Karelian Bear Laika

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:     Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 44-50 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black & White, Gray / Salt & Pepper, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 10-12 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Karelian Bear Laika (also known as Russo European Laika) is medium size all purpose hunting dog, originating in forested region of Northern Europe and Russia. The Karelian Bear Laika is one of the several breeds of dogs that were developed from very ancient Spitz type Landracer Laika dogs. Smallest of three Laika breeds, the dog is used to hunt both small and large game. It closely resembles to the Karelian Bear Dog but is smaller and lighter in bone and square in build.

The dog is agile, active, strong and capable of hunting all type of game. At the same time, it has a great family dog temperament that makes this breed very popular among people of all classes. It stands between 20-23 inches and weighs between 45-50 lbs.

The dog has a rather small head with triangular shaped skull and strong, tapering muzzle. It has a black nose, small, oval shaped and slanting eyes and pricked, pointed and very mobile ears. Muscular neck is dry. The dog has a compact and strong body that is slightly rectangular in shape. The bone structure is well developed but it does not give the dog a massive appearance. The chest is deep and well developed with well sprung ribs. The back is strong and muscular with a short and slightly arched loin. The tail is either curled or sickle shaped and carried over the back. This breed has harsh and straight topcoat and dense and well developed undercoat. It comes in black, gray, salt and pepper colours with white markings.

This breed enjoys the distinction of being the first dog breed sent into the space in 1957 via Sputnik II. It is NOT recognized by AKC however the breed is recognized by UKC.


The dog comes in salt & pepper, gray or black colour with white markings. It is either predominantly coloured with white patches or predominantly white with coloured markings.


This dog sports a double coat. Topcoat is harsh and straight while the well developed undercoat is dense. The coat on the face and ears is short and close fitting. It is longer on the neck, withers and shoulders, forming a beard on the cheekbones and a stand-off collar on the neck. The fronts of the legs are covered with short, smooth hair. On the back of the legs the hair is longer, but there is no feathering.


Apart from being an exceptional hunter of large and small game, the Karelian Bear Laika is a very loving, affectionate and loyal family dog. It is an intelligent and eager to please breed that forms a strong bond with its human family. The dog is very playful, gentle and extremely tolerant of rough handling of the children. It is naturally suspicious of strangers and known to be aggressive towards them. The dog makes a very efficient watch dog with its alert nature. The Karelian Bear Laika is a highly territorial breed that may not tolerate other dogs on 'its' territory. As such, early socialization and training becomes so much important for this dog. This breed is not suitable for apartment life style or urban living, not only because of its frequent barking but also due to its high requirements for exercise. A well socialized Karelian Bear Laika will make an excellent watch dog, family pet and exceptional hunter.


The grooming requirements differ with hunting and housebound Laika. While a housebound Laika may not need more than once a week brushing, a hunting Laika will need to be bathed after every hunting trip and brushed regularly to remove dirt, burrs and thorns that may have been embedded in the body.


Eager to please and with energy to spare, the Russo-European Laika benefits tremendously from training of any kind. This dog is very eager to please its owners and willing to learn. It can learn quickly and will not pose much problems when it comes to training.


This is a high energy dog that will need large open spaces to run and play. It is not suitable for apartment living due to high exercise requirements. The dog will benefit when given some task to perform and provided with ample space and playing time.

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