The Labsky is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Labrador Retriever and Siberian Husky dog breeds. Active, smart, and loyal, these pups inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parents.
Labskies also go by the name Huskador. Despite their high-end image, you may find these mixed breed dogs in shelters and rescues, so remember to always adopt! Don’t shop!
These adorable canines make for super loyal and devoted family pets, and they’re usually very easy to train and quick to learn new commands. But a heads up: Labskies are dogs who like to remain active, so be prepared for lots of extra long walks. Often seen as smarter than the average dog, Labskies also benefit from interactive dog toys.
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:20 to 28 inchesWeight:40 to 60 poundsLife Span:10 to 12 years
More About This Breed
- The Labsky is a mixed breed dog. They are not purebreds like their Labrador Retriever or Siberian Husky parents.
- Labskies were first bred intentionally in the 1990s.
- The Labsky is a medium- to large-sized dog with high energy.
- Labskies tend to love people and human contact. They are usually very friendly.
- The Labsky has a double coat that requires daily brushing.
- Their fur can come in white, black, yellow, brown, red and grey, and many times the coat will be a mix of colors.
- Labskies can have a high prey drive and might be best suited to homes with pets of the same size.
The Labsky came to be after crossbreeding between a Labrador Retriever and a Siberian Husky. The mixed breed dates back to the 1990s, although their original country of origin has not been established.
The history of the Labsky’s parent breeds goes back a long way. The Siberian Husky has existed for over 3000 years, and originated in the cold climes of Alaska and Canada.
The Labrador Retriever has a history as a gun dog and was first developed in Newfoundland in the 19th century. These days, the Labrador Retriever has become recognized as one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and frequently ranks as the most popular dog breed of all, according to the American Kennel Club.
Even though the Labsky looks like a fancy, high-end designer dog, many of them end up in shelters so consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you!
Due to the Labsky’s heritage, you can expect these dogs to be between medium and large sized.
Most weigh in at 40 to 60 pounds and range in height from 20-28 inches.
Many Labsky lovers like to describe their dogs as very loyal and exceptionally active. With high energy levels, the Labsky thrives on long walks and will always be interested in physical play sessions. If you have access to lots of outdoor space near to your home, the Labsky will prosper and approach life with much vigor.
At home, Labskies are seen as loving and loyal dogs who seek out company and enjoy being around people. A Labsky enjoys mental stimulation, and interactive toys can help keep the dog interested and alert. These dogs very much enjoy being around family and prosper in an environment with a lot of human contact.
In some cases, the Siberian Husky part of a Labksy can result in some dogs being seen as stubborn, but usually the Labrador Retriever’s calm disposition and friendly nature balances this trait out.
Labskies are generally farily healthy. The Labsky breed is predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Siberian Husky and Labrador Retriever also face. It is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.
Some of the more common health problems Labskies suffer from include:
- Eye conditions
- Hip dysplasia
As with all dogs, you should keep up your Labsky’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
Labskies can be prone to weight gain, mainly due to their Labrador Retriever heritage. They also have very high energy levels, so it’s vital that you can commit to long walks and extended play sessions.
Grooming is important with a Labsky. You’ll need to brush your dog’s double coat at least once–and maybe even twice–a day. This is to lessen the chances of the dog developing mats and remove dead fur and any debris clinging to it. You’ll also want to put into place a regular ear cleaning regime–your vet can help you decide on the best practice.
As Siberian Huskies have been known to suffer from dental issues, talk to your regular vet about the most effective way to maintain good dental health. Your vet can teach you about brushing your Labsky’s teeth and keeping up with good at-home dental care.
An ideal Labsky diet should be formulated for a medium-sized breed with high energy.
As with all dogs, the Labsky’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Labsky’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
Labsky coats are often described as feeling silky to the human touch. Their fur can come in a wide range of colors including white, black, yellow, brown, red and grey–and most times the coat will be a mix of colors.
The Labsky’s double coat is usually medium in length. Daily brushing is required as part of your Labsky’s grooming routine.
The extra insulation on a Labsky’s coat derives from a Siberian Husky’s need to survive cold temperatures in harsh environments. A Labsky will usually prefer a cooler temperature to hot and humid conditions, so take this into account if you’re considering adopting one.
Children And Other Pets
Due to their inherently loyal nature and innate love of playing, Labskies are usually great around children. Although because of the dog’s athletic abilities, it’s important to supervise play sessions for the safety of both parties. That said, for children who learn how to properly approach and play with a Labsky, the dog can become a very active and very loyal companion.
Although Labskies can be very social around humans–and generally do well around other similarly-sized dogs–their prey instincts can become activated if they spot a small pet, especially cats and rabbits.
It is always important to ensure that your Labsky undergoes proper socialization and appropriate training from a very young age.
It may be difficult to find a non-profit rescue group that exclusively handles Labsky dogs. However, there are several Siberian Husky and Labrador breed-specific rescues that sometimes help mixes of those breeds find homes. Search for a rescue near you, or check out our adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code.
Here are some breed-specific rescues that may be able to help find the right Labsky for you:
- Husky House
- Lucky Lab Rescue