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Labrador Retriever Drooling: Why & What To Do

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Labrador Retriever Drooling

Labrador Retriever drooling it’s a common sight for any Lab owner, but have you ever wondered why it happens? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind drooling Labradors and offer tips on how to manage it. From their unique anatomical features to various health and behavioral causes, we’ll help you understand the factors that contribute to your Lab’s drooling habit. 

So, let’s get ready to unravel the mysteries of drooling Labradors and learn how to make life a little less messy for both you and your beloved four-legged friend! 

Why Do Labradors Drool so much?

Labrador Retriever Drooling is something many Labrador Retriever owners are all too familiar with. Lab drool can be categorized into three main factors: anatomical characteristics, behavioral causes, and health issues.

Anatomical Characteristics

Labradors are known for their distinct facial features, which can contribute to drooling:

  1. The shape of the mouth and jaw: Labradors have loose jowls and lips that don’t fit tightly around their mouths. This can cause spit to pool and subsequently dribble out.
  2. Length of the tongue: A Labrador’s tongue is relatively large, which can lead to increased saliva production and drooling.

Behavioral Causes of Drooling in Labradors

There are several emotions and situations that can cause Lab to drool:

  1. Excitement: When Labradors are excited, their salivary glands may produce more spit, leading to slobber or abnormal salivation.
  2. Anticipation of food: The mere sight or smell of food can cause a pup’s mouth to water, resulting in drooling a lot.
  3. Anticipation of play: Labradors love to play, and the anticipation of fun activities can trigger saliva production and drooling.
  4. Anxiety: General anxiety or specific triggers, such as thunderstorms, can cause Labradors to drool.
  5. Separation anxiety: Some Labradors may drool when left alone due to feelings of stress or fear.
  6. Fear: Scary situations or unfamiliar environments can make a Lab anxious, leading to drooling.

Health Issues that can cause Drooling in Labradors

Various health concerns can lead to Labrador Retriever drooling:

  1. Teething: Puppies may drool when they are teething due to discomfort or irritation in their gums.
  2. Nausea: Motion sickness or an upset stomach can cause drooling in Labradors, as their body tries to ease the discomfort.
  3. Dental Problems: Issues like tooth decay, gum disease, or oral injuries can cause drooling in Labradors as their body responds to pain or inflammation.

How to Manage and Reduce Drooling in Labradors: Tips and Techniques

Managing Labrador Retriever drooling can be challenging, but it’s possible with the right strategies. Here are some techniques to help you control your Lab Retriever’s drooling:

Training Techniques

  1. Teaching your Labrador to control their drooling: You can use positive reinforcement to train your Lab to control drooling. For example, reward your dog with praise or treats when they remain calm and drool-free during situations that typically trigger droolings, such as mealtime or playtime.
  2. Distraction techniques to prevent excessive drooling: Redirecting your Lab’s attention during drool-inducing situations can help reduce drooling. Offer toys, puzzles, or engage in training exercises to keep their mind off the triggers.

One effective training technique I’ve used to teach my lab to control their drooling is the ‘Wait’ command during mealtime. Follow these step-by-step instructions to implement this technique:  

  1. Before placing your Lab’s food bowl down, ask your dog to sit and stay.
  2. Hold the food bowl above your dog’s head and say the command ‘Wait.’
  3. Slowly lower the food bowl to the ground while maintaining eye contact with your labrador.
  4. If your dog breaks the sit position or starts to drool, raise the bowl back up and repeat the ‘Wait’ command.
  5. Once your Lab remains calm and drool-free, give a release command (e.g., ‘Okay’ or ‘Free’) and allow them to eat their meal.

Environmental Modification

  1. Feeding and drinking habits: Feeding your Labrador smaller meals throughout the day can help control drooling associated with hunger. Also, providing a designated drinking area with a non-spill water bowl can help minimize the mess.
  2. Use of drool bibs or cloths: Placing absorbent bibs or cloths around your Labra’s neck can catch drool and help keep their fur and your home cleaner.

Another factor I’ve found to help manage myLab’s drooling is their diet. Including specific foods or supplements in their meals can make a difference. For example, incorporating omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, may help reduce drooling.

Foods rich in omega-3s include fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, as well as flaxseed and chia seeds. You can also consider giving your Lab a high-quality omega-3 supplement specifically designed for dogs to support their overall health.

Medical Interventions

If your Lab’s drooling is due to an underlying health issue, consider the following medical interventions:

  1. Medications to control drooling: Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help reduce drooling in Labradors with certain medical conditions, such as motion sickness or anxiety.
  2. Surgical procedures to address underlying health issues: In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to treat the root cause of excessive droolings, such as dental problems or oral tumors.

Helpful Products for Managing Drooling

In my experience, investing in some helpful products has made managing my Lab’s drooling much easier. For instance, I’ve found that using a specialized water bowl designed to reduce spills and could salivate keep the area around their water station cleaner.

Providing my Lab with toys and chews that promote healthy saliva production and swallowing has been beneficial. Not only do these items keep my furry friend entertained, but they also help maintain good oral hygiene and minimize drooling.

Remember that managing Labrador drool is a multi-faceted approach, combining training techniques, environmental modifications, and medical interventions when necessary. By implementing these strategies, you can help keep your Labrador Retriever drooling in check and maintain a cleaner, happier home.

And as always, consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns about your canine’s health or need guidance on addressing their drooling.

Comparisons of Labrador Retriever Drooling to Other Dog Breeds

When discussing Lab drool, it’s important to compare it to other canine breeds. While some drooling is normal in all dogs, certain types are more prone to excessive drooling than others.

Labrador Retrievers, in general, are not known for abnormal salivation, especially when compared to breeds like Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, and Bernese Mountain Dog, which are notorious for their slobbery habits. It’s important to remember that individual variations can exist, and some Labradors may drool more than others.

To better understand how Labra drool compares to other breeds, let’s look at a few factors:

Anatomical Factors

Labradors don’t usually have loose skin around their jaws, unlike breeds such as Mastiffs or Bloodhounds. Their tight lip structure helps them drool less. This tighter lip structure helps keep saliva in the mouth, resulting in less drool. 

Breeds with loose skin and large jowls tend to trap saliva, which then escapes as drool when they pant or move their mouths. Labradors generally have a more streamlined head shape compared to some other breeds, contributing to a lower tendency to drool.

Breed-Specific Behaviors

Some dog breeds, like the Bernese Mountain Dog and Saint Bernard, are more prone to drooling due to their laid-back nature and tendency to pant more. Labradors are active dogs and may pant less, which can reduce the amount of drool produced.

Medical Concerns

Certain medical issues can cause abnormal salivation in any dog type, including Labradors. If your Lab suddenly starts drooling more than usual, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues, such as dental problems, foreign objects in the mouth, or even severe allergies.

Recognizing Excessive Labrador Retriever Drooling and When to Visit the Vet

Lab drool is a common sight for dog owners, but it’s essential to differentiate between normal drooling and when a dog is drooling excessively. Abnormal salivation, also known as ptyalism, can be a sign of underlying health issues that require veterinary attention. In this section, we’ll explore specific symptoms and situations that should raise concern and prompt a consultation with a veterinarian.

Signs of Excessive Drooling in Labradors:

  1. Sudden onset: If your dog’s drooling increases without an apparent trigger (such as food, excitement, or anxiety), there’s a good chance it could indicate a medical concern.
  2. Difficulty chewing or swallowing: If your Lab has trouble eating, this could be a sign of dental issues, physical damage, or a tumor in the mouth.
  3. Bad breath or swelling in the mouth: Tartar buildup, infections, severe allergies, or dental problems can cause these symptoms alongside abnormal salivation.
  4. Behavioral changes: A Lab that becomes more reactive, anxious, or exhibits separation anxiety may drool excessively due to emotional distress.
  5. Increased water intake or crating: A sudden increase in water consumption or drooling while in a crate can be signs of an underlying health issue.

If you notice any of these signs and you’re worried about your canine’s drooling, it’s worth contacting your vet to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment. Regular veterinary check-ups can also help monitor your Lab’s oral health and catch any issues early.


We’ve explored various reasons behind Labrador Retriever drooling. This understanding can help you better manage your furry friend’s drool and maintain a cleaner home

Always remember that while some drooling is normal, excessive drooling may be a sign of an underlying health issue, and it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for proper evaluation and treatment.

So, now that you’re armed with drool-worthy knowledge, why not share your own experiences with Labrador drool? We’d love to hear your stories and any tips or tricks you’ve discovered for managing drool in your beloved Lab. 

Daniel Rowe
Daniel Rowe
Daniel is an experienced writer who specializes in canine topics. He has gained firsthand knowledge from years of research and engagement with dogs. This has given him deep expertise in breed profiles, behavior insights, and more. Fellow dog enthusiasts recognize Daniel for his authoritative content. He is dedicated to sharing reliable and trustworthy information. He is committed to enriching the lives of dog lovers through his writing.
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