Do Labrador Retrievers Need a Lot of Attention?

by Jennifer Nelson

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Having a Labrador Retriever is a great addition to any family

They have a ton of energy, like to bounce around and have fun, and can be a loyal companion. 

Your kids will love to run around and share their energy with this dog, which can make them a fun companion to enjoy. 

But before getting a Labrador Retriever, you need to consider how much attention this type of dog is going to need. 

Do Labrador Retrievers Need a Lot of Attention?

Labrador Retrievers like a lot of attention at all ages. If you are gone all day for work or school, be prepared to come home and have this dog ready to play. Give them lots of love and plenty of mental stimulation to help. 

They are attached to their owners and will bark or use other actions to try and get the attention of their owners as much as possible. They also like to be closer to the owner all day long if they can. 

This is a needy dog compared to some of the other breeds that are out there, which means that you have to be prepared to take on the dog and handle some of the attention that they need. 

Let’s take a closer look at the Labrador Retriever and learn more about the attention that they need. 

Do Labrador Retrievers Need a Lot of Attention?

If you are looking for a quiet dog who just wants a little attention on occasion and does not mind being ignored and doing its own thing most of the time, then you should not bring home a Labrador Retriever. 

This is a dog breed that likes to get attention all the time.

They tend to attach to their owners quickly and will not stop. 

You may even need to train them a bit to teach them more about how to play on their own and not need you all the time. 

When you are gone away from home for some reason for a long period of time, you will notice that this dog breed will not be happy.

They will bark, howl, and act out in different ways in order to get your attention. 

You will need to train them not to act this way while also making sure that they get some of the attention that they need. 

This dog breed is also more susceptible to issues like separation anxiety. 

This means that they are going to be anxious when they are not close to their owners. 

They may bark or howl in order to get your attention and make you be with them. 

It is sometimes hard to get them to stop this behavior. 

Keep in mind that this is going to be a big dog that has a lot of energy. 

This makes it easier for them to get some of the attention that they want because they can jump around and get excited in order to really make you pay attention to them. 

It is also not uncommon for them to do some destructive behaviors in an attempt to get their owners to interact with them. 

There are different ways that the Lab may work to try and get your attention and see if they can make you stop what you are doing and listen to them instead.

This can include pawing at you (which ranges from just touching you with their paw all the way to being more aggressive and trying to almost pull at you), barking, destroying the home, pacing, and being right on top of you. 

When you start to see some of these signs, it is time to consider what steps you can take to make the behavior stop. 

How Do Labs Show They Need Attention?

There are a number of signs that the Lab is going to show to their owners when they need attention. 

Some of them are pretty obvious and you can probably guess a few of the times when the dog is going to need your attention ahead of time. 

If you have been gone all day for work, for example, then expect that the Lab is going to want you to stop whatever you are doing when you walk in the door and give them all the attention. 

Destructive behavior is a common sign that the dog needs attention: Some Labs are going to partake in destructive behaviors in an effort to get some of the attention that they want. 

This allows them to get your attention while fighting off some of the boredom that they have. 

You will need to work through training in order to get this kind of behavior to stop and to make sure that they do not take over and destroy the whole home. 

Pawing at you is another sign that pet owners need to look for. Some dogs will choose to paw at. You in order to get the attention.

Sometimes this is as simple as putting a paw on you to get you to look at them and other times it may be a bit more aggressive. 

The first is not a big deal, but when it becomes aggressive, you will need to take some action to get them to stop.

For a gentle paw, it is just a way to get you to look at them when they want. 

Being right on top of you can be a sign that the dog wants to be closer and may need a little love and attention too. 

Some dogs will not let you out of their sight if they need attention. 

They will stick right on you, potentially ripping you and making it hard to get things done. 

If you are able to stop what you are doing to pay attention to the dog, then this is a good option. 

But if you need to get things done, it is time to put them in another room until you can give them the care and love they need. 

Many labs and other dog breeds are going to bark when they are trying to get your attention too.

This is one of the few ways that they can “talk” and try to get your attention. 

When they do bark, you are more likely to pay attention Do not reward them by paying attention to the barking or they will continue to do this to get your attention. 

Give them attention only when they stop the barking or listen to another command to make sure that this does not continue. 

How to Stop My Lab from Negative Behaviors to Get Attention?

If you notice that your Lab is doing a lot of negative behaviors in order to get more of your attention, then you will need to take some proactive steps in order to get them to stop. 

Allowing the behavior to continue is not going to be a good idea and can make it more difficult to get them to not seek attention too much. 

One of the first things that you will need to do with your dog is train them. 

If they are not behaving and acting in a way that you do not like, do not reward that behavior. 

It will only encourage them to do it again and again.

Ignore that bad behavior and only respond when they do something that you like, with lots of praise and recognition. 

If the behavior continues to get out of hand, you may want to consider doing some training sessions with a professional to get this under control and make it easier for you and the dog. 

In some cases, you may need to just pay attention to your dog.

 Life can get busy and if you have noticed that you have been gone quite a bit and have not been able to take them on a walk, groom them, or do other actions, then it is natural that the dog is not going to feel like they are getting enough attention. 

Carve out a bit of time in your day to spend with just the dog, whether it is playing games, going on a walk, or doing something else that they like. 

A little bit of personal time is going to be enough to help the dog feel better and can get some of the other bad behaviors to stop. 

Taking Care of Your Labrador Retriever

No matter what, you will need to give your Lab a lot of attention and love. 

This is a dog that loves to be with you, loves to play, and needs a lot of attention. 

This can seem like a lot if you have never had a dog before and are worried about how they will react to working with you and how much time they will need from you. 

If you bring the dog into the family,  you will have more than one person who will be able to share in giving the dog some attention, which is always a good thing to help alleviate some of the work. 

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