When Will My Labrador ? Calm Down
[Definitive Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Many people ask: What age do Labradors calm down? This is a good question if someone is thinking of getting a lab for their family to enjoy and train. Labradors are well known as kind, gentle, sweet dogs who love their owners.

However, some owners report that labradors only calm down after one year of age. Labs calm down more slowly than some breeds, which can make it hard to keep control of your dog at the dog park or in other situations.

Are Labs Calm Dogs?

Labradors are actually a calm breed, but they were bred to be hunting and water dogs. This means they were born to do work. If they do not have a daily job to do, they can become a hyper dog. 

Labs calm down a lot after they are one year old. Working dogs calm down more slowly than other breeds. A lab can still be a good fit for your needs if you want a happy dog who enjoys mental stimulation. A lab puppy will be a great dog to relax with as it gets older.
Labrador owners love this dog breed despite their high-energy play in their early life. Maturity is reached by three years old, and Labs are at their best in this age range. A puppy of any breed will require training and attention. If you have questions about whether you can spend time with your new puppy, you may want to get an older dog.

Is a Lab Puppy More Active Than an Older Dog?

Many families question if they should get a puppy or an older dog to suit their needs. A Labrador is a very trainable dog at any age, and Labs calm down faster than many other working dog breeds. That being said, a puppy that is a hyper dog will need more attention than a dog that is not naturally high energy.

If you do not think that you can take the time to teach your dog obedience skills, it needs to be a good adult Labrador; you may need to consider getting an older Lab for your family. Dogs of any age need lots of time and love, but a puppy needs more actual training to succeed in life.

Research, the breeder that you are thinking of getting a dog from before you buy. Ask questions about energy levels, and remember that many labs calm down after about a year old. If the breeder is selling puppies for hunting or other working dog jobs, this kind of Labrador may be too intense for your family.

A good family dog will never be a hyper dog that is hard to control. This is seldom a concern when looking at the Lab breed, but it is always wise to meet the Labrador Retriever you consider taking home and introduce everyone in the family to it.

If your Labrador Retriever struggles to calm down as an older dog, make sure to reward your dog when it controls its energy. Owners who can contain a hyper dog have trained their Lab to decide to be patient. Always give your dog enough exercise to help them to focus at any age.

How to Train Labs to be Calm

Labrador Retrievers love to be busy. A Lab puppy needs mental stimulation to enjoy life. Training your dog is easy, and if you give your dog enough exercise, it will automatically be less likely to display hyperactivity. Puppy training is a gradual process, and you need to commit daily energy to the project.

If you have never worked with your puppy on obedience training, there are some fun things you can do to exercise and teach your dog at the same time. Lab puppies love water, and they love to train their mind. This means that the training techniques you use now will work for your dog at any age. Teach your dog challenging skills but also basic tricks to keep them on their toes.

Some ways you can train your dog to stay calm are:

  • Sit and stay exercise: This is one of the basic ways to teach this breed to control their energy. Stand in front of your puppy and tell them to wait. Walk away to the side and point. If they hold still for a few moments, reward them with a treat. It will only take a handful of attempts to teach your Labrador puppy to have patience. This is an excellent skill for dogs who will be used as service dogs.
  • Lay Down Cue: This is a crucial way to keep Labs calm, and it teaches patience as well. Use a treat reward system to encourage your dog to lay down on command. The next time they are being wild or getting in the way, you will be able to ask them to lay flat and work on relaxing.
  • Fishing Game: Labs love to hunt for things. Puppies and older Retrievers alike love to fish stuff out of the water. If you have access to a body of water, buy a toy that floats and teach your dog to find the item. This will train your Labrador to come when called and do a focused task that challenges their minds. 
  • Take Them to New Places: A puppy needs to see the world to learn about it. Taking your dog to see new things can help reduce their energy and can provide them with exercise. Puppies thrive on new experiences, and teaching a dog to relax when they are in a new place is a huge and essential skill. Socialization is a great way to teach your Lab to listen to you.
  • Kennel or Crate Training: While this can take some patience, teaching your Labrador to be quiet and calm in a kennel or a crate will help them be good at going to new places later in life. Dogs are pack animals, but they also need quiet time to calm down. A small space where they feel safe and can be peaceful is a great tool to teach them one way to reduce their energy level.
  • Go to Puppy Class: If training your dog is feeling a bit overwhelming, puppy classes are a great way to get help with your dog’s energy levels while also being shown how to teach them new things. 

All of these training techniques will work well for any age of Labrador. These skills can help any age dog refocus their energy and calm down if they are excited.

Will a Lab be Hard to Control?

You might wonder if a family with children would struggle to control a high-energy Lab. This is another question that has a lot to do with how you are training your dog.

Training a pet is a responsibility that many dog owners do not fully consider when they get a pet. Always make sure to talk to experts or other owners about the type of dog you want to get. You will want to be informed about the dog breed you choose before you actually have the new puppy or adult dog in your home.

Labs are medium-sized dogs and are very gentle at any age. This does not mean that this size dog cannot pull hard on a leash at any age. Your Lab may have high energy levels as well, and it could be wise to exercise your pet before letting it play with children.

A leash and collar are usually enough to control a Labrador, and questions about stronger training devices are usually easily resolved by suggesting ways to give your Lab enough exercise. Always use a treat-based reward system to train a puppy and access this structured system later in life to make a Lab fun for anyone to play with.

Some dogs prefer being led by a harness and leash design, and your Labrador might demonstrate calm behavior if you make this change. Always remember that training collars and devices must be used responsibly. Do not purchase a training collar without the advice of a dog trainer guiding you.

What is the Difference Between Energy and Hyperactivity?

There is a big difference between a dog that displays high energy levels and one that is genuinely hyper. There are some key signs that your Lab is actually struggling with a behavioral issue rather than a normal amount of excitement about life.
Hyper dogs show these signs:

  • Excessive panting or drooling
  • Jumping against people even when told no
  • Pacing or digging
  • Lack of appetite
  • Protective behavior about toys and food
  • Nipping or biting
  • Chasing anything that moves

While many dogs and puppies can display these behaviors, an excess of these symptoms can mean that a dog struggles with unbalanced emotions. These dogs are challenging to own and train. If your Lab demonstrates this level of energy all the time, you may need to get help from a trainer to help you teach your Labrador to control their emotional concerns.

Dogs who display nervous or emotional behavior have special needs. While this is not a common problem for the Lab breed, each dog is unique. If you believe that your Labrador displays unbalanced behavior, an expert can help you get them back on track.

So, at What Age Do Labradors Calm Down?

If you are still wondering what age your Lab will be when it can calm down, the answer can vary. Just like children, some dogs are higher energy than others. Some dogs calm down at a few months of age, while Labradors might be as old as two before they have less energy.

Remember that Labs calm down easily if they are kept busy and have some patience with your hyper dog. Two years out of a long life of love and joy is not so much to commit to before you have the dog of your dreams! Labradors have one of the best personality profiles for family dogs, and teaching them to have patience in puppyhood is worth the effort.