Even though a quiet Labrador might seem good on the surface it can still be worrying for the owner especially when the Labrador is normally active. There could also be a number of reasons for your Labrador being quiet.
So, why is your Labrador quiet? There could be a number of reasons but the main ones are a quiet personality, it’s not comfortable with its environment (yet), previous experiences, age, illness or injury, previous training, and boredom or sometimes depression.
Diagnosing why your Labrador is being quiet can be a difficult thing to do since there are actually a number of things that could be causing it. There are also a number of things that you can do to correct its behavior that will be much easier once you have figured out the root cause.
Reasons Why Your Labrador Is Quiet
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your Labrador might be being quiet and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
If you have had your Labrador for a while and it has always been quiet then it is likely that it has a quiet personality.
This isn’t such a bad thing since it means that it won’t cause you too much stress by constantly misbehaving.
It also means that when it is loud you will know that it is something important and you will be more likely to help your Labrador when it really needs it.
If it does have a quiet personality then there are a number of training tips that you can use to change its behavior that I will mention in the section below.
It’s not comfortable (yet)
If you have recently gotten your Labrador it could be the case that it is not yet comfortable in its new environment.
In this case, it would be more likely that it will begin to be less quiet as it becomes more comfortable. However, it would help to give it positive attention throughout the day, training and to exercise it.
It could be that your Labrador has had previous experiences that have taught it to be quiet. If your Labrador is a rescue Labrador then this will be more likely.
If, in the past, it was made to be quiet when it was loud or it was punished then it will associate being loud with bad consequences.
If this is something that you suspect then you should take measures to allow your Labrador to become more comfortable with your presence, to train it to become more vocal and you might even want to get help from a certified dog behaviorist.
As your Labrador gets older its hearing will gradually get worse this will cause your Labrador to be less responsive to noises that it did in the past since they aren’t as noticeable as they once were.
Too much noise
It could be that your Labrador has been very loud recently and that it has caused its throat to become sore. If this has happened then it will cause the Labrador to become temporarily quiet. This would be more likely if it has also been doing things such as cough.
It could be that previous training that the Labrador has had is what’s causing it to be quiet. If it has been taught, in the past, that being quiet will get it what it wants then it will behave in a more quiet manner. If you think that this might have happened then you could take measures to teach it to be a bit more vocal.
Illness or Injury
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started being quiet suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as being fatigued or limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
In some cases, it could even be that the Labrador is depressed. It can be difficult to diagnose when this is the case but other symptoms would include changes in appetite, spending more time sleeping, a loss of interest in doing things, excessive paw licking and avoidance or hiding.
If you think that this is what is causing your Labrador to be quiet then you should get help from a vet.
What To Do About It Being Quiet
Below are some things you can do to get it to be less quiet.
Allow it to adjust
If you have recently introduced your Labrador to a new environment then giving it some more time to adjust to its new environment should be enough to allow it to become comfortable enough to express itself more. If it doesn’t start to get louder then you should consider using one of the other methods below.
Help it to become comfortable
If you do think that your Labrador isn’t comfortable with its new environment then you should take measures to allow it to become more comfortable.
This can include showing it around the area, giving it more attention, giving it toys to chew on and allowing it to get lots of exercise in the new area.
Ensure that there is not an illness or injury
If your Labrador has started being quiet suddenly and you are not sure why, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so, you will be able to get expert advice tailored to your particular Labrador and to rule out illness or injury.
Give it exercise
It would also help to make sure that it is able to get the recommended amount of daily exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
Give it training
Another option would be to train it to be loud with the use of positive reinforcement training.
To do this you’ll want to get a treat or a toy that it really likes, give it a piece of it so that it knows you have it, then keep the rest in its sight but only give it pieces when it makes noise.
If your Labrador doesn’t naturally make noise then you’ll find that it will start to do other things such as rolling over, laying down or sitting in hopes of getting the treat before making any noise.
You’ll also find that it won’t just start barking right away instead it will just give a little grumble.
When it first makes a noise you’ll want to reward it straight away and then to gradually require more and more noise in order to get more treats.
When you’re doing this it’s important to make sure that you only reward it when it is loud when you tell it to be loud.
If you just give it treats whenever it is loud then it will teach it that being loud will result in treats but you only want it to be loud when you want it to be.
So, it’s important to make sure to reward loudness on command.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Labrador being quiet.
Avoid physical measures
Punishing your Labrador physically for being quiet is not something that is likely to pan out well.
You’ll have a high chance of making the Labrador become aggressive, scared of your presence and it will not enjoy your company.
This also goes for things such as electric collars as well which have been shown to have bad consequences on dogs behavior.
It could just be a more subdued Labrador
It could be the case that your Labrador is naturally quiet. This would be more likely if it has always been quiet. This would not be such a bad thing since it means that your Labrador will be easier to manage.
Train it to be loud only when it should be
If you’re going to train your Labrador to be louder then remember to only reward it for being loud when you tell/want it to be. Otherwise, you risk creating the opposite problem where it is constantly being loud when you don’t want it to be.
Give it a wide variety of ways to communicate
If your Labrador is more naturally inclined to be quiet then you might want to give it other ways to communicate such. This could include things such as putting bells on the patio door attached to a string that your Labrador can tap when it wants to come in.