Imagine a boisterous, super active Labrador running and playing around the house. Your Labrador will play with every object, jump all the time, and even bump into people. This can become a little too much to deal with at times. So you’d want your Labrador to calm down a bit.
If you’re getting a Labrador for the first time, it is important to understand their temperament. Labrador owners prepared for the type of dog they’re getting do much better in the long run. Unaware owners are completely surprised by the energy these adorable dogs have.
I believe the only time a lab is calm is when they’re born. As soon as they get used to their surroundings, they’d turn into hyperactive dogs. They can be a pretty handful if you don’t know how to calm them down.
So do Labradors ever calm down? You’d be happy to know that Labradors will generally calm down as they grow older. Even though these dogs have a long puppyhood, they start settling down between two and four years of age.
But if you’re looking for a calm dog that would spend its days on the couch doing nothing, a labrador may not be the best dog for you.
However, there could be exceptions to the norm. Every dog has a distinct personality. So the key to keeping everything under control is to know your dog and learn a few general tactics to keep hyper Labradors calm.
This article has all the information you’re looking for.
Do Labradors Really Calm Down – What to Expect
As mentioned earlier, Labradors would eventually calm down as they grow older. However, do not expect them to be mature anytime soon. A two-year-old Labrador is still very much of a puppy with high levels of energy and exuberance. So when you want to know if Labradors really calm down, there are a few things you need to understand.
First of all, what do you expect from a Labrador when you want them to be calm? Do you want your dog to be quiet and sitting in one place most of the time? A Labrador can’t do that. They are an enthusiastic and energetic breed of dogs.
Then what does a calm Labrador means?
Keeping every dog’s distinct personality in mind, a Labrador will show different energy levels at various stages of life. As a puppy, he may behave extremely enthusiastic and excited, but during senior years, a lab may behave more settled and calm.
But you cannot expect this to happen naturally. There are a few things you need to do as an owner to keep things under control.
So before we could jump to the things you can do to calm your Labrador down, learn more about this dog breed.
Energetic or Hyper – Understanding Your Labrador
There’s a difference between a happy dog and a hyper one. If your lab is running uncontrollably, jumping and nipping on people, is always boisterous – those are not the signs of a happy dog.
You have a hyper dog!
A hyper dog is unbalanced and finds it difficult to control that behavior. Keeping your dog engaged and giving him an outlet for their high levels of energy is crucial. But controlling the behavior should be your first priority. Playing with a hyper dog can lead to aggressive situations.
While labs do calm down as they mature, if you have a hyper dog, he may remain anxious throughout. Focus on these symptoms to find out whether your dog is hyper or just happy:
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive barking
- Excessive whining
- Restless behavior
- Short attention span
- Excessive reaction to a routine stimulus
- Too much panting
- Excessive nipping on people
- Abnormal behavior such as chasing its own tail or spinning in circles
All of these are symptoms of a hyper dog.
Here’s a great video on training a Labrador puppy that you must check out:
Then Why Do You Keep a Labrador?
Because these are behavioral issues that can be fixed. The breed is generally happy and highly active. But there are many other reasons why you should keep a Labrador.
Labradors have an amazing personality. They’re one of the best family dogs as they’re gentle with children.
This loyal dog will become an active member of your family in no time.
- Labradors offer great companionship. If you want a dog that will be glued to you, a Labrador is your best choice.
- Their love and devotion is abundant and never wavers.
- They love water and would love to play in the water.
- Labradors love to chill out and cuddle with you once they’ve expended all their energy.
- While they’re not suitable guard dogs, they can be highly protective of their owner.
Overall, Labradors are very friendly dogs that you’d love to have around.
How to Calm a Labrador – Everything You’d Want To Know
If you observe the above-mentioned symptoms, you need to help your dog. It is best to start shaping your lab’s personality while they’re still young. While labs tend to settle with time, a hyperactive behavior will not get fixed by itself.
Thankfully, there are ways to calm your Labrador and train them accordingly. We will help you learn these tactics to deal with the behavioral issues.
The Energy Outlet
In simple words, exercise your Labrador. As I always say, a tired dog is a happy dog – especially if you have an active one like a Lab.
Basically, Labradors are highly energetic dogs. They were initially bred for demanding work like assisting their owners to pull fish nets off the coast, or retrieving escaping fish while working in ice-cold water all day long. That has been their genetic makeup for centuries.
In modern days, they’re not expected to work like their ancestors. In fact, it is unfortunate if they’re stuck with owners that have a sedentary lifestyle. You cannot expect a Labrador to sit idle all day next to you.
If your dog becomes bored or irritated, he will naturally become hyper. Therefore, it is crucial for Labradors to receive enough exercise and playtime. They need it as an outlet to vent out their energy. Once they’re tired and happy, it will prevent the unwanted, destructive behavior.
This is more about training your dog by taking control. In case the situation gets out of hand, you should be in a position to control your dog with a leash. Your dog needs to know who the owner is. Having more control will shape better behavior.
Teach your dog to follow instructions like a simple ‘No’. If your dog gets too energetic or naughty, you should firmly say ‘No’. Such behavior keeps them calm and in control.
However, being an owner doesn’t mean you should scold or beat your dog if hyper. This isn’t advisable or necessary. The right body language should be able to make your lab understand not to carry on with the behavior.
Encourage Mental Stimulation
Labradors require more than physical activities. Provide your dog with mental stimulation too. Engaging your dog with social interactions, interactive toys, and play dates with other dogs are some more ways to keep them relaxed and calm.
Social interaction is essential for your friendly lab. Games and other playful activities keep them mentally engaged. Playing fetch and training your dog to retrieve is also a great way to encourage mental stimulation.
Reinforcing positive behavior works wonders with Labradors. Labs love attention and they can go to any extent for appreciation and rewards.
When you train your Labrador to wait patiently and stay calm, reward your dog for the positive behavior. This will encourage your dog to modify his behavior and be calmer.
Simultaneously, ignoring unwanted behavior discourages them as it doesn’t get them anything, not even your attention.
Train Them to Relax
Use words like ‘relax’ or ‘calm’ to train them accordingly. These commands will help you take control of the situation in case your dog becomes too hyper or aggressive.
Use these words often, especially during grooming sessions to keep them relaxed. Since grooming is a relaxing experience for dogs, use these words while you’re brushing them to make them follow the command.
Change Playing Habits
If you notice your dog becoming too excited or naughty when you play certain games, avoid them. If you become too excited or rough, they will reciprocate. Figure out other ways to play with your lab to keep them in control.
It is natural for Labradors to become too excited as they’re playing with their favorite person. If you think this is encouraging the wrong behavior, look for other games that help your dog regain control and stay calm.
If managing the behavior indoors is difficult, take your playtime activities outside. This will help them utilize their energy quicker and feel happier.
This video has some amazing tips on how to calm hyper and excited dogs. Do check it out:
Is Labrador the Right Dog For Me – Find out!
Whether a Labrador is the right dog for you is your decision.
These super-friendly, intelligent dogs make great companions. But if you’re someone with a very tight work schedule, a sedentary lifestyle, or a person who likes to stay indoors, think again before getting a Labrador.
This highly energetic dog needs proper exercise and training to stay fit, calm, and happy. To grow into solid large dogs, they require time, attention, and training.
If you do not have the time to invest in a Labrador, don’t put yourself or the dog in an uncomfortable situation. Like naughty little kids, these dogs can be a handful and need guidance through puppy years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get a Labrador as my first dog?
Labradors make a good dog for beginners as long as the owners are willing to learn about the breed and train them accordingly. These intelligent and playful dogs with friendly temperaments make them rewarding pets for first-time owners. However, they’re highly energetic dogs, which means they’d do better with extra attention and lots of exercise.
Can I leave my Labrador alone while I am away at work?
Training is the key!
Labradors are super excited dogs, which may lead to aggressive, unwanted behavior if not handled in time. Also, they can take up to four years to get out of puppyhood and can be a handful without proper training.
However, they’re highly intelligent dogs that respond well to training. So if you do that job well, you can leave your Labrador alone for long periods.
What’s could go wrong with owning a Labrador?
Not enough exercise and too much confinement can lead to destructive behavior and rambunctiousness. Generally, they are good-natured, friendly dogs, but things can take a wrong turn if you don’t train them well or allow them to vent out their pool of energy.