If you have never owned a labrador retriever before but are considering adopting or purchasing one, you have no doubt done a little studying of the breed

If you have never owned a Labrador Retriever before but are considering adopting or purchasing one, you have no doubt done a little studying of the breed.  Unfortunately, one of their more common traits is frequently overlooked biting, chewing, and nipping- not just the case with our feet and hands, but inanimate objects as well.  Such is the case with wood and wooden furniture, considering the fact that, if it will fit, a Labrador puppy will put anything in its mouth to chew on it.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that newer Lab owners don’t educate themselves well enough to be aware of this and oftentimes scold the puppy quite harshly for biting and having a temper.  Nothing could be farther from the truth since Labradors are inherently oral obsessive and have been bred for retrieving.  Above all else, Labs require proper training beginning at a very early age so that they do not bite fingers and limbs, or chew on non-human items.

The easiest approach to take is that a Labrador puppy is a furry little piranha.  Although this may sound comical, it is the best way to understand a part of the breeds inherent nature.  As they run around, usually with their mouths agape, you should be well aware that they are looking for something to close their mouths on.  As the puppy grows into adulthood, there is a greater tendency for them to grab our arms and out clothing.

Teaching the dog that this type of behavior is unacceptable at an early age, otherwise they will take advantage of it and will dominate their human as a result.  There is no guarantee that you can train your pet Lab from biting, gabbing, and nipping.  However, you can teach them to make better choices.  Another scenario similar to the furry little piranha concept is to look at them as vacuum cleaners.  Herein lays a major problem as they can and oftentimes to ingest things that are not only harmful, but potentially lethal, such as poisons.

There have been documented reports by veterinarians who have treated numerous Labrador Retrievers for swallowing all sorts of non-edibles, specifically parts of bicycle seats, knives, rawhide, small toys, socks, stones, and tennis balls to name a few. Whatever they can fit in their mouths and even down their throats is considered fair game to them.  Here are a few suggestions to consider in order to avert an injurious situation for the dog:

  • de-fluff your pillows to remove the temptation to attack them
  • discard any loose smaller items, especially toys, that they can swallow
  • remove cushions from the sofa while they are inside the house

Being a Labrador owner can be a very enjoyable experience if you can correct this part of their behavior, but just be sure that you do it with kindness and love, and remember that this is what they have been bred to do.  The ideal solution, of course, is to try and dog-proof  as much of your house as possible while raising them from puppies.  It will minimize the amount of damage that occurs and you will be considerably happier in the long run.

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