My Dog Space
Understanding Labrador Retrievers: Connecting Hunting Abilities To A Lab’s Behavior In The Home
Labrador Retrievers are many things to many people. Because of their loving nature and obedient temperament, these dogs have not only made great companions and helpers, but they are most often used as service dogs for the blind and handicapped.
How many dogs are adaptive enough to live with all of those different roles, yet still have the personality to enjoy swimming, hunting, and play fetching games? Labs are truly universal pets which is why they are my favorite dog to own.
What Makes The Lab Tick?
Labrador Retrievers are the product of long generations of breeders who used stringent selection for an animal that is intensely motivated to retrieve and plunge themselves into icy waters, swim against the hardest current, and swim back carrying a heavy waterfowl back to its hunter.
Having such a genetic ability to accomplish this job takes strength, endurance, determination, and the mental toughness to ignore any pain along the way. Sometimes the prey may still be alive and trying to fight its way out of the dog’s mouth.
The Strong-Willed Psyche Of The Labrador Retriever
The pressures of performing their hunting abilities, as described above, not only sharpens and strengthens a Labrador’s physical body, it also shapes the dog’s psyche. Motivation and determination is something that can only cause a dog to be so driven that they can make the fall (find the position) of a fallen bird, search for it regardless of the terrain, retrieve its prey under any circumstances, and then bring it back successfully to the hunter.
You Can Learn From This Hunting Behavior
This determination that Labs have when out in the hunting fields is a great way to understand the its behavior in the home. Some of you may be wondering why it is important to know just how incredible your Labrador retriever can function outside when hunting game, even if you do not take your dog out for such activities. The key is to understand just how fiercely intent a Labrador Retriever’s vision is as a hunter and then use that information to help you train and understand your dog when he becomes stubborn at home.
All too many Labrador owners experience frustration when their dog refuses to obey commands in the home. The reason is because these dogs act in a certain way and respond to certain behaviors that all links back to their hunting genetics.
They may react and make decisions that are only natural and good for their hunting skills, but not good for whatever training purposes you are intending at the moment. For the truly committed Labrador owners, it would behoove of you to learn and study its genetic hunting abilities and better understand this dog’s mental psyche when making decisions. Your training will be an easier and much more pleasant experience.