Last Updated on August 26, 2021
Are you looking to add a Labrador to your home? Being easily trained and very loyal, they do make for being one of the best pets you could ever have. And, they’re even better as working partners! But are Labradors smart dogs?
Labrador retrievers are hyper, friendly, and loving dogs that have been loved for hundreds of years by families and sportsmen alike. Plus, they’re very popular therapy and guide dogs for people with disabilities.
So, if they can do all of that, Labradors must be pretty smart, right? Keep reading to find out how smart Labrador Retrievers really are.
So, Are Labs Smart Dogs?
Yes, Labs are highly intelligent dogs. Studies have shown that Labradors rank in the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds in the world.
That’s pretty sharp! When you combine that intelligence with their will to please their paw-rents, you’ve got quite the dog on your hands!
Labs are easy to train (but can be a bit stubborn) and are very quick learners. They’re also very loving, and extremely social, making them great family dogs. This is a big part of the reason Labs are the most popular dog breed in the AKC popularity ratings.
Does Coat Color Make A Difference?
Many breeders will say that Black Labs are more hyper and Yellow Labs are more stubborn. Let’s just squash this right now by saying that all Labs are energetic.
Just like any other dog breed, or any animal for that matter, it always comes down to the individual dog and of course, your training methods. No dog is the same as the other, but in general, Labs are wicked-smart and will usually do whatever they can to make their owners happy.
Labs In Action
What makes Labradors so good at what they do is their temperament. For the most part, Labs are non-aggressive “human pleasers”, meaning that they are hard-wired to do what they are told, which makes them extremely easy to train.
This loving and helping nature is perfect for being around families and even suggested for helping to overcome the fear of dogs, especially in children.
Labrador Obedience Training:
Labs are known to be very hyper, which can be off-putting to someone that doesn’t know “Lab energy” and how to properly control it. This energy level can make you think these pups aren’t smart, but actually rather silly.
But, this energy can be easily mastered and driven to create a perfectly obedient and even talented Labrador Retriever. Not only are they perfect companion animals, with the right training, but you could also have an agility sport dog!
Labs As Working Dogs:
Labrador retrievers are highly intelligent and can be trained easily, making them great service dogs. In fact, most of the Guide Dogs you’ll see are Labradors.
Their natural instinct to retrieve is what makes them great hunting dogs as well, which was the breed’s original purpose. Even for the single purpose of being your best friend, the Labrador is one of the best choices you could make.
Training Your Labrador
Training your Labrador can be a bit difficult if it’s your first time. But, being equipped with the right methods and mindset can make things much easier for you.
The Labrador’s will to please and sharp intelligence will also help first-time dog owners. Just note that you will need to provide lots of structure, or your Lab will test the boundaries. Enlisting the help of a professional trainer is beneficial.
Being so smart, Labs are naturally very curious dogs and if not structured, will try to outsmart you and find a way around the rules you’ve put in place. You must remain persistent and keep enforcing your boundaries.
Every single time you catch your puppy trying to break the rules, you should immediately redirect their attention. If you give an inch, a Lab will take a mile!
It doesn’t matter what kind of animal you’re training; you have to be consistent. If you’re not spending time with your Lab every day on training, it will take longer for your Labrador to really get something.
Being inconsistent also leaves room for your Lab to develop new bad habits or misbehaviors that can turn destructive. Make sure that you set up a routine for training. That way, your dog will pick up on things faster and you will be able to train him faster.
When it comes to training, negative reinforcement should never be smacking, crating, or any other fear-causing actions. This will only backfire and can result in aggression towards humans, in the worst case. In the best case, your dog will be afraid of you.
Either way, it’s no good. You will have to use positive reinforcement in order to get anywhere with your lab, and all other dog breeds too. Positive reinforcement always gets you further than being rough and tough.
Conclusion – Are Labradors Smart Dogs?
Labradors are highly intelligent dogs that live and breathe for the purpose of making their owners happy. If you’ve chosen to add a Lab to your family, you’re in for a real treat. They’re very easily trained for all kinds of things, whether it’s the essentials for a polite pup or to be a focused working dog. `
When training your lab, you must remember to use persistence and positive reinforcement, while being consistent with your lab puppy. When you train them right, they will be the perfect example of a best friend.