If you are a Labrador owner you can expect behavioral problems from your dog at some point of time or the other during its lifetime. You will be surprised and saddened to know that often Labradors are placed in animal shelter by their owners who cite behavioral issues as the reason for giving up their dogs.
But are behavior problems in labs so serious that they cannot be addressed? Will training lab puppies during their early life help? Can Labrador Retriever training help owners handle behavioral issues in labs better?
Basically behavioral problems in labs can be of two types.
- First- some labs do exhibit abnormal behaviors and hence the owners have to put up with behavior problems that are real, difficult to handle.
- Second category of behavioral issue is something that most dogs normally do. Owners because of their high, unrealistic expectations from their canine consider it as a behavior problem in Labrador.
Some of the common behavior problems Labs include:
• Mouthing and biting
• Excessive barking
• Defecating and urinating in the home
• Resource guarding (aggression over food or toys)
• Separation anxiety
• Destructive chewing
Possible causes of Labrador behavior problems include:
• Lack of exercise
• Lack of mental stimulation
• Genetic, hereditary issues
• Sudden changes in diet
• Poor health, pain or illness
• Feeling socially isolated
• Sudden changes in daily routine
• Being inconsistent with the rules you place on them
• Lack of comfort (quiet time, a nice place to rest)
• Fear or being scared of something or someone in their environment
• Inadequate socialization when they were a puppy
For handling true behavior problems which may be causing harm and embarrassment to the lab owner, advice may be required to be sought from a specialist. This is a must in case the Labrador exhibits excessive fear, anxiety, aggression or obsessive compulsive behaviors. Only a knowledgeable dog expert can give correct advice as to how to handle specific behavior problems which may be unique to each dog.
Regardless of whether the problem is a natural Lab behavior or a real behavioral problem the issue must be addressed if the owner does not like the behavior exhibited by his pet. Correcting the problem will help the dog and its owner find balance and happiness in their lives- together!
With understanding, patience, care and a systematic Labrador retriever training plan behavior problems can be corrected and managed successfully.
It is important for Lab owners to bear in mind the fact that Labradors were bred for a particular purpose in the good old days. This breed of dog has specific needs and desires which must be satisfied. There is not much that we can do about specific behavior which can be attributed only to genetics other than training Lab puppies as soon as we get them into our homes.