When Do Labs Calm Down? 

By Britt Kascjak

If you’re waiting for your young Labrador puppy, be prepared. Most Labradors don’t start to calm down until approximately 2 to 4 years of age. Of course, this will differ from one dog to the next. Some Lab puppies calm down from a very early age while others won’t calm down until later in life.

Is your Labrador bouncing off the walls and you’re wondering how long this unwanted behavior will last? Is your lab still a very hyper dog even though he or she is getting older? Are you asking yourself when do labs calm down?

The Labrador Retriever was ranked as the most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club. It has held this position since 1991.

But, if you’ve recently added a Lab puppy to your home, you may be wondering when they calm down.

The good news is that these high-energy puppies will eventually mature and calm down. It can take a few years to reach that point.

While you wait, there are some steps that you can take to calm your hyper puppy down.

How Do I Get My Labrador to Calm Down?

If you share your heart and home with a high-energy dog, there are ways to calm him down.

These solutions will help to calm even the most energetic of puppies.

But, you will need to put in the time and effort to make each of these solutions work in your home. This means committing to them on a daily basis.


Is your Labrador most excited when you are getting home from work? Is it your presence that lights him up and triggers his energy?

If so, giving him attention will only escalate the situation.

Instead, ignore your dog when you first walk in the door. Give him time to calm down.

When he has settled from the initial excitement, you can then acknowledge him. Praise him for being calm.

Some days he will calm down faster than others.

Be patient and wait until he has settled. This will help to set and reinforce your expectations for calm behavior.

Calming Aid

If you are looking for some help in calming down your Labrador, there are many great products out there.

This includes supplements, calming treats, or prescription sedatives.

For Labrador owners interested in an organic, herbal option, ashwagandha is a possibility. This medicinal herb offers many benefits including reducing stress and anxiety.

Harmony from Front of the Pack is a fast-acting, organic ashwagandha supplement.

It can be given to dogs aged 1 year and older. The single-use stick packs with pre-measured portions make it easy to give your dog what he needs. Each ingredient has been clinically tested to be healthy and effective in dogs.

Routine Exercise

One of the most basic solutions for an over-energetic dog is to give him a positive outlet for his energy. You can do this with daily physical exercise.

If you are not already walking your dog regularly, it’s time to work a daily walk into your routine.

For those that have already committed to a daily walk, your dog may need a second walk or a longer walk. Try increasing your walk time slightly to see if it is enough to burn your dog’s energy, leaving him calm.

Other forms of exercise that you can use include:

  • Hiking
  • Biking or Roller Blading with Your Dog
  • A Game of Fetch or Tug
  • Swimming
  • Dog Agility
  • Draft Work
  • Obedience Work

For those that can’t get outdoors, you may also choose to introduce a doggy treadmill. This will allow your dog to exercise from the comfort of home.

The more energy your dog burns, the less he has pent up waiting to be released.

Mental Stimulation

Another great way to funnel your dog’s energy into a positive outlet is using mental exercise. This is anything that challenges your dog’s mind.

Introduce food puzzles or slow feeder dishes to transform mealtime.

You can also use your dog’s food puzzle toys with healthy or low-calorie dog treats. Your dog will burn calories while searching for them.

Obedience training is a great way to offer mental stimulation. To learn something new, your dog will have to use his mind.

Try stuffing a KONG or similar interactive toy with delicious goodies. As your dog works to enjoy their snack, he is also working his mind and burning energy.

The best part about mental stimulation? Experts say that it can tire your dog out more effectively than physical exercise!

Social Interaction

Labradors are highly social dogs. They need love and affection more than most dog breeds!

If your dog isn’t getting enough social interaction, it can trigger pent-up energy. This is due to the stress and anxiety that your dog is experiencing.

For dog owners with a busy work schedule, consider putting your dog into doggy daycare.

This will give him the chance to spend time with other dogs. At the same time, he will be physically active, burning off excess energy.

Timeline of Typical Labrador Development

Throughout your dog’s life, he will experience several stages of growth. This includes the stages of puppy development, adult maturity, and the golden years.

Learning these stages will help you to navigate the present and prepare for the future.

How Long Does the Puppy Stage Last in Labs?

The first 6 months of a dog’s life are considered the puppy stage. This is the point where your dog is developing and learning.

Every experience, including play, is a learning experience.

Are labs high energy dogs?

This is also a time in your puppy’s life when he is high-energy and pushing limits. He is discovering the rules and boundaries.

After the puppy stage, he will enter adolescence. Some dog owners consider this an extension of the puppy stage.

This stage lasts from the age of 6 months to approximately 2 years.

Much like human teenagers, adolescent dogs are going to test boundaries. They want to see what they can get away with.

Your Labrador puppy will reach his full size but will still express a puppy level of energy at times.

What Should I Expect from My 4-Month-Old Lab Puppy?

By 4 months old, most Labrador puppies will be outgoing and excited to meet new people.

They are interested in exploring their surroundings and can get into trouble easily. Be prepared to offer rules and boundaries to curb destructive behavior.

At this stage, your puppy should have a strong understanding of the potty training idea. But, he may still have accidents occasionally.

When it comes to energy, your puppy won’t be lacking! He will be excited and ready to play. Be prepared to give him positive outlets for this energy.

Do Labradors calm with Age?

When your Labpuppy reaches the adult stage of his life, he will start to mature. With maturity comes a sense of calmness.

This usually happens around 2 to 4 years of age.

When will my lab calm down?

Some Labrador retrievers will reach this stage earlier and others won’t get there until later.

Even in this older, calmer state, your Lab may have bursts of puppy energy at times. Daily exercise is still needed.

Are Lab Puppies Hyper?

Labradors are naturally full of energy and excitement. This is even stronger during the puppy stage.

There are times that your puppy may seem as though they never switch off. This is normal and will start to pass as your puppy gets older.

Be sure to keep your Lab puppy active and burn off this energy to avoid bad behavior.

How Active are Labradors Compared to Other Breeds?

Labradors are part of the working group of dogs. These are strong, intelligent, and high-energy dogs.

Working dogs were specifically bred to help us with specific jobs.

For the labrador, they were bred to be duck retrievers and companions to fishermen. These jobs need energy and endurance, which carries into the modern-day.

Normal Lab Activity Level

Labs are built to be high-energy dogs both physically and mentally.

To meet your dog’s needs, you will need to provide your Labrador with daily exercise. This will continue throughout your Lab’s life from puppy to his golden years.

Average exercise needs of a labrador retriever

The average exercise need of a healthy, adult Labrador is 1 hour each day.

If you have a dog that is more laid back and relaxed, he may be content with 45 minutes. But, if your dog is high-energy, he may need 1.5 hours of exercise or more.

Pay attention to your dog’s behavior day to day. If he is getting destructive or acting up, it’s time for more exercise.

Do Labs Calm Down After Being Neutered/Spayed?

One common piece of advice that new Labrador owners hear is that they will calm down after being neutered/spayed.

While this can curb some unwanted behaviors, it won’t directly impact his energy. But, it may appear that way at first.

Following being neutered/spayed, your dog will display fewer puberty-related behaviors. This includes mounting, urine marking, and the desire to roam in search of a mate.

Your dog will still need daily exercise to stay on top of his energy levels outside of those behaviors.

How Can I Correct Destructive Behavior?

Did your puppy chew up your favorite pair of shoes? Do you have a Lab puppy that is chewing the legs of your furniture?

Destructive behavior is a common problem when you have a puppy in the house. But, there are options to correct and prevent these unwanted habits.

How to counter hyperactive behavior

First, always be aware of what your puppy is doing. If he gets into something that he shouldn’t stop him as soon as possible.

Take the time to put anything you don’t want him to chew up and out of his reach.

Remember, puppies are like toddlers. He will put anything that he can into his mouth, whether he should or not.

One easy way to reduce the things that he can get into is by keeping your puppy contained. Using crates or safety grates, you can limit the rooms that he has access to.

The right toys can equal a calm dog

Second, choose puppy toys that will keep his attention. Offer a variety of different chew toys.

Pay attention to which toys your puppy enjoys chewing on most and play to those preferences. This will encourage him to chew where he should.

Avoid giving your puppy old shoes or socks as a toy. While it may seem cost-effective, it gives him a mixed message.

Help keep your dog calm with exercise

Finally, make sure to give him plenty of exercise. Puppies are full of energy.

Daily walks and play sessions will burn any pent-up energy. This is the energy that often triggers destructive behavior.

Why is My Labrador So Hyper?

If your Labrador is overly hyper or hard to handle, he is not getting enough exercise.

As the old saying goes: “A tired dog is a good dog.”

Make sure to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to use his energy in a positive way. Combine physical and mental exercise for best results.

If your dog is calm because he’s sleeping after a hike or run, that’s a good sign!

Why Do Lab Puppies Bite So Much?

Puppies bite for a variety of reasons. This includes aggression, fear, teething, and play biting.

For most Labrador puppies, their bites are teething and play bites.

While this means that they aren’t intending to hurt you, that doesn’t mean they are wanted. Most puppy owners would prefer to stop play biting.

You can put an end to play biting with behavior training, redirection, and daily exercise.

By exercising your puppy each day, you can reduce the amount of energy that is pent up. Pent-up energy can take causal play to play biting fast!

If your puppy does bite during play, say “Ouch” and remove yourself from the situation.

This will show your puppy that his bite hurt you, helping him to recognize the limits during play. It works in the same way as his littermates yelping when bit.

Finally, redirect his attention to something that he can bite.

Redirection is important for puppies that are teething. They feel the need to chew on something, so give them something they can chew on.

Offer your puppy a chew toy and praise him when he chews on it instead of your hand.

Can Labs Be Aggressive?

The Labrador breed is not known for being aggressive in most cases. But, any dog can be aggressive if they aren’t trained and socialized as a puppy or if they are in a bad situation.

If your Labrador feels threatened, cornered, scared, or in danger, watch out.

Biting is a way of defending himself and getting himself to safety. He may lash out at people or other dogs to protect himself.

This is why it is so important to avoid negative situations.

As dog owners, it’s our job to protect our dogs from getting to the point of biting. Watch for signs of fear or stress in your dog.

If you notice that your dog is overwhelmed or uncomfortable in a situation, the best option is to get out of it.

Go somewhere else and give your dog time to calm down.

Why Does My Lab Puppy Growl at Me?

Growling is often seen as a sign of aggression. But, that is just one of many meanings.

When your Lab puppy growls at you, he is trying to communicate.

He could be telling you that he’s uncomfortable or upset in the current situation. He could also be telling you that he’s afraid.

If your puppy growls when you are playing, it could be a sign that he’s getting into the play session.

There are some dogs that will even growl to show that they are happy or content. In this way, it is like a cat purring.

To decide which is the case, you need to pay attention to the situation. Look for other signs of how your dog is feeling.

But, be cautious. A growl could be a warning. If ignored, a warning growl can turn into a bite.

How Do You Calm Down a Labrador Puppy?

The best thing that you can do to calm down your puppy is to keep him active.

Make time to play with your puppy often. This will burn excess energy and improve your bond with one another.

Games like Tug-of-War are a great way to teach basic obedience skills. Your puppy can learn commands like “drop it” and “take it”.

It’s also a great way to learn how to play properly without hurting his playmates.

Teach positive behavior

You can also challenge your puppy’s mind through obedience training.

Teaching the basics like “sit”, “down”, “stay”, or “come” will pay off in the future. They are skills that your dog will use throughout his life.

Final Thoughts: When Do Labs Calm Down?

So when do labs calm down?

If you share your home with a high-energy Labrador, hold on! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Most Labs will calm down at approximately 2 to 4 years of age.

In the meantime, you can manage your Lab’s energy levels. Make time for daily exercise and socialize your dog with others. Don’t forget teach your dog desired behaviors. A well trained dog is a happy dog.

One day, you will be looking back at this puppy stage and smiling at the memories.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.