Choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle is an as important decision as bringing a dog into your life. Although every dog is individual and has a personality, each breed has particular traits. These traits can help you determine which breed will suit you and your lifestyle – ensuring a more harmonious home for you and your new pet.
The Siberian Husky and the Labrador Retriever are both wonderful breeds. They are similar in that they are both friendly breeds with humans and other dogs. They both have a double coat, are energetic, and need around 2 hours of daily exercise. The Siberian Husky is a medium size breed, whereas the Labrador Retriever is medium to large.
Let’s look at some breed traits to help you decide. These are general breed traits, and you should remember that breeding and life experiences will affect each dog differently.
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The Siberian Husky is one of 14 ancient dog breeds. The Chukchi tribe bred the Siberian Husky to pull sleds over long distances in harsh weather conditions. The Siberian Husky would work in teams to pull the sleds and sleep beside the children on cold nights to keep them warm.
Only the most social and playful Huskies would be used to breed, as cooperation and good natures were most important to the tribe. These traits are still found in today’s Siberian Husky.
Hunting dogs brought from England and bred with Newfoundland dogs that Fishermen used to retrieve nets and lines and pull carts with fish are considered the origins of the Labrador Retriever. Once back in England, the Labrador’s excellent retrieving skills were recognized and put to good use by the sporting gentry.
The Labrador is part of the gundog breed group and is very popular because of its versatility. The Labrador Retriever has a patient nature and willingness to learn and please its human, making it a great companion pet, service dog, guide dog, or working gundog.
The Siberian Husky has a thick fluffy double coat, with colors ranging from white, sable and white, grey and white, agouti, black and white, and black. Upright pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes can be blue, brown, mixed brown, and blue. In addition, they have a fox brush tail which is often held high in a sickle curve but can also be held low and trailing.
The Siberian Husky is a medium size breed. The adult male Siberian Husky stands at 21-23.5 inches, with an ideal weight range of 45-60lbs (20-27kgs).
The adult female Siberian Husky stands at 20-22 inches, with an ideal weight range of 35-50lbs (16-23kgs).
The life expectancy for a healthy, well-cared-for Siberian Husky is 12-14 years.
The Labrador Retriever has a thick, coarse, water-repellent double coat with black, yellow, and chocolate colors. Ears hang close to the side of the head, and medium size eyes are either brown or hazel. In addition, they have a rounded otter tail, thick at the base and tapering towards the tip.
The Labrador Retriever is a medium to large size breed. The adult male Labrador Retriever stands at 22.5-24.5 inches, with an ideal weight range of 65-80lbs (29-36kgs).
The adult female Labrador Retriever stands at 21.5-23.5 inches, with an ideal weight range of 55-70lbs (25-32kgs).
The life expectancy for a healthy, well-cared-for Labrador Retriever is 11-13 years.
Common Breed Health Checks
The Siberian Husky breed is generally pretty healthy; however, breeders should regularly have the dams and sires screened:
- Hip dysplasia (BVA/KC)
- Eye testing – PLA (gonioscopy) (BVA/KC/ISDS)
- Eye screening scheme (BVA/KC/ISDS)
The Labrador Retriever is generally pretty healthy; however, breeders should regularly have the dams and sires screened:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM)
- Eye screening scheme, Progressive retinal atrophy (prcd-PRA)
- Macular corneal dystrophy (MCD)
- Stargardt disease (STGD)
The Siberian Husky is a bundle of energy with outstanding endurance! This dog is at its happiest when it’s running, exploring, and playing. It can run for hours and still have the energy to play. However, to keep a Siberian Husky content, it will need at least 2 hours of daily exercise and some mental stimulation.
The Labrador Retriever is a high-energy dog. It requires up to 2 hours of daily exercise and is happiest if it has a job. The Labrador Retriever is happy to play fetch with its human for hours on end. However, you must be careful not to make the Labrador Retriever hyper-focused on a ball.
The Siberian Husky is a highly intelligent dog. It was bred to decide whether to follow instructions or not for the musher and team’s safety. This intelligence is still present in the Siberian Husky. Once you know what motivates your Siberian Husky, training and cooperation are easier. Most Siberian Huskies are not food motivated, and you must get creative.
The Siberian Husky learns quickly and easily; motivating them to follow instructions consistently can be tricky. Furthermore, the Siberian Husky is not a biddable animal; they are not interested in pleasing their human. High prey drive also means that recall isn’t 100% for most Siberian Huskies.
The Labrador Retriever is a real people-pleaser and is very food motivated. They love learning and pleasing their human, which makes training easy. In addition, the Labrador Retriever is patient and will happily learn to do many different tasks, making them firm favorites for service dogs, guide dogs, and family pets.
The Labrador Retriever is human-focused; they enjoy being near their human. This trait makes recall training easier for the Labrador Retriever. In addition, being a biddable dog means that the Labrador Retriever will happily perform trained tasks for their human.
The Siberian Husky is friendly and cooperative with people and other dogs. They have never met strangers or dogs they didn’t want to play with. These were the main traits that the Chukchi looked for in their sled dogs.
The Siberian Husky loves children and being around children – they are pretty gentle. However, the Husky can get boisterous and accidentally knock down little children.
The Labrador Retriever is friendly with people and other dogs. It will bond quickly with the whole family but may be wary of strangers coming into its territory. However, their patient, easygoing natures make them great family pets and ideal support animals.
The Labrador Retriever is very obedient and eager to please, making it a good choice for families with younger children.
Grooming and Shedding
The Siberian Husky has a fluffy, luxurious double coat to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The fur has a protective layer that repels dirt and protects the skin, reducing the doggy odor that most other breeds have. In addition, the Siberian Husky is cat-like in its grooming, keeping its coat clean. As a result, they only need to be bathed a few times a year.
The Siberian Husky needs brushing regularly to keep the coat healthy. In addition, twice a year, the undercoat blows and requires daily brushing – there will be fur everywhere!
The Labrador Retriever has a thick, water-repellent short-hair double coat. It will require weekly brushing to keep the coat in good condition. Labrador Retrievers enjoy the water and may need a few baths throughout the year to keep them clean.
The Labrador Retriever doesn’t need much grooming; however, it does shed, so it will need to be brushed weekly.
The Siberian Husky doesn’t bark, as such. It does, however, huff, chuff, chatter, and howl – also known as singing. In addition, the Siberian Husky is known to chat and sing to their humans. Sometimes for no apparent reason, and other times to communicate their point in the conversation.
The Labrador Retriever isn’t known to bark excessively. However, they will bark to alert you to someone approaching or have been trained to bark to warn you.
The Siberian Husky suits active outdoor people with lots of time for training and exercise. They enjoy running, hiking, and biking – independent dogs who like to think and work things out for themselves. However, the Siberian Husky isn’t for everyone, as the extensive training and lifestyle can be intense.
However, once you have earned the Husky’s trust and loyalty, they are a fantastic companion and will give you hours of fun and laughter. So, if you are up for a challenge, and looking for a dog with a big personality, then the Siberian Husky might be for you.
The Labrador Retriever is an obedient and loyal dog. It is easily trainable with a friendly and loving nature. Although an energetic breed, it will happily fit into your lifestyle and be eager to please, bonding quickly with everyone in the family.
If you are looking for a great companion dog, the Labrador Retriever ticks many boxes – loyal, obedient, loving, and easy to train. Many of the reasons it’s one of the most popular dog breeds.
For further breed-specific information, the Kennel Club UK and the American Kennel Club are excellent sources of information.
I hope you have found this article helpful.