A Labrador retriever can only live about ten or twelve years of age because the lifespan of Labrador is about only twelve years. Labs are considered to be seniors at seven or eight years by age. Just like us humans, old age varies from person to person; the age at which a dog becomes a senior actually varies widely. Some Labradors show all the characteristics of a senior at age seven.
When Labrador retriever becomes older, they behave like sedate or puppy-like behavior. They may become grumpy, forgetfulness, lapses in attention, less energetic, easily fatigued, confusion, abnormal interaction, and their sleep cycle may change.
In this blog, you will get to know the different behavior of older labs. The ten behavior list can help you determine your aging Labrador retriever and help you understand your older lab.
1. Variations on dependence or independence:
Animals are somehow similar to us in many situations. Just like we humans become very independent or even some senior human become childish. The Labrador is not different in this case. Some senior Labrador Retrievers become very independent, and the rest of others become puppies in nature. They illustrate more puppy-like dependent behavior.
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2. Personality changes:
Senior Labrador becomes grumpy with advancing age. This is not their fault. The more labs become older, their brain function changes. This may be due to changes in brain function or a response to painful health conditions. This is natural; if you are not ok at the body level, you will become more frustrated and angry. Becoming grumpy is one of the significant personality changes as they become older.
3. Forgetfulness and lapses in attention:
Your Labs maybe sometimes forgetful. They forget what they command. They sometimes forget to follow your instruction. This is happening because their attention span becomes significantly less. Aging labs can show worrisome behavior changes; the changes may be confusion, irritability, and disorientation. As you know, our pet is somehow similar to us, just like humans, they can experience changes in the brain that affect memory, comprehension.
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4. Less Energy and easily fatigued:
As you know, the Labrador retriever is one of the most active dog breeds. They also need exercise in their old age. Most labs spend less time exercising, but this is valid for not every senior dog. Some of them also love exercise or physical activity in their old age. Most senior labs are easily fatigued and are likely to spend more time napping than they did what they were younger. This may be because as they become older, their energy goes down, and they feel tired. That’s maybe the reason, they are not interested in exercising and any physical activity and only love to spend time relaxing.
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Generally, Labrador retrievers are very playful dog breeds, but they somehow hate to play more than their young age when they become older. Playfulness usually decreases with advancing age but not always. But the interest in playfulness decreases when they become older. But as I discussed, not all labs show the same characteristics when they become senior. Some become sedate, but others show puppy-like behavior.
6. Health problem:
As Labrador retriever become older, they are likely to get some chronic health problem. The risk of getting unhealthy during the older age is becoming higher. They need special attention during their old period. The health problems your Labrador Retriever may face during their old age are:
- Tissue Degeneration in the eyes and ears can cause varying degrees of deafness and blindness in more senior labs.
- Osteoarthritis can cause joint pain and stiffness in dogs.
- Lose cognitive function as they age, resulting in symptoms similar to senility or Alzheimer’s in humans.
- Older labs are prone to getting lumps and bumps, and luckily, not all of them are cancerous.
- Heart disease
- Gain excess weight that can cause diabetes. They gain more weight at their older age because they become less active. (source)
- Arthritis due to hip dysplasia may limit mobility.
- Several problems can cause gastrointestinal (GI) issues.
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7. Lapses in housetraining:
The chances of getting more accident in housetraining when they become old. This is because your lab becomes forgetful or face health problem. They need your special attention as they become older. Your old lab may suddenly urinating or defecating in the house and can’t remember how to ask to go out. It would help if you visited to vet. The two most essential phases where your lab needs you when they are puppy and older.
They are likely to confuse more during their older age. Your Labrador can’t find the door to go out. They may not be able to find when called, pacing, and wandering in the home.
9. Abnormal Interaction:
Your senior lab is likely to show abnormal interaction with familiar people or other pets. The below interaction may happen when your lab become old:
- The weird interaction may include aggression, irritability.
- They increased attention-seeking.
- Their social interaction can be less or decrease.
10. Sleep cycle change:
Your lab may change the sleep cycle and likely to sleep more during the day than at night. Your lab may increase sleeping during the day and may face difficulty sleeping through the night.