The Labrador Brats Dog Blog

Do You Humanize Your Labrador?

“Don’t humanize Labrador Retrievers: they don’t like it.”

As I was reading a recent article in Just Labs, I couldn’t help when I got to this statement. It isn’t the fact that Labrador Retrievers don’t like to be humanized but rather how easy it is for us Lab dog breed owners to do just that.

Labs are dogs and even though I love my Dakota and Cheyenne to pieces, the statement is very true. As the article stated, dog owners humanize their Labs because we see the best we can be in them. Dogs in general are loving, caring, playful and don’t have the stresses we have in the human world. We want to be more like them – to just live life to the fullest… and of course have a belly rub every once in a while.

However, humanizing a dog, even a Labrador Retriever, is not what is best for them. Labs work best with rules, structure and boundaries. Take those away to give them loads of spoiling and usually you will end up with a very naughty little puppy.

I personally took this article to heart on my walk with Cheyenne today. Her knee has been bothering her so I decided to take her on a shorter walk without Dakota. This made sure that Cheyenne wasn’t swerving all over the place with her sister and was able to keep a constant pace.

The walk went well until I took her off the leash and let her walk on her own.

She maintained a 6ft or better lead in front of me and was darting all over the place to smell everything… even trying to cross the street on her own. Why? Simple. You see, she really never had the same boundaries as Dakota. Before Cheyenne came around, Dakota was spoiled but was trained better. Once Cheyenne came around, she followed Dakota rather than us and, sad to say, we allowed her because she is the baby.

So back to the walk… there was no Dakota so Cheyenne took off on her own and assumed a lead position. My mind raced back to the article immediately and I had her sit and placed the leash back on her. She then continued to pull forward, which I corrected and made her stay by my side with me one step ahead of her.

She didn’t like it at first but calmed after a while and you can automatically see how calm she became and how her gait was even, with less pressure on her bad knee. The rest of the walk was definitely more pleasant.

Yes, we would love to humanize the dogs. Sure, they are our babies and we want to spoil them rotten. But really, what are we doing to them? They may look like they enjoy the human treatment but are they really happy? In the case of my Cheyenne she was happier just being a dog.