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Hello everyone. I was curious to know if anyone has every owned a lab and a husky, and if so, how did the two get along? I know both breeds are very much people-dogs. My Riley is 9 1/2 months old, and I will be moving to a bigger house with a fenced yard in the next few months. I will be getting another dog and was considering a Siberian Husky. I think they are beautiful, but a definite challenge and change from a lab. Riley has been a complete joy to train, and I understand Huskies are much more difficult and can be stubborn. I will continue to read up and check back for any replies/advice! Also, I do have two cats who get along fairly well with Riley. I know this can also be a problem with some Huskies. Has anyone had experiences (hopefully positive) with socializing Huskies and cats? Thanks so much!
 

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I love Huskies but they are a handful. I actual just did a write up on them for a company and as much as I think they make a wonderful compation and family dog, I know that I will not get one. My biggest issue with Huskies is the fact that a) they are escape artists and I don't think my nerves could take escape attempts and b) they really are outdoor dogs. Even the breed club recommends that they live outside as they are much happier outdoors than in. There are many that enjoy the indoors so I really think that is an individual thing as my sister's husky x loves the indoors. He is very destructive though when he is indoors and she has come home to a house that was completely destroyed. If you think Labs can do damage...wow. Blue (the husky) decided he didn't want to be inside one fine day, he shredded her kitchen cabinets, pulled every curtain, blind and drape of every single window and shredded them, ripped up a wall or was that several, and did countless other things in an hour. My sister had just run across the street to the school for a meeting with the principal. Not a long one. He also felt the dining room table was better with the surface clawed and a large husky laying across it. I remember her phoning me after that and saying that my advice on buying a crate, which she had dismissed as being cruel and unusual punishment, was one she was following to the letter and she was in the process of purchasing one that night.

This site is wonderful for information about Huskies and I don't see a huge problem with intergrating both labs and huskies. http://www.gsshc.com/breedinfo.htm

Oh, one other thing. If you want a breed that can run off leash during a hike or something, then don't get a husky. It is suggested that they are never off leash.

Good luck if you get one. I know I would love one myself but I'm not sure if I would be the perfect match for one, especially since my SU doesn't particulairly like them. I guess I would have to trade in my SU for a Husky when I get a bit older. ;D
 

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I for the life of me can't remember this person's name, but I think a member of his forum adopted a Husky. I've seen pics of this dog romping with its "sibling" Lab. I seem to recall they got along fine.

Maybe that person will see this thread and reply.
 

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I grew up with a Siberian Husky, and let me tell ya what how much i enjoy walking in the wooded area of the park with my lab offleash without fear of him running off. In fact he watches and keeps an eye on where i'm going.. I could have NEVER thought of doing that with the husky, she wanted to run and run, and if there was an open door, she would be gone. Spent many nights chasing that dog through the neighborhood, and we never could walk it very well(it always wanted to be pulling --like it was bred too)

i would think it depends on how and what your lifestyle is..

oh.... but great dogs other than that running thing...
 

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Talk about two totally different breeds. ;)

Can I ask, what draws you to a Husky?

I think they are very much a 'specialist' breed -- not for the faint hearted or an inexperienced dog owner. Bear in mind that these dogs are bred to run and run and run. They are a breed who simply cannot be trusted off leash. Of course, there may be the odd Husky who is reliable off leash but personally, it is not something I would ever risk with one. Therefore they need to be exercised VIGEROUSLY for several hours a day by other safe means -- sled pulling, rig pulling, scootering, skijoring, biking, etc. Anything high intensity that involves running.
 

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Ok, here's my two cents. I was raised in a household that always had Siberian Huskies. They are a loyal dog, but very,very stubborn, pig headed, independant, one track minded and very nice. They are not for the faint of heart LOL

To address your two points, here goes: Your Sibe should be fine with your lab assuming it's socialized properly, and I'm also assuming it's a puppy that you will be getting. I would seriously get the opposite sex of whatever you have now, sometimes two males, two females can totally compete and not in a good way. Since you have cats, I would only get a puppy. We always had cats, and our Sibes were fine with them, having been raised with them, and also, having known them as a member of thier pack. They knew the difference between our cats, and "not our" cats. Anything not our cat was fair game to chase, tree, try to eat.

If you are getting a rescue Sibe, I would be very leery of allowing it anywhere near your cats, unless you know 100% for certain that it is cat friendly. Even then, I wouldn't risk it at all. We moved one time and I had to board a female with a friend of mine on her farm for 3 days. She killed all 11 of their barn cats. I felt sooooo awful. Yet this was a dog who slept with our 3 house cats every night. <shrugs>

Sibes are escape artists. Even if you think your yard is safe, it's most likely not. We had a Sibe who would climb a tree to get out of the yard, no word of a lie. They are diggers, boy, are they diggers.

Ours were indoor/outdoor dogs. They chose when to be indoors, and when they wanted out. They spent probably 90% of their time outside in the winter, and about 60% in the summer. If you live in a warmer climate that doesn't get winters, do not get a Sibe. It is totally unfair to them. We were hard pressed most winter nights to get ours inside, they literally love inclement weather. They would come in on urging and bribes,and be demanding to go back out 25 minutes later.

If you are not prepared to run them on sled in the winter, or on a bike or a rig in the summer months, again, do not get a Sibe. They are their happiest when pulling something. It is their one true joy in life, and not only that, but it is the kind of exercise they need to stay happy and not bored, and destructive. They can be very destructive. I also second/third/fourth the never letting them off leash. Of the 8 we had in my life time, only 1 was ever trustworthy. The other 7 would be gone as far as they could go as fast as they could go.

I think that's about it. Any other questions, please feel free to pm me. I may not know the answers after 17 years of life with Sibes, but my parents would. They would be more then happy to help you out too, I am sure.

Good luck whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the replies! All of your advice sounds very similar to the research I've done. I'm actually drawn to the breed because of some of the things many people would consider drawbacks. I run about an hour and a half every day year round and bike 3-4 hours a few times a week during the spring/summer/fall, and I can already see that Riley is just not going to be able to tolerate that kind of exercise. Unlike what you say about the Husky, he is not content to just run and run. Of course, he is always wanting to retrieve. ;D Another thing that draws me to Huskies is their intelligence. Now this one may get me into trouble, but it just fascinates me to work with a dog who is constantly needing a reason to obey. I'm vey aware it will be a challenge, and I will definitely think long and hard before even going to look at a puppy.

The pulling may be something for me to think about...this makes sense that Huskies would want to pull sled, but we (obviously) are not involved in this. Is it important even if she gets a lot of exercise?

We live in Iowa, so the summers are HOT and the winters are cold. We do run the air conditioning, though, and we have a wading pool for Riley to cool off in if we're not able to go to the lake or river to swim. Do Huskies enjoy water?

Although I'm by no means experienced, I have been around dogs all my life and have trained a few. These have all been labs or golden retrievers or mixes, and I'm sure it is not even right to compare training these to training a Husky. I have never had a dog go through formal obedience, but I think this is probably the only way I would attempt to begin with a Husky. There are some private trainers in our area who have very good reputations that I will be looking into.

Again, thanks SO MUCH, and if anyone has anything else as far as experiences or advice, please do share.
 

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I run about an hour and a half every day year round and bike 3-4 hours a few times a week
Oh wow...3-4 hours of biking? you must be fit. Your situation sounds perfect for a Siberian. HOWEVER, I am not sure I would take any dog on a 3-4 hour bike ride regularly, even a Sibe. I assume the Sibe will be a housedog? in which case, and this is especially true if you go away on vacation and leave the dog with someone, you don't want a dog that expects 3-4 hours of biking every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I assume the Sibe will be a housedog? in which case, and this is especially true if you go away on vacation and leave the dog with someone, you don't want a dog that expects 3-4 hours of biking every day.
Wow, that's a really good point that I NEVER thought of. Yes, we are pretty active here. As a healthcare professional, I like to practice what I preach, and I feel it is important to keep my pets fit and healthy as well. I had been just itching for the time when Riley could go for runs with me, but as I watch him grow and mature, it has become apparent that he is not the ideal running companion. He's not much for endurance and prefers to sprint in bursts and then lay down to rest. Of course, retrieving is his passion...not mindlessly running for an hour or so or 3. ;)

Is a Husky like a lab in that they should not be exercised vigorously for the first 18 months-2 years? I know they are not as heavy of a breed, but I did read they are also at risk for HD. From my research, I am assuming they begin training dogs to pull sled much earlier than this, so I'm guessing it's not as big of a concern...
 

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I don't know exactly the answer, but we never let ours pull any real weight until they were at least 1.5, 2 years of age. We would let them pull things, but small things, like a 5lb log or such, working up in increments as the dog aged, never stressing it's joints, or forcing it to really have to pull. Just lightly drag. It's good practice for them!

If you are going to run with your dog, that's fine, pulling isn't 100% neccessary, but like I said, it is their one true love in life. Would you keep your lab from water or from retrieving? That is akin to never letting your Sibe pull anything. They can be happy without though as well, it sounds like yours would have ample exercise and stimulation to probably not even know the difference. I think you will find your Sibe wanting to be indoors in your air conditioning in the summer, and outside in the winter.

It sounds like you've done your research. I applaud you for that. I think you will make a fine Sibe owner, you are going into this with your eyes wide open, which is a great thing!

What's your time frame on getting one?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What's your time frame on getting one?
6 months to a year from now probably. It could be a bit sooner, but I want to really research and learn as much as I can from as many sources as I can. I also want to be completely moved into the new house and have it adequately fenced before even thinking of contacting breeders. I suppose I could start looking around at breeders now and let them know about my time frame. Anyone have any suggestions in the Midwest?

I am very interested in the Husky as a breed, and like I said, I feel it matches my lifestyle well. I am a nurse and work 12 hour nights, 7P-7A 3 days a week and every third weekend the same hours. There is ALWAYS someone home, and my lab is spoiled RIDICULOUSLY. ::) I do sleep from around 8:00-1:00 on days I work and then normally exercise Riley and do my running or biking. Because I actually have 3-4 days off a week, I have lots of time to spend with my dog, and he is pretty much my life. However, I watch him interact with other dogs and really feel like an addition would be great for both him and me.

Whoever mentioned the damage Huskies can do....did you find that a regular crate from Petsmart/Petco was enough to contain him? We kennel Riley EVERY time we leave and would do the same with any other dog we got as well.
I appreciate all of the replies SO MUCH. I have made some mistakes with Riley (got him from a BYB, etc) and really want to avoid some of the same mistakes again. I am definitely looking forward to (possibly) getting a Husky pup but will wait as long as it takes for the right breeder/puppy to come along and to make sure I am completely prepared.
 

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hi ks

I only have personal experience with my Dad's brother owning one. Her name was Cuffy.She was gorgeous, protective, silly, wonderful dog. But omg...she ran ALL of the time. Got over their 8 ft fence, broke out through a French door, through the panels...she was ALWAYS on the run ::)
and she would turn herself in at the Fire Station about 1/4 mile away. The guys there loved her. She would hang out with the fire man until my uncle or aunt could go pick her up lol. They tried spaying her, invisible fencing...everything. She never calmed down until she was...gosh well over 8 years old. So just know that they do LOVE to run and break out.
 

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I have 8 yr male yellow lab. Recently, we are fostering 8 weeks old husky/boxer mix puppy for possible adoption. The puppy is very playful with our lab but our lab is very bothered by that. The other day, puppy was jumping on him and the lab was trying to bark him off and collapsed while he turned around. He seems very sad and touchy since we brought the puppy home. There are some incidences with dominating matter as well. Our lab is not a dominating dog and he is very shy and lazy. I am worry about our lab that he won't be able to adjust to this new puppy and never able to catch up with his energy.
I cannot blame the puppy because in the morning, when he sees our lab, he gets so excited so he keeps jumping and hopping on/ around him. It is our lab who are trying to escape from the puppy and becomes very restless. Do you think it will get better as time passes or should I introduce calmer dog for our lab? Or is our lab better be left alone? I am also worried if I keep them both, how I would manage their exercise on their paces which are totally different. Please advise... thanks,
 

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I had a husky for 16 years. While she was a wonderful dog, I'd never have another. She loved to escape and that never quit until she was really elderly. Her prey drive was very high. She killed a couple of neighbor cats that ventured into our yard but I'm sure if you got a pup that wouldn't be an issue. She loved cold weather and wouldn't come in the house for very long. Actually to eat and drink and that was it. She was stubborn, high energy, and somewhat high strung. But friends who had a husky said the same thing. They are a lovely dog, but you have a real challenge with them.
 

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You have gotten great responses! My neighbor and best friend growing up had a gorgeous Husky girl, and what I have read so far totally describes her. Escape artist, very active, independent, I had to help my friend catch her numerous times, and I remember once she ran so far away it took us almost 2 hours to catch her and get back home. One important thing to consider with primitive breeds: they have a very developed sense of "ranking", i.e. being dominant. If you have a male Lab then I would get a female husky. My friend´s Husky was very dog aggressive, but I know not all Huskies are like that.

I´m also a mountain biker and go for 3-4 hour rides two days a week. I don´t take my Labs or Vermont my Collie (Vermont basically because of his long fur getting all sorts of crap and tanlges, but he can certainly handle the exercise).

If you want an active sporting dog that are also lovely and 100% Lab compatible, I would consider a German Pointer. A friend has one that comes with us to our rides. She´s amazing. she comes and goes all the time, she probably runs twice the distance. She´s sweet, friendly, obedient, playful, gets along great with the Labs, and ... according to my friend, as long as she gets her weekend outlets, and daily walks, she´s very calm around the house.

Back to the Huskies... I was just offered a puppy last week and I´ve seen many Huskies lately. Are they the new fad?
 

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I am also on a husky forum (itsahuskything), since Luci is more husky than lab, and I notice a lot of people have both. Apparently they get along well. But they are like night and day! picture a typical lab puppy... chews, mouthy, etc.. Enough firm "no" and they get the picture and eventually stop because they want their people to be happy with them. Now picture a typical husky pup. Same issues (like any pup). They might even get the idea that this is undesirable behavior. but.... many don't particularly care. It's like they are thinking "well as long as *I'm* amused, I'm going to keep doing this." Makes a nice challenge when obedience training.. lol. Another example: there was a thread recently where the owner asked when they grow out of destroying stuff (two couches, a recliner, several books, etc....), and the typical reply was "uuuh, never?" They are wonderful dogs for the right person (as our vet tech recently said...." it takes a special type of person to have a husky" Another thing to consider is that they are on the "bad dog" list with a lot of insurance companies.... not that I agree with that, but it is what it is. With all that said, they can be fun if one has the time and boundless energy to keep up with them.
 

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I forgot to mention, I know of a lot of huskies that break out of crates. I don't know how they do it, but they certainly do (hence all the "what has your husky destroyed this week" threads on the husky forums.) and they run and run and run and run. (think of what they were bred to do) I know people who take them running/bike/sled for several miles twice a day, and the dogs are still hyper full of energy in the evening.
 

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I would say be very careful about a sibe and hot weather. A friend of my husband's lived in a hot/humid climate, and she took their sibe for a walk one day (and she is by no means an athlete like you) and hours later the dog died of heat stroke. Incredibly sad. We have neighbors with a sibe and a malamute. They keep them in during the hot weather (Denver, CO) and let them pull sleds at the state park in the winter--they totally enjoy it.
 
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