Labrador Retriever: Why Are Labs So Friendly?

Labrador Retrievers have been the most famous dogs in America for nearly three decades now. This makes pet owners question sometimes why Labs are so friendly.

The answer to this question involves a variety of things and reasons. But, one thing that sets Labradors apart from most for sure is that they are incredibly friendly and people-oriented.

And in a world where pet owners seek companionship, a friendly and loving dog is an amazing pet to have.

However, being so friendly is not the only reason why Labs considered to be amazing pets. They are also intelligent, trainable, and even-tempered, among many others.

In this article, we will discuss why exactly Labradors are so friendly as they are.

Labrador history

Before we dive deeper into why Labrador Retrievers are so friendly and sociable, let’s take a bit of a look at the history of their breed and see where their roots lie.

Labradors originally came from a breed of fishing dogs that used to thrive in Newfoundland, Canada all the way back to a couple of centuries ago.

Years later in the 1900s, the breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club as an official breed.

From the very beginning, they bred to be work dogs and to assist humans in their day-to-day tasks.

Originally, they were fishing dogs, which is a fact that manifests in their special double coat and their otter tail.

From then on, the Labrador slowly became a working dog in the way of retrieving.

So, how is it that Labs are so friendly?

The answer is most likely because of their breeding.

Friendliness is not something that is innate in all pets. Some breeds are notoriously aggressive or reject people.

However, because of Labrador Retrievers’ long history of working with humans, they have become domesticated in a way that eventually led them to their degree of friendliness today.

This study affirms that behavioral characteristics in dogs tend to stem from human needs.

From that, we can surmise that Labradors were successfully bred, and with their breeding came the friendly temperament.

Are all Labradors friendly?

Even though the breed is predominantly friendly and likes to please and be around people, not every Labrador is this way.

Just like humans, each dog has individual differences that set them apart from each other.

It may be that a Labrador is just born not as friendly as its brothers and sisters. At other times, their lack of friendliness may also be borne of a traumatic past or experience.

Regardless, as a pet owner, you should cultivate your love and care for your pet.

Your attention and care for them will go a long way in ensuring that they have positive relationships, whether it is with another animal or a human being.

Speaking of individual differences, there are also common misconceptions regarding friendliness and how it may relate to certain Lab color.

Are yellow Labs friendlier than other Labs?

There is a current misconception that yellow Labradors are friendlier than their black and chocolate counterparts.

This could be due to the fact that they are similar in color to the Golden Retriever, which is another breed well-known for their friendliness.

However, this idea is currently unfounded. There is no coat color that can considered the friendliest among the different Labrador colors.

Besides, most of the differences in Labradors can chalked up to their individual differences and not the coat color.

Regardless of the color of their coats, Labradors are incredibly friendly and loving!

What to do about an unfriendly Lab?

As previously mentioned, not all Labradors are as friendly as they come.

Some naturally predisposed to it, while some may have acquired unfriendliness through their personal history.

However, there are certain things you can do and act on to help your dog become more comfortable in their surroundings.

1. Leave behind punishment.

For the longest time, punishing dogs was thought to be the ideal way of training.

Now, though, those ideas have been disputed and are a thing of the past.

So, if you want to train your Lab or do anything with them, you have to do away with implementing harsh punishment.

Though it might be difficult to get your point across when they make a mistake, punishing them will not be as effective as positive reinforcement.

Your Lab will trust you more and know that they can rely on you to be there if you enforce positive reinforcement even when they make mistakes.

2. Give them care and affection.

Labradors will thrive when given proper care and attention. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to care for your pet as much as you possibly can and give them what they need (and maybe more).

Cultivating that affection in your Labrador will help them gain your trust and make them feel that they are welcome and loved.


Labradors are an excellent breed that is well-known for their excellent temperament and friendliness.

Their attitude towards you and other people can be a great asset that you can bank on.

However, even if your Lab is not as friendly as you’d expect, that does not mean they won’t love you. Sometimes, dogs just have individual differences.

Most of the time, though, Labs are bound to be friendly and a people-pleaser. So, you likely won’t have any problem with Labrador friendliness.

Authored By

John Lab

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