Labradors are wonderful pets and once you bring one into your home they will inevitably win your heart. But what if you want to add another breed of dog to your home? Perhaps you have been considering getting a Husky. Huskies are beautiful dogs and also make great pets. But is a Husky a good match for a Labrador and how will the two breeds do sharing the same space?
Do Labradors and Huskies get along? Yes, Labradors and Huskies get along well if they are both well-socialized and have even temperaments. While Labradors and Huskies are similar in temperament, exercise requirements, and the amount of affection they require, whether the two will get along will depend on the individual personality of the dog and their genetics.
Sometimes the most unexpected of breeds get along, while the ones you would expect to be compatible are not. When choosing a new playmate for your pet, always take into consideration your current pet’s personality and the personality of the new dog. If you want to make sure that your Labrador and Husky are well-suited for each other, take the time to learn everything you can about their respective temperaments. Learn the best ways to prepare them for a meeting and set them up for a lifetime of companionship.
Why Do Labs and Huskies Make a Good Match?
A comparison between the two breeds will reveal several similarities. Both the Labrador and Husky have a life expectancy of around 13 years. While the Labrador is generally larger than the Husky, they have very similar needs and requirements when it comes to exercise, affection, and grooming. Many people who have paired a Husky and a Labrador have done so with great success. Let’s look at the temperaments and personalities of each breed.
Labrador Temperament and Personality
The Labrador is a highly sociable dog that thrives in a loving family environment. While they can be quite rambunctious without the correct training, when properly trained these pets can be very well-behaved. You will find a Labrador eager to please and probably one of the most loyal dog breeds available.
The Labrador is friendly, outgoing, and non-aggressive to other animals and people. In fact, this is what makes them good guide dogs, but not such great guard dogs. Labs generally want to be involved in all family activities and their high energy levels mean that they require plenty of exercise. They are generally easy to train with basic lure-and-reward methods.
Calm and easy-going, Labradors may seem easy to please, but they will soon show unhappiness if left to themselves for too long. A lonely Labrador with deficient human interaction may resort to destructive activities like digging in the yard or garden, chewing furniture, or even becoming depressed. It is safe to say that Labradors are not suited to be outside dogs. They thrive best when they are inside and part of the family.
Labradors are versatile pets in that they can be excellent hunting dogs, a daily companion, a playmate to the kids, a guide dog, a tracking dog, and even an exercise partner. Whether you are going for a swim or simply cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie, your resident Labrador will want to be part of it.
Husky Temperament and Personality
Huskies are quite similar to the Labrador in that they have a friendly, easy-going personality. They are generally good-natured with people but must receive proper training as they can be quite over-excitable. Like Labradors, Huskies are playful, boisterous, clever, and easy to train with most lure-and-reward methods. While training is fairly simple if done consistently, it is important to know that Huskies are not as eager to please as Labradors and are more independent. This means that they may not listen to commands on the first request and training may take somewhat longer than with a Labrador.
New owners find that Huskies are highly intelligent. This means that without heavy daily exercise, mental stimulation, and socializing, Huskies can also start to dig, chew furniture, become generally destructive, and badly behaved.
Huskies have high energy levels and require significant and daily exercise. Because of this, they love being outside and involved in activities. Unlike Labradors, Huskies are less well suited for small apartments with no backyard for running and playing. Due to their breeding, most Huskies can run long distances at moderate speed without showing much tiredness or exhaustion.
Consequently, it is important to keep a Husky always on their leash when in a public or open space. They are natural runners and if something interests them, they can be prone to take off and can be difficult to keep up with. It is also a good idea to have a high fence with no weaknesses, as their eagerness to investigate often leads to Huskies escaping their confines.
A Husky is extremely friendly and approachable which makes it a good companion dog and a pet that gets along well with other pets and kids. Of course, the right introductions must be made to ensure that your Husky has a harmonious life with the other pets at home.
Preparing Your Home for a Labrador and Husky Combination
If you plan to pair up a Husky with your Labrador, it is important to prepare your home. Here are a few tips to help ensure successful cohabitation between your Lab and Husky.
- Make sure that you have sufficient outside space for your Lab and Husky to run and play during the day.
- Ensure that each dog has its own “bed” area so that they have somewhere to retreat to when one needs a break from the other.
- Make sure that your feeding areas are kept separate until you know how the dogs interact at mealtimes.
- Invest in sufficient toys for both dogs and prepare to involve both in playtime. You should probably secure your shoes in the closet initially to keep them from being chewed up, at least until your new dog knows what your boundaries are.
- Do a perimeter check to ensure that your fencing is sufficiently high and has no holes, gaps, or weak spots.
- Buy extra treats so that you can start training the moment you bring your new dog home.
- Ensure that plenty of water is readily available for both dogs.
- Get a good leash and/or harness so that walks are safe.
- At their first meeting, use baby gates to keep the dogs separate so that they can see and sniff out one another without being able to “get at” each other.
- In the beginning, supervise all interactions. Praise both dogs when they are getting along. Their eagerness to please will teach them that this is good behavior.
Warning Signs That Your Lab and Husky Aren’t Compatible
Sometimes it is difficult to tell if your dogs are playing or if they simply are not getting along. It is important to keep a close eye on both dogs for a few weeks, to ensure that there are no underlying behavior problems between them. By introducing the dogs correctly and enforcing some “rules of engagement” you can help ensure that your Labrador and Husky become good friends. If you have just brought your new dog home, watch for the following warning signs that may show possible incompatibility:
- One or both dogs interact with a tightly closed mouth.
- Stiff movements or stances.
- One or both dogs are staring.
- The dog is standing tall with its tail held high and moving in an almost robotic way.
- Ears are pointed forwards.
- Ears are flat.
- One or both dogs are growling.
- One dog is running away from the other one or actively avoiding other pets.
- The tail is tucked between the legs.
What Other Breeds Are Compatible with Labradors
Huskies are not your only choice of companion for your resident Labrador. In fact, we’ve written an extensive article on the 25 Breeds Most Compatible with Labs. Here are just a few breeds that get along well with Labs:
Basset hounds are generally easy to please. They are not nearly as energetic as Labradors, but they will be happy to watch the fun. These are extremely laid back dogs and just by having a Lab friend, it will tend not to bark or become particularly destructive.
Goldendoodles, just like Labradors, thrive in a family environment. They love to get involved in activities and because they are highly energetic, they love to play and exercise just as much as a Labrador. These dogs are friendly, playful and do well with children and most other pets.
Cocker Spaniels are the perfect combination of smart, playful, and gentle. They get on extremely well with other pets and children and they never say no to exercise or playtime. Whether you are out in the garden playing fetch or watching a movie inside, the Cocker Spaniel, just like the Labrador, will want to be involved.
These dogs are highly energetic and playful. They do best when in a pack or have a friend to play with. They become quite destructive and depressed if they are left to their own devices. This dog is also very friendly and loves to exercise – a great match for the average Labrador.
When it comes to pairing two breeds of dogs, it is always important to take the expected nature of the dog as well as breeding into consideration. If you are buying your pets from a reputable breeder, ask about the personality and temperaments of the parents as well. This can give you a bit more insight into what to expect from your new pet. That being said, Labradors and Huskies are two breeds that are known to get along quite well in the same home.