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Huskies and Labradors are both handsome, intelligent dogs that make fantastic pets for families.
So, what do you get when you mix them together?
An intelligent, social, and playful pooch that can accompany you on all of your adventures. If you are thinking of adopting a Husky Lab Mix into your family, here is everything you need to know.
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Husky Lab Mix Overview
- Size – 22 to 25 inches tall and 40 to 60 pounds
- Coat – Medium length, double coat, straight, color varies
- Shedding – yes
- Lifespan – 10–15 years
- Temperament – Intelligent, sociable, loyal, playful, and eager to please
- Trainable – Very trainable but can act up when bored
- Activity – Highly active (needs at least one hour of exercise and intermittent daily activity)
- Best For – Families and people with lots of time to spend with them and active lifestyles
What is a Husky Lab Mix?
Also known as a Huskador, Labsky, or a Siberian Retriever, a Husky Lab Mix is what you get when a Siberian Husky mates with a Labrador Retriever.
They are different from a purebred Labrador Husky, which is a purebred dog native to coastal Labrador. It has the same wolf look as a Husky and, just like a wolf, howls rather than barks.
Mixed-breed dogs are an unpredictable combination of the two parent breeds, so it is impossible to know exactly what they will look like before they are born.
However, one Husky trait that is commonly inherited by Huskadors is heterochromia, which is two different-colored eyes. This is one of the traits that gives both Huskies and Huskadors their unique look.
Although their final look is always a lottery, we can make a few generalizations about the appearance of Husky Lab Mixes.
As both Huskies and Labradors are medium-sized dogs, their joint offspring will be about the same size.
Huskies are the smaller of the two breeds, and the females are much smaller than the males.
Male Huskies are between 21 and 23.5 inches higher and weigh between 45 and 60 pounds The females are between 20 and 22 inches long and weigh 35 to 50 pounds.
Labradors are larger at 50 to 80 pounds and 22 to 25 inches tall. This means for safe breeding, the Labrador will pretty much always be the mother of the Siberian Retriever, as the mother needs to be the larger of the two dogs in order to avoid problems birthing the pups.
So expect you Husky Lab Mix to stand between 22 and 25 inches tall and weigh 40 to 60 pounds. You can get a better idea of just how big the dog will be by looking at the size of the parents.
Labskies come in a wide range of different colors including black, brown, yellow, white, grey, and copper. They can be one solid color, like Labradors, or they can be an unexpected mix, taking after their Husky parent.
It is not uncommon to see white Huskadors with the golden ears of a Labrador, or white pups with the coloring over the ears and nose in black or brown. But any pattern or mix is possible.
Siberian Retrievers will usually have the short coat of a Labrador, as this seems to be a dominant gene that shows up in their mixed children. But they are also likely to have the straight hair that we are accustomed to seeing on Huskies.
The dog will certainly have a double coat, as this is a feature of both breeds. Huskies have a particularly thick undercoat that helps keep them warm in icy temperatures, so a Huskador might also find themselves with one.
But whether they inherit this winter warmer or not, Siberian Retrievers shed—a lot—especially in fall and spring when they change their coats. Regular brushing is essential for maintenance, as is a vacuum cleaner that is up to the task!
Husky Labrador Mix Character
The personality you get when you mix a Husky and a Labrador is unpredictable, but both are friendly dogs that love people, so you can be sure you will have a sociable, human-loving pup.
Labrador Retrievers were initially hunting dogs bred to retrieve wild game. This means they have been bred to enjoy being around humans and to be pleasers, completing tasks in return for rewards. They are friendly, good with strangers, and easy to train, which means their behavior is controllable.
Huskies are working dogs bred to pull sleds and hunt in cold climates. They are also highly trainable, but can have a tendency to be stubborn if they aren’t happy about something. They can also be very vocal and bark a lot. These dogs are escape artists, which means you need to take extra care when building their homes and enclosures.
A Husky Lab Mix can inherit any and all of these traits in different measures, but you can be sure the dog will be intelligent and trainable. Both breeds are also playful, friendly, and love people. They make great pets for family homes.
Both Labradors and Huskies have a lot of energy, so you can be sure their offspring are also going to be high energy pups. They will need a minimum of one hour of exercise every day. But more than that, they need little spurts of activity throughout the day and shouldn’t be left to lounge around for 23 hours.
These dogs will love and benefit from a quick game of fetch every few hours, which appeals to their retriever instinct. This regular distraction will also help keep them occupied enough that they are less likely to indulge in unwanted behavior such as chewing your shoes, digging holes, and finding their way under the fence. Yes, sometimes these dogs are just too intelligent for their own good!
These dogs are ideal for active owners who want a companion on their adventures. And Husky Labs Mixes can go just about anywhere with you. They are personable enough to get on well in a crowd, they will have no problems with those long jokes, and they even love the water! These dogs tend to be great swimmers.
Caring For A Husky Lab Mix
As with all dogs, taking care of them starts with love and good training! But let’s dive into the details of what you can do to keep your Husky Lab Mix healthy and happy.
As we have already said, Siberian Retrievers are very high energy dogs, so they need a lot of exercise. This means a minimum of one hour per day. But, at the same time, they can’t be left to do nothing for the other 23 hours. They need exercise in regular bursts.
As we have already suggested, take them out in the yard for a quick game of fetch a couple of times a day and you will have a much happier pooch.
It will also help maintain their weight, which is important because carrying extra pounds can exacerbate many of the health problems common in these dogs.
Also, Huskies are commonly used as sled dogs and therefore love to pull sleds and other things (I’m referring to the leash). There’s a good chance this working habit is passed down to a Huskador so beware when it comes time to work on loose leash training.
The pups of Huskies and Labradors are highly intelligent, which means they need a lot of intellectual stimulation. If not, they will get into trouble.
Labradors tend to be chewers and will make short work of a lot of things in your home. Huskies are diggers and also seem to manage to get in or out of anything. So you may come home to find they are not where you left them.
Puzzle toys can help keep your dog stimulated, but be aware that Huskadors will make short work of them.
They are heavy chewers with powerful jaws, so you will be replacing that toy regularly. Another option is to look for more durable indestructible dog toys.
The KONG Extreme is one of our favorite toys and can be mentally stimulating as well as highly durable.
Huskadors need a lot of love and attention. They are not the type of dog you can leave alone at home for the whole day while you are at work.
They will not only get into trouble, but they can develop separation anxiety and depression. This is not the type of dog for people whose houses are empty for most of the day.
Both parent dogs of Siberian Retrievers shed a lot, so you can expect their kids to do the same.
For this reason, they need to be brushed at least twice a week, and during their shedding seasons in fall and spring they will need brushing every day.
OUR EXPERIENCE: I’ve owned both Labrador Retrievers and Siberian Huskies and I have to say during the shedding season you often wonder where all the fur is coming from.
This should not be seen as a chore, but rather as some nice bonding time for the two of you.
What may seem like more of a chore is cleaning up all the hair they shed around your home. Commit to the fact that very regular vacuuming is now part of your regime, and get a specialist pet vacuum cleaner that has the power and the attachments needed to pick up all that hair.
But the good news is that, while Huskies shed a lot, they don’t tend to smell in the same way as other dogs, a trait your mix will hopefully inherit.
This means they do not need to be bathed too often. Really, unless they are getting into a lot of dirt, they shouldn’t need a bath more than once a month at a maximum.
When you do bathe them, be sure to wash out all the shampoo and conditioner. This can easily be held onto by their hair, and if left behind can irritate their skin.
But brushing is only the beginning of the grooming regime these pups need, not all of which will be such a pleasant bonding experience.
They need their teeth brushed at least three times a week. Thankfully, this can be partially achieved with dental chew toys.
They should also have their ears cleaned regularly, especially if they have the floppy ears of a retriever. Bacteria, yeast, and parasites live in the ear canal.
OUR EXPERIENCE: If you have a floppy eared Huskador then be sure to keep a close eye on his ears. We’ve had many Labs and ear infections are very common and can be very irritating for your dog.
Finally, make sure to trim their nails on a regular basis, at least monthly.
This is often a job best left to the experts, as it is easy to cut too deep and hurt your pooch, which will only make them less cooperative next time as they will develop a fear of the clippers pretty quickly.
If you are confident enough to do it at home, check out our list of the best nail clippers.
We prefer to use a nail grinder called a Dremmel to trim our dogs nails. However, the Dremmel is something you should slowly introduce to your dog so he is not fearful of the sound and vibration.
Huskadors need a diet that is high in healthy proteins. Both Labradors and Huskies are natural carnivores, so they feel better when they have a diet high in meat and without excessive amounts of carbohydrates.
Processed carbohydrates should be avoided for all dogs, but especially these.
Husky Lab Mixes have a lot of energy, and that protein will help them get through their day.
They should also have quite a bit of fat in their diet but not too much. You need to be careful about maintaining the weight of these dogs, as they can have heart and joint issues, and excess weight will just exacerbate these health problems.
Ideally, their diet should contain about 25% protein and 10 fat, as well as lots of fiber to help with digestion.
Husky Lab Mixes can have sensitive stomachs, which means that artificial coloring, rendered fats, and processed grains should all be avoided.
It’s also a good idea to vary the protein they eat, as dogs often form sensitivities to the meats they eat the most, such as chicken and beef. Look to vary their diet by introducing novel proteins such as rabbit and venison.
Puppies should eat special puppy food until about the age of one. Until they are six months old, feed them four times a day, and after that drop to twice a day.
But don’t leave them more than 12 hours without food, as it can compromise their digestive system (intermittent fasting is not for dogs).
They will probably need to move onto special foods for senior dogs at about the age of 7, which is when they enter the second half of their lives.
As a rule, dogs need 25 to 30 calories per pound of their weight per day. But while this is a good guide, listen to your vet and watch their weight to find their unique dietary balance.
Known Health Problems
Dogs are just as unique as humans when it comes to the health problems they can develop, but some breeds are more prone to certain conditions than others.
Husky Lab Mixes are susceptible to the conditions that are common among both Huskies and Labradors:
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – A condition that arises when the hip and elbow joints do not develop normally, which can cause extreme pain and arthritis later in life
Eye Conditions – Various eye conditions including cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy, all of which can all result in blindness
Heart Conditions – Usually a decrease in the effectiveness of the heart pumping blood throughout the body, which can lead to complications such as a build-up of fluid in the chest and abdomen
Husky Labrador Mix dogs have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. They will move into the stage of being “senior” at about six or seven years.
At this time, their energy levels will drop and they will need some changes in their diet and exercise.
Check out our list of best dog foods for your senior dog for our recommendation of dog foods for older dogs.
How To Train Your Husky Lab Mix
Huskadors inherit a lot of intelligence on both sides, so they are smart dogs that are highly trainable, but they can be stubborn.
For this reason, domination and punishment should never be used. It can cause these stubborn pups to dig in their heels and refuse to cooperate.
The best way to train Husky Labrador Mixes is through positive reinforcement and reward. They are people-pleasers so they find this highly motivational.
While these pooches are naturally sociable, it is a good idea to socialize them from a young age, especially with children.
This helps them learn the care they need to exercise when dealing with smaller humans. They will also probably need to be trained to control their likely Husky-inherited tendency to bark.
But, no matter how well-trained these dogs are, if they don’t get the attention and stimulation they need day-to-day, they will get into trouble. They will meet you halfway, but you need to fulfill your side of the bargain.
Who Should Own A Husky Lab Mix?
Husky and Labrador mixes make great pets for families, as they will quickly become members of the family and get on well with kids. A family also often means lots of people in and out of the home to spend time with them.
Huskadors are not the type of dogs that can be left at home alone for hours on end, so they aren’t the right fit for busy workers who only have time on the weekends.
But they are perfect for anyone with a highly active lifestyle looking for a dog that can accompany them on all of their adventures.
They will have no problems taking on challenging trails, being out and about all day, and even going in the water.
They can also be taken into crowded places, as they aren’t spooked by strangers and know how to comport themselves in those situations.
So this is the ideal dog for someone who has the time and energy to give them a lot of love and attention. They will thank you with the same in return.
Buying A Husky Lab Mix
If you are looking for a Husky Lab pup, go directly to the breeder if you can. This means you can meet the parents, which can help give you an idea of what kind of character the puppy will have.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell much from the puppy themselves at such a young age.
The breeder will also be able to share medical records with you, which can give you advance warning about the types of medical conditions your new pooch is prone to developing.
If you are adopting a more mature Huskador, spend some time with them to see what they are like.
As Husky Lab Mixes are still a relatively new breed, they are also relatively expensive. Expect to pay between $400 and $800+ for a puppy depending on where you are.
History of the Breeds
More closely related to wolves than many modern dog breeds, Huskies have long been sled dogs used in colder regions.
They are bred for strength, swiftness, and to withstand cold temperatures.
Their unique wolf-like look and friendly nature mean they are also extremely popular as pets.
Labrador Retrievers were brought from Newfoundland to England in the 19th century and then trained and bred as hunting dogs.
They are highly intelligent and love being around people, working, and pleasing their humans.
This is why they are often used as assistance dogs, as they are both hard workers and incredibly loving and loyal.
Is A Husky Lab Mix A Good Dog?
Yes, Husky Lab Mixes are excellent dogs, as they are intelligent, highly trainable, friendly, and loyal, plus they are great with children and strangers.
They are very energetic and active, which means they do need a lot of love and attention, so they aren’t ideal for every home. If they are under-stimulated, they can have a tendency to act out, chewing and digging.
How Big Will My Husky Lab Get?
Huskadors generally grow to between 20 and 25 inches tall and weigh between 40 and 60 pounds.
If you would like a dog on the smaller side, choose a female, as they tend to be smaller than their male counterparts.
How Do I Know If My Husky Lab Mix Is Happy?
If your Husky Lab Mix is playful and energetic, this is a sign that they are happy.
When they start to become lethargic, this is often a sign that there is something wrong.
When you mix a Siberian Husky and a Labrador Retriever you get a very attractive dog that is also loveable, loyal, and a joy to have around.
They are the ideal pet for families and anyone looking for a companion for their active lifestyle.
These dogs do need a lot of love and attention and can suffer from separation anxiety.
They aren’t the kind of dog you can just take out on the weekends.
But if you invest in your Huskador, it is impossible to put a price on the unconditional love and companionship they will give you in return.
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