2-year-old dogs have finally reached full maturity. They should be able to behave and adhere to what they’ve learned in training. Although they are adults now, Labradors can sometimes slip up, which is to be expected. When this happens, reminders of what is expected can be helpful until it becomes second nature. Now is a time of rest, a time for some relaxation for a Labrador parent. They’ve finally made it through the new puppy phase. Take a deep breath, enjoy a bit of peace and calm and embrace the beautiful pet your Labrador has become!
What do I need to know about my 2-year-old Lab?
By 2 years old, a Labrador Retriever is considered fully grown. Their mental, physical, and emotional growth is over for the most part, and what parents are left with is a mature, adult Labrador Retriever. At this stage of life, a Labrador Retriever might still be growing a bit, as some dogs reach full maturity later; not every dog is the same.
Parents may wonder what comes next for their dog and what they need to do. Some may be curious to learn if there are other things they will have to deal with and if life will take on a different tone with this maturity.
Labrador Retrievers are an enthusiastic bunch! Their breed background and who they are as dogs make Labrador Retrievers energetic, playful, full of life, and outdoorsy.
Throughout the pup phase, for many parents, it was an uphill battle as they learned to navigate training, behavior issues, feeding, grooming, and living with such an energetic dog. This guide offers insight into the next phase of life for a Labrador and its family.
2-Year-Old Labrador Retriever – What You Need to Know
Energy and Hyperactive Behavior
At this point in a Labrador Retrievers’ life, they should display some calmness at certain times. The challenges of puppyhood have since gone away, and their curiosity about life has since been entertained for quite some time.
Labrador Retrievers, at this point, will still be full of life and need a lot of activity and exercise, but their behavior at other times will be more tolerable. They will also be more friendly and easier to manage inside and outside the home.
All the education they have received thus far in training and learning about their world has prepared them for adulthood. Now they are more patient and understand life and their place in it.
Sometimes Labrador Retrievers may still act up and sometimes be hyper, but it will be situational and unrelated to growth and development. The best way to manage these issues when they arise is to ensure they are getting enough exercise.
If that doesn’t do the trick, a parent could try removing them from the current environment to promote calm down time. Diversions and distractions can still work wonders if these moments still appear in life with a Labrador.
Not all dogs are the same, and there will always be a few Labrador Retrievers that don’t fit into the same box. These Labradors may continue to act up and be hyper. Whatever parents are lucky enough to have an adorable bundle of fur like this will need to continue patience.
Some Labradors never grow up, just like humans, and they might continue to display a youthful, hyperactive personality for many years to come. Training and managing their environment can help a parent find peace.
Diet and Exercise
At this point, Labrador Retrievers’ diet and exercise have leveled off. Their diet should continue to be filled with protein, focusing on natural ingredients and healthy treats that promote wellness, strength, and energy.
Their veterinarian will determine their dietary needs but should be anywhere from 2-4 cups daily. Smaller Labradors that are 50-60 pounds will need about 2-3 cups daily, and bigger Labradors will need 3-4 cups daily.
It is best at this point to feed the Labrador 2 times per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. This is a guideline, and more or less food might be needed or consumed based on exercise throughout the day.
Some days more food is better if they are very active, and a Labrador Retriever will display signs that they are still hungry that go beyond begging at the table for treats.
Labradors should have at least an hour of exercise per day. If they are a bit of a couch potato, Labrador Retrievers might only exercise 45 minutes. If Labradors Retrievers are a bit more energetic, longer than an hour is fine.
Adult Labrador Retrievers will need about 8-14 hours of sleep. It depends on the dog’s energy level, diet, and physical health. A Labradors veterinarian can give more in-depth guidance on the particular dog.
Labrador Retrievers will have mastered the art of napping when they need to and managing their sleep at 2 years old. Some days they will sleep a lot; other times, they will sleep a little.
There is no need to keep an eye on their sleep habits at this point unless they seem sluggish, tired, or restless.
Hopefully, they will have a few spots in the house where they can sleep and be comfortable. A cozy bed or crate can be a nice spot for a two-year-old Labrador Retriever to take a rest and find peace.
It is hopeful that a parent has trained their Labrador Retriever at 2 years old. Training should have begun earlier in a Labrador’s life and included social skills and experiences out in the world too.
Even though Labrador Retrievers are more mature and considered adults at this point, they can still display bad behaviors sometimes. At this point, it is very important to continue their training and refresh their memory from time to time to ensure everything stays with them.
The occasional bad behavior they display should be much easier to manage with reminders and reviews. Excessive barking, chewing, digging, and other problems in Labrador puppies should be gone.
For a few select parents, their 2-year-old Labradors might forever be stuck in the puppy phase where they never grow up. Whatever the case, they should still be expected to behave while learning to embrace the fun where it’s appropriate.