Karelian Bear Dog

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Working    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 44-50 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black & White


Life Expectancy: About 10 to 12 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Karelian Bear Dog breed is a Finnish or Karelian purely bred dog. Their home country regarded them as a national treasure. These dogs will hunt any kind of animal. Their fearless nature plus quick reflexes made it very popular hunting aggressive games. The breed earned it's name from their ability to hunt and offer protection against a bear. They were raised and developed for hunting bears and elks.

This big sized dog is hefty, strong and rather long than tall. Their double coat hair is short and sheds moderately. These dogs are very brave with a strong instinct of a hunter and an excellent sense of smell. They are dominant, intelligent and very independent as it hunts alone without a pack. They are naturally devoted to their family. Provide them with proper socialization and proper leadership and they would be wonderful house pets.


The dog's coat color usually comes in Black and White. Preferable in shows the color percentage is around 70% Black and 30% White.


This dog's double coat of medium length has their hair on the neck, back and buttocks a little bit longer. Their hair on the ears, head and legs are slightly shorter. The undercoat is dense, thick and soft. The outer coat, on the other hand, is coarse, straight and stands-off from their body. The Karelian Bear Dog are known to be medium seasonal shedders.


This dog is often generally aggressive when it comes to other dogs. Proper socialization and training of a good handler should be able to correct this. As a hunter in nature, they are quiet but tenacious and is alert when they sense a prey is near. They are known to hold an animal at bay for a very long time. They can keep their prey stay by barking and running back and forth or around the animal until their master comes to kill it. Should the bear tries to leave, they will nip at it on the backside to aggravate them and keep it from running away. These dogs are prone to separation anxiety because of their social nature. They should hunt only with their master. They are playful but they cannot be trusted to be alone around small children for their size and ability to kill bears. It would be very unusual for them to bite a human but if they feel threatened, they will kill. They are very territorial and will definitely call their master's attention if there are strangers or other animals nearby.


The Karelians does not need too much grooming as their coat is naturally weather proof. Brushing and combing occasionally within the week to remove dead hair bristles should be enough. Use a metal comb when the dog is shedding to make it easier to remove the lose hair from their undercoat. They are generally a healthy dog breed. Proper care, visits to the vet for check-ups and shots as well as nutritious food will keep them healthy and should be able to live through 10 to 12 years on the average.


This dog must be trained by a person with experience as they are naturally an independent dog. They need a lot of mental and physical stimulation as these are used to having a job to do. Training should be done in a firm, consistent, well-balanced way without being harsh or negative. Since they are naturally aggressive towards other dogs, proper socialization and training should be done at an early age to avoid them from developing a negative behavior.


This dog is very energetic that they need to be exercised with brisk walking at least an hour everyday. You can also have him running alongside you in a bicycle or a rollerblade if you can keep this dog well under control. They tend to become bored and develop a destructive behavior inside the house if they are not given enough exercise. As a hunting dog by nature, they will go hunting if you allow two Karelian Bear Dogs run together free. Before letting them off leash, make sure that it is in a well-secured area to avoid them from taking off as they will surely go hunting. These energetic dogs are not recommended for apartment or small space living as they do not enjoy being confined in a small space. A farm or a yard is most preferred so they can run around. They can be kept outdoors inside a kennel as long as they get plenty of chances to run and exercise daily. This dog would feel best in open air with a colder climate next to an experienced active master.

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