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Will my Labrador calm down?

Will my Labrador calm down?

If you have recently got a Labrador and it is hyperactive you’re probably wondering if it will calm down. This post will help you to figure out if it will calm down and what you can do about it.

So, will your Labrador calm down? Labradors will generally calm down a bit as they get older. The amount that it will calm down might not necessarily be as much as you want. To calm it down more you will need to make sure to give it lots of exercise and training so that it is properly stimulated. 

Your Labrador might be acting that way for a number of reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can do about it, depending on the most likely reason.

Ways to calm your Labrador down

Below are some ways you can get your Labrador to calm down.

Give it exercise

Labradors are meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be why yours is not calm. This would be more likely if your Labrador is not calm when it has not gotten much exercise.

Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults. If yours is not getting that much it would help to make sure that it does. If it is already getting exercise you could also try getting it to wear itself out more by getting it to do things such as play fetch.

Training

It would also help to give your Labrador training. By giving it training you will be able to teach your Labrador to be more responsive to your command and you will be able to get it to be better behaved when you want it to be. But, you’ll also be able to expend a lot of its energy in the process of training it itself.

If you haven’t started training your Labrador yet one of the first things that you’ll want to do is to train it to stay when you tell it to. 

By being able to get your Labrador to stay when you tell it to you will be able to avoid problems in situations such as when you’re at the vet’s or when you have guests over.

Once you have taught it to stay the next thing that you’ll want to do is to teach it to stay when you open the front door which you can see how to do in the video below.

It would also help to start by training it to do basic things in an environment without many distractions and then to build up to more challenging tasks.

Ignore it when it gets hyper

It would also help to avoid inadvertently reinforcing the behavior by making sure not to reward it when it is not calm. If you tend to give it things it wants when it is energetic, it might be causing it to do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to give it lots of training and to avoid giving it rewards when it misbehaves unless necessary.

Try a calming chew

In addition to the above, you could also consider giving your Labrador a calming chew or toy. By doing this you will be able to channel its attention into the toy and away from everything else.

Reasons it might not be calm

Below are some reasons why your Labrador might not be being calm and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

Boredom

As mentioned above, Labradors are meant to get daily exercise. If your Labrador is not getting much exericse and it is a healthy adult it would help to make sure that it does start to get more exercise.

Separation anxiety

The cause could also be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it becomes less calm when you are about to leave home.

If it does seem to have separation anxiety, you can watch the video below for some tips on what to do about it.

Attention

It could also be the case that it does it in order to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more 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 training it, playing with it and exercising it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it is not calm unless necessary.

Injury

The cause could be that it has gotten an injury. This would be more likely if it has started behaving that way suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

A problem with its diet

It might also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. This would be more likely if it has stopped being calm since a change in its diet and if it becomes less calm when you feed it certain foods.

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

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider about your Labrador not being calm.

How old it is

The age of your Labrador can have an influence on how it behaves. If your Labrador is still young then it should calm down a bit as it gets older. Despite that, you should still make sure to give it lots of exercise and training so that you can make sure that it calms down and that it is well behaved when it’s older.

Crate training

If your Labrador’s behavior is causing problems then in addition to giving it lots of exercise and training you could consider crate training. When done correctly it gives your Labrador a secure place that it can go to and be calm.

Professional help

If you cannot get it to calm down, it would help to consult with a vet or dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored to your particular Labrador.

Punishment

It might be tempting to punish your Labrador for not being calm but it doesn’t normally work. When you punish it your Labrador will think that it is being punished for the last thing that it did which is coming to you and not the thing that you are actually punishing it for. It can cause other problems as well such as distrust, being less responsive to your command and aggression.

When it started

It would help to consider if anything else happened when your Labrador first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it did start doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a sudden change in its diet, getting less exercise, getting injured or a sudden change in its daily routine.

When it is not calm

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to be less calm since the timing could also have something to do with it.

For example, if it is not calm when you feed it a certain food, it would be more likely to be because of what you’re feeding it. Whereas, if it does it more at around the same time that you normally leave home, it would be more likely to be due to separation anxiety.