Finding the perfect family dog is a challenge, especially when there are so many out there, and each one seems to have pages of stories of aggression. Rest assured that the Labrador Retriever is classically the most popular dog breed in America, and has been for years, largely due to their good nature.
Labrador Retrievers are not traditionally dangerous dogs. They are known for their gentleness, energy, and friendliness. However, all dogs are different, and if they aren’t properly socialized and trained, a Labrador Retriever may become aggressive or considered dangerous.
In this article, we will be exploring the tendencies and behaviors of Labradors. If you want to know more about why Labradors aren’t dangerous dogs, keep reading.
How Do Labradors Usually Behave?
Any owner of a Labrador Retriever can attest to the fact that Labs are very sweet dogs. AKC’s #1 popular dog is the Labrador Retriever, and it has been for several years.
Though they have a myriad of wonderful traits, Labradors are characterized as friendly, active, and outgoing dogs. These traits are but the beginning of all that a Labrador Retriever is.
Labs are eager to please, and even more eager to learn, making them great candidates for training. They’re also known to be affectionate, easygoing, and energetic. This translates to the perfect companion, not only for early morning runs but for afternoon cuddles.
Labs are also known to be very intelligent. Their outdoor capabilities coupled with their intelligence create a great hunting dog. Despite their popularity as hunting dogs, Labrador Retrievers are also very gentle, sweet, and good. All they want from their family is love and fun, both of which they are always happy to reciprocate.
Do Labradors Bite?
While Labradors aren’t known for biting, or any other aggressive tendencies, they can bite like any other dog. Their friendly nature diminishes a lot of risk for this, but sometimes their protective instinct will set in. If pushed too far, they resort to biting.
If your Labrador Retriever is biting, there may be many reasons for that. First, it may be a reflection of the dog’s training. If you ignored a biting tendency as a puppy, or if your puppy wasn’t well socialized, your dog may have learned that it’s alright to bite. You can train this away. It’ll be harder with an adult dog, but it can still happen.
Another reason your dog may be biting might be a reflection of how it’s being treated. Are you raising your voice at your dog? Are you using physical punishments when your dog does something wrong? These are a few contributors to a dog’s aggressive behaviors that may be completely unintentional and they learned from those around them.
Of course, if your dog has been pushed to its brink by a particularly annoying child, dog, or even an adult, it will eventually lash out, no matter what breed of dog it is. According to RetrieverAdvice, a Labrador Retriever will not bite without giving plenty of warning signs, including barking, growling, and lunging.
If a Labrador puppy is biting, this is a completely different story, and not at all intended to be an aggressive one. It’s easy to train playful biting behaviors out of your dog. You shouldn’t allow them to keep biting you, because it’ll only get worse as they age.
Remember that when training, positive reinforcement is key! Early socialization and training will help your dog to grow out of biting tendencies before it creates a problem that is too big to control.
Are Labradors Easy to Train?
With their eagerness to learn comes a natural command of mastering any skills you want your Labrador Retriever to learn. Like with any dog, when you get a Labrador you will want to start training them as soon as possible.
Luckily, these dogs are generally very easy to train. RetrieverAdvice tells us female labs tend to be easier to train in their younger years. Male labs will be more mature, and thus easier to train, as they get a bit older.
But that doesn’t mean you should wait a long time to begin training your Labrador. Early training and socialization are required with any puppy to help them behave when they reach adulthood.
If proper socialization and training techniques aren’t implemented on time, this may translate to problems in your dog’s adulthood. Your dog may experience aggressive or disobedient behaviors later on.
Are Labradors Dangerous?
There are very few people on the planet that would tell you that Labrador Retrievers are dangerous, even if they’ve never owned one. This is because Labs have a reputation for being gentle, kind, friendly, and fun.
But, this doesn’t mean that all Labradors are immune from displaying aggression because they aren’t. All dogs are different, and even a Lab can act in a way that may make it dangerous to those around it.
Chicago Injury Center reports a 2008 study by The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs, in which Labrador Retrievers were found to be the top culprit for dog attacks in Denver, with 13.3% of reported dog attacks being done by Labradors. It is important to note that these dogs were most likely provoked, and if not, their training had something to do with it. Yet, this shows that one can’t assume a dog is nice because of its breed.
Because of the Lab’s reputation of being gentle, many people may expect that they can walk up to one and be its best friend. Though that is the case with many dogs, it isn’t the case with all of them. This is why the practice of asking the owner for permission before interacting with their dog is a great course of action to prevent injuries.
The statement still rings true, though, that if they’re trained and socialized well, a Labrador Retriever is not a dangerous dog. These pretty pooches are America’s #1 family dog for a reason.