What are the Behavioral Problems in Labrador Retrievers?
Pretty much every dog owner experiences behavioral problems with their dog at one stage or another in their lives. Furthermore, it is a sad yet fact that as many as 33% of all dogs that end up in animal enclosures are put there by the owner claiming challenging behavioral issues as one of the primary explanations behind giving up on their dogs. Before that scenario comes into play, it is important to understand what behavioral problems are. There are principally two types of behavioral issues. First, there are truly unusual behaviors that are by large true behavioral issues. Furthermore and quite, unfortunately, often what people refer to as behavioral issues are simply common behaviors that are characteristic of any dog. This means the issue is not much to do with their dog’s behavior but the owner’s unrealistic expectations.
Why Do Behavioral Problems in Labrador Retrievers Develop in The First Place?
Just like people, all dogs are individuals with diverse hereditary personalities, identities, as well as life experiences that all go towards defining and forming a dog’s character. This just means that we cannot give a one-size-fits-all explanation for why dogs behave the way they do. Despite this, there are several known reasons or causes of improper behavior issues in dogs. The issue is a manifestation of something missing or gone wrong in the dog’s life, and their behavior is simply an indication of how they are trying to cope. Some possible causes of dog behavioral problems include:
- Pain, poor health, or illness
- Lack of sufficient exercise
- Lack of adequate mental stimulation
- Lack of sleep or inconsistencies in sleep
- Sudden dietary changes
- Sudden changes in daily routines
- Hereditary or genetic issues.
- Fear of someone or something in their environment
- Social isolation
- Inadequate socialization during puppyhood
- Inconsistencies in owner rules
- Absence of a safe
Most behavioral problems seen in Labrador Retrievers are due to a lack of understanding or a misunderstanding of the true definition of natural dog behaviors on the human’s part and also failing to provide outlets for their natural desires and urges. Labrador retrievers are a high energy breed and most Labrador retriever puppies grow up to be 55-75 pounds! Therefore, it’s important that their handlers have a good understanding of the breed and provide them with healthy outlets to exercise their mind and body.
Many Labrador Behavior Problems Are In Fact Just Normal Behaviors
Consuming poop, burrowing up soil, snarling when feeling threatened, pursuing little creatures, peeing to mark their territory, etc. are all entirely typical dog behaviors. The greater part of us would least expect such things from our dogs. This leaves us with just one option—to call them behavioral problems. Anyway, the real issue is that most pet owners simply don’t know or just fail to understand what it means to be a dog. Many “behavioral problems” are simply natural instincts of the Labrador retriever—the breed of a dog you’ve selected. It is wrong to choose to adopt a Labrador retriever, an athletic sporting type, and then keep wondering why the dog is getting restless and hyperactive all of a sudden when it is not exercised enough.
Part of being a caring and responsible dog owner is having the proper knowledge and an understanding of the type of breed you have as well as its tendencies so that you quickly provide outlets and activities that satisfy its drives and urges. Instead of just calling several behaviors problems, it’s your responsibility to redirect these natural instincts. By providing more acceptable or alternate acceptable behaviors, you are training your dog to master what you expect of them while still finding ways to satisfy their needs and urges. The easiest and most basic way to rid of this type of behavioral problem is to exercise your dog mentally and physically. Take your lab on a run or to play ball in the park then come home and give him a large bone or stuffed food puzzle toy for dogs routinely.
Some Behavior Problems Are Abnormal Behavior and Are True Problems
In spite of the above issues, some true problems require immediate attention and are entirely unusual for Labrador retrievers. For instance, behaviors such as self-harming, being extremely aggressive and destructive to everybody around them, obsessive and compulsive behaviors, and going to toilet anywhere inside the home are all clear indications of exact problems that you should address immediately. For instance, some dogs become extremely withdrawn and very quiet, become completely inactive, suppress their natural behaviors, hide away from people or just sleep all day, all the time. Some people just prefer withdrawn dogs that sleep all the time—those that keep out of the way at all the time. However, this is not the case for Labrador retrievers. If you have a lab that looks inactive and withdrawn then, that is 100% a behavioral problem. It is likely that your dog is feeling sick or in pain. Labs are a social breed, and inactive behaviors are abnormal. Labs are also a pretty intelligent and happy to please breed so if a previously housetrained dog begins urinating or defecating in the house, then it may be due to a medical issue, territorial issues, or just not being allowed to access the outdoors often enough. The first step to correct any behavioral problem is to talk to a professional dog trainer. It’s important for dog owners to know that an experienced and knowledgeable dog trainer will not use harmful corrective measures such as prong collars or shocking devices as not only are these methods cruel and outdated but forcing a lab to obey out of fear often leads to an unhealthy and unhappy animal. A good trainer will direct you to visit a vet first depending on the behavioral issue and will then instruct you on how to train your dog using a reward based method with no harsh corrections. Labrador retrievers are very food motivated and do well with a reward based method involving dog treats.