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Lab Husky Mix Dog Breed Guide: Pictures, Info, Care & More

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Lab Husky Mix Dog Breed Guide: Pictures, Info, Care & More

The beautiful Siberian Husky and Labrador Retriever hybrid goes by several names: the “Labsky,” the “Huskadour,” or simply, the Siberian Retriever. As you’d expect with their parent , these designer dogs are highly energetic, making them an ideal choice for active owners. Labskys were first intentionally bred in the early 1990s and inherited their parents’ best traits.

Breed Overview

Height:

19–28 inches

Weight:

45– 70 pounds

Lifespan:

10–13 years

Colors:

Black, gray, white, tan, yellow

Suitable for:

Active families, singles, and couples

Temperament:

Intelligent, energetic, active, playful, loyal, alert, affectionate, gentle

Siberian Huskies are working dogs through and through. Not only are they smart, but they also have an almost inexhaustible energy reserve. Huskies have historically spent hours pulling sleds through icy conditions, so they are energetic and independent and can be challenging for novice owners. The Labrador Retriever is America’s sweetheart and one of the most popular family dogs in the United States. While they are best known as loyal family dogs nowadays, they were also bred primarily for working and are exceedingly athletic, intelligent, and energetic animals.

The Labsky inherits the best traits of both these breeds. If this sounds like the dog for you, read on for more in-depth information about this loving and active pup.

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

Husky Lab Puppies

Before bringing home a Labsky, it’s vital to understand that these dogs have plenty of energy and stamina. Both their parents were purposely bred to run long distances, so you’ll need to give your Labsky plenty of daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. This makes them unsuitable for apartment living because they’ll need a large backyard to run around and exercise in.

Parent_breeds_Lab-Husky
Image Credit: Left – Ivanova N, Shutterstock | Right – DesignerColeman, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Husky Lab

Since the Labsky is a mix of two somewhat different breeds, their personality is fairly unpredictable. They can inherit more of the laidback, affectionate, and calm temperament of a Labrador, the independent, highly-strung, and stubborn personality of a Husky, or something in between. Either way, your Labsky will be social and loyal due to their parents’ histories of working closely with humans.

Labradors are renowned for their gentle nature, which is why they are such popular family pets. They are also highly intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train, even for novice owners. Siberian Huskies are also eager-to-please, outgoing dogs but notoriously stubborn and independent. With their inexhaustible energy reserves, this mix can make them quite a handful if they are not put to work. Your Labsky is likely to be somewhere between these extremes, and although their temperament can be difficult to predict, they will be intelligent, energetic, and loyal animals.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

The Labsky makes a wonderful family dog, especially for families with a large backyard. Of course, they can be somewhat temperamental at times and should not be left unsupervised when interacting with children. However, they have the gentleness of Labradors in their personality and are rarely aggressive. With that in mind, if you are looking for a guard dog, the Labsky is not ideal!

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Labskys are generally friendly and social animals that do not have a strong prey drive. While smaller pets can be tempting, early socialization, training, and raising your Labsky alongside other pets will go a long way in mitigating any hunting instincts. Huskies are known for not getting along with other dogs and being possessive of their human companions. However, the Labrador’s friendly and easy-going nature will likely lessen this instinct. Therefore, they are generally social animals that get along well with other dogs.

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Things to Know When Owning a Husky Lab

Food & Diet Requirements

Labskys are high-energy animals that need a nutrient-dense diet to stay active, healthy, and happy. Good-quality dry food is ideal for them, provided it has a protein content of at least 25% and is free from filler ingredients. Ideally, you’ll want to feed your Labsky around 80% dry kibble and 20% wet food or lean meats. Try to make sure that the first-listed ingredient is animal-based or that one is at least listed in the top three.

Recipes formulated specifically for high-energy breeds like Huskies are best since they contain the perfect balance of ingredients to keep your dog energized. We highly recommend splitting your dog’s daily portion into two or three meals because it will help prevent bloat and eating too fast. Although Labskys are energetic and thus burn many calories every day, you’ll still need to be careful of overfeeding them. Finally, as with all dogs, ensure they have access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Exercise

Sufficient exercise is vital for Labskys. They will quickly become bored, destructive, and aggressive without it. Daily exercise is essential to their physical health and their mental well-being. A short walk around the block will simply not be enough for these high-energy pups! They’ll need at least 2 hours of intensive exercise per day, preferably more, and they are certainly capable of it. They will love joining you on long hikes, jogs, runs, and interactive play in the backyard.

It’s important to restrict exercise in the first few months when your Labsky is still developing. Too much exercise at this time can cause issues while their body is growing. After 6–8 months, you can begin exercising your pup as much as they like, which will be a significant amount!

Training

Labskys are generally easy to train because they have Labrador genetics. However, Siberian Huskies are known to be somewhat independent and stubborn at times, and if your Labsky inherits this trait, it can make training more challenging. Your Labsky’s parents have long histories of working closely with humans with a deep level of trust and loyalty. For this reason, you should stick to positive reinforcement, as harsh training methods can quickly harm this bond and make training more difficult.

Labsky’s are full of energy, so good training is essential. Training should begin as early as possible and include plenty of socialization. If you are a novice dog owner, you may want to consider group obedience classes or going with a professional trainer since Labskys are headstrong, and you’ll need a consistent and firm hand during training.

Grooming ✂️

Husky Labs may inherit either of their parent breed’s coats, but they will require a fair amount of grooming in either case. They typically have a thick double coat that requires daily brushing to remove loose hair, as they are known to be fairly high shedders. Other than that, they are easy dogs to keep well-groomed and do not usually need regular bathing or trimming. It’s crucial to trim their nails to avoid injuries and brush their teeth every few days to prevent dental issues.

Health and Conditions

Labradors and Huskies are healthy and robust breeds, but they are susceptible to some of the health issues of their parents and the common conditions of larger, active breeds.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Eye conditions
  • Epilepsy
Serious Conditions
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Arthritis
  • Bloat

Male vs. Female

Other than size, there are few differences between male and female Husky-Labrador hybrids. One important consideration is the sex of the dog that you may already have at home, if any, as same-sex pairings can sometimes be problematic. However, good training and socialization should mitigate this.

Unless you intend to breed your pet, most experts highly recommend neutering males and spaying females. This will help prevent your male from wandering and prevent unwanted pregnancies in females. Remember that all dogs are individuals, and their training and upbringing influence their personality more than their sex.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Husky Lab

1. They Are Extremely Loyal

Siberian Huskies have worked closely alongside their owners for decades. During this time, they developed a powerful relationship of loyalty and devotion to their owners. Labradors also form a powerful bond with their owners because they were bred to work out in the field retrieving, where trust and loyalty are vital to a successful hunt. With parent breeds like these, you can be certain your Labsky will have the same loyalty and devotion.


2. They Have Incredible Stamina

The Labsky’s parents spent their days working in harsh conditions. Huskies, in particular, were bred for endurance, with a high tolerance to cold and the ability to survive for days on little food while carrying heavy loads. Labradors were originally bred as fishermen’s helpers, hauling in nets and fish from frigid Atlantic waters. They were also used widely in waterfowl and game hunting. This history of working hard with humans gave both breeds incredible stamina, a trait that your Labsky will inherit, too.


3. They Are Highly Adaptable

Although Huskies were bred to work in frigid conditions, they are adaptable animals that have been used for various other activities. Labradors are all the more adaptable, having been used widely for hunting, as well as service dogs, search and rescue, and faithful companions.

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Conclusion

The Husky Lab mix is a uniquely beautiful canine. These dogs can make wonderful family pets, but they have a ton of energy and are suited to more active owners with large backyards. Labskys are not suitable for apartment living and are not good choices if you are not at home frequently or have little time to spend with them, as they need at least 2 hours of exercise and interaction per day. They are ideal for novice owners if they are willing to take on an active and occasionally headstrong dog. They are highly loyal and affectionate animals.

If you are an active person who loves to exercise with your dog or have a family that loves the outdoors, the Labsky is an ideal choice!


Featured Image Credit: Left – Image Credit: Sbolotova, Shutterstock | Right – Image Credit: Carolina García, Pixabay

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