If your Labrador keeps walking in front of you then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why your Labrador will walk in front of you on walks and around the house.
So, why does my Labrador walk in front of me?
If it does it when you’re walking it, the cause could be wanting to go faster, wanting to interact with something or a lack of training.
If it does it around the house, it could be due to looking for attention, waiting for you to walk past without realizing it’s in the way, inadvertently rewarding the behavior or not realizing that it is doing it.
There are actually many reasons why your Labrador might walk in front of you and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of options you have when getting it to stop.
Why your Labrador walks 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 possible causes and what would make them more likely.
It wants to go faster
If it walks in front of you when you are walking it, the reason could be that it wants to go faster. This would be more likely if it normally pulls on the leash as well when you are walking it. If your Labrador does pull on the leash, try following the tips mentioned in this post.
It’s being protective
The cause could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when you are approaching someone when you are walking it.
In this case, you could try training it to have a positive association with other people and dogs by giving it a special treat when it sees them and it does not walk in front of you.
It wants to interact with something
The cause could be that it wants to interact with something like a bush or tree. This would be more likely to be the cause if it immediately goes to sniff something when it walks in front of you.
It has a lot of energy
Labradors are meant to get lots of exercise on a daily basis. The reason why yours walks in front of you could be that it has a lot of energy and it is trying to encourage you to give it more exercise. Generally, it is recommended to give Labradors an hour of exercise per day. If it isn’t getting that much, it would help to make sure that it does.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it knows it will get attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to walk in front of you around the home, if it tends to do it when you haven’t given it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
You haven’t trained it not to
If you have not given your Labrador a lot of training it will not know how it is meant to behave and it will behave the way it feels like behaving. The way it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way you want it to behave. If you have not trained it to walk by your side on walks then it will not know that you want it to do so. This is why it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training as discussed below.
It doesn’t realize it is doing it
If it tends to walk in front of you at home it could be the case that it does not realize that it is doing it. Often dogs will walk in front of their owners and stand in the way when they are waiting for their owners to pass without realizing that their owner can’t get around them.
Things to consider
When your Labrador first started walking in front of you
It would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that it has been doing it due to an event that occurred.
If it did start doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as realizing that it gets rewards when it does it or if you started walking it on a different route and it became curious about the new smells.
Whereas, if it has always done it then it could be the case that it does it for any of the reasons mentioned above.
When your Labrador walks in front of you
It would also help to consider the timing of when it does it since it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to do it when you are approaching someone it could be the case that it is doing it because it is being protective.
How to get your Labrador to stop walking in front of you
Below, are some options you have when getting your Labrador to stop walking in front of you depending on the situation.
Use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop walking ahead on the leash
Positive reinforcement training is where you reward the behaviors that you want to see from your Labrador and stop rewarding it when it does not.
To use positive reinforcement training to get your Labrador to stop walking ahead of you on the leash you would do as follows:
- Start walking it on the leash with some treats
- Stop when it is about to walk ahead of you and get it to pay attention to you
- Reward it for stopping and paying attention to you then carry on walking
- Repeat the above until it stops walking ahead of you
You can watch the video below to see how it is done
Use positive reinforcement training to stop it walking in front of you at home
To use positive reinforcement training to get your Labrador to stop walking in front of you at home you would:
- Avoid giving it attention when it walks in front of you
- Get it to pay attention to you when it is about to walk in front of you, reward it and then walk ahead of it
- Reward it when it does not walk ahead of you when it normally would
You can also give it lots of attention and exercise throughout the day.
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