When researching what kind of dog is best for you, it is important to know and understand the temperament of your dog. If you are looking to purchase a Labrador puppy, here are some great facts about them.
Do Labrador’s calm down with age? Labrador’s will usually start to calm down after at least one year of age, sometimes when they become adult Labrador’s at age 2.
Labradors are known as a breed that is bouncy and hyper, especially when they are puppies. Even though this is cute when they are small, the older that your Labrador gets, the harder it is to handle a puppy that is jumping and bouncy.
Having a Labrador puppy can be a handful but one thing that is good to know is that most Labrador puppies start calming down after they reach a year of age.
Hyper Puppy Stages
When your puppy is around 7-12 months, your puppy will be much bigger and will cause a lot more harm when they bounce and jump, especially if they want to bounce and jump on people. It is during this time that many Labrador owners note that they have been hurt or injured by their bouncing Lab.
During this stage of their life, Labradors are known to knock things over and to jump on children and visitors that come to their homes. They do this because they are used to be social and they want to show their owners that they love them, and they are excited to be alive.
Between 5-8 months old, most Labrador’s are at their peak of being hyper and jumping. This is because Labradors are a larger breed and larger breed dogs have a harder time of maturing than smaller breed dogs do.
When Will My Labrador Retriever Calm Down?
When your Labrador Retriever is a puppy, they will be very hyper and will love to jump on furniture, on people, chew on things and knock things over. But, do not give up hope, by the time your Labrador reaches around the age of one-year-old, your puppy will begin to calm down and will be easier to handle.
By the time that your Labrador is one year old, they are beginning to be able to follow rules and directions and they realize when they are making mistakes. They will begin to calm down and will learn how to control their bodies more, making their welcoming new guests more pleasant.
Is My Labrador Retriever Hyper?
Just because you have a dog that is hyper, it does not mean that your Labrador is happy. Sometimes, dogs become more hyper when they are anxious or scared. Sometimes, if a puppy does not know what to do with himself or herself, they will yelp and jump and act very out of control.
Sometimes, your dog will act based on your emotions. If you get very worked up, there is a big chance that your Labrador will get worked up too. Sometimes, even playing rough with your Labrador will make it to the point where your Lab is unable to control themselves.
What Can I Do to Help My Labrador Calm Down?
There are different steps that you can take if you have a Labrador that you feel is out of control and too hyper. Here are a few tips to help your Labrador calm down:
- Be in Control
- Help Your Lab to Be Calm
- Change Your Playing Habits
- Be Calm Yourself
- Increase Your Activities
- Praise Your Lab When Calm
- Help Your Dog to Learn to Relax
Be in Control
It is very important that your Labrador knows who the master of the house is. You need to make sure that you are able to control your Labrador, even if your dog is well over 80 pounds.
As your dog’s owner, you need to make sure that your dog is safe to be around other people and you do not want your dog to be jumping and nipping at your face or your clothing.
If you choose to take your dog outside for walks, make sure that you put a leash on them and do not take the leash off until you are back in your home. This can help your dog to know and to understand that you are the one that is in control, full control.
Do not use anything that is harmful to your dog or that will hurt your dog like a choker chain or a chain that is too heavy or tight. Even though you are teaching your dog to be obedient, you do not want to hurt them in the process and make them feel afraid or more aggressive.
Help Your Lab to Be Calm
When you are outside and your Labrador is on the leash, walk them up and down the road, getting some of their energy out. Make sure if they are nipping or jumping on you that you do not yell or get angry but just start walking. At this point, do not talk to your Labrador and just walk until he or she is calm and walking beside you.
If there are people that you walk by and it causes your dog to start getting hyper again, move to another area and keep walking. If you feel that your dog is not calm or that there are things in the environment that are causing them to be more hyper, walk to a different area and just keep walking quietly until your dog calms down.
Walking quickly and quietly can help your Labrador to calm down. This will help you to make sure that you are in control of your dog and that you are helping them to understand when it is time to be calm.
If you are in your home and your dog becomes out of control, take them and put them in a crate or put them in their own area for a little while. This will help them to calm down and teach them that their behavior is not okay and that they need to learn to control their behavior.
When you are calm and your dog is calm, bring him or her back out into the area that you are in. Do not wait for your Labrador to get out of control, on the first sign of them becoming hyper, put them back into their own spot for a time out.
Change Your Playing Habits
If you find that your dog gets very excited when you play certain things or when you get rough, try to figure out different ways to play with your Labrador so that they do not get out of control.
Even when your dog is playing, sometimes, they become very hyper and excited because they are interacting with their favorite person. If you see that your games cause this type of behavior, simply stop the game you are playing and try to find one that helps your pet regain control.
If you see that playing indoors is difficult for your dog to stay in control, try to do more of your playing activities outside such as fetch and other activities that help to get some of their energy out.
Be Calm Yourself
Sometimes, when we are hyper, our animals are hyper as well. It is important that you do not do things that can cause your dog to get too excited and become hyper. If your dog is jumping and nipping and running, do not reward them for this behavior. When your dog is standing still and quietly wagging his or her tail, then make sure that you reward this behavior and show your dog that they are doing the right thing.
Always learn to be quieter around your dog if he or she is hyper. Talk quieter and be calm when you approach them. Show them that they need to match your actions. If you live in a family with other people, try to get them to be calm around your Labrador as well. These actions can help your Labrador understand how to act.
If you are in situations where you are scared or nervous, your Labrador might decide that he or she is scared or nervous as well. Try to mask your emotions so that your Labrador does not have the same feelings that you have at the moment. Always try to mimic what you want your Labrador to be doing. If you are wanting to play, mimic play, but if you are wanting calm, you must try to mimic calm.
Increase Your Activities
It is very important that you are giving your Labrador Retriever plenty of exercises. If you are not giving your dog enough exercise, then you cannot expect them to be calm and collected. It is important that you give your full-grown Labrador at least an hour and a half of exercise on a daily basis.
Giving your Labrador plenty of exercise can help them to be calmer and help them to not be so hyper. When you physically play with your dog, make sure that you are not being unsafe with them and that you are not being too aggressive. Being overly aggressive can cause your Labrador to think that aggression is a good thing and it is not.
Another great way to keep your Labrador calmer is by providing activities such as training games. Since Labradors are considered to be very smart dogs, they love to be challenged and to be able to use their brain and their skills to make you pleased.
Find indoor games to play with your dog such as with their toys or with games that allow your dog to have fun but to remain calm.
Outside, make sure that you bring stuff that can help your Labrador to work off some of his or her energy such as frisbees or a fetch game.
Each day that you are outside, try to increase their activity more and more and engage them in exercises that help them to feel trained and focused. Helping your Labrador to remain focused can help them to stay calm and learn to pay more attention to what you are doing.
When you wear out your Labrador with fun exercise and brain games, your Labrador will begin to improve their behavior indoors and will be calmer when you are at home.
Praise Your Lab When Calm
When you notice that your Labrador is laying down and being calm, make sure that you show them praise and adoration for this. Pointing out that your Labrador is being quiet or is quietly laying at your feet can give them all the stimulation that they need to repeat this behavior.
Offer your Labrador treats and pet him or her when they are being calm, especially when guests are at your home. Rewarding good behavior is one amazing key to having a calm dog, so do not miss the opportunities to reward your dog.
Help Your Dog Learn to Relax
In order to help your Labrador to be calm in public and at home, it is important that you learn how to help your dog to relax. The only thing that you will need in order to teach your Labrador how to relax is a bag of treats.
When you see your dog relaxing and being peaceful, take out a treat and give it to your Labrador and point out to him or her that they are being so calm. Even when your dog is doing nothing, this is a behavior and this is the behavior that you are hoping to teach your dog, especially your hyper dog.
Do not get your dog excited about the treat, just put the treat in front of them, between their paws or beside their face if they are laying down and quietly pet them and say “good dog.” If your Labrador jumps up when you walk in, you need to just put the treat away and wait for another time.
If your dog gets hyper when you bring out the treat, you have to ignore this and wait until the next time that your dog is calm and then give them a treat for that again. Eventually, they will learn that their calm behavior will earn them many more treats than being hyper.
How Do I Teach My Lab to Relax Outside of the Home?
Even if you are out with your Labrador in a place that is strange or new to them, you can still teach them how to relax. You need to do this a little at a time by always having treated with you when you go out.
If you are walking and your Labrador sits as someone approaches or walks by, give them a treat for being calm. Use the words “good dog,” and give them a treat and then keep walking. Once your dog realizes that sitting and being calm is a behavior that earns them treats, they will constantly be trying to win you over more and more.
It is important when you are training your dog to be calm that you find places to do this where there is little excitement at first and then move to busier and crazier places that can evoke more excitement.
Should I Give My Labrador Medication to Calm Down?
There are many products on the market that are used to help you to calm your dog down. These drugs might help to reduce their hyper behavior, but these drugs might not be healthy for your dog.
Sometimes, you will be places that your dog is hyper because of the situation such as if there is gunfire or fireworks going off. When this happens, your vet might suggest that you give your dog a drug to help them be calm, but without your vet’s opinion, giving a drug to your Labrador could end up being more harmful than good.
Behavior training is much safer and can create a bond between you and your Labrador that is unbreakable. Even though it takes time and work, having patience and treats can go a very long way.
Labradors are known to be very hyper and sociable dogs. As puppies, they can be quite a handful and hard to handle but as they get older, they do tend to calm down. If you feel that your Labrador is being very hard to handle or overly hyper, you can follow the steps above to try and teach your dog how to be calmer.
Following the steps can help you to train your dog to be calm and create a bond between you and your Labrador that will never be broken. Having patience, kindness and treats can help to reinforce good behavior and help your Labrador learn to trust and obey you on command.
Even though Labrador retrievers are sometimes very hyper, they are some of the most loyal and best companionship dogs that are on the market. They are fun, intelligent, great workers, hunters and swimmers and not to mention, loyal.