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Top 10 Laika Dog Breeds

Two Laika dogs playing

The Laika dog breed is a rare and ancient canine species, originating in the cold climes of Siberia. Initially bred for their strength and stamina, the people of Siberia and Russia used Laika dogs for hunting games in the unforgiving terrain. Laika Dogs have been around for centuries, a favourite among outdoorsmen, hunters, and adventurers alike. 

Laika is derived from the Russian Verb “layat”, which originally translates to “to bark.” In 1957, the world was introduced to Laika the dog, which was launched into space by the Soviet Union’s Sputnik II mission.

With thick fur coats perfect for braving the frozen temperatures of the Arctic Circle, Laika’s are suited for life in unforgiving conditions – but they don’t mind snuggling up on your lap either!

This article will highlight 10 of the most popular Laika breeds to help you decide which one is right for your family. From long-haired Huskies to gentle Samoyeds, there is sure to be a Laika dog that fits perfectly into your home.

10. West Siberian Laika

West Siberian Laika
  • Colors: White, Black, Salt & Pepper, and Wolf-Sable
  • Height: 22–24 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life Expectancy:11-12 years
  • Origin: Russia
  • Price: $600 to $800
  • Temperament: Balanced, Aggressive, and Protective
  • Weight: 40-49 pounds

The history of the West Siberian Laika goes back to the days when Norsemen took their dogs along on trading trips across Russia. These courageous pups could withstand cold temperatures and used their keen sense of smell to help them track game in the vast forests. Over time, they became invaluable companions to generations of hunters, helping them survive in the wilds of Siberia and other northern parts of Russia.

With its thick double coat and sharp eyes, the West Siberian Laika is perfectly adapted for life in cold climates. It’s usually white or cream-colored with slight variations in shades; some also have dark patches on their heads and legs. This breed’s ears are typically small but erect, while its muzzle is long and straight. The West Siberian Laika has a strong will, intelligence, and courage — all of which make them excellent hunting dogs and loyal family companions!

9. Yakutian Laika

Yakutian Laika roaming in Garden
  • Colors: Black and white or solid white
  • Height:  21-33 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life Expectancy: 9-11 years
  • Origin: Russia
  • Price: $1,200 – $1,400.
  • Temperament: Balanced, Aggressive, and Protective
  • Weight: 40-55 pounds.

This ancient breed is thought to be descended from spitz-type working dogs found in East Asia throughout history. They are known for their intelligence, agility, strength, and endurance – traits that make them well-suited for such tasks as pulling heavy loads over long distances in the snow or ice. In addition to being excellent working dogs, they are also loving members of the family with a loyal nature when given proper training and socialization.

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8. East Siberian Laika

East Siberian Laika
  • Colors: White, Black, Tan, Brown, Grey, and Red
  • Height: 21 – 25 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Russia
  • Price: $1,000 to $2,000 
  • Temperament: Even Tempered, Fearless, and Loyal
  • Weight: 40 – 51 pounds

The East Siberian Laika is a working dog breed with a rich heritage and unique characteristics. Originating in the cold and unforgiving northern regions of Siberia, this hardy breed was developed to hunt small game such as foxes and hares in harsh climates. Bred for centuries by local tribes, these dogs have adapted to extreme conditions, possessing an impressive combination of strength, speed, agility, and endurance.

These dogs are known for their pleasant personalities. They are friendly to both humans and other animals alike. Their coats come in various colors ranging from black-brown to red-brown or grayish-brown with white markings on the chest, legs, or face. The coat is thick and long enough to keep them warm against the freezing temperatures of their native habitat; it also ensures superior camouflage when hunting small game.

7. Russo-European Laika Dogs

Russo-European Dog
Image Credits: Freepik
  • Colors: Black or dark grey 
  • Height: 20-23 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Russia
  • Temperament: Even Tempered, Fearless, and Loyal
  • Weight: 45-55 pounds

The Russo-European Laika is an ancient, hardy dog hailing from the northern forests of Russia and Europe. With its thick double coat, beautiful eyes, and unique shape, this breed has a fascinating history and many endearing characteristics. 

Known as “Russian Hunting Dogs” in their homeland, these courageous canines have been around for centuries. Their primary purpose was to hunt large game animals such as bears or wolves. However, they have also been used for sledding, herding reindeer, and even acting as guards against predators! They are incredibly intelligent and independent dogs with plenty of stamina to keep up with their owners on long hikes or runs. 

Despite their ancestry as working dogs in harsh climates, the Russo-European Laika is a loyal companion who loves human interaction – especially when it comes to cuddles!

6. Karelo-Finnish Laika

Karelo-Finnish Dog standing in snow
Image Credits:
  • Colors: Solid red, occasionally fawn or black with some white markings
  • Height: 15–20  inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Russia
  • Temperament: Even Tempered, Fearless, and Loyal
  • Weight: 31–35 pounds

With their thick double coats, pointed ears, and characteristic curled tails, the Karelo-Finnish Laika is easily recognizable. These sturdy dogs are built for working hard in cold climates—their dense fur protects them from even the chilliest temperatures!

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5. Karelian Bear Dog

Karelian Bear Dog standing in a garden
Image Credits: American Kennel Club
  • Colors: Black, and Black & White
  • Height: 21–24 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 11 – 13 years
  • Origin: Finland
  • Price: $1400 – $1700
  • Temperament: Cautious, Tenacious, Territorial, Loyal, Independent, and Brave
  • Weight: 44–66 pounds

This hardy Nordic dog has the heart of a hunter and the courage of a warrior. Despite their fierce strength, these loyal dogs are amiable and loving when it comes to family.

Originally from Finland, the Karelian Bear Dog was bred for hunting large game such as bears, elk, and wolves. With their strong sense of smell and keen hearing, they can easily track down their prey in dense forests or snowy terrain. These dogs also have great stamina, which helps them stay focused while on long hunting trips. Their coats are thick and usually black or grey in color, protecting against harsh weather conditions.

4. Nenets Herding Laika

Nenets Herding Laikas Playing
Image Credits: Pinterest
  • Colors: Grey, tan, red, and black or white.
  • Height: 19–21 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 11 – 13 years
  • Origin: Finland
  • Price: $1400 – $1700
  • Temperament: Cautious, Tenacious, Territorial, Loyal, Independent, and Brave
  • Weight: 40-55 pounds

The Nenets Herding Laika is an ancient breed of hunting and herding dog from Northern Russia, descended from the Spitz family of dogs. It’s a rare breed adapted to work in some of the world’s harshest climates. Characterized by its thick double coat, the Nenets Herding Laika is bred for endurance and strength in cold weather conditions.

The history of this working dog dates back centuries when they were used to herd reindeer and other livestock across vast distances in Siberia. Their incredible stamina and independent nature make them perfect for these tasks, as they can travel great distances on their own while also performing their duties as herders. The Nenets Herding Laika is an intelligent breed that excels at agility and obedience training but can be stubborn if not handled correctly.

3. Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz Dog in the snow
  • Colors: Gold, Red, and Red Gold
  • Height: 15 to 20 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Origin: Finland
  • Price:  $1,000 to $2,000, INR 18,000 to 25,000
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Loyal, Independent, Happy, and Playful
  • Weight: 30 to 35 pounds

The Finnish Spitz is a beloved breed of Nordic dog with a history steeped in folklore and hundreds of years of breeding. This active breed was initially bred to hunt game birds and bark them out of trees, but now they’re just as likely to be found in family homes worldwide.

The Finnish Spitz is a medium-sized dog with an iconic fox-like face that was developed by the ancient Finns over centuries. They have thick fur coats that help keep them warm during Finland’s cold winters. Their loyal nature makes them excellent companions for families or individuals looking for an intelligent pet. In addition, their curiosity and intelligence make them easy to train – although it does take dedication! Above all else, the Finnish Spitz is known for its distinct bark – loud enough to scare away predators yet charming enough to draw admirers from near and far.

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2. Zerdava

Zerdava Dog in the garden
  • Colors: Black and white
  • Height: 15 to 20 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Origin: Finland
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Loyal, and Vocal
  • Weight: 24 to 38 pounds

Originating from the Black Sea region of Turkey and Georgia, these loyal companions have been part of human lives for centuries. From their imposing size to their fluffy coats, Zerdava dogs are genuinely one-of-a-kind.

The breed is believed to be a descendant of Turkish livestock guardian dogs brought over by nomadic tribes during the Middle Ages. This ancient lineage has given Zerdavas an impressive set of skills. They are known as guard and herding dogs with natural solid instincts that help protect property and livestock from wild animals or potential thieves. They are also courageous and confident, making them excellent watchdogs for families and homes.

1. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky
  • Colors: White, Black, Gray & White, Black & Tan, Silver-gray, Black & White, Sable & White, and Red & White, Grey
  • Height: 20 to 24 inches
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Siberia
  • Price: $750 to $3,000, INR 45,000 to Rs. 50,000
  • Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, Outgoing, Alert, Gentle
  • Weight: 35 to 60 pounds

The Siberian Husky is a majestic breed of dog known for its striking physical features, athletic abilities, and calm temperament. With origins dating back to the Chukchi people of Eastern Siberia, these dogs were bred to be capable sled-pullers on long journeys over harsh terrain. With fur ranging from white to black and every hue in between, this breed stands out with its almond-shaped blue or brown eyes and captivating facial masks.

The Siberian Husky’s strong sense of independence makes training challenging, but rewards are gained by those who commit to it. They learn quickly when taught with patience, kindness, and consistency. Their loyalty extends far beyond their families as they have been known to demonstrate camaraderie among other canines in their pack.

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