4 Common Bad Habits Of Labrador Retrievers


Labrador Retrievers are generally friendly, active and well-behaved dogs. However, like all dogs, they can develop bad habits if they are not trained properly or given enough attention. Below are a few common bad habits that Labradors may develop:

A black Labrador Retriever

1. Chewing

Labradors are notorious chewers, and they can cause a lot of damage if they are left alone with your belongings. They have a tendency for destructive chewing, which can be detrimental to both their health and the well-being of their owners. This behavior often stems from boredom, anxiety, or teething.

How To Stop Your Labrador Retriever From Destructive Chewing

To effectively address this behavioral problem, it is essential to understand the underlying causes. Providing Labrador Retrievers with plenty of physical and mental stimulation through regular exercise and engaging toys can help redirect their chewing instincts. Additionally, offering appropriate chew toys specifically designed for Labradors, such as rubbery or nylon ones that are durable and safe to chew on, can serve as an alternative to damaging household items.

Consistency is key when correcting this habit; reprimanding the dog during the act and immediately redirecting its attention to an approved toy will help reinforce the desired behavior. Utilizing positive reinforcement methods like praise and treats when the dog chews appropriately can also aid in eliminating destructive chewing habits in Labradors. Seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or veterinarian may be beneficial if these tactics do not yield desired results.

2. Begging

Labradors are known for their insatiable appetite and friendly nature, which often leads to them implementing begging tactics to acquire bits of food from unsuspecting individuals. While it can be difficult to resist those pleading puppy eyes, allowing this behavior to continue can lead to weight gain, disruptive meal times, and reinforcing negative behaviors. 

How To Stop Your Labrador Retriever From Eating So Much

To put an end to this habit, it is crucial to establish clear rules and boundaries during meal times. This includes ensuring that your Labrador has a designated eating area away from the dining table and strictly avoiding feeding them directly from your plate or giving in to their demands. Instead, provide proper meals at regular intervals and maintain consistency with feeding schedules.

If your Labrador has a tendency to consume anything it comes across during walks, it may be prudent to employ a muzzle. Additionally, the "LEAVE IT" command can prove effective, provided you maintain visual contact with your furry companion. With patience, consistency, and firm guidelines from the owner, Labradors can learn appropriate behavior around food consumption and break free from their persistent begging tendencies.

3. Jumping On People

Labradors are energetic dogs, and they may jump up on people to greet them. This behavior stems from their natural enthusiasm, desire for attention, and lack of proper training. While this may seem harmless, it can be dangerous if they jump on children or elderly people. As a Lab owner, it is essential to address this issue promptly and effectively.

How To Stop Your Labrador Retriever From Jumping On People

To effectively address this habit, it is crucial to establish consistency and provide clear guidance to your Labrador. Firstly, discourage jumping by avoiding any form of physical or verbal reinforcement when they engage in this behavior. Instead, redirect their energy towards alternative activities such as a designated chew toy or command-based exercises that encourage positive behavior.

Additionally, consistent obedience training focusing on sit-stay commands will further reinforce the desired behavior and help them understand boundaries. Teaching your dog impulse control through rewarding calmness and patience will also aid in curbing their tendency to jump. It's important to remain patient and persistent throughout this process while ensuring that everyone interacting with the Labrador follows the same guidelines for a successful outcome in tackling this habit professionally.

Dixie's Tragic Death

Dixie, a beloved Lab mix or Golden mix from Ohio, met a tragic end when she was fatally shot by a police officer. The incident occurred as Dixie approached the officer in a seemingly friendly manner, wagging her tail. Disturbingly, the video footage of the incident revealed no signs of aggression from the dog. It appeared that Dixie was merely attempting to playfully jump on the officer. However, the officer made the fateful decision to open fire on Dixie, claiming that he feared for his immediate safety due to the "totality of the circumstances."

As the dog charged toward him, the officer drew his service pistol, firing multiple shots in an attempt to neutralize the perceived threat. Despite Dixie's valiant attempt to escape, she succumbed to her injuries after running toward the front of the officer's cruiser. This heartbreaking incident serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of training Labrador Retrievers to refrain from jumping on people. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that animals are inherently unpredictable, and accidents can occur.

4. Pulling On The leash

Labradors pulling on the leash is an incredibly frustrating habit that many dog owners struggle with. It's imperative to address this behavior promptly and effectively for the safety of both you and your four-legged companion.

How To Stop Your Labrador Retriever From Pulling On The Leash

One highly effective technique to stop this unwanted behavior is through leash training using positive reinforcement methods. Start by ensuring your Labrador has a properly fitting harness or collar and a sturdy leash. Then, teach them to walk politely beside you by rewarding them with praise, treats, or play whenever they are walking calmly without pulling. 

Once again, consistency is key here - every time your Lab pulls, immediately stop in your tracks and wait for them to come back to your side before continuing the walk. By staying firm yet patient, using rewards appropriately, and providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, you can break this habit and enjoy pleasant walks with your well-behaved Labrador companion.


In conclusion, while Labrador Retrievers are known for their loyalty, friendliness and intelligence, like any other breed, they are not without their faults. The four bad habits that Labrador Retrievers are commonly known for include overeating, chewing, jumping, and pulling. These habits can be managed and corrected with proper training and discipline.

As a Lab owner, you need to recognize these habits early on and take steps to correct them in order to ensure a happy and healthy life for both you and the dog. By being patient, consistent and positive in your training methods, you can help your Labrador Retriever overcome these bad habits and become a well-behaved and beloved member of your family.


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