Do Labradors Get Angry? What Happens If They Do?

Labradors usually come first in line when you think pleasant, sociable, friendly, and loving; these are no myths, but they only make up the good side of things.

I don’t want to disappoint you, but Labradors, in reality, can be very reactive to other dogs or people, which may be a bit tough.

I know It might be rather difficult to believe that this loving breed can get worked up and angry, but as a matter of fact, they are not these socio-easy and easy-to-go dogs 24/7.

So, Do Labradors Get Angry? Labradors can get angry; When a lab is angry, he will keep his head high, his ears up and forwards, his tail high and firmly held, the hairs on his back will stand his weight will be forward, ready to lunge, and he will be gazing straight at the human or the dog. Expect him to lunge after.

I know how you might think, “an angry labrador? Is there such thing?” well, keep on reading to know why labrador retrievers may get angry and how to deal with them if this occurs.

Do Labradors get angry? 

Angry lab to show why do labradors get angry

Yes, Labradors, although a so tender and affectionate breed, can get angry and enraged. 

Labradors are not aggressive or angry in general; they were actually proved to be one of the least violent breeds in a study that tested dogs’ anger. 

The answer to the question “can Labradors be aggressive?” though, is: 

Like any dog or creature in general, yes, they can get furious due to various reasons, either a provoking encounter or hereditary features from parents and life experiences; these all affect the personality of a labrador.

But rest assured, the history of Labrador retrievers shows that the breed has never been perceived as violent.

Before we get into the causes that can make Labs angry, you should know I also have another guide here on why golden retrievers can get angry here which you should definitely check out.

8 Causes why a labrador may get angry. 

For numerous different reasons, Labradors can exhibit behaviors of aggression due to:


Certain illnesses can make dogs act angrily, so If your lab recently becomes quick-tempered and aggressive, this may be due to a medical concern.


Frustration sometimes comes from the fact that a dog can’t get something he wants. In various ways, the dog releases this pent up irritation, which may sadly be at the cost of another animal or even a human being.


When labradors are excessively worried or feeling protective over their loved ones or possessions, they may get angry and violent.


Fear is a feeling that dogs typically exhibit in quite the opposite way, so if your dog feels frightened or threatened, he might lash out in anger.


Changes in the environment of a dog can cause anxiety and anger. Your dog might feel anxious when a new member of the family is brought in, a new puppy is brought into the picture, extended periods left alone or even moved to a new home.

Leash aggression

If your dog begins to snap at anything he can see as soon as you put their leash on, then your lab is leash-aggressive – In general, leash anger is triggered by a sensation of too much leash restraint.


Dogs are likely to get attached and possessive, either of their owners or simply their toys, stuff or sitting spot; if they feel like any of these is danger, they will snap to prove themselves as guards.

Establishing dominance

When there are multiple dogs at the same place, each one’s instinct is to prove himself as an alpha of the pack; this may bring tension that will lead to anger and maybe escalate to violence.

Warning Signs that your Labrador is angry

Angry Labrador

When your Labrador is furious or aggressive, he will try to make himself appear all big and mighty. He’d be displaying actions to appear confident, dominant, and forceful, but he will add aggressive and threatening body signals on top of this stance.

His weight will often be focused over his front legs, allowing him to lunge or charge forward with lightning speed. 

He’s going to maintain his head tall, his ears up and down, his tail tall and robust, hair on the back standing, his weight going forward, eyes as sharp as an eagle at the person, or dog, is going to look straight. I’ll let you in on an important tip. It’s a matter of time before he attacks. 

Detecting signals of aggressiveness is one of the simpler aspects of a dog’s body language.

So here are the red flags you should pay attention to if you feel that your dog is tense:

  • Growling
  • Barking
  • A Stiff,  immobile posture
  • Inattentiveness to commands
  • Standing ears

What do when your Labrador gets angry 

 First thing, you should identify the reason behind their anger to be able to provide the right solution and act accordingly.

On the spot, you should act fast:

If your dog starts attacking another dog or a human being 

  • Restain him with the leash

Pulling your dog right away when he gets angry is a wise way to react; you wouldn’t want to leave things until they get severe and actual harm happens.

  • Don’t physically intervene.

Yes, your dog wouldn’t usually hurt you, but when dogs get angry, you cannot control their reactions, and sometimes they can’t, too, so don’t think about actually holding your dog to pull him away if you don’t want him to snap.

  • Make distance

This one seems obvious, but if your dog is getting furious at another dog or person, stay away; better yet, leave the whole area if you can – don’t provoke another reaction from your lab.

On the long term, if anger becomes an issue, you can address it through the following:

  • Positive Reinforcement Training
    • Using incentives like treats, toys, or anything your dog likes to incite obedience based on trust is the most effective form of training.
  • Stay away from Physical Punishment.
    • Do you know what trait exists in labradors (& most dog breeds)? Stubbornness, if you get physical with your dog, he will likely get angrier and become aggressive in the long term.
  • High-Intensity Training Exercises
    • Anger is energy, and energy is better released when it comes to dogs; make sure you labrador gets daily exercise to release all pent-up energy and become more tolerant and calm in general to minimize the possibility of him getting angry.
  • Consistent Rules
    • Inconsistent rules may cause your dog to become frustrated, thus angry and aggressive, so make sure you’re consistent with what is a yes and what is a no.
  • Regular Socialization
    • If your lab is used to being around people and other dogs, it is less likely for him to get provoked by their presence.

Labradors are friendly and gentle, but if they are angry and aggressive, they can attack and bite like any other dog. You can learn more about Labradors’ biting here.

Related Questions

Which labradors are the calmest? 

All Labradors are naturally calm, although many Labrador owners wrongfully believe in the myth that the personality differs according to hues; some claim that yellow labs are the nicest and kindest yellow labs while black labs are the calmest, and chocolate ones are more aggressive.

You can learn more about the truth of Black Labrador aggression here.

Do labradors get aggressive? 

Like all dog breeds, Labradors can get aggressive; either because of internal factors like frustration, illness, or external ones like being provoked by another dog or a person. In general, though, Labradors are not considered an aggressive breed.

Helpful Resources 

Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs, Sarah E. Lofgren, Pamela Wiener, Sarah C. Blott, Enrique Sanchez-Molano, John A. Woolliams, Dylan N. Clements, Marie J. Haskell, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 156, 2014, Pages 44-53, ISSN 0168-1591

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

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources


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.

Recent Posts