Why Are Labradors So Goofy? (8 Goofy Labrador Behaviors Explained)

By Benjamin Tash

We’ve all seen seen and experienced the exuberance of labradors whenever they’re on cloud nine, and funnily enough we can’t get enough of their silliness from how much they’ve made us laugh and smile. 

These happy-go-lucky goofballs thrive on pleasing us by any means, and it’s deeply ingrained in their laid back personality for the most part. Some people may have perceived their goofiness as a negative attribute, but that’s far from the truth and should instead be embraced as an endearing quality. 

Here’s Why Labradors Are Goofy: 

A Labrador’s goofiness manifest itself as a concoction of their energetic, playful, high eagerness to please, as well as their exuberant tendencies which are part and parcel of what truly makes a Labrador an endearing Labrador.

The goofiness of Labradors also depends on their unique personality, their upbringing, environment and their prey drive. And it’s important to keep in mind that not all Labradors are predisposed to goofiness as each individual Labradors express themselves in different ways. 

There are numerous factors as to why Labradors are the way they are as laid back goofballs. We’ll also dive into the various explanations of all the quirks and goofiness a Labrador’s behavior entails. So let’s get into it. 

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Breed History That Led To Their Goofiness 

Labradors have gained the reputation of being extremely efficient assistants to the fishermen out in the icy cold waters of the North Atlantic. Over time, they are highly favored in the fisheries for their exceptional ability to retrieve fallen cods or hats in the water with their graceful swimming thanks to their water repellent coats, among other activities on deck.

Their eagerness to please, intelligence, tractable nature, as well as their gentle ways with an outgoing personality have made them well suited for a close companionship with humans for a myriad of tasks.

They have also been known to perform for a group of crowd after finished duties on deck as a form of entertainment by retrieving thrown objects in the water which proved that their energetic antics and exuberance had a long way back in history. 

Their exuberance, coupled with their intelligence and playful tendencies with their human companions oftentime manifest as their goofiness. It's fortunately one of the positive attributes of Labradors that have been passed down to modern day Labs that have never failed to make us laugh. 

Read also: Why Are Labradors So Clumsy? (What To Do About It?)

8 Labrador Goofy Quirks Explained

1) Your Labrador’s Incessant Licking Behavior

Most Labs are notorious for licking everything they could get their hands on, especially their owners as a way of bonding and communication. 

Hands and face are a major part of sweat and oil secretion, and since Labradors are predominantly food-driven, it is a way for them to get a taste of you from all those salt and oil secretion from your pores since they have great smell receptors — in other words, you taste great. 

Labradors also love to leave scents on their owner’s body, and licking is a sure-fire way of leaving lots of its smell on you through their saliva to mark you as their own which is a sign of affection as they see you as a family. 

You might also be interested in Do Labradors Like Kisses? (6 Ways To Know + Tips)

2) Your labrador Jumps All Over You When You Reach Home 

You may have experienced your Labrador jumping up on you erratically in excitement after reaching home, and in some occasion, gently nibbling on your jaws in pure ecstacy. Some owners love the goofiness associated to this, but some don’t — but what does it all mean?

Most Labradors do not experience time the same way as we do, as a matter of fact what seems like twenty minutes of absence for us is equivalent to an eternity for these pooches as they do not have a sense of time. They live in the moment for the most part, hence why Labradors can’t be left alone for long periods without a companion. 

When you get back home after awhile, greeting you erratically by virtue of jumping is part of their natural instinct to let you know that they have greatly missed you. This stems from their retrieving instincts which partly relied upon jumping to fetch birds.

Therefore, all of their pent-up energy and excitement manifest itself as an outburst of energy and emotions by jumping on you. It’s also a way for these Labs to fulfill their urges of pleasing you as it’s in their genes to do so. 

On a side note, this behavior could easily be nipped in the bud if you prefer not to deal with this goofy quirk of theirs. 

Though this is cute, some may find it annoying, read more here: Why Are Labradors So Annoying? (21 Reasons Explained)

3) Your Lab Runs Around In Circles When Excited 

Another type of goofy quirk Labradors would display are the notorious zoomies. It’s when your pooch would suddenly burst into a frantic mode of either running up and down erratically or chasing its own tail in circles which is so amusing. It’s known that Labradors are highly energetic dogs and they thrive on mental stimulation as well as companionship. 

If your Lab does this persistently, it’s a sign of mental under-stimulation or that it’s under-exercised. And you may want to consult a veterinarian for further advice.

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And if that isn’t the case, that just means that your pooch has high energy needs and may need to express their pent-up up energy and excitement on occasions. And that’s perfectly normal as Labradors are highly energetic dogs by default. 

Labradors also tend to exude excitement through charming groans or full-body wiggles that embody a playful and goofy demeanor which brings joy to those around them.

Another reason why Labs funnily engage in this behavior has to do with their breed history where they’d herd other smaller preys and the remnants of such traits are still present in today’s Labradors. And when a highly energetic Lab experiences an outburst of energy all at once, it may instinctually go into a herding mode and hence the chasing, nipping, or circling. 

Recommended Reading: Are Labradors Dumb? (You’d Be Surprised)

4) Stealing & Hiding Socks/Shoes

Most Labradors have a knack for being sock thieves, and it’s most prevalent amongst Labradors compared to other dog breeds. They love stealing our socks, underwears, or even sweaty clothes simply because these stuffs have our strong odor on them. 

And Labs would in turn find tremendous comfort in our odor found in these stuffs, especially when they’re sleeping in their crates or in our absence. 

The other reason why socks, in particular, are the favorite loot item of these goofy Labs is because it has your sweat odor on it and since each human foot has approximately 125,000 sweat glands which secrete salt, among all other secretions — it definitely does attract the nose buds of a Labrador. Labs love salt. And couple that with your odor, it's no surprise why these goofy Labs are fond of socks. 

It’s also a way for them to seek your attention by retrieving the stolen socks back to you in exchange for praises. Also, most Labs engage in these goofy antics as a way to mentally and physically stimulate themselves by exploring around the house as they are curious creatures by nature. 

Check also: Why Do Labradors Steal Things? (and Food!) What To Do About It?

5) Laying On Their Back With All 4 Paws Up In The Air 

Sometimes you may have bumped into your pooch laying on its back with all legs up in the air, and it never fails to crack us up. Not to mention the faces they’d pull with their fang sticking out one side with a grin, Labradors sure are one of the goofiest dog breed. 

Labradors tend to do this as an expression of comfort whenever they feel relaxed, and safe in their environment. It’s also a sign that they have complete trust in you and are in full submission to you as their bellies are known to be their most vulnerable spot. 

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It could also be that they’re just doing it for the sake of gaining your attention for some belly rubs as a form of physical affection. 

Also, most Labradors oddly get in this position to cool themselves off when it’s too hot. This is because their bellies have a larger surface area than all of the other body parts. Thus they get to radiate much more heat off their bodies in this position as the superficial veins found in dogs are primarily located in their legs, paws, ears and bellies. 

Thus, laying on their backs allow for more heat dissipation through the widening of those blood vessels (vasodilation). Not to mention that it makes panting a whole lot easier when they’re on their backs, which in turn facilitates in releasing heat efficiently and they get to cool off faster. 

You might also be interested in How Do Labradors Play With Other Dogs? (All You Should Know)

6) Howling Along With Music 

You may also have encountered these goofy Labradors howling along to music, harmonica sounds or even the sirens which is funny and soothing at the same time. 

These goofballs tend to howl because some music have a certain frequency that is pretty similar to the sound of a distant howl. 

The upper range of a labrador’s hearing is way higher at around 45kHZ, double that of humans’. And certain pieces of music have tones or frequency in this range which is audible for pooches, but not for us humans. 

Hence why your Lab would only howl at specific points of a music as a way of communicating or interacting with the frequency or sound they're hearing, perceiving it as a vocalization of other dogs or animals. This is because Labradors are holdovers of a strong pack mentality found in their ancestors and wolves. 

It could also imply that howling Labradors are just trying to communicate with you by being in sync with the music you’re playing as a way to get your attention, apart from expressing themselves when they enjoy a certain tune. 

You might also be interested in this article: Do Labs Watch TV? Do They Like Watching TV? (Explained)

7) Constantly Following You Around The House 

Nothing is more amusing than having a personal Labrador paparazzi following you all day though. And we can’t seem to get enough of this goofiness once we’re accustomed to this behavior. 

Labradors are a highly social breed as it’s in their genes to form strong amicable bonds with their owners. Coupled with their eagerness to please and loyalty, some labradors are prone to being velcro dogs as they have a strong drive to be extremely close to their human companions.

The goofiness associated to labradors following you everywhere has to do with over-bondedness. 

Though it may not necessarily be a bad thing, but it’s highly encouraged to try foster bonds between your pooch and other family members around the house if you’re annoyed by this quirk. And that wouldn’t be a big of a problem for Labradors as they are social butterflies and thrive on companionships. 

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Also, since socially driven Labradors have inherited a strong pack mentality in their genes from their wolf ancestors which entails following the alpha leaders everywhere as a means of protection and survival mechanism — they subconsciously engage in this pack-like mentality once they realize you’re the provider and the owner. 

Labradors will oftentimes slightly grow out of it as they gain confidence with age so enjoy their goofiness while it lasts. 

Recommended Reading: Why Are Labradors So Loyal? (Explained)

8) Rolling In Puddles and Muds

Labradors goofily rolling in muds and dirt are hands-down the most annoying quirk of Labradors as we have to bathe them all over again. But there’s a reason behind this. 

It’s a primary natural instinct they’ve inherited from their wolf ancestors, and it’s deeply embedded in them to this day to mask their scent for hunting purposes — especially amongst the Labs with a high prey drive. Labradors in particular love to roll in puddles and muds for their love of water in general.

Unlike other dog breeds which primarily hunted on land, labradors were extremely skillful on hunting in water where their main preys were waterfowls, ducks and geese. And anything related to water is definitely up any Labradors’ alley, though there are some who aren’t fond of water.

Rolling in dirt, mud or puddles was essential back then to mask their scent so they could easily sneak up on their prey undetected in terms of their smell. Today, it’s just an unused goofy trait where they’d do it solely for the love of water. Apart from that, Labs also do so to cool off on a hot day as they do not have sweat glands as we do. 

Also, a Labrador’s sense of smell is way more advanced than that of humans and they can detect and identify a wide range of scents which would then feed into their curiosity or they may have been attracted to smells that are familiar to them, i.e muds, water and puddles etc. And in turn they enjoy these intense smells even though we, humans, are disgusted by such scents — akin to humans liking the smell of perfumes and cologne, but are repulsed by dogs. 

Read Also: Do Labradors Like The Rain? (All You Should Know)

Do Labradors Remain Goofy As They Age? 

There are various factors to weigh in on what age do most Labradors grow out of their goofiness. Acting silly and goofy in a good way are part and parcel of a Labrador’s personality.

With that said, every Labrador has a unique individual personality, and the age when they chill out depends on their prey drive, gender, linebreeding history as well as their environment and training level. 

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Most Lab puppies calm down from their hyper mode between the ages of 2 to 4, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they mellow out completely by then. 

Speaking from experience, most Labradors physically mellow out at the age range of 8 to 10. And they never mentally mature as they retain their playful, goofy and energetic personality all their lives from what I’ve experienced — and that is what so endearing about these goofballs. 

It’s important to keep in mind that Labradors are high energy dogs and they require copious amounts of exercise and mental stimulation to burn off their excess energy. Or otherwise, they might channel their energy into being destructive goofy dogs and in turn find themselves in trouble. As they say, a tired dog is a healthy dog.

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