If your Labrador is highly energetic then you’re probably wondering if and when it will begin to mellow out. This post will show you some common causes of it not being calm and what you can do about it.
So, when do Labrador mellow out? There is not a specific age that Labradors mellow out. Instead, they will often calm down gradually as they get older. Despite that, even as adults, they can remain highly energetic by nature.
To get your Labrador to mellow out more quickly it can actually help a lot to take the time to figure out why has so much energy. Once you have a good idea of the cause you’ll have an easier time correcting it.
Possible reasons why your Labrador hasn’t mellowed out
There are actually many possible reasons that your Labrador is being so energetic. I will try to mention some of the main ones below.
It needs more exercise
Labradors are a breed that is meant to get a lot of daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise, it is common for them to become energetic.
You might be surprised at just how much exercise your Labrador could need in order to be properly stimulated. So, if you want your Labrador to mellow out then the first thing for you to do would be to make sure that it is getting exercise daily. You’ll often find that it takes a lot to calm it down. Generally, it is advised for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day.
Another possible cause is that it does it in order to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to become more energetic when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead of reacting to it when it gets crazy try ignoring the behavior if you can and then giving it your attention when it is behaving the way that you want it to.
It could be that your Labrador is bored. This can go hand in hand with not getting enough exercise or attention. So, it’s important to make sure to give your Labrador lots of exercise, training, attention and toys to play with to keep it occupied.
It needs more training
If you have not given your Labrador much training, it will behave the way it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way that you would like it to behave.
This is why it is important to give your Labrador lots of training starting with the basics. You can actually use your Labrador’s excess energy to your advantage when you’re training it and you can see how in the section below.
A new location
If you’re in a new location then this could be what has been causing the energetic behavior. When you move it can be a significant event for Labrador since they won’t know what is going on around them and there will be lots of new distractions. If this is the case take the time to show it around so that it can feel calm where it is.
You are encouraging it to behave that way
The reason why it has been being energetic could be that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it rewards when it behaves that way. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it is not calm, it will encourage it to do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is calm, to stop rewarding it when it starts being hyperactive and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you would like.
It could simply be that your Labrador is naturally an energetic dog. This would be more likely if it has always been energetic and it has not started suddenly. Even if this is the case you can still get it to mellow out and to be well behaved by giving it lots of exercise and training.
How to get your Labrador to mellow out sooner
Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to calm down.
If you want to get your Labrador to mellow out then it will be necessary for you to give it lots of training.
The act of training it itself will actually use up a lot of its excess energy and it will also make it a lot more responsive to your command. It will also help to get it to look to you for direction before doing something that goes against what it thinks you might want.
There are many things that you can train your Labrador to do but the things that you should prioritize on at first are the basics and to not do things that you don’t want it to. It would then help to build up towards getting it to do more challenging things in more distracting environments.
When you’re training your Labrador it’s also important to train it in multiple environments. The reason for this is that Labrador and other dogs do not typically carry their training over well into new environments. This is mainly due to all of the stimulating things going on around it.
You can watch the video below to see advice on how to train an unfocused dog.
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Labrador is able to get daily exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults.
You could also give it lots of things to be distracted with by giving it lots of toys to play with.
Don’t reward it
It’s important to not encourage the behavior so you should try to avoid giving it things that it might want when it is misbehaving. Instead, give it more training and wait for it to behave in the right way and then give it what it wants.
There are calming chews that you can get that will get it to calm down. If you use them try to give it to your Labrador before it starts misbehaving otherwise you might actually encourage more of the behavior.
You could also try crate training your Labrador. When done well it will give your Labrador a place that it can go to that is it’s own. By having a place to go it can help your Labrador to feel calmer and it can help you to manage your Labrador when it is difficult for you to do so.
Ensure that it has been getting the right diet
It could be the case that its diet has been contributing to the behavior. This would be more likely if it has been being energetic since a change in its diet or if it has been behaving that way since a change in its diet. It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it the right foods and in the correct amounts.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Labrador not being calm.
If your Labrador is still a puppy, it is likely that it will mellow out as it gets older. But, the amount that it would mellow out naturally might not be that much so it is still important to take the time to train it and give it exercise now.
When you’re training your Labrador to be calm it’s important to be patient. Getting your Labrador to mellow out is not something that you will be able to do in just one training session. So, it’s important that you approach it with a long-term approach.
It’s also important to be consistent with your training. If you just teach it to do something once but then neglect to reinforce it over the weeks following, your Labrador will likely revert back to its old behavior over time.
To help you be consistent it can help to find ways to train your Labrador on a consistent basis without having to go out of your way to do so.
For example, after having taught your Labrador the “stay” command, you could get it to stay before letting it have its food in the mornings.
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