LABRADOR TEMERAMENT DEEPDIVE
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Most Common Behavior Problems:
The Labrador is an intelligent and highly active breed. But they were not designed just to be a hang out buddy or a couch potato. This breed needs something to do. They also require massive amounts of mental stimulation without these things. A lab can find itself with some undesirable habits.
The most common behavioral issue with labs is jumping up- primarily on people. This is a breed with a lot of energy, and they are everyone's friend. Almost instantly. So, it is no surprise that their unrelenting energy and excitement at seeing someone can sometimes get the best of them as they try to say hello.
Leash pulling can also be another issue that can develop. This breed wants to go! To do something, anything, and their noses pick up the most exciting things, especially if they have been without an outlet for too long or aren't getting good direction from a high-level canine leader.
Other common behavioral issues that can arise are excessive barking and destructive habits. A bored and unexercised lab will find ways to burn off energy and entertain itself. Even if we as humans do not find the methods, they choose to do so to be the most desirable.
Possible Downsides and Known Temperament issues:
Sometimes a breed just isn't right for us as an individual. Here can be some of the possible downsides to having a lab.
We already mentioned they are active, right...? A lab needs something to do. A long walk or play session in the yard once per day will not be enough to keep them happy. They need someone willing to give them a workout like an extensive hike or provide them with some sort of job.
The next thing about the lab that might be a drawback is that they love water. Puddle? They are in it. See that lake over there? Time for a swim. Oh, how about that nasty stagnant puddle of muddy water? It looks like it needs closer inspection. Maybe even rolled in. You know… Just to make sure. If there is water around, the lab will find it and be oh so happy to dive right in even if they end a soppy wet, smelly mess.
The lab also tends to keep a puppy-like demeanor for a long time. They mature a little more slowly, and their energy levels do not help with this. They will be more curious, possibly have a higher need to chew, and maybe even less impulse control until they start to level out at around age four.
There are also some temperament issues within the breed. However, not many as the breed overall earned a 92.2% evaluation score from the American Temperament Testing Association. But it is still essential to research a breeder or rescue you are considering getting a lab from as you don't want to end up with the 7.8%.
The most common temperament issues in this breed are aggression, extreme nervousness, and hyperactivity. Aggression and nervousness go against pretty much everything this breed stands for. They are not guarding dogs, and shouldn't be sought after as one. They should also be friendly and stable in mind. While we also keep harping on how active this breed is, there is also a fine line between active and hyperactivity. A hyperactive dog will find it incredibly difficult to settle even after they have been given an outlet. It can make training them incredibly tricky as they are all over the place and unable to focus well.
With correct temperament and a high-level canine leader:
Now that we have gotten the bad stuff out of the way let's talk about what a lab looks like when it has a correct temperament and the support of a high-level canine leader to bring out its best qualities!
First, this breed is a people pleaser, and they are smart. Really smart. This makes them incredibly easy to train. They also desire mental stimulation, and working on a new behavior or trick can be an excellent way to provide them with just that. They tend to catch on quick, and can also be incredibly versatile in what they can learn.
This breed is an excellent choice for familiar with children. Due to their friendly demeanor and patience, they can be a great mix with kids. They also like to play and accompany people, which can be a winning combination.
The lab is also a happy breed and tends to be stable. They have a fun-loving personality, and with a good temperament and a good leader, they will be pretty consistent breed. Labs are pretty reliable with other canines as well.