Karelo-Finnish 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: Sporting    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 26-35 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Dark Brown / Chocolate, Light Brown / Golden


Life Expectancy: 12-14 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Karelo-Finnish Laika is the smallest of four Russian Laika breeds. It is an ancient breed that originated in Keralia are which is now partly in Finland and partly in Russia. The dog is used as a hunter. It closely resembles the Finnish Spitz as both these breeds were developed from similar native dog population. It is believed that the Karelo-Finnish Laika and the Finnish Spitz once were probably the same breed. Later, however, with the drawing of hard-line national parameters between Scandinavian countries and the then Soviet Union, the two became different breeds.

First standard for this breed was written in 1936 in Leningrade and is almost unchanged till now. It is a medium size dog with a height between 15-19 inches and weighs 26-35 lbs. The square body comes with a clean-cut, V-shaped and not too wide head with short and pointed muzzle. Small ears are pricked and have sharp edges. Round and slanting eyes are dark in colour and hold lively expression. Nose is seen black except for brown coloured dogs where nose is brown. Square body has deep chest, strong withers, straight and muscular back and slightly tucked-up belly. Limbs are straight and parallel. Hind legs are set a bit wider, than forelegs. The paws are round, the fingers are tightly pressed. Tail is ring or pressed to the hip, sometime circle. It is set on high and evenly coated. Coat of the Karelo-Finnish Laika is a double coat of straight harsh guard hairs and soft thick undercoat. Various shades of red are allowed as coat colour. White markings on chest and tip of the tail is accepted.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC or any other major kennel club.


Various shades of red are accepted as breed colour but pale red is undesirable. The red color is lighter inside ears, on cheeks, chin, lower part of the chest, abdomen, inner side of legs and lower side of the tail. White spots are permitted on the chest and tip of the tail. A white longitudinal marking is also allowed on the forehead.


The coat is thick and broken, straight. Feathering on the neck, on the shoulders and on the wither makes side whiskers and collar. The coat on the head, on the ears and on the front side of the legs is short. There is some feathering on the rear side of the hind legs. The tail is evenly coated, between the toes hair makes a small brush covering foot sole.


The Karelo-Finnish Laika is not only a great hunter of grouses, squirrels, capercailie and other small game but it also makes an excellent watch dog and very good family companion. As a family pet, the dog is loyal and affectionate. It is an eager to please and sensitive breed that will be affected by mood changes of the owner. Attractive appearance, live and friendly temperament of Karelo-Finnish Laikas make them interesting family dogs. Besides, they are very alert and make perfect natural alarm dogs.This dog is wary and distrustful of strangers. It will make a good watch dog and will bark to signal someone approaching. As a hunting dog, it enjoys hunting small game but has courage and versatility to bay a wild boar. The small size of the dog makes it not so effective on difficult terrain. It is a persistent hunter and not easily distracted when it is on the job. Early training and socialization is important for this breed. A well trained Karelo-Finnish Laika makes an excellent hunting and family pet.


The coat needs to be brushed once or twice a week when the dog is not hunting. It should be thoroughly brushed after the dog returns from a hunting expedition to remove dirt, burrs and thorns. Bathe only when necessary.


This excitable dog is very trainable but needs training in a firm yet gentle manner due to its sensitivity to harsh methods. This dog will be easy to train with positive reinforcement training that includes praise and appreciation for the dog.


As a hunting breed, the dog is very active and needs fair amount of exercise to keep itself fit and content. Daily long walks as well as fair amount of playing time is necessary for this breed.

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