That feeling when you bring home your new labrador puppy is fairly universal, and you’re expecting them to be cuddly and playful. However, not all dogs are the same, and some aren’t that affectionate. If this is the case for you, you have likely wondered: why is my labrador not affectionate?
Your Labrador is not affectionate because they are independent, are in pain, have an illness, or have a history of mistreatment. Young Labradors are less likely to be affectionate than adults. Older Labradors are less affectionate due to age and lack of physical activity.
In this article, we will be explaining why your labrador isn’t as affectionate as you thought he would be. In addition to this, we will also be answering some other commonly asked questions related to how affectionate the labrador retriever is.
5 Reasons Your Labrador Is Not Affectionate
There are five common reasons why your Labrador Retriever is not affectionate. Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do about most of these causes besides loving and accepting your dog for who they are. Here are five reasons why your Labrador is not affectionate.
Your Lab Just Likes His Space
Like people, some dogs just like their space and don’t like to cuddle or be smothered with affection. Most dogs like this are usually just born like that, and not being very affectionate is just one of the dog’s personality traits.
If your dog is like this, it doesn’t mean that he has no love for you, just that he shows affection toward you in different ways.
In general, a Labrador puppy will want some space more than an adult. This is because the puppy is still new to the world and you. The more they get used to your presence, the more space they will allow you to occupy.
Dogs are a lot like us, and they open up and build trust over time with you. Pay attention to your dogs habits, understand how much time they want and slowly encourage them to be more affectionate in small doses. This usually works!
Your Lab’s Last Family Wasn’t Very Nice
Of course, some dogs are uncomfortable around people due to past trauma. This is typically only the case for rescued dogs from a rescue or shelter. If this is the case with your Labrador, it is important to know how to handle dogs with special needs.
Dogs who have had prior mistreatment never forget those sad situations. A pet for them could’ve quickly turned into an aggressive attack. Normally a dog who has suffered this kind of treatment will give warning growls or run away from you when you initiate interaction.
Be sure to get much information as you can about your Labrador when you first get them. This way, you can build healthy habits from the first day onward.
It Takes a While For Your Lab to “Warm Up”
Some dogs take a while to warm up to strangers, and this is pretty normal. If this is the case with your dog, all you need to do is explain this personality trait to visitors and allow your dog to be comfortable when people are over. Although this is usually nothing to worry about, making your dog feel as comfortable as possible is crucial to limit the chances of him becoming fearfully aggressive.
Your Lab is Affectionate, But You Don’t Know It
Dogs show affection in many different ways other than cuddling and licking people all over. Dogs love their families, especially Labs. As a result, a “non-affectionate” Labrador Retriever is likely just expressing their affection towards you in a different way. The following are some lesser-known signs of affection from dogs:
● Bringing a toy over to you
● Playing with you
● Waiting for you to get home
● Running to the door when you get home
● Laying down next to you (even if he doesn’t like to snuggle)
Some dogs also show affection by simply walking away from you and laying down in another area of the home.
This display is less obvious because you haven’t seen what they did while you weren’t there, which is likely them just standing near the door awaiting your arrival. Now that you’re back, your Labrador is comfortable enough to lay anywhere in the house and not be on guard.
Your Labrador Doesn’t Feel Good
If your Labrador suddenly doesn’t like being touched, this is a warning sign that he is ill or in pain. This is especially true if this behavior is unusual for your dog or if he is showing other signs of pain or illness. Some other symptoms of pain in dogs include but are not limited to:
● Wincing when walking or being touched
● Decreased Appetite
Are Labradors Affectionate
Typically, Labrador Retrievers are considered to be amiable and affectionate dogs. However, not every Lab is the same, and some might not be the classically affectionate dog that you might expect.
Do Labrador Retrievers Like To Cuddle
Most labradors form a strong bond with their owners, which means that many of them love to cuddle with them. Although most labs love to cuddle, every dog is different. Therefore, it isn’t abnormal for some labs not to enjoy cuddle time.
When you have your lab home, see what he is comfortable with. If he seems like he enjoys your cuddles, then great! However, if he seems to be stressed out by cuddles, then you should bond in other ways, such as games of fetch.
Why Is My Lab Puppy Not Cuddly
If you bring your new lab puppy home for the first time and find that he does not enjoy cuddling, it is likely just his personality. Some dogs don’t enjoy this type of affection, and it is usually nothing to worry about. You can bond with your lab puppy in other ways through things like playtime, walks, and more!
How Do You Know If Your Labrador Loves You
All dogs show love for their owners in many different ways. For some labs, this is through snuggle time, and for others, it is through things like initiating playtime with you. In addition to this, dogs show love for their people by waiting at the window for them to return home and even just wanting to be near you.
How Do I Get My Dog To Be More Affectionate
Unfortunately, some dogs don’t have an affectionate personality, and you cannot force them to enjoy hugs and cuddles.
However, allowing your dog to warm up to you and your family and getting to know your dog better will likely show you that your dog does show affection. This affection is just shown in different ways, and you will likely learn to love them even more for it.
When it comes to dogs who get anxious during petting and other physical interactions, you must know the signs of stress in dogs. It has a direct impact on how affectionate they will be.
Understanding this type of body language from your dog prevents anxiety and fear from getting worse. This is common in all breeds, not just Labradors.
In addition to this, knowing your dog’s stress signals and removing them from stressful situations will also prevent fear aggression, which can be dangerous for both your dog and others. Some common signs of anxiety in dogs include but are not limited to:
● Tail tucked between legs
● Urinating or Defecating
● Wide eyes with whites showing
● Dropping low and rolling on to their back (while looking fearful)
● Running away from you
● Snarling, growling, and other signs of aggression
If you notice that your Labrador shows one or more of these stress signals during any interaction, then it is best to remove them from that situation. It will also likely be useful to seek help from a vet, veterinary behaviorist, and a qualified dog trainer.
These professionals will put you and your dog on a treatment plan that will help to reduce and manage your dog’s anxiety. A vet will also be able to rule out any physical conditions that may make a dog more fearful or reactive. Although it may seem difficult and expensive in certain situations, going through these steps will improve your, and especially your dog’s, quality of life.