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Taking care of a crossbreed may both mean double the trouble and double the fun. Owning a highly intelligent and playful Husky Lab mix, also called the Labsky or Huskador, is the perfect example.
In this article, we will show you why this hybrid can make a great pet for you family. If you are a new owner yourself, read on to get some interesting information about your Husky Lab pup!
The origins of the Husky Labrador Mix
The Husky Lab mix is a combination of a Siberian Husky and a Labrador Retriever. Purportedly, it was deliberately bred within the last two decades to produce a dog that has the friendliness of the Labrador and the calm temperament of the Husky.
Though it’s a fairly new addition to the list crossbreeds around the world, the Huskador is also rising in popularity among breeders and owners.
The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever (Lab) originated from Newfoundland. Its history as a breed goes as far back as when the Canadian province was still a British colony.
They were originally bred to serve as working dogs. From their name itself, their main job is to retrieve their owners’ quarry, which usually are composed of ducks and fish. This explains the Labrador Retriever’s love of water.
The intelligence and loyal nature has gained them the love of many hunters and fishermen, making Labradors their favorite hunting companion.
The Siberian Husky
On the other hand, the Siberian Husky is from the cold lands of Siberia, Russia. They were bred by the Chukchi tribes to serve as working dogs as well.
Huskies were of big help with transportation, particularly in pulling sleds of food, firewood, supplies, and other necessities around the territory.
Raised in a family setting, these dogs are used to being around humans; in the Chukchi tribes, Huskies were even calm enough to be trusted around babies.
Coming from parent breeds historically known to work well with humans, the Labrador Husky mix is exceptionally trustworthy around people, too.
What exactly does the Husky Lab Mix look like?
Medium to large in size, a full-grown Husky Lab mix weighs around 40 to 60 lbs (18 to 27 kg). They can grow from 20 to 23 inches (50 to 59 cm) in height.
Most of these crossbreeds have a striking appearance because of their multi-colored coats.
If it has more of the Siberian Husky’s genes, the Lab-Husky mix may have coat colors of agouti, piebald, or copper, among others.
A Huskador that leans towards its Labrador Retriever side can have a coat of yellow, black, or chocolate.
Another attribute that makes a Labrador Husky mix stand out is its eye color.
Commonly, you can find a Husky Lab mix with brown or blue eyes, but they are also likely to get a pair of eyes with different colors, a condition otherwise known as heterochromia.
A Husky Lab mix’s ears may either be upright (inherited from the Husky) or flopped down (like the Labrador).
What behavior should I expect from a Lab Husky Mix?
A common issue that comes with getting a crossbreed is that you usually would not know what to expect when it comes to this dog’s behavior and characteristics. A Siberian Husky Lab mix is not an exception to this.
Labrador Retrievers and Siberian Huskies have a lot of traits in common. For example, being working dogs, these two breeds are intelligent and highly trainable. It’s safe to expect that your Husky Lab dog will have the same qualities.
Like their parents, Labskies are also naturally loyal and protective of their human families.
Don’t count on them as guard dogs, though, as these crossbreeds are usually indifferent around strangers. This is something they inherit from the Siberian Husky.
Most Lab-Husky mixes inherit the Lab’s easygoing nature and the Husky’s playfulness. These hybrids are always up for playtime, which makes them great companions for children and excellent family pets overall.
With this dog’s size, though, it’s important to keep an eye on the situation during playtime. The Huskador can accidentally knock over a small child during rough-housing.
Some behavioural issues you need to look out for
Both Huskies and Labradors have their equal share of undesirable behavior that the Husky Lab mix can inherit. The good news is that these traits can be easily fixed with consistent training.
For instance, like the Lab, the Lab-Husky hybrid may show great enthusiasm in chewing on things. Before you hide your shoes and slippers away, try giving your dog his very own chew toy.
Some Huskadors also have the uncontrollable urge to dig around. They get this behavior from the Husky, which has a natural instinct to create a shelter for itself or build storage for the food that it hunts.
One great way to keep your Husky-Lab hybrid from ruining your garden is to make a digging zone. Fill a corner of your yard with soil or sand and train your dog to satisfy his digging instinct only in this area.
Giving your dog enough exercise and keeping him busy with games and toys will also distract them from the urge to dig or chew.
How to train a Lab and Husky mix
When it comes to training, a Husky Lab puppy can be trusted to learn quickly. Some Husky Labs are more eager to learn like the Labrador, while others have a tendency to test your patience because they can be stubborn or inconsistent like the Husky.
The most effective way to get this crossbreed to listen to your commands is to establish your role as the alpha. Like Huskies, these hybrids are pack animals that love having a leader to follow.
You can train your dog yourself using a variety of methods such as positive reinforcement. This tends to work best for Labskies, as they’re eager to please their owner.
Having your dog learn commands and master a few tricks gives your the Husky-Lab mix the mental stimulation it needs, so it can avoid boredom, which leads to destructive behavior.
Socialization is also a crucial part of this hybrid’s training and development. The good news is that this dog has a friendly nature that helps it get along with other animals.
Your dog will also benefit from being exposed to a wide variety of sounds, smells, and sights while it’s still a pup. This will help with desensitization and teach your dog how to be calm in unfamiliar situations.
The Husky Lab mix’s exercise needs
Given the hunting background of its parents, the Huskador has high energy levels that need to be met with exercise. This crossbreed needs at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily.
Walks, hikes, jogs – all these are great activities to help burn through your Lab Husky mix’s energy stores. These dogs will love swimming, too, given the Labrador’s past as a water retriever.
You can also let you dog loose by letting them run around off-leash in contained space, say in a dog park.
When it comes to a Husky Lab mix’s exercise needs, apartments without a fenced yard may not be the ideal environment. Don’t despair, though; this crossbreed will be happy wherever it lives as long as it gets a walk at least once day.
For days when you cannot let them out for a walk, you can add games like fetch to their list of activities. Indoor games are a good way to keep Huskadors focused and busy.
Check out this Labsky puppy who’s totally content playing with a bone:
Grooming and other care tips for your Lab Husky Mix
There is one thing that a lot of owners of this dog agree on and that is the fact that the Siberian Husky Lab mix sheds a lot.
You can expect its shedding seasons at least twice a year, during spring and fall. You can thank both the Lab and the Husky for the Labsky’s thick double-layered coat.
During shedding season, you want to brush your dog’s coat daily to keep the shedding under control. Outside of these seasons, brushing should be done twice a week.
Invest in grooming tools such as an undercoat rake and a lint roller, too, to keep your clothes free from dog hair. Vacuuming your house or your dog’s play area everyday is also advised.
Keeping up with their dental hygiene is also a must, especially since the Huskador has a habit of chewing. Brush your dog’s teeth at least once a day to prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
What food should I give my Husky Lab?
Lab Husky mix puppies need to be fed at least 1.5 cups of high-quality puppy food, divided into 3 to 4 meals a day. When they reach their sixth month, you can start feeding them only 2 meals daily.
Make sure that the food your Huskador eats is rich in protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. High-quality sources of protein such as muscle meat or organ meat will help strengthen your dog’s bones and joints, and fat will help maintain his energy levels.
You can put him on premium dry kibble as soon as he turns one and increase his servings to 2 ½ cups of kibble daily, divided into to 2 meals.
Some health issues for Husky Lab mixes
A Siberian Husky Lab cross has an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years, but various health issues may cut this life expectancy short.
Due to its different gene pools, Lab Husky mix are prone to a number of genetic health issues. Both Labrador Retrievers and Siberian Huskies are more vulnerable to certain health conditions, so you can expect your Lab Husky to possibly inherit these problems as well.
Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC)
This is a recessive genetic disorder that causes affected dogs to lose muscle control and collapse after a period of excessive exercises.
Food allergies and seasonal pollen allergies
Watch out for symptoms such as redness around the nose area, itchy skin, excessive licking, hair loss, and swollen paws. Take your Huskador to the vet once you notice these symptoms.
This is a hereditary disorder that is common in large dogs. If a dog has hip dysplasia, their joint sockets in the hips are not fully developed, making it painful for him to walk or run around.
Acute Caudal Myopathy
This is a muscular disorder caused by injuries in the tail muscles – a common syndrome among working dogs.
Pet owners would usually call this disease “dry eye”. Dogs get inflamed corneas because of lack of moisture in the eyes.
This is a disease that can be usually found in older dogs. Their spinal cord functions decline, and, as a result, they lose they coordination and mobility in the hind area. Dogs with degenerative myelopathy can be assisted with harnesses and dog carts if they lose their ability to walk.
Cataracts are another eye disease that can greatly affect a dog’s vision – it could even lead to blindness. This disease is commonly caused by old age. It can also be linked to diabetes in dogs, so balancing your dog’s sugar intake in its diet should be taken seriously.
Idiopathic seizures are common in the Siberian Husky. Seizures or epilepsy in dogs can be caused by unusual bursts of electrical activity in the dog’s brain.
It is typical for large dogs to acquire this condition. It may affect their breathing capabilities, but it can definitely be treated by surgery.
Other common issues that both Labrador and Husky parents might pass down to their Husky Lab offspring are obesity, dental issues, and arthritis (an effect of obesity).
As with any other crossbreed, Labrador Huskies require an extra amount of protection and care. Make sure the Huskador puppy you bring home has been health-tested and cleared of genetic conditions.
Getting your very own Lab Husky mix
If you are in contact with a breeder for your first Lab Husky puppy, you need to maintain constant communication. Do not hesitate to ask questions, especially about the parents’ health.
Try your best to find a breeder who would allow you to observe the parents and the pup itself before you take your Huskador home.
Stay away from sellers that offer bargain pups. As you may already know, Lab-Husky mixes can be expensive to take care of. If you’re willing to spend money, might as well spend it on puppies from reputable breeders that can give you a legitimate overview of your dog’s genetic history.
With the rising popularity of the Husky Lab mix, its price could also spike higher in the coming years. Right now, the Lab Husky puppy’s price is at $400 to $800 each.
Lab Husky breeders and rescue centers
Lab Husky breeders may be difficult to find, so you can reach out to breeders of Labs and Huskies instead.
Get in touch with these breeders to see if they have Husky Lab mix puppies for sale:
- Smith Farms Labradors (Minnesota)
- Mabry Labrador (Illinois)
- Humehill (New York)
- Bama Huskies (lAlabama)
You can also try to consult local experts like veterinarians and breed clubs for recommendations on reputable breeders in your area.
If the price of Husky Lab pup from a breeder is too steep for you, you also have the option to adopt or rescue a Huskador. Aside from the lower cost, adopting an adult dog may also be easier, as you won’t have to deal with training a puppy.
Here are some rescue organizations and shelters dedicated to abandoned Labs and Huskies. You can contact them to see if they have any adult Huskadors available for adoption.
- Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida
- Southern Skies Labrador Rescue and Adoption (Alabama)
- Arctic Rescue (Utah)
- Husky House (New Jersey)
Double the trouble, double the fun!
A Husky Lab mix is not as affordable as other crossbreeds today, but it is definitely worth every penny.
This hybrid is a lovable and smart dog that makes for an excellent family pet and companion.
With their working dog heritage, the Labsky can be easy to train, but you’ll have to establish yourself as the alpha of the pack. Consistent training and socialization are also crucial in teaching this dog proper behavior.
Prepare to have a more active lifestyle, too, as the Lab and Husky cross needs at least an hour of exercise daily.
Have your own Husky and Lab hybrid at home? Is it more of a Labrador Retriever or a Siberian Husky? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!