If your Labrador is dumb you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you some reasons why it might be behaving that way and what you can do to get it to be smarter.
So, why is my Labrador dumb? Possible reasons are that it needs more training, it didn’t socialize much as a puppy, training it the wrong way, needing more exercise or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
Your Labrador might act dumb for many different reasons and it could be the result of a combination of different reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the exact cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Labrador is dumb
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your Labrador might be being dumb and what would make them more likely to be the reason.
There are some things that dogs will naturally do that seem stupid to us such as to eat dirt. However, there are often reasons that they do it.
For example, many experts think that dogs sometimes eat dirt since it can contain nutrients that they need or so that they make themselves throw up.
If there is a particular thing your Labrador does that seems dumb then it is likely that other dogs have done it in the past. It would help to see if there is an explanation for it online or if it seems unhealthy it would help to consult with a vet.
When dogs are puppies they will learn a lot about how to interact with people and other dogs. If your dog did not get to interact with other people much as a puppy it might not have learned how to interact with people normally.
You haven’t trained it
If the reason your Labrador is dumb is because it is not listening to you, it could be due to a lack of training. If you have not trained your Labrador much it will not know how you want it to behave and it will behave the way it feels like behaving which is unlikely to be the way you would like it to behave. This is why it is important to give it lots of positive reinforcement training.
You trained it the wrong way
If you did give it training, it might be the case that you trained it the wrong way. It might be the case that you gave it confusing commands, didn’t use the right rewards or that you inadvertently rewarded it for not doing what you wanted as well. In this case, it would help to start training it to do the basics again using positive reinforcement training.
You haven’t trained it in multiple locations
When training your dog it would help to train it in multiple locations. The reason for this is that new locations have different distractions in them and the distractions can make it difficult for your dog to keep its focus on you.
It needs more exercise
Labradors are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise daily. If yours has not been getting much exercise then it could be the case that it has been struggling to keep its focus on you as a result.
You have been negatively reinforcing the behavior
It could be the case that you have been encouraging it to do dumb things by giving it things that it wants when it does them. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it does dumb things then it will likely do them more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to use positive reinforcement training, to redirect its behavior when it is about to be dumb and to avoid rewarding it when it is dumb.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider that will help in figuring out why it has been doing it.
Consider how it is dumb
It would help to consider the way in which your Labrador is dumb.
For example, it is normal for dogs to bark at things that don’t move. Whereas, if it is dumb in that it doesn’t follow your command then it would be more likely that you need to train it more.
What else happened when it first started being dumb
It would also help to consider what else happened when it first started being dumb 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 a sudden change in its environment or its daily routine. However, in this case, if you are unsure of the cause, it would help to take it to the vet for a checkup.
How old your Labrador is
It would also help to consider the age of your Labrador. If it is still a puppy then it will naturally do more dumb things since it won’t have learned how to behave yet and due to curiosity.
If it is an adult, it could be being dumb for any of the reasons mentioned above.
How to get your Labrador to be less dumb
Below are a number of options you have when getting your Labrador to be less dumb.
Train it using positive reinforcement training
One way to get it to be less dumb would be to train it using positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage the behaviors that you want to see by rewarding them and avoid rewarding the behaviors that you do not want to see.
You can see more about positive reinforcement training in the video below.
Avoid reinforcing bad behaviors
It would also help to avoid encouraging dumb behaviors by rewarding them. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want and to redirect its focus when it is about to be dumb.
Ensure that you are feeding it correctly
It would also help to make sure that there are no issues with its diet. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it and it would help to consult on its diet with your vet.
Ensure that it is getting enough exercise
It would also help to make sure that it is getting the right amount of exercise. Generally, it is recommended for healthy adult Labradors to get at least an hour of exercise per day.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been being dumb or it has been being dumb suddenly, it would help to get help from a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador.