Are Labradors Aggressive Towards Other Dogs? 4 Steps to Introduce Your Lab To Dogs

Barred teeth, hostile barking, and aggressive lunges, this doesn’t sound like a labrador; We all know labradors for their loving nature and sociable character, it is hard to believe that these lovey-dovey creatures can be aggressive or hostile towards dogs or people.

So, Are Labradors aggressive towards other dogs?  Labradors are not aggressive towards other dogs, they are a sociable breed that can befriend other canines; labradors may be aggressive if they’re feeling protective, frustrated, hurt, overexcited, displaying dominance, experiencing food changes or medication side effects, or having behavioral issues

If your Labrador is violent towards other dogs, you’ll want to put an end to it as soon as possible. This article will explain why your Labrador is aggressive and how to deal with it, so keep reading

Are Labradors aggressive towards other dogs? 

3 labs playing to answer are labradors aggressive towards other dogs

Labradors naturally know how to interact with other labs and dogs of different breeds, displaying minimal aggression and banter. Labrador retrievers get along with other dogs and are quite adaptable. 

As a result, socializing with them with different dog breeds should be straightforward. However, the best-bred In certain situations, Labrador Retrievers can be temperamental and have difficulties with other dogs; at that moment, labradors can become aggressive and dangerous.

if the male labs are properly taught and disciplined to get along and act civilly, they have little dominance issues.

12 Reasons Why your labrador is aggressive towards other dogs? 

Feeling Protective

It’s possible that your Labrador is hostile to other dogs because he or she is guarding you, a loved one, or a territory. This is more likely if it does it in the presence of other people. 

You can learn more about your lab’s protective instincts in my post on will a labrador attack an intruder here.


When another dog goes too close to a specific object that your dog is protective of, such as their favorite toy, the dog might become frustrated, thus hostile by snarling and barking.

Lack of socialization with other dogs 

Perhaps your dog was not used to being around other dogs as a puppy. Labrador pups are used to interacting with their littermates on a regular basis while they are puppies.

This teaches them that other dogs are not going to harm them, that they are pals, and that they can control their anger. If your Labrador has not gotten the opportunity to do so, it is in their nature to be wary of other dogs. 

Displaying Dominance 

It’s possible that your Labrador is becoming bossy.

This is especially likely if it prefers to do so with smaller dogs and engages in other domineering behaviors, such as attempting to place itself higher than other dogs.

“I’m in pain” 

Your dog may become violent if they are in discomfort.

So, first and foremost, determine whether or not your dog is unwell or injured. When a dog is injured, he or she will become aggressive in an attempt to indicate that they are.  Your dog could also become aggressive with people, or even you if they are in pain. You can learn more about this in my post on the causes of labs’ sudden aggression here.


It may be unrealistic to expect a hyperactive dog to remain calm. When a dog is aroused after a period of vigorous play, you will see aggressiveness. The presence of other dogs might result in some obnoxious barking.

Problems with behavior 

Dogs benefit from good manners. they will exhibit aggressive behavior against other dogs and people if not properly socialized. 

The dog must be able to obey orders such as “sit,” “stay,” and “recall.” If your dog is having difficulties responding to this, he/she will require training. 

Changes in the food 

If you modify your Lab’s diet, they may begin to reject it. Aggression can be seen but in a minor form. It’s much worse if the kibble has a lot of sugar or salt.

You can check my guide to dog foods and recipes here.

Reactions or side effects of some medications 

You may have given your dog so much medicine that you’ve lost track.

From vaccines to neutering treatments and the medications offered as the animal ages.

Some medications have the potential to cause significant adverse effects in your dog. They may raise your dog’s body temperature, make them more aggressive or just make him feel uneasy.

Learned behavior 

If a dog shows aggressiveness and the item they were afraid of disappears, the behavior is likely to be rewarded and repeated.

Social Development  

Dogs raised in an isolated environment are more likely to be aggressive than dogs who were raised in a well-socialized environment.

Stress and fear

When dogs are stressed or afraid, they are more prone to display aggressiveness.


High testosterone levels in dogs can lead to aggressiveness. Females that are in breeding season or who have litters may be more aggressive.

4 Steps to introduce your labrador to a new dog

Find a place of neutrality 

Make the encounter at a site that neither dog is familiar with, if at all feasible so that neither dog feels like they own the space; the dogs should come separately. 

Take a stroll 

Practice walking with a slack leash so that neither dog is bothered by pressure around the throat. Separate the dogs as much as possible. Allow the dogs to come closer together as the walk proceeds, providing they are accepting each other’s presence. Allow them to smell each other after they’re both happy and comfortable, and give them praise and goodies as they engage.

If two dogs aren’t getting along, pay attention to the Warning Signs That Things Aren’t Going Smoothly. Here are some red signs to look out for: 

  • Closed mouth 
  • Tail high and regularly moving 
  • Ears forward
  • stiffly standing Staring\s 
  • Growling 
  • One dog trying to stay away from the other 
  • Ears flat
  • tail tucked


  • Getting to Know You If all goes well, take the dogs to a fenced-in play area. Keep them on leashes at first, then let them socialize off-leash if the indications are positive. 
  • Pay attention to what they’re saying
  • Other favorable behavioral indications to watch for include: 
  • Body motions that are relaxed 
  • Mouths wide open 
  • Tail wagging/back end wiggle 
  • Play bows (elbows on the ground, hindquarters in the air) 
  • bouncing/jumping games 

Take them home

The next step is to return the two pets to their owners. Allow them to go around and play until they’re exhausted; they’ll be much calmer when they get inside if they’re wary.

The difference between rough play vs aggression 

If you’re wondering when to get concerned or even involved while your labs are “playing” them here’s a comparison between rough play and aggression in dogs.

Rough PlayAggression
The play bow: slapping front paws down on the ground repeatedlyClosed mouth, curled lip, low warning growl.
Direct stare –  a stressed pup will intently focus on another dog without blinking or engage in excessive and aggressive stalking.
An Open mouth – sometimes with a grinquick and efficient movement – no bouncing around, no taking turns.
Exaggerated, bouncy movementpinned flat ears and lips curled back and snarling. 
Loud, continuous growling and snarling (exaggerated)tense or rigid posture
When playing chase, they make themselves vulnerable by falling down and exposing their bellies, as well as enabling themselves to be captured.Snarling: tiny muzzle movements associated with a lip snarl may be an indicator of an uncomfortable dog. Dogs will often lift their lip in a snarl before they growl or snap.Growling  followed by any sudden hostility
Continue to return for more. Even the dog who lands on his back refuses to quit playing.face muscles tightening or furrowed brows.

Can 2 male labradors live together?

Two male labradors can live together and get along fine; labradors are generally known for having a laid back, friendly and patient personality; lab owners say that neutered males get along easier with minimal dominance issues; if trained well, 2 labradors are a protective, loving and fun company.

Labradors naturally get along with other labs and other breeds, indicating less banter and aggressiveness toward one another. Labrador owners report having little dominance issues with their male labs if they are properly educated and disciplined to get along and act civilly. 

The worst that may happen is when one gets a bit out of hand during a rough play session when one attempts to establish more authority or dominance and the other quickly recalls him.

Related Questions 

Do male labradors get along with other dogs? 

Male labradors get along with other dogs, Labrador retrievers are incredibly adaptive. As a result, introducing them to any other breed of dog should be rather simple. But the best-bred Labrador can be temperamental and have issues with other dogs in some cases.

How do I stop my dog from attacking other dogs? 

You can stop your dog from attacking other dogs by remaining calm, as shouting at them will worsen aggression, walking on, creating a positive experience by letting him socialize with other dogs, entertain and distract your dog if you notice any signs of tension, and block their view of the other dog

How do dogs show dominance over other dogs? 

Dogs will express their dominance in a variety of ways, the most common of which is to expose their teeth, snarl, growl, or bark at other dogs who approach their food, favorite toy, or territory too close.

Helpful Resources 

Labrador Retrievers for Dummies by Joel Walton, Eve Adamson (which you can also check on Amazon here

Behavioural testing for aggression in the domestic dog – Willem J.Netto – Doreen J.U.Planta

Two Dogs are better than one

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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