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Canine Behavior/Dog breed information


I am comparing between Siberian husky and black labrador and both are Beautiful breeds but I don't know which one is better and smarter ,easy to train

When choosing a dog, it's important to put aesthetic (what the dog looks like) on the back burner and focus on your lifestyle and what kind of dog will best fit in with your lifestyle. The worst thing we can do as humans is pick a dog that we think is cute or beautiful, but whose personality and exercise needs don't fit with our daily life or what we can provide.

If a person likes to go on 8-10 mile hikes several times per week, they should not be looking at Yorkies or Pugs or Bull Dogs as these breeds will not be able to keep up and the scrunch-faced dogs can over heat and become severely ill in their efforts to keep up.

Conversely, if a person is quite sedentary - spending most of their day sitting (at a computer, in front of the TV, reading, etc), they would not do well to have a high energy dog such as a Husky or Lab or Visla - these dogs require a great deal of both physical and mental stimulation in order to maintain good health and even temperament.

So, while you are drawn to the Siberian Husky and the Black Lab, I encourage you to look at the personality traits of each and the exercise/maintenance needs of each to help you determine which dog (if either) would be an appropriate fit for your home and your life style.

Siberian Husky : an active, lively dog that is friendly and outgoing with most people. It tends to be independent and is not a one-person dog. It will roam and is known to be a consummate escape artist.

Huskies do best with an active family in a suburban or rural home. They don't adapt as well to city life. This dog needs a great deal of physical exercise. He needs to run and likes to have a job such as pulling a cart or carrying a pack.

Labrador Retrievers (any color) : Enthusiastic, social and biddable (wants to please you and is interested in working with you). The Lab is typically even tempered and friendly with almost everyone, including children and other dogs**. It loves water and carrying objects in its mouth.

**Like all dogs, the Lab needs to be properly socialized (happy, positive experiences) when young and continuing through life in order to keep it friendly and social with others - including children and other dogs.

The Lab does best with an active family in a rural or suburban environment but can adapt to city life with sufficient exercise.

When it comes to "smarts" - all dogs have the same brain and so are all technically equally smart. Just as humans all have the same brain and so the same potential. But, just as some humans are much better at certain things and not so good at others, this is true as well of dogs. A rat Terrier will dig a better hole than a Border Collie and will be far better at catching the rat hiding under your house, but the Border Collie is much better at rounding up the cattle (he may herd the rat in a circles, but not actually catch it for you).

Sled dogs such as the Siberian or Alaskan Husky have excellent endurance and can run long distances with some practice and conditioning. They are great at pulling carts or carrying packs. Labradors may not have that endurance or persistence of work ethic, but the Labrador wants to please you and is more likely to pay attention to you - your body language, your facial expressions, the tone of your voice, etc. and therefore may learn new skills faster. He's also more likely to comfort you when you're sad, though he may be more likely to disappear if you're angry...

Both breeds are high energy and both need physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis to be their best self. They each have their own skill set and excel at different things, but I can't say that one is 'smarter' than the other. The lab is likely to feel easier to train because it wants to please you and work with you while the Husky is more independent minded, and once he knows the course would rather run on his own, altering direction according to the landscape rather than instructions from you. That doesn't mean he's not trainable to a high degree. It simply means it may take a little more focus and time from you, or you may need to work a little harder to determine what motivates your Husky to work. The Lab may happily work for a bite to eat and a pat, while the Husky may prefer to work for the chance to run or play tug.

But it could be the reverse of that as well - a lot of this is dependent on the individual dog. Just as with humans - even related humans - every dog is his own "person". They have unique personalities and unique likes and dislikes and so what works well for one Husky may not work at all for another Husky. True also for Labs or any other breed. So, while it's useful to know what the breed was originally bred to do, don't discount the uniqueness of the individual you adopt.

I hope this is helpful to you as you make your decision. If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to followup.

Jody, APDT
Los Angeles Behaviorist

Canine Behavior

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Jody Epstein, MS, CPDT-KA


IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR DOG IS ILL OR INJURED, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM TO ADDRESS URGENT MEDICAL ISSUES. I AM NOT A LICENSED VET AND HAVE NO DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS. ***I have been answering questions on All Experts for over 8 years now. I enjoy being able to offer assistance in this forum. I do need to be clear, though. If you’re looking for free advice about a specific behavior question, you MUST submit your question to me via All Experts. If you bypass All Experts and write to me directly through my website, I will ask you to submit via All Experts. On the flip side, if you’re local to Los Angeles and you wish to speak to me privately about an in person consultation, please go through my website. I appreciate your assistance in keeping my volunteer work on the volunteer site.*** I can answer questions about the following canine behavior issues: obedience, timid/fearful & fear-based aggression, nuisance behaviors, families that are expanding with either new human or new animal members and many other issues. If you have potty training questions please first read my trio of blogs at If you still have questions after reading the blogs you can post your specific questions here. PLEASE be as specific as possible when asking a question. Give me a detailed example of the situation - dog's behavior, body language, circumstances surrounding the issue, what the consequences are (another dog's response, your response), etc. I can only provide insight if I can get a picture of the whole scenario. If I ask for further details, please provide them. In person I would normally observe for at least 90 minutes to assess the situation and the dynamics before offering tools and suggestions to modify it. In writing it is ever so much more difficult. Thank you for your participation in the process.


I have been a professional obedience trainer for 9 years, and specializing in behavior modification for 8 years. I have owned dogs my entire life. I own my own dog training and behavior modification business called Nutz About Mutz.

I am a Certified Profession Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), #2133301 ; I am a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), #77763 ; I am an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator (CGC), #71253

Publications ; ; Multiple articles in the local pet magazine Pet Press (found across Southern California)

I have a masters degree (MS) in Animals and Public Policy, with a minor in Animal Behavior, from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I also have 3 years of graduate education in Animal Behavior and Learning from UM-Missoula and UL-Lafayette. I continue to educate myself to canine-specific behavior through extensive reading, online interactive workshops, vidoes and attending canine behavior conferences, workshops and seminars. Beginning in March, 2017, I will be the Behavior & Training Manager at Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, AZ.

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