Will a Lab Attack an Intruder? Can You Trust Your Lab to Protect You?

As dog owners or future ones, we choose breeds depending on what’s right for us, Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular breeds, but they are not guarding dogs.

We all know that this scenario always crosses our minds – what if someone breaks in? What if a burglar decides to come in and attack me? Will my dog defend me? Or get all frightened and run the other way?

Will a Lab Attack an Intruder? Can You Trust Your Lab to Protect You? Labradors are unlikely to attack intruders unless these intruders show malicious intentions to harm the dog or the dog’s owners. Labradors have weak protective and territorial instincts and are usually friendly towards strangers and will not attack them unprovoked.

To learn how labradors will actually react in the case of intruders and how you can work on improving your dog’s protective instincts, keep on reading…

Will a Labrador attack an intruder? 

aggressive labrador to show will a lab attack an intruder or not

There is no definite answer to that, as it really depends on the individual dog’s personality and the situation itself.

A Labrador may respond aggressively to an intruder, either because their protective instincts have been activated or because they are scared, but this is likely to happen only if the intruder shows aggression signs or malicious intentions to harm the dog or the family.

If the intruder just wants to rob the house, it’s unlikely that your golden retriever will do anything to stop them.

Aggression, on the other hand, will always be a last resort for the friendly Labradors.  While some Labs are more likely to adopt a protective role due to their genes and their history, the majority of Labradors will just stand there due to their friendly nature.

That way of thinking is reinforced throughout the dog’s life, So if another person makes an aggressive move toward you, do you expect your dog to all of a sudden leap to your defense and do harm to your intruder?

Dogs are socialized and taught that people are friends and family from the time they are puppies. Guard dogs, on the other hand, are specifically trained to reinforce their territorial and protective instincts.

You can find many videos on the Internet that test what dogs will do in case of an Intruder attack, but this video below with a Labrador is a pretty good example;

In the video we see the most likely scenario for a Labrador in case of an Intruder attack, which is flight, not fight. However, you can find thousands of stories of friendly dogs like Labs and Goldens that attacked intruders and protected their house. So, at the end, it depends.

By the way, you can learn how a Golden Retriever will react in an Intruder attack here.

Are Labradors protective? 

Labrador Retrievers are not traditionally seen to be protective in the same way as traditional guarding breeds are and they don’t normally make guard dogs.

They may strive to protect their loved ones from what they perceive to be a threat. Still, not many interactions are perceived as dangerous to this breed’s sociability, so you are not likely to get a violently defensive reaction out of them.

These dogs are intelligent and eager to please. The Labrador, if properly taught, will warn you of an intruder or anything out of the norm. 

Labradors will constantly want to defend you and your family, but they are not violent creatures designed to attack a perceived threat.

Will a Labrador protect their owner? 

Well, that depends. There are a lot of things a Labrador may be put into situations to protect their owners against,

So let us break these situations down:

Will a lab protect their owner against people?

That is probably a no; Labradors are a friendly breed that is open to meeting new people and animals; in addition to that: all dogs are taught to love humans since they were puppies. That’s what socialization is.

We all teach our dogs that humans are pleasant; it doesn’t make sense to suddenly expect them to lunge at another person and do harm.

An intruder in your lab’s point of view may be just another human being he/she haven’t met before.

Will a lab protect its owner against other dogs?

Yes, that is more likely to happen; When an incident involving animals occurs, labrador retrievers’ protective instinct is more likely to emerge. They understand how to deal with animal dangers. Their minds are more intuitively geared for it than a human danger. 

As a result, if another dog or animal approaches the owner aggressively, any dog, including a labrador retriever, is more likely to interfere and defend you.

Will a lab protect their owner against natural accidents?

This may differ from one labrador retriever to another.

The truth is, every dog is unique. While one dog may be mentioned in the headline in all news as the dog that rescued his owner by waking him up in the middle of the night, and another dog may simply cower in a corner and wait for his master to remedy the situation, or even run the opposite way.

Dogs can sense when something is wrong. Strange odors, such as gas leaks, or more apparent objects, such as fire, a trapped person, or cries of help, alert their owner to the fact that something that is off and may be dangerous is going on.

Most dogs, especially labrador retrievers, fail miserably as guard dog breeds because we have trained them to fail miserably. 

We want our dogs to be friendly to both humans and animals. We want our dogs to turn to us for direction in all aspects of their lives. 

That is a sign of good training. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of dogs will not be of assistance in most emergency circumstances, but after all, they’re just doing what we’ve taught them.

How to Train Your Labrador to be a better guard dog 

Bright & Early

The sooner, the better; that is the rule. If you begin teaching your Labrador Retriever at a young age, you will notice results quickly as they tend to be more flexible and trainable. 

Begin promoting guarding indicators at a young age. Any display of curiosity toward strangers, including barking, should be acknowledged with goodies and praise.

 Obedience training 

Obedience training will help your dog mingle with other animals and people. This will teach your dog the regular behavior of humans and animals so when they see different behavior, they know something is wrong.

Commands are your go-to

You should teach your dog fundamental instructions like sit, down, and stay, and later on, try to introduce “attack” as a new command, but of course, this will require lots of time, space, and effort to teach.

Out training to test

Experiment with having visitors approach the house or location you want the dog to guard. Draw their attention by pointing, talking, or acting up. 

Reward the dog with any goodie as soon as he/she barks. If you do this every time, they will quickly develop into the habit of defending you and your home against strangers.

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Related Questions 

What dogs will attack intruders? 

Dog breeds that are most likely to attack intruders include: german shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Doberman Pinscher, Cane Corso, American bulldog, boxer, Giant Schnauzer, Akita, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Beauceron, Briard, Staffordshire Terrier, The Great Pyrenees, and Neapolitan Mastiff.

Can labradors bite humans? 

Yes, labradors can bite humans. Although a lab may be kind and loving, they may be violent when guarding their pack and territory. These dogs are known to bite and cause significant injury to their victims, even if you envision them ever becoming aggressive.

Can labradors protect the house? 

Yes, labradors can protect the house; labs get attached to their possessions and territory, meaning if an attack occurs or your dog sensed the feeling of danger, he will be ready to lead in defense of his possessions.

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 Retrievershub.com. 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 Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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