Husky Lab Mix – A Detailed Guide You Need to Know
The Husky Lab Mix is also known as Siberian Retriever and Huskador. The parent breeds are nothing but a huge bundle of delight. Loving, intelligent, loyal, and highly energetic; a Husky Lab puppy fits perfectly well into just about any active household. Provided you’re okay with regular grooming.
Are the dogs just like purebred Labradors or Huskies? No, they’re not. So don’t even expect them to be. Rather the hybrid is a very unpredictable mix of America’s 2 most favorite dog breeds. So let’s get to know everything about this adorable cross-breed.
Husky Lab Mix: Origin
Obviously, a Husky Lab comes from one Siberian Husky and one Labrador Retriever. Either can be the mom or dad. What’s important instead is that both parents should be purebred dogs.
Now if you want to understand the history and origins of Husky Lab mix, let’s delve deeper.
The breed seems to have originated from Newfoundland, which used to be a British colony. This explains the dog’s English origin. Even though Newfoundland now is in Canada.
Labrador Retrievers are labeled as working dogs. They are Retrievers, after all. Meaning retrieving is a part of what they do. Back in the days, Labs worked with hunters for flushing out and collecting captured prey.
They are loyal dogs that are simply great around people. As pets, the breed offers abundant love, affection, and playfulness. And they’re great with children too!
I don’t need to tell you that Siberian Huskies come from Siberia in Russia. This breed too also consists of working dogs. Traditionally speaking, the job of a Husky was to pull sleds for transportation. Along with helping out with gathering firewood, food, etc. and hunting.
Siberian Huskies were specially bred for cohabitating and collaborating with people. They’re good with both adults and children. And as pets, the breed is very protective, loyal, and simply wonderful.
Husky Lab Mix
Choosing a cross-breed almost always seems like a risky gamble. And that’s because you don’t know which parent’s traits the hybrid might inherit the most.
However, both sides share nearly the same characteristics. So you can expect the product of a Lab and Husky to be energetic, affectionate, loyal, highly protective, affable, hardworking, smart, and eminently trainable.
Husky Lab Mix: Appearance
It is a cross-breed after all, right? So the appearance of each puppy is going to be a unique combination of both a Labrador Retriever and Siberian Husky.
The most common coat colors include black, brown, yellow, copper, grey, and white. A beautiful blend of colors is also a possibility. Much like in the case of Huskies.
One other common trait in terms of appearance is heterochromia. This is when both eyes are different colored. It’s a very natural condition and not harmful in any sense.
Since most Huskies and Labradors are of the same size, your Labsky is going to grow into a medium size dog. With either droopy or upright ears. The former is a part of the Labrador breed while the latter is found in Huskies. Whatever the case, the hybrid looks stunning.
Weight and Height
Like I said, Husky Lab mix is a medium size dog. The height they achieve when fully grown is somewhere between 20 and 25 inches. As nature dictates, males are slightly larger and taller than females. But on average, the weight is around 40-60 pounds.
A combination of colors taken from both sides of the lineage is what you get. The different shades include brown, black, yellow, grey, copper, and white.
But that doesn’t mean your Husky Lab puppy can’t have a block-colored coat. As that of his/her Labrador parent. It’s not always a possibility that the puppies are going to be a wonderful blend of different colors like Huskies.
The length of the coat is either short or medium. But straight in all scenarios.
One downside of being a descendant of Huskies is the shedding of hair. If you’ve seen a Husky up close, you know the breed has a double layer of coating. These layers are what kept the dogs warm when the temperature dropped in freezing Siberia.
So if your pup inherits the double coat, shedding only comes naturally. This means you’ve got to be okay with regularly brushing your dog and his/her undercoat off the floor.
Buying Husky Lab Mix
It’s very important to buy from a well-known breeder. Meeting your future pet’s parents or at least the mother to see how they interact with their puppies is certainly a memorable experience. This way you also get an idea as to what traits your pup might inherit and develop.
My advice to you would be to pick a breeder who favors working-dog traits over aesthetics. When breeders do that, they’re making sure the puppies have a calmer and healthier temperament.
On your part, make sure the cross-breed comes from 2 pure breeds. You can even request to see some documentation. Popular breeders also offer medical records of not only the puppy but also the parents. In the case of the former, it includes vaccinations, flea treatment, deworming, and more such steps taken until you collect the little playful creature.
You can even check your puppy on your own. Clean ears and eyes and good health are great indicators that the breeder really cares. And doesn’t just want to make money off you. Also expect the breeders to direct questions at you too. After all, the most genuine ones are concerned about where their puppies go.
Choosing Husky Lab Mix Puppies
When it comes to picking the most suitable puppy for your home, there are many factors you might want to take into account. From gender and appearance to temperament and genetic testing.
For a tropical climate, a pup with short hair seems like a more thoughtful choice.
Now you should know that there are many show breeders that unknowingly or knowingly give importance to appearance. Instead of strength, temperament, and good health. So make sure you keep this in mind at the time of choosing your puppy.
Interact with both the parent dogs, if possible. So you get an idea of what the temperament and personality are like. But if the breeder doesn’t allow this, know that something is not right.
Examine the eyes, mouth, ears, paws, skin, tail, tongue, and underside. Make sure they look healthy and clean. You can also request for the medical history of your Husky Lab puppy. And if there’s a veterinarian, get his/her name and address too.
Husky Lab Mix Cost
Good breeders charge you around $400-$800 for Husky Lab mix. As for adopting one from a shelter home, the price range is much lower. It’s between $50 and $100.
In terms of monthly costs, you’re looking at quite a few steep expenses. The food intake of Huskadors is pretty high. So you’ll be spending a lot on that. Along with general maintenance and insurance! So the round-up is somewhere between $120 and $140 per month.
Husky Lab Mix: Temperament
It’s not easy determining the exact behavioral characteristics of a Labsky. And it’s because the breed comes from two different breeds. This means the traits can be a mix of both parents.
So in order to understand your dog better, why not read about the temperament of both Labs and Huskies!
Labrador Retriever Temperament
Did you know the Labrador breed is America’s most favorite? And there are enough reasons for that. The dogs are intelligent, eager, and loyal. This means they make excellent companions. Even if you have other pets and children.
The breed is very gentle and loving toward family members. And all they want to do is bring joy and happiness into your life.
As far as training a Labrador is concerned, the process is not very challenging. Labs train easily and quickly. But do keep in mind that they mature slowly. So you’ll notice puppy-like behavior even into adulthood.
You might also want to know that Labradors are prone to boredom and chewing. It’s a very bad combination indeed. So it’s entirely in your hands to prevent your dog from getting bored and chewing. Make sure proper physical and mental exercise is a part of his/her daily routine.
Siberian Husky Temperament
Huskies have earned a reputation of being very energetic and agreeable. The breed is family-oriented after all. The background here combines work and companionship. And this is what makes them such friendly pets to have.
A Siberian Husky demands social interaction. With you and with other dogs! So leaving them alone at home for a long time is not such a great idea.
The dog has a lot of energy to expend. So a backyard with secure fencing is the perfect place for such a canine. He/she should have the opportunity to play and run around as much as they like. Huskies love to chase as well. So don’t forget the leash when you’re out with your dog.
The breed loves kids and even other fellow four-legged creatures. You can also expect them to greet and interact with strangers quite easily. They see just about everyone as friends.
In short, a Husky might not win the award to the best watchdog. But he/she definitely bags one as the most loving, caring, and friendly furry companion.
Husky Lab Mix Temperament
Labradors and Huskies are known about for their energy and endurance. So if you’re planning on getting a Huskador, be prepared to meet the demands of an energetic canine.
Your cross-breed is a highly social creature who enjoys company. The breed is people-oriented indeed. This suggests it’s the perfect choice for a family.
But you’ll have to buy a lot of toys and make sure your pet receives a lot of mental stimulation and exercise. Otherwise, don’t expect the dog to feel or spread any joy. And when that happens, destructive behavior is inevitable. No wonder adequate exercise is always encouraged by veterinarians, dog owners, and the like.
Obedience training and early socialization are also recommended by professionals. In the case of this particular breed or just about any dog breed. Husky Lab puppies are highly excitable, but slow in terms of maturing. The latter part is inherited from their Labrador parent.
When obedience training and early socialization take place properly, they reduce the level of anxiety. Such daily practices also promote good behavior, adaptability, and calmness in your dog. No matter the situation!
Husky Lab Mix: How to Train
Does a Labsky respond well to training? Fortunately, the answer is a big YES. Positive reinforcements work best in this case. And that’s because the cross-breed is very intelligent.
Let me bring to your attention that Labradors are quick to train. They have a wonderful eagerness when it comes to pleasing the ones they love. So you should hope for your Husky Lab mix to inherit this particular trait from its Labrador parent.
But if that doesn’t happen, you’re looking at the Husky temperament. At least as far as training is concerned, Huskies are very stubborn. They are much more difficult to train. Since they like to follow their own instructions and ideas. However, you can combat this stubbornness with consistent, repetitive, positive reinforcement training.
What you can also do is encourage your dog to socialize with other people and furry creatures. When that happens, mental stimulation receives a boost. And this helps in keeping your pet entertained and well-behaved. So include a lot of play dates in your dog’s weekly schedule.
Mental stimulation is crucial if you don’t want the dog to get bored. Especially if the breed is known for its intelligence.
Also, Huskadors benefit from dog puzzle toys. Did you know that? You might have to practice a little bit of patience with them. But they’re pretty much well-equipped to handle such games and be occupied by them.
Husky Lab Mix: Caring for Them
Regular grooming twice every week is a must. Along with normal tasks such as nail clipping, ear cleaning, and flea treatment. So yes, caring for this cross-breed requires much effort.
Apart from grooming, the dog demands tons of exercise, both physical and mental. So if you have a backyard, it’s a huge plus. The hybrid thrives in company, meaning it’s people-oriented. It’s perfect for an active, social family. With one person at least at home for the most part of the day!
For Husky Lab mix, 60 minutes of daily exercise is a given. There’s no debating that. But you can split this into many sessions. Apart from giving him/her the opportunity to run around off-leash throughout the day. If you’ve mastered the skill of recalling your dog, then feel safe to remove the leash even during walks.
Even the puppies are going to be intelligent and highly energetic. So if you know of any agility classes for dogs in your locality, sign up your little creature.
The dogs also enjoy swimming. This activity ranks as one of the most effective forms of exercise. Even for you, there’s nothing more fun and memorable than watching your pet swim in the pool. Just make sure you’re standing at a distance when they shake off the water. Husky Labs have a double layer of coat, which means it can hold lots of water.
Getting a Husky Lab cross-breed means agreeing to groom your dog twice every week. The grooming part includes thoroughly brushing. As this reduces the coat from shedding!
Now you already know that Huskies have a double coat. The double layer increases the chances of the dog shedding profusely during the Fall and Spring. So there’s no reason why Husky Lab mix is going to be any different. This is when professional groomers come to the rescue.
Also don’t neglect ear cleanliness, bathing, and nail clipping.
The chances are you’ve got a puppy from the breeder or local adoption shelter. So the dog is already following a set diet. So it’s best to maintain that before slowly transitioning into a new one. Mix some of his/her old food with the new food. And then gradually increase the amount of the latter.
Puppies usually feed 3-4 times a day. But once they turn 6 months old, you can reduce this to 2 times only. And give them puppy food till they turn 1 year old. The difference between puppy food and adult food is that the former contains more protein.
As for an adult Husky Lab mix, about 2 and half cups of dry food is more than enough on a daily basis. Choose dry foods with higher protein content. 1/3rd of your dog’s diet is supposed to be protein. And avoid foods with corn, wheat, gluten, rendered fats, and artificial coloring.
Husky Lab Mix: Health Concerns
Inheriting diseases from parents happens in humans and animals, of course. So why would dogs be an exception, even if cross-bred! This is why health screening at an early age is so important. It helps you prepare for and avoid future health problems your four-legged companion might have to face.
So let’s get to know the potential health conditions that affect both Siberian Huskies and Labradors.
Siberian Husky Health Problems
When it comes to a Husky, the breed is susceptible to all common health concerns that affect all dogs. Such as skin disorders and dental disease. But Huskies are highly prone to developing skin issues. Like zinc-responsive dermatosis, pemphigus foliaceus, and follicular dysplasia.
Dermatosis leads to hair loss and skin crusting. Along with having a negative impact on the chin and eyes of the dog. Even pemphigus foliaceus causes hair loss and crusting. As for dysplasia, it’s canine alopecia. The condition results in skin flaking, abnormal growth of hair, and hair loss.
Let me tell you that Siberian Huskies are also inclined toward more serious health concerns. That may or may not pass down to their offspring.
- Eye Conditions
Ophthalmological issues are no strangers in the case of Huskies. These include corneal dystrophy, retinal atrophy, and cataracts.
Cataracts usually affect older adult dogs. They are marked by filmy, cloudy looking eyes. And what the condition does is impairs vision. So when not treated, it can cause complete blindness.
Even young Huskies (2 years old) are more likely to develop cataracts.
Retinal Atrophy is a progressive eye disease, which also results in blindness. The condition affects dogs 3 years or older. Once it sets in, the little furry creature can lose his/her eyesight within 1-2 years.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure. However, you can do genetic screening in the parent breeds.
Corneal Dystrophy comes in three different variations. And all three cause eye opaqueness. This too is inheritable by nature. And it strikes from the age of 6 into adulthood.
In some cases, the condition doesn’t give rise to troublesome symptoms. But there have been scenarios where the dog has had to deal with impaired vision and painful ulcers.
- Hip Dysplasia
Mainly found in larger breeds, dysplasia is caused by obesity. The condition is the result of the bone of the leg not fitting into the socket of the hip. Such misalignment causes friction and further joint deterioration. Thus, giving rise to arthritis.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia include stiffness, restricted range of movement, and trouble in climbing stairs, running, and jumping.
As for the treatment, weight management, exercise limitations, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, or surgery are recommended.
When the thyroid gland hormone production is insufficient, hyperthyroidism takes control. The thyroid is responsible for managing important bodily functions like temperature regulation and metabolism.
The list of symptoms includes hair loss, weight gain, irregular heartbeat, lethargy, etc. Huskies or any other breed with hypothyroidism is also very susceptible to developing ear infections.
You can diagnose the condition with a simple blood test. And treat the problem with medication.
Idiopathic seizures are the most common among Siberian Huskies. Without any specific common cause! Epilepsy can occur from anywhere between the age of 6 months and 3 years. And, obviously, medication helps in managing the condition.
Labrador Retriever Health Problems
Just like Huskies, Labs are also prone to retinal atrophy, cataracts, and corneal dystrophy. Along with epilepsy and hip dysplasia!
Here are some other health issues you might want to know about in the case of Labrador Retrievers:
- Gastric Dilation
What’s the precise cause of this bloating condition in Labradors? The cause isn’t known yet. But one thing is for certain. That gastric dilation affects larger breeds only. It is marked by the stomach expanding and then rotating. So all the food and gas get trapped inside the stomach. With no exit route!
Bloat can be very painful. In fact, when no medical intervention takes place, a dog can even die due to this serious condition.
Some of the most common symptoms include panting, distended stomach, pacing, inability and refusal to lie down, and foamy saliva but with no vomit. When you spot these signs, contact the vet immediately.
You can decrease the chances of bloat formation by feeding your dog more frequent, smaller meals.
- Elbow Dysplasia
The most unfortunate news is that Labradors are prone to both hip and elbow dysplasia. The latter occurs when a part of the cartilage or bone breaks off around the joint. The condition wears down that joint and leads to osteoarthritis.
Puppies as young as 4-6 months old have also had to deal with this painful medical condition.
- Exercise-Induced Collapse
Known as EIC, such circumstances are very common among Labrador Retrievers. And they occur even if your dog is healthy. In fact, the condition becomes evident only when intensive exercise is performed.
So it’s best to stick to a moderate exercise plan. And by moderate, I mean less than 5-10 minutes. Since EIC takes just 15 minutes of vigorous activity to give rise to the symptoms. 15 minutes or less by the way.
And what happens is the dog starts to become extremely weak in the hind legs. Due to which he/she collapses, even though awake. Just not able to move. But the symptoms keep worsening for as long as 5 minutes.
In most cases, dogs recover once 10-20 minutes have passed. The condition affects dogs from the age of 5 and above.
Husky Lab Mix Health Problems
So a Husky Lab cross-breed is likely to develop any health condition that affects either breed. And if both parents share a common disease, it’s possible that your hybrid puppy has inherited it from them. This means medical conditions like epilepsy, hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, and cataracts are more common among Husakdors.
What you can do is, at the time of buying from the breeder, make sure he/she provides proof of your pup’s health testing. If the breeder is any good, you will have access to your future pet’s parents’ hereditary health problems.
Husky Lab Mix: Life Expectancy
The typical lifespan of a Lab is 10-12 years. And that of a Husky is 12-14 years.
More often than not, mixed breeds have the same life expectancy as their parents. So you can look forward to your Lab Husky mix living for 10-14 years.
Does Lab Husky Mix Make A Good Pet?
The short answer is YES. Huskadors make fantastic family pets.
Here’s the long answer. The cross-breed is gentle, loyal, and friendly. And this is because both parent breeds are like that. Not just with people but also with other pets. The dogs simply love company. So they’re a great choice if you have an active family. In that case, a spacious backyard is a huge plus point.
But I would like to add one more thing. A Husky Lab adult dog is quite big. So if you have small children in your house, the dog’s rambunctiousness might seem to be a bit much. Knocking over your child is a possibility when he/she is too excited or playful.
Husky Lab Mix: Comparing to Other Breeds
American Eskimo Mix
When the American Eskimo and Siberian Husky get together, the cross-breed is not so different from Husky Lab mix. At least as far as exercise requirements, temperament, and coat care are concerned.
Both the breeds were sled dogs that loved spending time with people too. This is why the hybrid doesn’t like to be left alone at home very often. Much like Huskadors, American Eskimos are excellent family pets. Gentle with other furry creatures and children!
So what’s the difference? The weight and size are not the same. This particular breed is smaller with a weight of 60 pounds. In fact, the size gets as small as a miniature toy. So you get many options in terms of size with a mixed breed like this.
Labrador Akita Mix
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The coat of a Husky Lab cross-breed is the same as that of a Labrador Akita mix. Even grooming needs are quite similar. But the latter is much larger in size. The weight goes up to around 130 pounds.
Both the parent breeds are loyal, energetic, and intelligent. But if the puppy inherits more from his/her Akita side, then the tolerance level toward children reduces. Then you should also know that Labrakitas are not friendly toward other smaller pets. And it’s because the Akita breed comes from hunting dogs.
Similar Breeds as That of Husky Lab Mix
If you’re really interested in a mixed breed like Huskador, then you might find the following cross-breeds also quite appealing.
- Springer Spaniel and Labrador Mix
- Labrador and Poodle Mix
- Poodle and Husky Mix
- Husky and Australian Shepherd Mix
- Husky and German Shepherd Mix
- Labrador and Golden Retriever Mix
Is the breed Husky Lab mix the right choice for you?
It’s perfect for anyone looking to get a loving, loyal, and intelligent pet. The dog is simply the best for both singles and families. But if you’re not ready to invest some time and effort into training, exercising, and grooming the furry creature, then don’t take it into consideration.
The hybrid is a very active pet that demands lots of physical and mental stimulation to be happy and fit. In that case, if you have a spacious, fenced backyard, you’re a good fit for this cross-breed.
As long as the Huskador receives his/her daily dose of workout and the freedom to run around all day, everything is going to be fine. However, if you don’t have the time or energy to keep up with the high energy levels of the dog, then go for a smaller breed.
Also important to note here is that regular brushing is a part of the experience as well. So you should be willing to walk the extra mile.