If your Labrador has been standing in front of you a lot then you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you can do to get it to do it less.
So, why does my Labrador stand in front of me? Possible reasons are that it does it for attention, it is being protective, you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior, nervousness or it might be waiting for you to pass.
There are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out exactly 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 stands in front of you
Each of the different reasons why your Labrador does it will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of common causes and what would make them more likely.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it does it and if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention.
It would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it and to avoid rewarding it with attention when it stands in front of you.
It has separation anxiety
It could also be the case that it does it because it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you are about to leave and if it shows signs of anxiety when you are leaving.
In this case, you could try taking steps to reduce how anxious it becomes when you are leaving.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
- Reward your Labrador for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your Labrador for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your Labrador
- Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer
You can watch the video below for more tips on how to do this:
It’s being protective
The cause could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when there is someone else around and if it tends to get overly protective when there are other people and dogs around you.
You have inadvertently rewarded it
The cause could be that you have inadvertently trained it to do it by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you often give it things like extra attention, toys or treats when it stands in front of you then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not do it and to wait for it to stop standing in front of you to reward it.
The cause could be that something is making it be nervous. It could be that there is someone around that it does not like, fireworks outside or another animal that it does not like.
Things to consider
When it first started doing it
It would help to consider when your Labrador first started standing in front of you a lot since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If it did start doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as suddenly getting less attention from you, getting fed at different times or realizing that it gets rewards when it does it.
Whereas, if it has always done it then it could be due to any of the reasons mentioned above.
When it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when it stands in front of you since it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to stand in front of you when you would normally leave home then it would be more likely that it has some separation anxiety.
How to get your Labrador to stop standing in front of you
Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to stop doing it.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you train your Labrador to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it behaves that way and avoiding rewarding it when it does not.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop standing in front of you, you could do as follows:
- Reward it before it stands in front of you
- Stop rewarding it when it stands in front of you
- Get it to stop standing in front of you and avoid giving it attention until it doesn’t try to get stand in front of you
- Reward it each time it does not try to stand in front of you
Avoid negative reinforcement training
Negative reinforcement training is where you reward your dog for doing things you do not want it to do which causes it to do it more.
Instead of rewarding it when it stands in front of you, try to reward it when it does not do it and to recognize when it is likely to do it and to redirect its focus to going to a different spot.
Avoid punishing it
It might be tempting to punish it for standing in front of you but it would help to avoid doing so. If you punish it then it will likely not know why it is being punished and it could cause it to develop feelings of resentment.