Labrador retrievers have been the most popular breed of dog for several years. It's no wonder, because they have a well-deserved reputation as friendly, gentle, fun-loving dogs that are easy to train. Sadly, with such great popularity comes a few problems. Many people see the opportunity to make some easy money and start breeding dogs indiscriminately, causing health and behavior problems. In addition, some people adopt or buy the popular breed without regard to whether they are suitable owners. Hyperactivity is often a result of poor breeding and/or an inappropriate environment. It's not a hopeless problem, however, and there are steps you can take to help you keep up with your hyperactive Labrador.
Exercise your LAB. This is a must, and it cannot be put off because of rain, sleet, snow or heat. Your Labrador retriever must be completely tired out at least two times each day--three times daily is better--and this will continue into the dog's middle age at least. Completely tired out means the dog walks into the house and flops down for an hour's nap or longer. Its exercise should be a combination of leash walking and free play in an enclosed area; it needs both.
Keep the household schedule and routines as structured as possible. Dogs tend to be anxious if there is too much uncertainty in their routines, and anxiety often results in hyperactivity.
Find chews that your dog really loves--the kind that will make it lie down and chew for a good 30 to 60 minutes without a break. This may be large soup bones from the grocer, rawhide or other chews. Chewing is good exercise and relieves stress for dogs. Give real bones raw; cooked ones splinter more easily. Give rawhide only with supervision. Some veterinarians recommend rawhide, and others are against it. Supervision is always required, and you should discuss the pros and cons with your pup's veterinarian first. Buy a few Kong toys, fill them with peanut butter and other goodies and freeze them.
Play some indoor games daily in addition to the daily outdoor exercise. Tug is a great indoor game, especially when you are tired or want to watch TV. Just sit down comfortably and hold the tug toy while your dog pulls to its heart's content. Tug is a healthy game for dogs and does not cause aggressive behavior. Take advantage of your Lab's soft mouth and play Nerf fetch indoors, but keep the Nerf toy out of reach when not in use.
Teach your dog to play with puzzle toys. It has to learn to work the puzzle to get the treat to come out.
Include training time into every day. Teach your puppy as many words and commands as possible. The more its active mind is occupied, the better.
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