Hyperactivity is a common complaint among young Labrador owners. Labradors are often accused of being hyperactive when they are truly just dogs that have high energy without enough outlets for it. Hunting was the original function of Labrador Retrievers. The average hunting Labrador would cover several miles in pursuit of game so a high energy level was selectively bred into the dog. When these dogs are kept in a suburban or urban environment, they typically have few outlets for that energy, often resulting in behavior that might be construed as hyperactivity.
The best way to deal with an active Labrador with high energy is to find as many outlets as possible through exercise. Very active dogs like Labradors simply need outlets for their energy in order to be happy. Most urban and suburban Labrador owners lack access to open fields and forests where a dog could run safely. The only solution is to come up with creative ways to release that energy.
Daily walks on a leash are the most common and efficient remedies for calming your active Labrador. Take at least 30 minutes every day to lead your dog around your home, enforcing that it is a time of exercise and not a “stop and smell the roses” trek. Be sure to keep your Labrador walking at a good pace to burn some of that energy off.
A common trait in active Labradors is extra excitement as soon as you come home. The best way to control the jumping and running of your dog when you arrive is to practice a simple routine a few times a day until they break the habit. Leave your house and go for a short walk without your pet (about twenty minutes). When you get back, open the door and walk inside. As you do so: do not look at your dog, do not speak to your dog and do not touch your dog. You don’t need to reprimand them or praise them. After a couple of weeks of repeating this exercise your active Labrador will be calm when you arrive home. Keeping the bad habits from coming back just requires completely ignoring your pet when you arrive home until they are calm and in a relaxed state.
The active nature of Labradors is something that every owner is familiar with. While they do tend to grow out of it, mildly adjusting your lifestyle to train the hyperactivity out of young Labradors is a sure-fire way to ensure a wonderful pet in the future.