Labrador Behavior

0001-84796025Labradors are renowned for their superb temperament. But even the nicest dog can have problems with behavior crop up from time to time.

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.

You can jump straight to the section that relates best to you using the contents menu.

Bad Behaviour or Bad Training?

Sometimes the line between a ‘training problem’  and a ‘behavioural problem’  can be blurred and in fact many behavioural problems,  jumping up for example,  can be resolved through simple training measures.

0001-122699945Others 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 behavioural problems

Treating  your Labrador’s behavioural problem is normally tackled in one of two ways

  • Training
  • Management

Problems such as jumping up, running away, night-waking, dragging you along on the lead, 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

Fear and anxiety in Labradors

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.

front-finishAt 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 behaviour

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 behaviour 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’  behaviour.

But ultimately, if your dog’s behaviour is spoiling your pleasure in him then you need to take steps to put this right.

Behavioural 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 behaviour 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 behaviour 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 bin!

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’ behaviours 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 bin 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.

0001-84735434Training 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 Behavioural 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:

Getting help 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!

New puppy on the way?

Happy-Puppy-jacket-image1-195x300For a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy don’t miss The Happy Puppy Handbook.

Published in April 2014, the Happy Puppy covers every aspect of life with a small puppy. Including how to deal with common puppy problems and how to avoid and cope with difficult behavior.

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available worldwide.

301 COMMENTS

  1. 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!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    Cheers
    A very tired James.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

    Thanks

  6. 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???

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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?

  11. 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

  12. 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
    thanku

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ,

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!!

  20. 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!!!! :):)

  21. 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!

  22. 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. !!

  23. 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?

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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!

  33. 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?

  34. 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.

      Pippa

  35. 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.

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. 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!

  40. 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.

      Pippa

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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

LEAVE A REPLY