hope your vet is able to help your dog.


  14. I have a one year old female golden Labrador dog, she wont listen to any thing you say to her she grabs at every thing she gets, tears all the bed sheets, eats poop on the road side and even bite us, if we leave her unleashed even for some time she goes to the garden n destroys all the flowers and breaks pots. we have tried every thing with her but its all vain she bites and jumps all the time. Although the bites are playful but she gets aggressive if you don’t listen to her an then bites you even harder… please help..!!

    • Hi there,
      To get your Labrador to listen to what you say, you need to train her to respond to your commands. You can find lots of articles about training in this section of the website. It will take time and patience to get results.
      It is normal for a Labrador puppy to dig and damage plants if given free access to the garden. This behaviour diminishes with time but puppies need supervision or a play area where there is nothing they can damage. Biting and jumping up are usually the result of overexcitement but as you have so many problems with this dog, you would really benefit from some personal help. I suggest you make an appointment with a local dog trainer. In the meantime you may find these articles helpful
      Jumping Up
      Over excitement


  15. Hi,

    I just bought my labrador which is 8 weeks old… I am wondering when can I start training her and with what should I start. For the time being she is just like a little baby and is easily distracted…

  16. hi pippa.
    my yellow lab merlin is now 1 yr old .its been a challange but at the same time we love him dearly. he does not bark at all in the house but when he plays with his friend another lab he barks alot. but the reason im writeing you is he licks himself most of the night and its pretty loud which wakes me in the morning ,what would you advise or do you have a articule on exssive licking.
    thank you in advance,

  17. I have a 2 month old labrador puppy .It was behaving normally till i took her for vaccination yesterday.A deworming solution was given then after that she was vaccinated. Since then she not active and is refusing to have food,she had only some food yesterday but is not eating now what shud i do.She had loose motions(semisolid) in the morning and has peed only once .PLEASE REPLY ASAP.

  18. I have a 2 year old yellow lab mix. He shows aggression when I’m menstruating. Only aggresive to children though. Especially my oldest son. He has growled, scratched and tried to bite. Not sure what to do. But I no longer trust him around my kids. Is this a problem that can be corrected?

    • Aggression is usually rooted in fear. To untangle the causes of aggression in a family situation it is usually necessary for a behaviourist to observe the dog and how family members interact with him. Your vet should be able to recommend a qualified behaviourist to help and advise you.
      Best wishes, Pippa

  19. My 8 month old black lab is named Drake. Drake is an awesome dog. He has normal puppy behaviors and loves to chew our sprinklers, but overall is great. He loves people, socializes well with other dogs (he’s attending dog training and goes to doggie daycare about once a week) and likes outings. Last week we were at a pet store and out I no where he started barking and growling at this woman and her approx. 10 year old daughter. I have only heard drake bark 2-3 times and I have never heard him growl (except maybe if we’re playing). He went between my legs ad continued to bark and growl for at least a minute (like he had seen a ghost or something). His hair was raised on the back I his neck and tail between his leg. The lady and her daughter went out of sight, but came back and he did the same thing. He has never shown any aggressive tendencies and I’m not really sure what this incident was about. It hasn’t happened since, but he hasn’t really been given the opportunity since either. I had a lab before him too, and that dog never did anything like this. Should I be concerned or only be concerned it happens again. I take my dog with me lots of places and don’t want to have to worry about something like this happening again. I worry about him because he seemed spooked and can’t figure it out. Any insight or input is appreciated.

    • Hi Megan,
      It does sound as though there may be some ‘holes’ in your socialisation somewhere. It would be very difficult to say what exactly frightened your dog, but something clearly did, and it would be a good idea to make sure he is gently exposed to whatever it was that spooked him, until he feels comfortable with the situation. Whether it was the child, or the woman, something one of them was wearing or carrying, it would be impossible for me to guess. I hope you are able to figure it out, so that you can help Drake get past this.
      The more you take him out and about, and let him meet lots of different people, the better.
      Best wishes

  20. Hi…i have a 8 months black lab…his behaviours towards the other dogs is normal but he never barks at home even at strangers….he rarely eats his food completely from the very begining itself and always leave it just after smelling it…kindly suggest me what to do with his eating problem???

  21. Hi, I recently got a black lab that’s 55 days old… My problems are that it bites too much and after reading elsewhere a website says that it needs socialization with other pups but there aren’t other pups in my neighborhood, what can I do?.. Secondly could u please help me with the kinds of food and nutrient diet I should follow.

    • Hi Pranav,
      You can find articles on caring for your puppy here
      I am afraid there is no substitute that I know of, for socialising a dog without contact with other dogs. Perhaps you can track down the owners of your puppy’s siblings via the breeder?
      Biting is normal and nothing to worry about. The article on teaching your puppy not to bite is is here
      Best wishes

  22. Hiiii i have a prob that my 4 mongh old lab is not coming out of my building for walk plz help me with that

    • Hi Devansh, get your puppy used to his collar and lead in a familiar place first. Walking him around the house for example. Give him plenty of rewards and he will soon get used to it. He doesnt need long walks at the moment in any case.

  23. Hi! My 7 year old lab, Elsa, hates her flea drops, she resists getting them applied to any lengths, she pouts, hides and it is all we can do to sneak up on her to get them applied properly. They don’t irritate her skin, the pill upset her stomach. Any ideas?

    • Hi Melanie,

      You can either pin her down to apply the drops, or teach her not to mind. The latter option is kinder, and can be used with non-urgent treatments. Here is a nice video on clicker training a dog not to mind his claws being clipped, it is the same principle.

      Hope you find it helpful

  24. Hey pippa I hv a 5 months old lab it is dam scared of other dogs I tried to make it play with friend’s lab my dog runs off every time!!how should I overcome this??

    • Hi Kushal, you need to find some gentle and friendly dogs for your dog to meet, dogs that will not jump all over your dog and frighten it. Once he has got used to calm friendly dogs, he will lose his fear. In the meantime, you need to make sure he is not bounced on or intimidated by other dogs.

  25. why has mylabrador got worms at 11 months old… shes just about finished being on heat for the first time…. she was treated by the vet months ago…. plus bought some from the pet shop.. pets at home….. shes coming up to 11 months old.. on 21st….. should i buy another lot of worm tablets from our local pet shop../pets at home.. thank you

    • Hi Leslie
      All worm treatments are temporary. The clear out any worms that the dog is carrying at the time of treatment. They do not prevent reinfestation. Your dog can potentially be reinfected almost immediately. Which is why we need to worm our dogs regularly. Some vets recommend every three months, as worms normally only become a problem when their numbers build up over time. Use the wormer recommended by your vet, you can by most of them more cheaply online.

  26. Hi!! I am the owner of a 8 yr old choc lab that I have had since she was 6 weeks old. Recently she has started sleeping more, chasing tennis balls less, she moves slower and the “strangest” thing is she won’t get up on the couch or my bed anymore. She has ALWAYS slept in my bed. I take her to the vet regularly for check ups. Someone told me she is just getting old and could be in the aging process. I see some people who say their labs live 12 + years. I CAN NOT imagine my life without her and now I am so worried. Could she really be in her last years??

    • Hi Chelle,
      Unwillingness to jump and climb, increased resting, is sometimes due to pain. I would take her back to your vet, and ask him to investigate. Or get a second opinion. Healthy eight year old labradors are still fit and agile. If she has a bit of arthritis for example, that is making her ‘creaky’ some medication may work wonders.

      • WOW!! You are good!! We just got back from the vet. They did blood work and x-rays. He said she has arthritis. She is on an anti-flammatory and pain med as needed for now. In a couple weeks he is starting her on fish oil supplement?? Just like you said, the vet said with proper diet and the medication…I will have many MORE years with my BFF!!! Thanks again for your quick response!!

  27. Hi, we have a 1 year old Labrador and he has just been castrated (which we were told was supposed to calm him a little) he is left in his crate for long-ish periods during the week, but recently when we take him on the field he wont come back to us when we call him and runs off when we try to put his lead on to go off the field. We’ve tried biscuits (with him being a Labrador it should work because its food) but it never seems to succeed, do you have any suggestions or advice? I’ve heard that agility is good for obedience? Thanks x

  28. Hi, I have two labs (5yo yellow female, 5mo black male) and they wake us up too early each morning. The little one whines and the big one paws at the bed. Do you have any suggestions to correct this? Thanks!

    • Hi Kristy, have a look at this article You also need to consider with the little one, if he has been put to bed late enough for him to cope with his full bladder. Sometimes, darkening the room can help with early morning wakening in the summer.
      Good luck

  29. Hello there pippa. I am from india, and i have golden lab puppy 2 months old. Just bought it from a vet about month ago. In the first week he was very calm and silent. But as the days past by his behaviour changed alot and became more and more aggressive. The main thing is he tries to bite everything possible in the house e.g. Floor mats, sleepers, wall corners, even me and other people in the house(especially foot and hands) whenever we try to cuddle him (except when he just woke ). Sometimes he makes this aggressive fearceful face and jump and try to bite my hand.
    What to do about this.
    His behaviour is becoming bad day by day.
    What to do please please help…
    And i want this dog to be a well mannered trained dog when he grows up. Also tell me when do i require to train my dog with the help of a trainer?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Abhinav,
      All puppies bite. It does not mean they are aggressive. Check out . Puppies growl fiercely when they play. This too is normal.

      Biting may be a lot worse in puppies that are taken far too young from their mother and siblings. This is because the mother does a lot of the work of teaching a puppy not to bite too hard.


      • Oh thats it, he(alex) was separated from his mother when he was 42 days old(which was wrong). May be thats why hes aggressively biting.
        But one thing more, what is the best age to train a dog ?
        Cause i really really need to make him a well trained dog bedore he becomes an adult dog.
        Thank you very much Pippa.

  30. Just rescued a 4-5 yr old black female lab from the pound. She is loving, sweet, awesome with people and children. Loves to go for rides, play with tennis balls and other toys. Has never shown any aggression toward me or others. Howeve, I think she wanted to kill my sister’s little dog and the kittens. She picked p a litte kitten the other day in her mouth. I think she would of killed it if I hadn’t been there. It appears she has a problem with “little” animals. Why is this? I don’t know her past, so I’m a a loss. I must add that she is curious with the adult outside cats but does not want to hurt them, and she lives with an adult cat.

    • It is not possible to guess what your dog’s intentions were towards the kittens, but kittens should never be left with an unsupervised dog, especially one that is not familiar with them.

      • What about her aggressive behavior towards little dogs? My dog was not unsupervised with the kitten. She was on a leash when she picked up the kitten. It appears that she does NOT like little animals.

  31. Hi pippa,
    I have a yellow lab. ‘Cabby’
    of 3 month and 11 days..
    i got him when he was 7 weeks..
    He is doing really great with Commands
    like sit, lie down , stand , shake , etc.
    But once or twice in a day he goes into
    WILD MODE !!!!
    He bites Barks and growl..! -.-
    I am the only one who is with him all the time and feed him..
    I thought that he might have any problem so i had a nice conversation with 3 different vet and they said
    He is good with everything is fine..
    i am doing everything for him
    like Exercise,play,chew toys,Cuddle..
    And he is really great but i dont know why he bite growl and bark at me :(
    please help ! :(

  32. Hi ! My yellow lab is going to be 4 next month , my problem is that he keeps sleeping all the time from past few months. No toy excites him anymore. He just keeps sticking to my mother. Can anybody tell me us it normal in summers ?

    • Hi Shweta, it depends on what is ‘normal’ for him. If he seems more lethargic than he usually is, it might be a good idea to get him checked over by your vet. Pippa

      • Hi Pipa
        Thanks for your reply. He was suffering from tick fever a few weeks back. He got his check done last week everything is normal. Till march this year he was a very happy extremely playful ans naughty dog. But now he doesn’t get excited if u get hhim a new toy or if someone comes to visit him. Don’t know what to do.

  33. Hi pipa.

    I have a black lab who is just over a year, she’s a very excitable dog my problem is when I take her for walks, it feels more like she’s taking me for a walk. I’ve tried treats to reward her when she’s being good but this doesn’t seem to be helping. She seems better when my partner walks her and most of the time she’ll walk next to him. She constantly pulls and will hop on her back legs to drag me and shes even started to do flips. Is there any tips you could give me that I could use to help her walk better? My partner is on crutches at the moment so I’m the one left to taking her for her walks

    • Hi Chrissy, walking next to a person does not come naturally to most young dogs and needs to be thoroughly trained and proofed against distractions . Have a look in the training section for instructions, and join the forum for some help and support along the way.
      Best wishes

  34. Hi Pippa,

    I have a 3 year old yellow lab and he i a great dog, Yet he is very hyper. All of these articals has helped us very much Though when I get up he will follow me, I also have a matese shitzu mix, he is the older dog and he pants when excited and we have had him longer. The lab has developed habits and problems from him, mostly good things. Though one thing is following me around, I will simply get up to get a drink and they will be on my heels. Help me please, I’m not sure what else to do at this point. Sometimes I do get the change to reward him when he is laying down when I get up, still he continues to get up with the older dog and walk on my heels………….Thanks

  35. Hi Pippa,

    I have a 14 month young chocolate labrador. He has been to puppy socialisation classes and OB training. He has a lovely temperament and is gentle and friendly towards people and other dogs. I have never had a problem with him apart for him being full of energy at times. Also, my lab became attached to my hip when the gsd joined the family and he initially showed similar agression when it came to food which i managed to change that with training and he is now comfortable eating and sharing with the gsd.Over the past three months he has been running away with shoe soles, intimate clothing items and paper and then turns into a different dog when we ask him to drop. There are occassions he lunged at me and i have felt he would bite me in these situations. however once the item is gone he is a different dog. he has shown no agression in any other circumstances. Earlier he would drop things but now he will just fight to keep it and if challenged growls snaps and redirects his anger towards the other dog(10 month old gsd). My gsd has a great temperament and is very patient however he is the dominat one and often will play a bit rough with my lab. The lab is strong and heavy boy and stands his ground however I do feel this adds to fuel the situation and I correct the gsd when there is rough play and remove him from the situation when the growling event over a possession is in progress with the the lab. This does seem to alleviate some of his anxiety. I then use distraction techniques like going to a different corner and giving him a stuffed kong or going out of the house so he follows me. This does seem to work but sometimes he will go back to look for the item he left and often with a growl which is not directed at anyone. May I add here that he has not been neutered and there has been a change for the past 2 months where he could play in my garden but could not go for walks due to me being down with shingles. I have now resumed the walks and continue with reward and reinforcement. One of my trainer friends seem to disapprove and thinks I should put a prong collar and correct him as he is showing alpha dog behaviour? She feels i am rewarding the behavioue by treats. i do agree to some extent but if i can manage to get him to loose the agression around the item and get him to trust i wont take it away and to relax more then i could work on him not taking the item in the first place?I tried the prong and frankly apart from using it for light corrections on walk I have felt that it would make him more aggressive as he will associate pain with me! Please advise. I will be consulting vet and depending on advise go to a behaviour therapist.
    Look forward to your point of view and thoughts.

    • Hi Shilpa
      Here is some information on dominance. Your instinct to use rewards is correct. Resource guarding is usually straightforward to resolve using food. Using punishment will not prevent the dog guarding things he wants from people other than the punisher, and is likely to end up with someone getting bitten.
      Teach your dog to drop the thing he wants to keep, using very generous rewards. You can gradually add a ‘drop it’ or ‘leave it’ command, and in time will be able to use lower value rewards and eventually to omit the rewards for much of the time. Initially you need to find something the dog really values to exchange for the item he has ‘stolen’.


  36. Hi, What could cause a Lab to out of the blue attach another dog without a warning at all. With that same train of though the Lab also barking at its humans when they are getting something out of a bag i.e.; ladies handbag. My families two year female black lab has been doing this and is leaving us in unfamiliar territory. This type of behavior has not happen before with our other dogies. We got Labs and St. Bernard, and Doxanines (not at the same time but have grown up with all three breeds) and have never see this before. Our dogs are not guard dogs, or police dogs, just family pets.

  37. My 9month old black lab bit me and broke the skin on my hand i was digging in a closet bent over and he was under me sniffing on a blanket i told him to move out the way, he jumped u showing his teeth and bit me twice on the hand. I told him to stop walked out closed him in the room,after a little i went back in he had a bone i bought him a few days ago that we where looking for, should get rid of jim is this going to become something new! Please help i love him so much!!!!!

    • Hi Kristeena, contact your vet and ask him to refer you to a behaviourist. You need help to identify the likely cause and best treatment for your dog’s behaviour


  38. I’m having problem with my 2 yr chocolate lab Mocha. He continues to lick, sniff and follow my 2 yr female black labs she is fixed.. Just recently after he does it he gets overly excited and pees on stuff. I have read some articles I’m worried if he could have some kind of stress. Mocha does lick her pee in the mornings too. Please help me mocha is an excellent dog we love him to pieces but I want to keep my couch also.

  39. We just adopted a rescued chocolate lab. He ias goegeous, 4-5 months old male. He was found in the woods near a campground/park, dehydrated and starving. Took 2 days to catch him as he was apprehensive whenever approached. He was already6 house trained. In the house he obeys quite well. Day before yesterday we took him to a dog-only beaqch and he played with another dog for a while then they both ran away and took us a good 15 minutes to get them to stop long enough to get the leash back on him. Yesterday when he came back from a drive with my wife, he bolted off and ran right onto the road and no matter how many times my wife yelled for him to come back he did not. He almost got run over and my wife finally caught him. We have 28 beautiful acres for, him to run around on and we know labs need a lot of exercise and play time so we do not know mwhat to do. We would love to see him run in the yard but how do we stop him from running out on the road?

    • Hi Jake, unfortunately, it is not possible to teach a dog to reliably remain within an imaginary barrier defined by you. The only way to keep a dog safe from roads is to prevent access. If you allow your dog to roam freely in 28 acres, you will have problems.

      Rescue dogs often have recall issues, but with such a young pup you should not have too much difficulty training a reliable recall. Check out our recall training section


  40. Hi Pippa,

    We are relatively new puppy people, we have a 17 week old fox red lab.
    He is lovely, but when he seems to get very excitable when he goes out for a walk, when we get back we cannot do a thing with him, he runs about like a loony, we try to put him in his crate to calm down, but he just lays on his back so we cannot pick him up and starts to bite, his tail is wagging so I’m hoping he is still in play mood but it is diffucult to deal with.. this also happens if we are both at home and play with him he doesn’t know when to stop. Are we doing something wrong, we obviously want to play with him?

  41. Hi Pippa, I have a female black lab she exactly 1 year 5 months 2 weeks and a day old and is going through her 2nd or 3rd heat cycle and is very clingy and is as energetic as she normaly is. We got her from a very nice lady who bred labs and we have a cocker spaniel who sadly is spayed and we can’t separate them. She has begun to sit for him which makes us worried We have no clue on what to do if she’s pregnant and we can’t give her away. Reply ASAP please,
    Kennyann Price

    • Hi,
      I’m afraid your comment is a little confusing. Do you mean that your cocker spaniel is castrated? (a female would be spayed) and do you mean that she is ‘standing’ for him. If your other dog is castrated, how long ago was this operation carried out?

      I can tell you that it is perfectly normal for a bitch on heat to ‘stand’ and to ‘flag’ for a castrated dog, (or for other bitches). It is not unheard of for bitches to mate and even tie, with a castrated dog.

      If your spaniel is male and is castrated, ie has both testicles removed, and unless this was done very recently, your bitch cannot get pregnant. On the other hand, if your dog is male and fertile, it is your responsibility to separate them, no matter how difficult or inconvenient that may be. If your male dog is fertile and they have, or may have, already mated, you need to consult your vet.

      I have no idea what your comment about giving her away refers to. Why would you want to give her away?


  42. Our ten year old chocolate labrador has developed a obsesive compulsion to eating fox poo, despite us yelling to leave it it would seem she’s like a woman with chocolate can’t be stopped. Any tips?

  43. What can we do, our Lab keeps on breaking the fens to get to the back garden, we keeps on discipline him but still! Now we put some palisades and still he is breaking through and chew the hose pipe and sprayers and dig wholes in the garden!

    • Hi Meisie,
      Any barrier that you put up, to confine a Labrador, needs to be Labrador proof. Chain link fencing is a popular material for a dog proof enclosure, and it needs to be a couple of metres high. You will have to sink it into the ground too, unless you have a solid concrete (or similar) base. Otherwise he may dig underneath.

  44. Why will my chocolate lab only take food from me & show any affection when my wife is at home? Any other times she just sits in her basket

  45. Hi we have a 2 year old male lab who is very gentle with the kids and very obidient when out walking. He is good with other dogs. When we feed him he growls and barks if we stay near him, he spends small amounts of time in a run/kennel outside and sleeps out there. If we go up to him when he is locked in there he growls and barks very aggressive. We had him indoors as a pup and he began this behaviour then so the vet sugested a home outdoors. Also he has had the chop! Any advice greatly appreciated…..

    • Hi Sandra, it sounds as though your dog may be suffering from some form of ‘barrier aggression’. Food guarding can be treated using this method You may find it helpful to have your dog assessed by a behaviourist. Avoid anyone who uses old fashioned dominance based methods. They do not work. Pippa

  46. Hi. We have an 18 month old lab who has a very odd habit. She will often walk into a room and then freeze. Its usually the spare rooms and not the common areas that this happens. She has plenty of space to turn around but she just stands there and whines. This has now progressed to her not walking in or out of the laundry which is how she gets in and out of the house. We have to physically walk her out and in unless she is distracted with food. We were wondering if it was a possible eye sight issue?

  47. Hi i have a 1 yr n 8 month old lab. Hes a double bone champion blood line dog. his weight is 45 kg. is it okay? or it should b less? please tell me ways 4 keeping his weight under control. thank you

  48. I adopted a 1 year lab but he seems to be more attached to his 1st owner what should I do so that he can follow me and stop barking at me

  49. Hi pipa
    I urgently need your help I adopted a 1 year lab but it is moreover attached to his 1st owner and doesn’t listen to me and keeps showing aggression what should I do ???

  50. Hi, am new to the forum, I have 2 brother pups blk labs… They’re coming up to 11 months… I am having trouble with training as they compete all the time for attention… Also one of them when he does a wee wees he walks around doing it? Any ideas on how to stop thispls many thanks di x

    • Hi, training two young dogs is very time consuming. Each skill you teach needs to be taught to one dog first, then proofed, and then taught to the other. Hard work, but worth getting right
      Some dogs do ‘wee’ on the move. Usually because they are very excited and just can’t keep still. I don’t really see it as a problem though, was there a particular reason you want to stop him?
      Best wishes, Pippa

  51. Hi, I have a 3 and a half year Choc Lab who on the whole has a lovely temprament, however, with people she doesn’t know and especially other dogs, she can be growly and occasionally agressive? Any ideas on how to stop this at all? It’s such a shame as 95% of the time she’s placid and lovely.

  52. Sorry if this has posted twice. I have a 3 year old chocolate labrador called Dylan. Very friendly with adults and children dogs he knows and very good off the lead. Dylan has developed an aggression to dogs we don’t know whilst on the lead. He has had a couple of bad experiences on the lead so I am guessing this is where the issue stems from. Any advice on how I can make Dylan feel comfortable on the lead and be better behaved with dogs we don’t know?

  53. Hi Pippa,
    I have a lovely black labrador puppy, she is nearly 5 months, her training is going really well, I’ve been working through your Total Recall book. One thing I’m really struggling with is trying to stop her eating poo whilst out walking. Daily walks are on farm land so she can sniff out a real selection before I see it. As soon as I do, I intervene and try and get her to give it up – its a real battle and I don’t want to bribe her with a treat I’d really like her to give it up and then reward her – any advice would be appreciated. Thanks,

    • Hi Sarah, check out this article. There is also another article on teaching dogs to drop or release items, coming out in a few days time.

      Rewarding after getting a response (rather than bribing) is a good principle. But, some desirable behaviours (like letting go) can be hard to establish.

      So, it is worth bearing in mind that sometimes, luring with food may be a quicker and easier way to establish a behavioural response to a cue or command (like ‘drop it’) The lure (or bribe) can then be ‘faded out’ once the dog understands the cue.


  54. HELP!! My 7 month old lab is a really good dog and is good with my girls but when we get after her for doing something wrong, she starts peeing everywhere. We don’t know how to stop her from doing this. Sometimes she thinks we are mad at her and starts peeing. Also she is good with letting us know she needs to go outside to do her business. So I need some help and advice. Thanks in advance!

  55. Hi
    We have a 10 month old choc lab and she is amazing we have had her since she was 10 weeks old and, whwn left alone in the kitchen at home whilst we are at work she is chewing the skirting boards, cupboard unit corners and scratching at the back door to the point that there are holes in the plaster.
    we tried to give her more run of the house and she has dne exactly the same to the front door, so today i have locked her back in her Crate to stop her from maybe hurting herself. is this normal?

    • Hi James, Yes it is normal, many Labradors continue destructive chewing until well past their first birthday. Crating when you are out is the best solution for the next few months. Pippa

  56. I’m feeling a bit silly for asking this but my black lab is behaving quite strangely. He’s always been very affectionate, still is. He’s 9 years old and recently his behaviour toward me has changed. My husband and I walk him together in the evenings, Beau (lab) has always been very excited about his walks and goes loose, wanders off but never out of site and comes to call. To give him more exercise we often played the come to mummy, come to daddy game to which he’d bound across a football field when either one of us called him to us. The last 2 weeks he has been seemingly unable to leave my side, he will walk no more than two strides in front of me, will immediately stop, turn back and wait for me if I’m not at his side, won’t leave me at my husbands call no matter what and at home he wants to have my hand on him or wants to be with me constantly. We have had him for years and this behaviour is brand new, no changes have been made in our life and I keep reading stuff about dogs sensing pregnancy and illness, it’s kinda freaking me out. I am trying to correct his behaviour and encourage him to move further away from me when out on walks but he just seems worried about me. I actually don’t have a blue how to deal with this. Can you recommend anything or do you have any experience of such behaviour? Many thanks, concerned Labrador owner xx

  57. I have a two months old lab retriever mix and he has been kinda wheezing or loudly panting alllday.. It kinda worried me because it is not that hot here… Do you know what it might be

  58. Hi there, My 7 month old Black Lab is doing really well. However when we take her for walks she is still pulling hard with the training leed. When we let her off the lead and she sees another dog (even if over 500yards away) she makes a beeline for that dog to play with and will not come back even if we are shouting her name or throwing a ball for her. How do we stop this ??? please help, it’s taking out the enjoyment of walking with her.

  59. Good Evening,

    My husband and I recently got a 6 week old male lab. He is always sleeping and shskes constantly like he is scared? He wont come to us when we call and barely eats or drinks. And doesnt want to play what could be wrong help please!

    • Hi Vanessa, six week old puppies are not ready to leave their Mum and do sleep a lot. If your puppy is not eating or drinking properly, he needs to see a vet urgently. The shaking may be fear or it could be a health issue. Either way, a vet’s opinion is required.

      Puppies need to be taught to come when they are called. You can find information in the recall training centre, via the training menu at the top of the page.


  60. Hi Pippa. We are adopting an 11 month old Labrador from the SPCA. He knows a few basic commands. His personality is happy and outgoing. How long should we wait before enrolling him in obedience classes?

  61. Good morning,
    We have been offered the opportunity to adopt a chocolate labbie who is 8 years old. Is that a good idea? It will be our first dog and we just don’t want to say we’ll take her if she is too old to do anything really. I’ll appreciate some advice. Thank you!

  62. Hi we have a black lab called Marley who is 9 months old. Recently he has killed and eaten one of our chickens. My daughters chicken! I don’t know what to do with him. Please help!

    • Hi Isla, many young dogs will catch and kill chickens if given the chance. I’m afraid it is important to supervise young dogs around chickens, or keep the chickens in a secure run. Best wishes, Pippa

  63. Hi.we have a 2 yr old male black lab who is gentle and tame in doors and on walks. He is very obidient but on a few occassions when putting him back in his run/kennel outside after spending time indoors he barks and growls very snarly which has frightened my husband and myself. We have young children the dog is good with them but we are worried if he can snarl that badly will he end up biting? Thanks

    • Hi Sandra,
      You are right to be concerned and should seek professional advice. It would be a good idea to have a chat with your vet and if necessary get him to refer you to a behaviourist who will observe your dog and be able to advise you. Best wishes, Pippa

  64. Hi we have just good a 6 week old puppy we have give him a nice bed but he seems to be sleeping lots and not coming out off his bed is this normal for his age

  65. Hello,

    My family recently bought a 2 year old female black lab who is generally very loving. The family she came from had little time for her, taught her nothing and left her outside all the time, so she is now very attached and wants to be around our family all the time.
    The only problem is that when she is in a small space (curled up under a blanket, laying in a corner – which she loves to do) she sometimes snaps/bites at people who reach to pet her. This was very surprising given her normally happy nature. She is also aggressive towards squirrels and ducks when hunting. I’m not sure how to tackle this issue, any help would be much appreciated! Thanks

  66. hi I have a 3 year old black lab / australian shepherd, heavy on the black lab side. as a puppy this dog never wined or growled, now he growls if u look at him and his body quivers. he will want lovens and growls at the same time. he is a great dog I’m afraid if he keeps it up I may lose a family member. its a deep growl and he doesn’t show teeth makes me nervous with my kids. please help me and Zed

    • Hi Robert, aggression in a previously unaggressive dog needs investigating by a vet. It could be due to ill health, pain, or disease. Your vet will be able to recommend a behaviourist if he cannot find anything physically wrong with the dog. Pippa

  67. I have a two year old lab who in not neutered. I also have an 4 year old mixed bread that he has been around since he was a puppy and has always been attached to and love to play with but lately it has been worse. He constantly has to be by her side she can’t even use the restroom without him bugging her. He has also recently started licking her back and humping, but not humping her directly, more like the air. He follows her everywhere and licks her. I know it has to annoy her because it is driving me nuts! Anyone had an issue like this?

  68. I am just about to bring my black lab puppy home in a weeks time,i have been visiting him since he was born and he tends to sit back and watch his brothers and sisters rather than interact with them,when I pick him up and handle him he,s fine,but could this be a problem.

  69. Hi
    My lab is nearly three. He has always barked at male big dogs out on walks but now every time I try to put on his collar n lead he runs around house away from us n sometimes even growls. I’m really worried please help

  70. Hey Pippa, I have a yellow lab who’s about a year and a half old. He’s had some accidents in his crate in the past, but recently it’s been almost constant. It seems like if I leave him in the crate for more than an hour he’ll pee, and when I take him on walks he’ll pee at least two or three times. Also when he usually goes number two it will come out semi-solid. Could this be something like a urinary tract infection?

  71. Hey, I’m having a 2 and a half months old black lab. Suddenly he starts to bark each night. He ‘s eating properly, playing, is totally active but I am not able to judge what has happened to him all of a sudden. Please Help. !!

  72. I have a chocolate lab mix. He is a few years old and a couple days ago we moved to a new house. His name is Buddy and he is an outside dog. Since we moved, he’s been acting different. He won’t eat. He just keeps barking unless we put our female chihuahua outside. Do you have any suggestions? We’ve been getting complaints from neighbors. Please help!

  73. Hi Pippa! How do I get my dog to get out of my bed???? He is 9 months old and weighs 75 pounds. When he lays on the covers you can’t move him or the covers!!!! :):)

  74. hi pippa…manjoor here from india, I hv got a 10 months lab-jhonny…15 days back he came to home n he is a trained dog—I strange tat he nvr bark at any1….plz suggest me wht to do……thnx in advance!!

  75. Hello. Can a 9 years old labrador get pregnant? my dad took her to go and see a dog before few times in the past but she did not stay pregnant then so we did not spray her but now I am afraid what if she is pregnant now. She was pregnant once when she was young but after that she was with a dog but didn’t stay pregnant.

  76. Hello.

    Cosmo is seven years old. For quite a while he has refused to go outside at night time for a pee unless I go out with him — like he’s scared of the dark. He just watches his older brother Homer go.
    Over the past month he has been refusing to go out (without me) during the day as well. We go out for walks on leash, off leash (in the forest) and around the house with no issues.
    What’s his problem? This is not his first winter.

  77. Hi,
    I have a 3 year old golden lab (that I got 1.5 years ago) and a 10 year old lab/collie. They have always gotten along great. In the past week my golden lab won’t leave my other dog alone. She practically lays on her, keeps licking her, and blocks her from going anywhere. Is there a reason for this behavior?

  78. Hi, I wonder if you could help? We have a 7month old lab who is becoming extremely excited when out on his walks. He is brilliant in the house and will listen to all commands although he still does mouth a bit but not so it hurts and he does listen when you tell him no. On his walks however he is getting very excitable and will start jumping up and biting. It seems like it is only play however he is becoming a big dog now and it does hurt and sometimes breaks the skin. He only does it with me (female), he doesn’t do it to my partner (male). I trying tell him off and sit (commands he knows well) but he does not listen and physically pulling him off seems to wind him up even more, walking away also doesn’t work as he just bites my bum. (The only thing that has worked is putting him back on the lead and make him sit against a tree or fence so I have more strength using the tree so he knows he cant go anywhere until he calms down. This isn’t always ideal though if you are in an open space because by the time I can get him to the tree I can’t react immediately to his bad behaviour. Do you have any suggestions on how to calm him down before it gets out of control? He was getting better and did stop the behaviour for a couple of weeks but the last three days he has been much worse than he was before he stopped.

  79. Hi , I have a 4 year old choc lab daisy , she fully house trained , loving family pet , walked regular , and she started peeing through the night in my kitchen ?? She’s never done this before , until few months ago ,

  80. My sister just got four lab puppies. The runt of the bunch is a female while the others are males. The female constantly shakes and whines and rarely moves, while the other three never stop moving. Is there something wrong with her? She is only about two months old.

  81. Hiii i hv a lab of 1year and she has got mange … i do apply ridd daily and try keeping her clean but she goes in our garden and plays there everyday n now its her habbit … i m very much tensd now that from 3-4 days she is jyst sleeping and have stopped playing … i am very scared plzzz help me with thiis problem … i m desperate for a solution

  82. Hi,
    My names chris i have a 2 year 4 month old chocolate lab who has some socilasiation issues with other dogs. hes great around humans never barks growls bites or attacks anyone wants to play all day when i have people come in and out of my house he thinks hes a lap dog and is about 105 lbs. my friend got a female pitbull puppy and he is frightened by it every time they get close to each other his hair stands up and he starts to growl at it meanwhile the puppy is just licking him. i dont know if its due to the fact that they are interacting at my house in his domain or if he is just over all scared of puppies or other dogs he has had a few friends here and there that he has gotten along with non agressivly but it has just become recent that he doesnt like to tolorate puppies…he gets moderate amount of excersize and sleeps with me ever night. i am concerend about adopting a pit bull puppy due to his prior expierence. is there any specific reason for his tempermant toward puppies overall is it something that can build into future problems? what should i do?

    • Hi Chris, it is not unusual for older dogs to be scared of puppies and even growl at them, initially. If you decide to get a puppy you would need to supervise them constantly, until your dog has accepted the puppy, and to make sure that he can get away from the puppy at any time he chooses. In a some cases, the older dog never adjusts, and I certainly recommend you do not bring a puppy into the house until you have addressed the older dog’s socialisation issues. Pippa

  83. my Labrador is is about 5 years old now and has recently started acting weird. He will not leave my 12 year old sister alone I,e he has started following her everywhere and trying to hump her (especially when she lies down. His breathing had become constantly heavy (for the past week since it started) and he has done the toilet inside twice since it started. This is totally unusual behaviour for him and he has not done a poo inside the house since he was a small puppy. Any ideas what is going on?

  84. My yellow lab is 19 weeks, she has been home from the kennel for about a month. Overall her adjustment has been great. She is mostly house broken, though accidents occur. She knows her name and knows how to sit and recognizes no. But my biggest problem with her, is getting her to come. The treat method just does not seem to work, she hears me saying it and looks at me…but will just ignore me. The positive voice and treat methods are not working. Do you know of anything else I can try before going to obedience school? Same goes for walking, she seems to enjoy it, but if she gets spooked or does not want to go a certain way, she just plops down and won’t budge. Overall she has been great, just a typical puppy. But I want to work out these things before she gets older and it becomes even more difficult . Your advise would be appreciated. Thank you

    • Hi Tom, start by luring a recall, using food. So hold the food out right under her nose, and walk backwards with her following. Use a reward marker like the word YES or a click to let her know that walking towards you is the right thing to do and feed her the lure immediately after the marker. Once she is following a lure towards you, you can hold out your hand without the lure and only feed when she reaches you. Look in the Recall Training centre in the training menu for lots more info on recall training. Pippa

  85. Hi.

    Just returned from a walk at the park with our 6 month old yellow lab. She’s started acting really odd, running around the house in circles, scratching, biting her front paws, trying to climb to places in the house she wouldn’t normally go. Very odd to be honest. And worrying.

    Has anyone got any ideas?

  86. I just got a 10 week old tea cup chiwawa and my 6yr old black lab keeps trying to eat him. I can’t put the puppy down for anything. My 8yr old puggle plays just fine with them both. Any ideas on how to get my black lab to stop tying to eat it?

  87. Hi
    I have a five yr old lab and have had him since he was a pup.
    He is a hyperactive dog, but always friendly towards people and other dogs.
    Today when taking him to the vet I experienced some unusual behaviour.
    A kelpie walked as we were waiting outside, and my lab was on the attack. He snarled and had an aggressive bark which I have never heard in the last five years. He was so angry he was even snapping at the dog,which almost got my hand as I tried to calm him down.
    I mentioned this to the vet, but they didn’t show any concern.
    Would you know what could have caused this behaviour???

  88. My new puppy has not pooped since she came home for the first time. She’s eaten and is playfull but she’s not yet done her biz, could this be because of the stree of moving to a new home?


  89. Hi I have a yellow 12 month make lab, lately his behaviour has changed a lot, not eating all his food and not listening on walks etc. but the main thing is a couple of weeks ago he went for me really aggressive and bit me twice drawing blood. Because I had gone near his food. This has happened a couple if tines when he was young over a fresh bone. In general he is a loving playfull dog but there is no warming he doesn’t growl before but seens to have a problem with his food it fresh bones. Very worried because we are trying for a baby and was wondering if there is anything I could do?

    • HI Megan, stop giving your lab bones, and check out this article – Because your dog is not giving you any warning, you will need to use his body language as a guide to how comfortable he is with you around his food. You also need to ensure that no-one else is at risk by being able to approach him when he is eating. Consulting a behaviourist for more information and advice, would also be a very good idea.

  90. Hi, I have a 6 month old lab who seems to be going backwards in her training. She has started waking in the night at 3/4 am barking and licking her bits until ehe makes herself sick. I am not sure if she is coming into her first season as there are no obvious signs of this. Once she is up she refuses to settle and just whimpers and licks some more. Any thoughts, advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

    A very tired James.

  91. Hi, this is my first time to own a dog. I have a 2-month old female black lab and just got her 2 days ago. She looks thin and has a big tummy; vet suggests that she wasn’t fed well before we got her. Also, she breathes shallow and fast, sleeping or not; when sleeping, her mouth is closed and breathes fast. And I noticed that she is always lying down; she gets up and walk if she’ll pee or poo. When I tell her to get up and direct her to walk, she just lies down. Is this something to worry about? Thanks.

  92. Hi!

    I have a 2 1/2 year old lab. I got her when she was fpur months old. I have living with my parents for most of her life. Shes only been alone with me and no other dogs for her first week with me. Recently her and my moms dog have been aggressive towards each other. Last night they started fighting over a ice cube and my moms dog needed stitches from being pulled apart wrong. My mom has a dashehound mix so she is smaller being my lab weighs 72 pounds. This aggression has gotten worse and we can figure out why within the last year this has been happening. I take her out and to the dog park on a regular basis so she used to other dogs not just the three others we have at home. She did lash out at a smaller dog at the dog park once but as aggressive as she is at home. Im kinds stuck between a rock and a hard place because it only recently that its happening. She’s well behaved other wise. Completely healthy and up to date on all her shots. She is fixed and so are all the others in the house. Ive never know labs to be this territorial but i do know weiner dogs are. Anything you think might be happening? I cant afford training till after we move in september and i don’t want a vet to say i need to put her on meds. I dont know what to do besides have her as an only pet when we move and do training.
    Thanks for your help!!

  93. Myself and even my neighbor have had our Labs do the “take off” thing when they decide to do so. We live on acreages. His came back riddled like a pin-cushion with porcupine quills, it was fatal. Mine did it when he thought we were going for a walk and then just took off like Speedy Gonzales. I live on a highway and had to track him down with my car. I was lucky. Since that time I have kept him on a leash (a 40 foot horse one to give him roaming room) when we’re out. I let him go (off leash) in safe areas and he comes back, but still all it takes is once. He’s 2.25 years old. I bought a electronic training collar for him and will try that to restrain his urges.
    I’ve had mostly GSDs/Rotties before and am new to Labs. He’s one hell of a hunter and his nose is like a heat-seeking missile. It completely takes over so I can understand he goes where it goes. He’s also (its quite humorous too) a piss-sniff-tracking machine and simply amazing in his scouting abilities. The only problem I’m having is to have him listen to me when he’s in this mode so if we encounter a porcupine or car he doesn’t end up being the loser (if you know what i mean).
    I’m hoping you can help or will he grow out of this OCD behavior as he gets older? Its really the porcupines I’m concerned about and his health in that regard.


  94. My big Black Lab is not afraid of deer, fox or just about anything else. But once in a while he will sniff the air,get a scared look on his face and make a bee line into the house just about knocking down anything in his way. I live in the suburbs of NY. There are no bears around here. Does anybody know what it could be?

  95. Dear Pippa,
    My 5+ yr old Choc Lab, starting having siezures 2 yrs ago and has been on pheonbarbitol. For the last 6 months, he has become very aggresive. He is growling and seriously threatening some household members. He growls at me if I have to correct him for anything, He has never been mistreated since I have him. He came to me a 9 mo.s old from an abuse background. He was a frightened puppy but grew out of that. He never seemed to be happy or behave like choc. lab. Now I am afraid he may bite someone. Any advise?

  96. I have a 13 month old male Dudley Lab AMOS MOSES . He is, far the most part well behaved. He spends most of his time out doors but is allowed in at night. The problem is he has a foot fetish. HE ALLWAYS WANTS TO PUT HIS MOUTH ON YOU FEET OR SHOES. He does not bite, but no correction method I have tried has worked. I play fetch with him every afternoon but this behavior is dangerous going up or down stairs.

  97. Hi I’m taking care of an 11 year old f lab and she has an ear infection and suffers from seizure disorders, lately she started barking a lot. I’m at a lose to what to do for her, anything you can help me with, would help. Family went away for five weeks. I was thinking maybe she is missing her family. I give her walks at 5:30am and again at night when it is cool out. Well I sure could use your help.

  98. Hi i have a 1 year old labrador who is normally very energetic, she is down in the dumps and always wants to sleep, ive also noticed she doesnt straighten her tail just points down to the ground, took her to vets but they didnt notice anything wrong and i just know this isnt my dog at all and know somethings is up, thi has just happend over night basically, any advice or anyone else had this with their lab?

  99. Hi, your Puppy handbook came through yesterday thanks and thanks for your videos on youtube – they are brilliant. I have had my 3 month old Labrador for 2 weeks now and all is great, better than can be expected except for his penis becoming quite erect when I am training him. He’s not excited with or by it it just happens. So in the middle of training he has to lick it back into his foreskin at which point all concentration even on his favorite reward of cheese. If I then start training again he becomes submissive and shows me his belly. Any advice? Where am I going wrong? Jason

  100. Hi recently our well tempered lab has started being snappy to other dogs and I can’t understand it at all I’m very worried that it could escalate she has never snapped at any o f the cares entering the home or at other dogs that come in the house please can you help me .

  101. Hey pippa !
    I have a golden lab 4months we just got him a few weeks back from a dog centre its a male names max.
    The problem is that he is very hyper and keeps on barking whenever you put him in the dog house as if he feels very lonely there it’s like he never wants to be alone he throws away the water and when you open him up he comes out very hyper and jumps ln you and bites the main problem is when visitors come max starts bitting off there clothes and jumps. Need a bit of help.

  102. Hello I own a 3 year old male lab he’s has been neutered. He is the best family dog ever! No food aggression what so ever but as I got him to help cure my fear of dogs (I’m not scared of him at all!) he has decided to start guarding me when I take him out on walks I also own a female dog but she shows no sighs of aggression he has never bit anybody, he will stand in front do me and bark very deeply and stare at the person! I got him as a 8 week old puppy he was very well socialised we made him experience a wide rang of different places! He also pulls on his lead but once you correct him he dose stop! I live in a large family and he has no problems with any of them but spends most of his time with me but he is submissive to me but not fearful! Sorry there is so much to read but I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong any help I would be very grateful!

    • Hi Robyn, it would be a good idea to have your dog assessed by a behaviourist, ask your vet to refer you. The behaviourist will need to visit you and assess your dog before offering advice.

  103. I just got a 8 month old black lab. Hes name is Milo the sweetest thing ever. Such a sweetheart. Ever since I got him he hardly eats and he drolls alot. . Is it normal? And he will not stop following me around . My husband really loves him but he will sleep with him but just me . Its not just him , Milo is scared of everyone but is only comfortable with me . . Is that normal for labs?

  104. We have a black lab, her name is Dallas. We’ve had her almost 2 years now, she was a drop off or run away.. someone posted her online to find her home or to find her a good home or to the pound she went.. so we went and got her. I’d say she’s any where from 3-5 years old and we’re almost 100% sure she is full blooded lab. She was still in the chewing stage when we got her, already fixed, and already house broke.. The chewing was fixed with toys, bones, crate training, etc. It’s been well over a year since she has chewed on anything at all. And we started leaving her and our other dog out, so they could be comfy and relaxed and it made them more happy! She rarely was getting crated anymore.. If we go out of town for the night we have someone who our animals know and are comfortable with to come stay until we return the next day.. my husband and I are on different shifts, so they’re not alone more than 3-4 hours, at most. About a week ago we found a sock chewed up.. wasn’t completely sure it was Dallas or if an old, chewed up sock showed up randomly from her previous chewing/puppy stage. A few days later it was a pair of my shoes, which we knew was recent and it was her, because our pomeranian couldn’t have done that damage even in 24 hours time. Then yesterday, she was laying in her chair with her blanket draped over the side, with me on the couch pretty much in front of her across the living room.. and I hear this ripping sound.. she was chewing on her blanket.. now she’s doing it in front of me. We tried crating her again..chew toys..scolding..everything i feel like. and she knows it’s wrong, all I have to say is “what are you doing” and her reactions tell me she either knows better or she thinks it’s okay.. she knew she was doing something she shouldn’t have been. We play with her, all kinds of things, we don’t walk because she’s too much of a princess to get hot or be outside for more than 5 minutes unless it’s to play fetch, and she’s only good with fetch for about 10 minutes. We take her swimming and stuff she actually enjoys. I don’t know what to do nor do I know what’s causing this behavior from her.. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

  105. I’m new at having a lab and I have two blac labsk (which are brothers) and they both fight with me about getting a bath. Can anyone give me some advise on what I can do to have them not fight me over it.

  106. Hi

    My labrador puppy is 6 month old and we have noticed she has become clingy! If you stand up to go into the kitchen, she follows. And if you go upstairs and leave her downstairs with a family member, she cries until I come down.

    Do you have any helpful tips?

    Thanks :)

  107. I have an 8 year old chocolate lab about three weeks ago she had allergic reaction to something and get gave her a shot. Every since then she is been very antsy, barks at every noise she hears, and she needs to go out and potty every ten minutes. Someone told me it was a sign that her kidneys are failing and she won’t live much longer I’m very concerned and don’t have a lot of money to spend in vet bills but don’t want my honey to suffer.

  108. Hi :) I have a golden pure breed lab she is 6yrs. I am worried about her because she always looks so sad but we give her a lot of attention. I mean this in a loving way but she acts like she may be mentally challenged :( And when I take her on walks she poops every where!! and she just seems very mopey! And her ears always smell bad! I just love her to death but I just want to now what is wrong with her :( Please Help!!

  109. “hi, my 8 month old lab is throwing up everytime he is eating something, otherwise there is no change in behaviour or voice. he is pooping normally but the colour of the urine is yellow. the puke is full of mucous. what should i be doing?”

  110. My 10 month old lab tinkles sometimes when I first let him and and say hello. I guess this is over excitement from me talking in a high voice and getting him to strung up? I looked in random areas but did not find a specific location that relates to this. Thank you.

  111. Please help! I have a 5 yr old Yellow and he used to be allowed on the furniture but about a year ago we started training him to stay off. He is a smart dog and everything was going great until about two months ago when all of a sudden he started tearing a hole in both corners of the couch cushions at night out when we weren’t home. He doesn’t go on the furniture at all when we are home which tells me that he knows he’s not allowed. It’s almost like he is mss about the new rule change and destroying the couch as retaliation. Is their as better explosion as to why her it’s doing this and what we can do other than crating him?

  112. Why would an 8 year old chocolate lab suddenly start barking VERY early in the morning? She has never been a barker but for the last week or so she has barked until one of us gets up. This morning my husband got up at 3:30 and let her go outside. An hour later she was barking us awake again. Ugh! Any ideas?

  113. Hello i have a 10 months old lav and he is wonderful very lovley dog he is very hyper and we decided to get him done since then he won’t come back on recall if he see his lead and it is in possible to get him back on he is also running at people just to say hi he is so friendly he is wagging his butt so much u can tell but we don’t want this any ideas welcomed thanks x

  114. Hey there,
    I have a 6 year old black lab and I want to breed her with a 6 year old yellow lab.. But every time I take my black lab over to breed, she snaps an bites at the yellow labs face an some times makes him bleed. I was just wondering why my lab does this? If someone could help me out I’d really appreciate it.

  115. We have a 5 month old golden Labrador, for the first time she has been sick and what seems to be her last meal, can you help with a possible reason for this

  116. Hi Pippa
    Can you please advise us on the best dry food for our Labrador, we have been giving her “pedigree Junior”
    and wish to know if this is the best particularly when she moves on to Adult dry food, as we want to give her the best balanced diet so that she gets all the nutriments she needs

  117. i have a choc lab who is now 6 years old, he has started the last few months not being content being outsidde and barks straight away to be inside, he has also started weeing in the kitchen through the night where he sleeps. i think its because he isnt taking the time outside before bed to do his business and barks to come straight back in, any suggestions for help pls.

  118. I have a 9 month black lab boy he got neutered last week but hes still very energetic and when I take him out for a walk he sometimes wants to bite me I get afraid of him sometimes he is ok with my husband its just me he says im too soft with him its getting to the stage I don’t want to go out with him because it is quite frustrating for me

  119. Hi. I have a 16 month old female lab. She has been to training and was excellent. For the month of November, she went to live at my dads because of the yard, but had to come back home because she was not getting proper attention. In the past few weeks, she has been misbehaving and we cannot figure out why. She peed on one rug three weeks ago and another last night. We take her out to go potty a lot and are very watchful, but it only takes a second. Three days ago, she chewed up the leg of a chair. She was sitting right next to my mom as she worked and her bone was right next to her. We send her to doggy day care 2-3 times a week. We play and love on her too. I’ve read this behavior is typical for her age. What is your experience? How long does this normally last? What can be done to put an end to this? My mother is at her wits end over this so we need a solution soon. Thanks

  120. Hi there.
    We have an 8 year old chocolate lab who has always been a great family the last 6 months she has become aggressive to small dogs only. If we’re out walking without a lead, she will run towards a small dog as if on attack & when we call her to stop, she ignores us. She raises the hair on her back & today a man had to jump on top of her to stop her attacking his small dog. In the last year, we moved from the country to live in the suburbs & as we work, she has spent more time on her own in the back section. Could the boredom account for her change in behaviour?

  121. Hi Pippa,
    I had a 3 yr old black female labra whom i had taken from vet when she was 2 months old.Recently , I had given her,for some unavoidable reasons to a family who wanted a companion for their male labra 5yrs old.I am missing her a lot and keeps on regretting my decision.Family to whom we have given seems very good and keep us updating about her.DO you think she will adjust to new people.They live in the same kind of apartment set up as we used to live in.

  122. I have a 6 month old Male yellow lab. He was fixed a few weeks ago. We have been dealing with some serious obedience and dominance issues, mainly being peeing in the house. He goes out all the time, if not by us regularly letting him out, but also sitting at the door until one of us lets him out. He knows that he needs to go outside to pee. He will walk through the house and pee a trail through the room. He has been seen by a vet who clarified that he didnt have a bladder infection or UTI, or that it was a leakage issue. He does this frequently. We also deal with a lot of other issues beyond normal puppy things, as we have both raised and trained other dogs from puppy age in the past and have never dealt with these issues. If anyone knows of any tips or tricks to help with dominance and behavioral issues with labs, please let me know. We are also getting to the point where we are thinking of possibly needing a trainer to observe him and help us figure out the best plan of action to really get him well rounded, listening and behaving. We are in Canton, Ohio if anyone knows of any reputable trainers in that area, please let me know. Thank you!

  123. Hi there, I have a 7 month old (female) lab called Bonnie.

    She is on one meal a day now, usually around 8am feed her and my other lab.
    Both walked twice a day, however the 7 month old Bonnie, is 8/10 still pooing and wetting through the night, plus she will eat her poo!!!!

    Is it something I’m doing? How can I stop it? It’s becoming frustrating.

  124. Hi Pippa, I find your website, and your books, very useful training my Labrador puppy, now 6 month old. The only thing that I cannot find any helpful information about is how I can stop my dog from chasing our cat. The problem is that our cat is very gentle and doesn’t scratch or bite our dog. The cat is also very sociable so she wants to settle down with us in the evenings which often ends up in a chase where lampshades, books and ornaments are flying. Or dog is not aggressive in any way, she just want to play and often licks the cat when she gets the chance. I am using the clicker and the cue word ‘leave it’, which sometimes works, with emphasis on ‘sometimes’. But, it doesn’t stop her from chasing when I am not there or when we are outside! What can I do? Please help me, before the cat decide to move out? Your advice would be very helpful.
    Best wishes,

  125. Hi Pippa, my 18 month old lab, Poppy, has just started waking up 5 0r 6 times in the night and whining outside my bedroom door. As soon as I open it she wags her tail and goes back off to bed without me telling her to. She obviously just wants to reassurance that I’m there. She is being very needy generally and whining during the day and carrying around soft toys. Could it be a phantom pregnancy? Her last season was in December. Any tips on how to deal with the (hopefully temporary) night waking – she is pretty persistent! Thanks for your advice – the site is fab.

  126. Hi my older brother has a golden lab that get very excited when people go outside and will often push aside the other dogs will getting him neutered work to calm the excited 4 yr old?

  127. Hi Pippa,
    I have a entire male labrador who is just turning one year old. In the last week he seems to have had a rush of hormones and for the first time ever he’s tried to get amorous with other dogs whilst we’ve been out on walks. The other dogs aren’t in season. Is there a way of training to discourage this behaviour. I know the simplest thing would be to get him neutered but I am keen to see if he would have potential as a stud so I’m reluctant to go down that route yet but I will if I have to. Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Thank you

  128. Hi I have a 4 months old lebra peach colored I have two problems with his behavior he goes to every person feet and start licking on it and the second is that he jumps on everybody specially the outsiders and destroy the cloths

  129. We have a 9 month old Golden Labrador bitch, who we love to bits, she was spayed at 7 months everything went well, however she appears to want her own company and prefers her crate which is in the garage, which adjoins the house(No cars in there)
    She sleeps very well, and is very loving
    When she comes into the house of an evening, she only stays a short while.
    is this behaviour normal?

  130. We have a 9 month old Golden Labrador bitch, who we love to bits, she was spayed at 7 months everything went well, however she appears to want her own company and prefers her crate which is in the garage, which adjoins the house(No cars in there)
    She sleeps very well, and is very loving
    When she comes into the house of an evening, she only stays a short while.
    is this behaviour normal?

  131. Hi
    9 months ago I purchased a black lab at the age of 3 months. When i train him he is full of energy and decides to go off and pay attention to his sarroundings and not me. What can i do?

  132. Hi, I have a 3 year old female Labrador and she has become agressive for no reason. We have recently introduced a family members puppy to her which she is fine with but it does pester her. I can’t think of any reason why this behaviour has happened all of a sudden but it is making walks very difficult and worrying

  133. We have a 2 ½ yr old male Chocolate lab. He has a great temperament but jumps up on visitors. We are correcting him by asking visitors to ignore him and walk past him when they arrive and this seems to be working but the problem is that he gets really excited by teenage girls. I’m sure it is to do with hormones but he jumps up and gets super excited. He has even tried to excuse the term ” hump on them” when they are standing still. Any suggestions ? He was neutered about a year ago.

  134. My chocolate lab (1 1/2 yrs old) has these “spells/episodes” of uncontrollable energy bursts. She wil suddenly start running around the house slamming herself up on the furniture or against the wall. She’ll run in circles and she has a wild look of fear in her eyes like she can’t stop. I can’t stop her or calm her down. The episodes happen every couple of days and last 30 seconds to maybe a minute or so in length. Once it’s over , she goes back to herself and is fine. Does anyone know what these episodes are?

  135. We had a Border Coollie mix and then myn husband brought home a golden lab/beagle mix (3-4 years ago) and they did well. The Border Collie ( already about 13 ) has been gone a year. I brought a black lab mix from the Lab rescue and the older dog is not happy. he isn’t aggressive but refuses to have anything with her. The worst part is he refuses to have anything to do with my husband and just walks away whenever he goes near him. What can we do?