If your Labrador is restless this post will show you some possible reasons why and what you can do to get it to be calmer.

So, why is my Labrador so restless? Possible reasons are needing more exercise, an issue with its diet, anxiety, wanting attention, rewarding the behavior or an injury.

There are many reasons why your Labrador might be restless and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can do about it.

Why your Labrador is so restless

Each of the different reasons why your Labrador is restless will likely come with some clues in the way that it does it.

Below are some possible causes and what would make them more likely.

It needs more exercise

The reason why your Labrador is restless could be that it needs more exercise. Labradors are a breed that is meant to get daily exercise in order to be fully stimulated. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral issues including being restless.

Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If your Labrador is not getting that much, it would help to make sure that it does, provided that it is healthy.

There is something wrong with its diet

The cause could also be that there is an issue with its diet. It could be the case that it has been eating things that it should not be or that it has been eating too much. This would be more likely if it has been doing it suddenly since a change in its diet.

It would help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you and it would help to consult with your vet on its diet when you see them next.

It’s anxious

The reason why it has been doing it could be that it is anxious. This would be more likely if it becomes more restless at certain times such as when you are leaving or when you are not around. If it is more restless when you are leaving or when you’re not home, it would be more likely that it has separation anxiety.

It wants attention

The cause could also be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it becomes more restless when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.

Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, exercising it and training it. But it would help to try to avoid rewarding it with attention when it becomes restless and to follow the other tips mentioned below.

Rewarding the behavior

It could also be the case that you have been inadvertently rewarding the behavior and encouraging it to do it more. If you give it things it wants when it becomes restless such as toys, treats or extra attention, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it does it, to reward it when it is well behaved and to follow the other tips below.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Labrador is restless.

When it started to become restless

It would help to consider when it first started being restless 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 a sudden change in its diet or suddenly getting less exercise.

When it is restless

It would also help to consider the timing of when it becomes restless.

If you notice that it starts doing it when you are about to leave home, it would make it more likely to be due to separation anxiety.

How old it is

It would also help to consider how old it is.

If it is still a puppy it will likely have a lot more excess energy. But, it could still be the case that the reasons mentioned above could be contributing to it and it would be helpful to start training it now so it is well behaved as an adult.

If it is an adult, it could be the case that it is being restless for any of the reasons mentioned above.

How to stop your Labrador from being so restless

Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to be less restless.

Give it exercise

As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Labrador is able to get exercise on a daily basis. If it is healthy and it is not currently getting much daily exercise, it would help to make sure that it gets more.

If it is currently getting exercise, you could also try wearing it out even more by getting it to do things such as to play fetch.

Give it training

Another option would be to give it lots of training. By doing so you will be able to channel its energy onto doing something that you want it to learn. This should also help to improve its behavior.

It would help to start by teaching it to do easy things such as to sit and stay in an environment like the home where there are not many external distractions. Once you can get it to do that you can build up to teaching it harder things such as to come to you on command.

Once you’re able to get your Labrador to listen to your command in less distracting environments, you should build up to teaching it to do the same in more challenging environments.

You can watch the video below for advice on training restless dogs.

Don’t reward it

It is also important to avoid encouraging it to be restless by rewarding it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to stop rewarding it when it starts being restless and to make sure that it gets daily exercise if it is healthy.

Give it distractions

In addition to the above, you could also give it things such as toys to be distracted with so that it is less likely to do things you don’t want it to.

Make sure that its diet is correct

It would also help to make sure that it is getting the correct diet. You can do this by talking to your vet about its diet, making sure no one else has been feeding it and you can also look here to see what to feed it.

Get help from a vet

If you’re unsure of why it has been doing it or it has started doing it suddenly, it would help to talk to a vet about it. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador and to rule out the possibility of it being due to medical causes.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.