If your Labrador seems to be scared of you this post will show you some possible reasons why and what you can do about it.
So, why is my Labrador scared of me? Possible reasons are that you were aggressive towards it, it’s in a new environment, previous owners mistreated it or it is ill or injured.
Your Labrador might be behaving that way for a number of different reasons and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.
Why your Labrador is scared of you
Below are a number of reasons why your Labrador might be scared of you and what would make them more likely to be the reason.
You were aggressive towards it
The reason why it has been doing it could be because you were aggressive towards it or it seemed to it like you were being aggressive. This would be more likely to be the reason if it became scared of you at around the same time that you were aggressive towards it and if it is only scared of you.
If this is the case, then it would help to stop being aggressive towards it, to be calmer around your Labrador and to use positive reinforcement training instead of punishing it.
It is unsure of its environment
If your Labrador is in a new environment, the cause could be that it is unsure of its environment. This would be more likely to be the reason if you have recently adopted it. In this case, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it. If it does not begin to improve its behavior after a few weeks it would help to seek the advice of a vet or a dog behaviorist.
The cause could be that previous owners mistreated it and it is not so trusting of people anymore. This would also be more likely if you recently adopted it.
In this case, it might begin to improve over the course of weeks. If it does not, consider getting help from a dog behaviorist.
It is ill or injured
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as limping or crying a lot. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it becomes afraid. If you tend to give it things such as treats, toys or extra attention when it does it then it might be doing it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it shows signs of not being afraid and to avoid rewarding it for being afraid unless it seems to be for a specific reason.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.
When your Labrador became afraid of you
It would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as becoming ill or injured or being aggressive towards it.
If it only becomes scared of you at certain times
It would also help to consider whether or not it tends to do it more at certain times.
If there is a certain time that it tends to become afraid, it would be more likely to be due to things such as something in the environment or someone else.
It would also help to consider the age of your Labrador. If your Labrador is still young then it would be likely that it will become less afraid as it gets older since it could be going through a more timid stage. However, it would still help to give it positive attention throughout the day.
What to do about your Labrador being scared of you
Below are some options you have when trying to get it to be less scared.
Be calmer around your Labrador
When interacting with your Labrador it would help to be calm and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want it to. Being aggressive around it will likely cause it to become more afraid and it will likely not understand why you are being aggressive.
Play and exercise
Some ways to get your Labrador to be comfortable around you would be to train it using positive reinforcement training, to play with it and to exercise it.
You can play with it by doing things such as tug of war or playing fetch with it. Some ways to exercise it would be to walk it or to teach it to swim.
Avoid physical punishment
It would also help to avoid punishing it since and to use positive reinforcement training instead. If you punish it then it will likely cause it to become more afraid of you and it will probably not stop it misbehaving.
When training your Labrador, it is important to be patient. It is unlikely that you will be able to get drastic results with just one training session but, if you stick with it, you will be able to get much better results over the course of weeks.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been doing it or it has started doing it suddenly, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador.
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