Do Labradors Attack Their Owners? Myth or Truth

Are labradors friendly or dangerous? Labradors are gentle, friendly, and lovable. They are extremely connected with their owners, and companionship is a major aspect of life for them. However, when pushed too far, Labradors can attack their owners as well, and that too very badly. 

Reasons or Triggers may prompt this behaviour; Attacking, barking unnecessarily, or biting isn’t naturally a part of Labrador’s nature. These domestic dogs are instead quite jolly, and they love a healthy rift here and there around. They make excellent house dogs, and that is why Labradors are popular worldwide.

Though, with provocation, Labradors will attack their owners or anyone around. At the end of the day, they are dogs who can’t talk and express their anger. No matter how gentle the breed Labrador is, one cannot manhandle them and expect no consequences in return. 

Do Labradors Attack Their Owners? Myth or Truth

Is It Normal For Labs To Be Aggressive?

No, Labradors normally aren’t aggressive. Their personality and genetic disposition make them active but friendly and calm dogs. However, at times several mental, physical and external factors can influence Lab’s behavior and make them aggressive.

According to many animal behaviourists, Labrador’s aggression is often other people’s response.

The factors that contribute to Lab’s aggression include,

  1. Behavior training issues: Good behavior and manners come in as part and parcel of how a dog has been trained. Labs who are trained well during their young age will behave well as they grow adult and old. It is important to teach commands like ‘Sit’, ‘Stop’, ‘No’, ‘Calm down’ etc., to your Labrador so that he socializes correctly. Teaching and repeating commands bring discipline to dog’s life and also assure their behavior towards others. It helps in controlling their aggression as well.
  2. Due to their protective nature: Labradors, though, generally aren’t aggressive; if they are protective towards something and you pick that specific item, they may behave frustrated. Labs do not like people sticking with their (Lab’s) favorite humans, and in such scenarios, they can behave aggressively.
  3. If they are overworked or overstimulated: Too many activities can provoke Labradors and can make them aggressive at times. Even though when Labs are known for their active behavior, you cannot expect them to play endlessly and yet feel happy about it. 

If they are sick or are under some medication: Being sick, in pain, or under medication can provoke a dog’s aggression quite often. 

Types of Aggression That Labradors Goes Through

  • Pack order aggression
  • Territorial aggression
  • Gender aggression
  • Redirected aggression
  • Fear induced aggression
  • Pain induced aggression
  • Predatorial aggression
  • Maternal aggression

Do Labradors Protect Their Owners?

Will A Lab Protect Its Owner? Even though Labradors are a guarding breed but they aren’t typically very protective. They will protect their owners to some degree but not to the extent that many guard dogs usually go for. 

Labradors are extremely friendly dogs who will come to rescue their owner but only to an extent. They may bark at someone who is hurting their owner, but that’s the most they will do. Labradors won’t attack someone just to protect their owner or unless they are trained to do so. They aren’t threatening or protective but quite playful and friendly. 

How Often Do Labradors Attack?

It isn’t very often that Labradors attack. This worldwide popular breed has gained such huge and unarguable fame for some good reasons. Labradors are calm and composed, and it is very unlikely for them to attack until provoked. They may bark upon unusual things but biting or attacking isn’t simple in their genes.

Labradors from generations have been taught to socialize, and that’s how they behave throughout their life. Labs can survive in families, amongst other dogs and even other domestic animals, without ego or territorial clashes coming in between. It can be another animal or human who may try to provoke, but Labs generally remains calm and never initiate a fight.

However, despite how calm Labradors are since they are dogs, it is important to look out for signs of change in their temperament.

Some indications that your Labrador can attack:

  • If a Labrador is growling, be careful around him. And if the growl intensifies, move backwards and let the dog calm down on his own.
  • If a Labrador is in a frozen stance and staring right into your eyes, it is better to move backwards. In any such instance, the chances of an attack are extremely high.
  • If your Labrador’s ears are tucked backwards, the mouth is tightly closed, and the tailed is tucked inside, do not approach him, or he may attack.
  • When Labrador curls its lip up to bare his teeth, it is smart to move away, or the dog might attack.
  • Never approach a Labrador when he is chewing on a bone. Many dogs attack when disturbed while eating.
  • If a Labrador is staring and stalking you with your head low to the ground, simply move away. You may initially find it playful, but the dog is probably ready to attack.
  • If a Labrador sees a female lab who is in her heat, move away from them. Any disturbance can make either of the dogs attacks you. 

TIP: If a Labrador is trying to attack you, try moving away from the place slowly. Make sure you break eye contact with the dog, keep your body free of any tension, and try not to scream or run.

Why Does My Lab Growl At Me?

Growling is a dog’s way of communication. However, dogs can growl for several reasons, be it out of love, pain, fear, aggression, or more. Therefore, it is important to identify what your dog is trying to convey when he growls. Here are a few possibilities that you can assume when your Labrador is growling at you. 

  1. Out of Fear: Labradors typically growl at strangers or someone specific out of fear, most likely. When did being that individual has to trigger your dog’s fear?
  2. Out of Pain: The most common reason why your dog is growling is due to pain, illness, or some kind of physical discomfort. 
  3. Due to Possession Aggression: Labradors growl for displaying Possession Aggression if you approach them while playing, eating, chewing, or more.
  4. For Territoriality: Dogs are very keen about their territory, and if someone stranger approaches their space, they growl out in aggression. 

Do Labradors Bite Their Owners?

Labradors aren’t very likely when it comes to dogs who bite their owner or someone else. Labs are lovable, and they have the natural genetics of being happy and playful dogs. Unless heavily instigated, they won’t bite their owners ever. Even if a Labrador had bitten its owner, there would have been a very strong reason behind the same. 

Here are some of the common reasons that can make a Labrador bite:

  • Labradors bite due to lack of training.
  • Labradors bite if they are provoked or instigated to do so.
  • Labradors often bite during their teething stage.
  • Labradors may bite if they are in some kind of pain.
  • Labradors may bite out of social aggression.
  • Labradors with traumatic histories may tend to bite.

Is Labrador Bite Dangerous? What Is Labrador Bite Force?

Since Labradors are large dogs, their bite can be harsh and dangerous. In addition, a Lab’s jaw produces heavy pressure while they bite, and its physical strength contributes to the same. Labs, though, are very unlikely to bite, but if they do so, it might prove painful and physically dangerous.

The Bite Force of a Labrador Retriever is about 230 pounds per square inch. Dog’s bite force is measured by a scientific testing device called a “bite sleeve.” The Kangal Shepherd has the strongest bite force of about 743 pounds per square inch. Bandog follows it with 730 pounds PSI, Cane Corso with 700 PSI, and Dogue de Bordeaux with 556 Pounds PSI. Labrador Retrievers are strong dogs when it comes to their bite, but in the chart of strongest, they fall somewhere in the middle. 

Wrapping up…

Labradors will not behave aggressively unless you do not force them to. Labs are loving dogs known for playful and friendly personalities. They, by genetics, never should aggression, nor do they purposely bite someone. But remember, Labs, at the end of the day, are voiceless dogs. And if provoked or instigated, they can prove dangerous with their aggression and size. 

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