Labrador Behavior


Your Labrador’s behavior won’t always be perfect. This is a characteristically friendly, outgoing and loyal breed, but they have their downsides. Tendencies toward chewing, digging and biting as puppies are commonplace. And despite their often extravert natures, they can still be fearful, anxious and suffer from terrible separation anxiety.

Labradors are renowned for their superb temperament. But even the nicest dog can have issues with behavior crop up from time to time. In this guide we are going to look at some common behavioral problems in Labs, and help you to resolve them.


Some of these problems might seem trivial to others. But when it is you that is losing sleep, dealing with complaints from neighbours or repairing destroyed furniture, it is not trivial at all.

In this section we take a look at common Labrador behavior problems. You’ll find articles, tips and advice to help you understand Lab behavior and solve your dog’s problems fast, effectively and kindly.

We will begin by giving you some general behavioural information and taking you through an FAQ of common Labrador behaviour problems and their solutions. We will then give you links to our most popular Labrador Behaviour articles where you will find detailed answers to your behavior questions.

Bad Behaviour or Bad Training?

Sometimes the line between a ‘training problem’  and a ‘behavioral problem’  can be blurred and in fact many behavioral problems,  jumping up for example,  can be resolved through simple training measures. Others are more complex and require deeper investigation.

Knowing why a dog behaves as it does,  and what caused the problem in the first place is not always helpful. Sometimes it is simpler to just treat the symptoms in front of you. For example,  some labrador puppies will become quite aggressive around food at an early age.  Others will let anyone take their dinner.

Knowing why one puppy is different from another isn’t that helpful,  the process required to treat food guarding is always the same. At other times,  a good understanding of what causes a behavioural problem, and steps may need to be taken to manage the dog,  perhaps avoiding the fear trigger.

Resolving behavioral problems

Treating Labrador behavior issues is normally tackled in one of two ways

  • Training
  • Management

Problems such as jumping up, running away, night-waking, dragging you along on the leash, and food guarding,  are all best resolved by training. Problems such as chewing, counter surfing, bin raiding, boredom barking, eating poop,  passer-by barking all need managing by restricting the dog’s options and/or providing him with alternative entertainment

Fearful and anxious Labrador behavior

Fear related problems caused by lack of socialisation and/or abuse, can sometimes be treated by desensitising the dog to the root cause of its fear. At other times a management approach may be more appropriate. For example, a rescue dog that has developed a deep seated fear of children may simply need to be kept away from kids. The trauma to the dog of trying to desensitise it,  and the time factor required to do so may be too great.  It may be simpler to keep the dog muzzled in public and  rehomed away from small children.


If some aspect of your labrador’s behaviour is worrying you,  do have a chat with your vet. He will have seen many similar problems before and if necessary will be able to recommend a suitable behaviourist who will advise you on retraining or managing your dog’s problem. 

Analysing Labrador behavior

Our understanding of dog psychology has improved greatly in recent years,  but perhaps there is sometimes a tendency to take an analysis of individual dog behaviour too far. We are quite quick to put rather human labels like separation anxiety on to dogs where once we would simply have stated ‘my dog doesn’t like being left alone’  and left it at that.

If a problem with Labrador behaviour is disrupting your family life,  it needs fixing, no matter what the root cause.   Not only for the benefit of the dog,  but also, in order that peace and harmony can be restored. Dogs do not fare well in households where everyone is stressed and upset.

Not a problem dog?

Whilst we cannot help loving our dogs, if we can avoid labelling them as having this problem or that problem, and just deal with any behavior that arises in a practical and appropriate way, I suspect their lives might be easier.

No two dogs are the same and there is a wide range of what is ‘normal’  behavior. But ultimately, if your dog’s behaviour is spoiling your pleasure in him then you need to take steps to put this right.

Behavioral problems in Labradors can normally be successfully resolved. The chances are that your Labrador  is not a ‘problem dog’  and that if you seek help,  his behavior can be dramatically improved with training,  or managed well enough to enable you to live peacefully together. Let’s take a look now at some common Labrador behavior problems and what you can do to resolve them.

How do I stop my dog jumping up?

Jumping up is quite cute in puppies, and of course many of us allow them to do this until they start knocking people over. Curing jumping up is not too difficult, but it requires patience and persistence. If you have a ‘jumper’ take a look at this article, there is a really useful video at the bottom.

Help! My dog is nipping my arms and it hurts!

There is a lot of information on biting in small puppies on this website.  But it can be very worrying when this behaviour persists, or reappears in an older dog. This is a common problem in families with a young dog aged between 6 and 18 months.  At this age, your dog is still mentally a puppy, but he is now a very big puppy, and the biting really hurts. Most biting in older puppies is associated with over-excitement and inappropriate play (rough housing) with the dog.  Check out these two articles for further information as well as the biting information link above.

How can I stop my dog whining?

Dogs often learn to whine when they are crated or left.  In fact, we often inadvertently teach them to do this, by rewarding the whining (letting the dog out or going back to him) in order to get some ‘peace’.

It’s all very well knowing how we went wrong, but how do we put it right! Happily, there is quite a straightforward training programme to teach your dog to be quiet in his crate.  You can find the instructions here: click for quiet. You’ll also find more information about noisy Labradors in general, in this article: Noisy Labradors- getting to the root of the problem

How do we stop our dog stealing our stuff!

Labradors love to carry things around in their mouths.  This is partly because they are natural retrievers, but also partly because they soon learn that picking up your stuff gets them a whole load of attention!

lab carrying toy

“Mum! He’s got my Teddy” squeals your five year old, and all of a sudden, everyone’s attention is on the dog.

Avoid chasing your dog whilst he is carrying something as dogs love being chased, and this will only encourage him to run faster. The best way to get things out of a dog’s mouth and returned safely to their owner, is to swap for a tasty treat. If you do this on a regular basis, you’ll soon find your dog running up to you, to offer you the things he finds on the floor, rather than running away with them.

Initially you’ll need to use amazing treats like chunks of roast beef.  So keep a little pot of yummy left overs in the fridge for this purpose. Once your dog starts to bring you his ‘treasure’ on a regular basis, you’ll be able to ‘fade’ the treats down to the occasional bit of kibble or dog biscuit.

Obviously it helps if you can train your family to put their stuff away, but you can’t nail down everything in the house! You may find your dog is less inclined to pick up your cushions etc, if you give him some soft cuddly toys of his own.   Or you may need to pop a baby gate across the sitting room, to keep him away from the sofa and chairs until you are there to supervise.

Help us stop our Labrador raiding the trash can!

Some behaviours are so common as to be normal, and bin raiding is a universal problem for Labrador owners. It is a rare Labrador that does not consider the kitchen ‘bin’ to be a source of wonderful edible delicacies! And of course, he has all day to figure out how to get in there, whilst you do not have all day to figure out how to stop him.

Teaching a dog ‘not’ to raid a bin in your absence is rarely possible.   And punishing the dog when you return home and find the contents strewn across the kitchen floor, will only serve to make the dog fearful of you on your return.

This usually results in a dog offering ‘appeasement’ behaviors which we humans tend to interpret as ‘guilt’.  Whilst the dog is of course completely oblivious to any concept of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when it comes to helping himself to food. The best solution for bin raiding is therefore to place the can where the dog cannot get at it, or purchase a Labrador proof bin.

How can I stop my Labrador running after other dogs?

Most Labradors are very friendly indeed.  And one of the biggest problems for many young Labrador owners, is getting them to come back when there are other people around, or other dogs to be played with.

Teaching a dog to recall in the real world, where there are lots of temptations, is a skill.  And it is one that you can teach to any dog provided you do so in a structured way. Check out our recall training centre for lots more information on recall in general,  and this article:  Proofing your recall  which will help you teach your labrador to recall away from other people and other dogs. You might also find it helpful to read: Why has my recall broken down?

My Labrador wakes up too early

Early morning waking, or night waking is  another annoying problem behaviour that may start in spring or summer as the lighter mornings set in. Sometimes there is a clear trigger for night waking to begin,  but the waking carries on after the trigger is removed.

In other cases, the early waking puppy just carries on early waking, with the addition of some increasingly demanding barking to hurry you downstairs. We look at night waking in some detail in this article. Night waking – how to restore the peace

How can I stop my dog eating poo?

This horrible habit is surprisingly common.  We have devoted an entire article to what you can do to prevent or cure it. You can check it out here: Why dogs eat poop and what you can do about it. Eating poo is not the only horrible habit that Labradors may indulge in.   Take a look at this article:  Why do Labradors eat rubbish  for more information and help.

My dog is over a year old and still chewing up our home!

We all know that puppies chew stuff.  Especially when they are teething. But many people do not realise that Labradors can be particularly destructive towards the end of their first year, long after they are firmly in possession of a full set of adult teeth. This article: How to stop your Labrador chewing things  takes a close look at chewing and other destructive behaviours, and what you can do to resolve them.

My dog is so naughty…

We all like a well-behaved dog.  Many people write in to us to ask how they can get their dog to ‘listen’ to their commands.  The answer to that is with a structured training programme. Behind every well behaved Labrador, lie many hours of training.  Getting your dog trained may seem like an effort at times, but training brings huge rewards.

A trained dog responds to your commands or signals without hesitation,  not just at home, but when you are out and about, or visiting friends too. Getting to this point takes time, information and some effort.   You’ll find the information right here on this website.  Check out How to cope with a naughty Labrador  before you start.  Then skip over to our training section. Don’t worry about whether you will succeed, it isn’t as hard as you might think.   Once you make a plan and get going, training is actually a lot of fun.  For you and for your dog.

Getting started with Labrador training

The pleasure of a well-trained and obedient dog are immeasurable. Training your dog is quite a journey and you’ll need to help and support along the way.


So do join the forum where you can chat with other labrador owners all at different stages of the training process. It is great to start training whilst your dog is young, but remember that a dog of any age can be trained. It is never too late to begin.

Other Labrador Behavior Problems

If your problem isn’t mentioned here, do use the search box at the top of the right hand sidebar.  There are many hundreds of articles on this site about Labrador behavior, why not check out the comprehensive list below for further help:


  1. 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 ???

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. 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’. You may find it helpful to have your dog assessed by a behaviorist. Avoid anyone who uses old fashioned dominance based methods. They do not work. Pippa

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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?

  11. 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.


  12. 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.

  13. 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


  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ! 🙁

  20. 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.

  21. 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. 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.

  22. 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, You 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

  23. 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

  24. 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!!

  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. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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,
      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.
      Best wishes

  30. 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???

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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,

  35. 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…

  36. 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. 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.


  37. 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.


  38. 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.

  39. 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.


  40. 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?

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. 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?

  48. 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

  49. 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 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.