Russo-European 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: Working    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 45-50 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Black & White, Brown & White, Light Brown / Golden


Life Expectancy: 10-14 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Russo-European Laika is a one of the several breeds of dogs that were developed in Russia from the very ancient spitz type Landrace Laika dogs. This hunting breed was developed through a breeding program conducted by E.I. Shereshevsky in 1944. Its progenitors are a female West Siberian Laika and a white male obtained from the Pomozda District of Komi Republic. This breed is the smallest of the Laika breeds and is used as an all around hunting dog on both large and small game, though it was originally used mainly to hunt squirrel. It is closely related to the Karelian Bear Dog, but is smaller, lighter in bone and squarer in build.

The Russo-European Laika is a medium size, lean but compact dog that stands between 21-23 inches and weighs about 45-50 lbs. The slightly rectangular body has well developed bone structure without having a massive look. The dog has a small head and equilateral triangular shaped skull. Strong and dry muzzle tapers to black nose. Dark eyes are small and oval in shape. Very mobile ears are erect and pointed at tips. Well developed body has broad and deep chest, strong and muscular back and slightly tucked up belly. The tail that is either curled or sickle shaped is carried over the back.

This dog sports a harsh and straight double coat that comes in salt & pepper, gray or black with white markings.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by UKC.


The Russo-European Laika is seen in salt & pepper, wolf-grey or black colours. Pattern can be predominantly white with coloured patches or predominantly coloured with white patches.


This breed has harsh and straight top coat and a well developed, dense undercoat. The coat is short and close fitting on face and ears while longer on neck, withers and shoulders. Undercoat makes neck hair appear stand-off and profuse.


The Russo-European Laika (REL) is a very human oriented, loving and loyal dog breed. It is very affectionate and playful playmate of children and is extremely tolerant of rough handling by them. This dog, though, would not tolerate strangers and unfamiliar dogs though. This breed is eager to please, bonds strongly and love to spend time with its family. As the dog is wary of strangers and territorial, it makes an excellent watchdog. A ferociously barking Laika with raised hairs at the back would be very intimidating but the dog seldom bites. As a hunter who frequently trees game, the Russo-European Laika uses its voice to alert the hunter to the treed prey (typically a raccoon or squirrel). It may use its voice freely in the house as well because it is easily excited about things going on around it. This breed is NOT suitable for apartment living not only for its propensity to bark but also because the dog has high exercise needs and it loves being outdoors. Early socialization is important and the dog should be accustomed to petting and touching by humans to reduce its aggressive behavior towards strangers. A well socialized and trained Russo-European Laika makes excellent family pet and watch dog.


For a family Laika, twice a week brushing of the coat will be enough to keep it clean and in top condition. For a hunting Laika, grooming needs are enhanced as the dog will come home dirty and will need thorough rubdown of the coat. This dog should also be checked for burrs and thorns that may have attached to its profuse coat.


Eager to please, obedient and intelligent, the Russo-European Laika is an easy breed to train but training should start early. Early age socialization with people and places will reduce its aggressive behavior towards strangers.


The Russo-European Laika is a very energetic and lively breed that has high exercise needs. As such, this dog will need a yard to play and opportunities to run free and hunt are best. Without enough to do, it suffers from boredom and can become destructive.

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