If your Labrador sometimes circles you this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Labrador circle me? Possible reasons are that it is excited, being dominating, looking for attention or it might be a herding instinct.
There are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason why it does it. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become easier for you to get it to stop.
Why your Labrador circles you
Below are some common reasons why Labradors circle their owners and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
The cause of your Labrador circling you might be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when you come home or when you are about to take it for a walk. In this case, it could be that it is trying to show its excitement or that it wants to get you to exercise it sooner.
It is being dominating
It could also be the case that it circles you because it is being dominating. This would be more likely if it does it in a way that gets you to move.
To stop this it would be important to give your Labrador lots of training and to follow the other tips mentioned below.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention or if you give it extra attention when it does it.
In this case, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to follow the tips mentioned below to get it to stop doing it.
It’s a herding instinct
The cause could also be that it is a herding instinct. This would be more likely if it does it a lot more when you are walking it and if it does it to other people as well. To prevent this kind of circling, try walking in the opposite direction that it circles you especially if it tries to move you.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when figuring out why your Labrador has been doing it.
When it started doing it
If your Labrador did not always circle you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it did not always do it then it would be more likely that it started because it learned that it gets rewards when it does it.
Whereas, if it has always done it then it would be more likely to be due to being a herding instinct.
When and where it tends to do it more
It would also help to consider if it tends to do it more in certain situations since the timing might have something to do with it.
For example, if it does it more when you are on walks then it would be more likely that it is either a herding instinct or that it is being dominating if it tries to move you.
What to do about your Labrador circling you
Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to stop circling you.
Walk in the opposite direction to it
If it does it when you are walking it then try to walk in the opposite direction to it since this will force it to stop and to see you as the leader.
You could also try stopping walking whenever it does it so that it learns that circling causes you to stop walking it. You can watch the video below to see how this is done.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it circles you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to wait for it to stop circling you before rewarding it and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training.
Give it lots of training
If you have not been giving your Labrador much training it would help to start now by teaching it the basics, in an environment without many distractions, and building up from there. Doing so should help you to get it to behave better when you want it to.