Have you fallen in love with the way Labradors look?
Maybe you’re considering getting one…
But then, you stumble upon the saying that Labradors are the worst dogs.
They seem friendly, loving, kind… So what would make anyone call them the worst?
This article answers that and digs deeper into any Labrador traits you should know about.
Keep reading to discover:
- 6 Labrador-specific health conditions that are costly.
- 5 scenarios of Labs who act the worst when they want some food.
- Whether Labradors make great escape artists and what to consider.
- What to expect from a Labrador puppy and practical solutions to apply.
- The meaning of “reactive barking” and how to deal with it when it occurs.
- And a whole lot more…
Table of contents
- Why are Labradors the worst dogs?
- 9 reasons why Labradors are the worst dogs
- #1: Labs can be foodies like no other
- #2: Escape artist on the loose
- #3: Lab-specific health concerns are costly
- #4: Their coat needs regular grooming
- #5: Excitement is their middle name
- #6: Overstimulation may lead to bites and scratches
- #7: Might bark at everything that moves
- #8: Lab pups can be the worst in obedience class
- #9: Labradors are high-energy dogs
Why are Labradors the worst dogs?
Labradors are the worst dogs because they’re very high-energy. So without proper obedience and agility training, they are likely to show a number of behavioral issues. These dogs are also predisposed to a few health problems which are costly to take care of. Also, their coat needs regular grooming.
9 reasons why Labradors are the worst dogs
#1: Labs can be foodies like no other
Do you know a foodie in your life?
It could be a friend, acquaintance or even you-yourself!
If so, you know that foodies live to eat. And not vice versa. 🙂
But did you know that some dogs can be like that too?
Well, brace yourself… because some Labs are unbearable when it comes to food.
You sit at the dinner table. You’ve given your Lab their portion as well. Yet, they don’t seem that interested in their dog food.
Or, they have finished it off. However, here they are… Puppy eyes mode on, staring at you as if their life depended on it…
But hey, that’s a milder scenario.
Whenever you leave a bag of sandwiches or other types of food on the floor, such as packed cheddar cheese… It gets demolished…
Not only that…
Any food container gets destroyed brutally.
“Oh, c’mon, give me a break! I just went to the store…”, you say at the end of the day, tired of this.
You’d think groceries are safe from your dog.
Well… Think again!
As soon as your Lab gets their paws on any fruit, that’s the end of it…
So you have to hide your own food, in this case, fruits, in cupboards.
Your dog is a dirty dish vacuum cleaner. But not in a good way…
I mean, unless you love dog saliva on your dishes and cutlery.
Not to mention that your Lab can injure their tongue while licking the knife… And trying to ingest all the remains of that juicy steak you just ate.
You thought it ends there?
Dogs are known to be smart. And Lab parents have reported that their Labs are in fact so clever…
That they’ve learned how to open the fridge by themselves…
And eat up everything on the shelves…
Not only will you find a mess, but you might also have to rush to the vet emergency care.
As you know some human foods can be detrimental to a dog’s health.
Once your Lab is used to doing this, you’ll have to prevent it from happening somehow.
The most effective way was for the Lab’s dog parents to put a special lock on the fridge…
“Gosh… Talk about friction…”
The explanation behind the behavior
Okay, now you know how a Lab might act in your home.
But being the curious creature that you are (that’s a compliment btw-you’re welcome), you can’t help but wonder…
“Why are Labradors so obsessed with food?”
Labrador dog parents explain this within the Lab’s inability to feel full.
In fact, researchers have found out that many Labs lacked or had a little of a gene called POMC.
The gene’s function is to regulate appetite. Plus to keep account of how much fat is being stored in the body. Without it, the dog won’t be able to tell when it’s time to stop eating.
As a result, you could be constantly confronted with the “Are you gonna finish that?” look.
Note: The above scenarios are based on first-hand experience. Bear in mind that the Labs in question were even enrolled in a training course. However, that didn’t help with the amount of hunger they had. Even redirecting the Lab’s energy didn’t work.
You might also be interested in: 7 Dog Breeds That Are Obsessed With Food
#2: Escape artist on the loose
Labradors are talented in this aspect.
If you live in a house and let your Lab stay in the yard, consider this:
They might dig their way out of there. So a fence and a secured gate won’t stop them.
As you might have figured after reading reason #1, Labradors won’t let anything get between them and their goal.
But how can you cope with this?
With much supervision. Both when in the house and outside. Prevention will get you a long way.
#3: Lab-specific health concerns are costly
Okay, let’s be real.
A dog, whatever the breed, is a new addition to your family.
And just like a kid, your dog will get sick from time to time. Or there might be an accident that requires medical help.
Apart from that…
Consider also the fact that the breed is genetically predisposed to some health issues.
According to a study, the most common issues among Labrador Retrievers are:
- Otitis externa.
- Food allergies.
- Degenerative joint disease.
- Progressive retinal atrophy.
Let’s tackle each one of them, so you have a better idea of what they mean.
If a Lab has cataracts, you’ll recognize it by the Lab’s cloudy eyes.
If the condition is minor, it shouldn’t affect Labrador’s vision.
Note: Cataracts can be caused by diabetes. If that’s the case, the Labrador will drink water often or urinate more.
This refers to the external ear canal being inflamed.
According to MSD Vet Manual, signs your Lab suffers from this are:
- Red skin.
- Scaly skin.
- Swollen area.
- Greater discharge.
- Shaking their head.
The condition could be chronic or acute.
This means the issue could last for about 3 months or more.
Interesting fact: Otitis externa was found out to be most prevalent in chocolate-colored dogs.
Labradors may have allergies to these foods:
- Chicken eggs.
According to ACVIM, being prone to obesity can shorten a Lab’s lifespan by at least 2 and a half years.
And let’s not forget that obesity may cause diabetes.
Degenerative joint disease
First of all, what is degenerative joint disease?
Called DJD for short, this term is used to name arthritis or osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a common denominator used to explain inflammation in the joints.
Progressive retinal atrophy
This condition can lead to blindness in Labradors.
#4: Their coat needs regular grooming
Did you know that Labradors were bred to be hunting dogs?
This affects the structure of their coat.
See, in order to survive in hard hunting conditions, Labs have a short but thick undercoat. It protects them from cold and rain.
The coat of labradors blows two times a year. What this means for you is that you’ll have to groom your dog a few times a week.
#5: Excitement is their middle name
You haven’t seen excitement if you haven’t witnessed an excited Labrador.
And don’t get me started on how easy it happens…
At the sound of a doorbell, your Lab might start running like crazy. Not paying much attention to the toddler standing in the way.
Oops! Knocking over the kiddo might lead to a few tears.
Of course, your Lab didn’t mean to upset you or a family member. The doggo was so excited that they just couldn’t contain their emotions.
Plus, they were so focused on that one thing (in this case, the doorbell’s sound), that they missed any other details.
Kinda like drivers-to-be the first few times they step in the vehicle. Being focused on one aspect of driving, they miss a few other important ones.
#6: Overstimulation may lead to bites and scratches
Following up on reason #5, too much excitement leads to overstimulation.
And then, things can get a bit too much. Especially for you.
You’re in the park, walking your young Labrador when all of a sudden they start biting your ankles. You tell them “NO”, yet to no avail…
Then you stand still. Like a tree. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help either. Your Lab resorts to even biting your arms.
You’re chilling with your Lab. And you want to enjoy your dog further by giving them a belly rub. I mean, that’s why you chose a dog over a cat, right?
Then, all of a sudden, your dog starts acting up. The Labrador begins barking, spinning around, getting the zoomies. And ends up pouncing on you.
“Ah… Enough already!”, you say exhausted.
#7: Might bark at everything that moves
Now, you didn’t expect that, did you?
Well, as mentioned earlier, Labs belong to the hunting dog breed groups.
So if you get one from a rescue, they might give you a hard time walking them out. They might bark at any car door closing, a neighbor walking on the stairway, kids, etc.
This is known as reactive barking.
It happens when a canine overreacts to stimuli in their environment.
The barking frenzy can drive you mad. And leave you thinking if dogs ever get tired of barking…
Especially if this results in problems with your neighbors. After all, living complexes don’t tolerate loud noise. So you might end up with filed complaints.
Which to be honest, can be very stressful and exhausting. It’s a lot of pressure to take in. And let’s not forget that after your Lab stays with you for a week or more, you’ll start forming a bond.
This means you’ll have a harder time parting with them if there’s no other option to deal with this. As a result, both sides – you and the Lab will be stressed even further.
Note: Bear in mind that when you first get your Lab, they’ll have an adjustment period in your home. So don’t expect them to behave just a few days after they’ve arrived at your place.
In this case, investing in a trainer would be the way to go. The earlier the behavioral issues are addressed, the better.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your local SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The organization may have trainers available to train your Labrador.
But consider this: If a rescue Lab has not been properly socialized before, they may not be able to join group training classes.
So the training will have to happen in a familiar environment. This being your home. As there the Lab would feel the most comfortable. And there will be little stimuli to distract them.
If you can’t work from home, you may want to consider doggy daycare. I recommend this after your Lab has undergone a few classes with a trainer.
And has learned how to behave around other dogs. So they and the other dogs’ safety is not compromised.
Put some calming music on while you’re away from home.
It can be any dog music playlist found on Spotify or YouTube. Just ensure it’s long enough so your Lab will have something to listen to for the time you’re not around.
For this one, you need to in good terms with your neighbors. Which I sincere4ly hope you are. Because the neighbors can help you identify what sets your Lab off.
Say, if you have neighbors working from home. Or pensioners. Just ask them to be observant when the barking starts.
Also, if there are other dog people, share your situation. Don’t be ashamed to admit you’re struggling with the Lab’s adjustment period. It’s understandable.
Not only are other dog lovers likely to sympathize but they can also give valuable advice. From experience.
Turn the dog music on and ask the neighbors if there’s any difference.
You might also like: 7 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks While You’re Eating + 5 Tips
#8: Lab pups can be the worst in obedience class
Having a beautiful Lab makes you a proud dog parent. Until you take them to obedience class…
Then the Lab:
- Acts distracted.
- Lunges at other canines.
- Has their mind all over the place.
“This is not what I signed up for!”, you may say.
Despite that, it’s what you get.
Plus reddened skin on your hands and blisters.
It’s far from fun…
Your Lab puppy is like a teenager.
Note: It’s normal for a labrador puppy to go crazy in obedience class if this is the first time they’re there.
Honestly, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, brace yourself…
Because with this Labrador behavior you won’t go unnoticed.
Create a bigger distance between you and other members of the class. This is to give your dog space (both literally and metaphorically). That way you’ll ower the intensity of the excitement.
Also, take high-value treats. Such as boiled chicken. This is so your Labrador can focus on you. That way you’ll communicate to them the party is where you are. And obedience gets rewarded.
Keep your Labrador busy during training.
If you have a child and leave them bored, they might do all kinds of naughty stuff. Climb on a tree, run off to some place their friends told them was exciting…
Basically, boredom and a child/dog being unsupervised equals trouble.
So make your Lab focus on you. Start giving them some work such as basic obedience commands. And don’t forget to be upbeat. As your dog will pick up your queues.
Reward your Lab when they’re calm and act as you want them to.
If your Lab is doing one of the following:
- Sitting down.
- Looking at you.
- Laying patiently by your feet.
Hand them a treat.
What this will do is install in their brain the belief that what they’re doing is great. So they’ll be more likely to repeat the behavior.
Maybe your Lab doesn’t like the floor in the training class. So that makes them reluctant to lay on it.
To overcome this, you can bring a mat with you. Now, I know you might be hesitant.
“Wouldn’t I spoil my Lab like that?”
Not really. As long as your dog is comfortable, they’ll be more willing to relax. It’s definitely something to try out. As dogs do have texture preferences when it comes to lying down.
As the last thing, I’d advise you to get a leather leash for your Lab. Then oil it.
And forget the painful experience of getting blisters.
#9: Labradors are high-energy dogs
Getting a Labrador and expecting them to be chill is like lightning up a firework and expecting it to not blow up in the air.
Yep, Labradors are extremely energetic.
So if you’re more of a Netflix-and-chill type of person, I don’t recommend you get one. Because for you, the experience will be the absolute worst.
It’s like being in a relationship with someone who’s the complete opposite of you. You want to lay on the couch, your partner wants to climb Everest…
Okay, that was extreme. But you get the point.
If you’re not up for consistent exercise, taking your Lab on hiking adventures, brisk walks, or runs around the neighborhood… Sorry to disappoint you, but shouldn’t get a Lab.
Plus, as explained in reasons 5, 6, 7, and 8, high energy can lead to a lot of complications. So many in fact, that even people who have a discipline of steel may struggle taking care of a Lab.
Solution: Agility training
But before I go on about it, know that it:
- Will cost you.
- Is time-consuming.
- Is a money commitment.
- May cause you to lower down on expenses such as weekly day trips, etc.
Here are the pros of agility for your Lab:
- It’s fun.
- There are obstacles that dogs love.
- A fast-paced environment your Lab can thrive in.
As you see, Labs are high maintenance. Both when it comes to health and training. That being said, I don’t consider them the worst dogs. However, raising them is not a walk in the park. So you should be prepared before getting one. Otherwise, you’re in for some surprises you wouldn’t like.