Laikas is a group of Russian dog breeds of the Spitz type. All the main breeds of this group – the West Siberian Laika (WSL), the East Siberian Laika (ESL) and the Russian European Laika (REL) – are working dogs, bred from aboriginal dogs of northern Russia and Siberia, and used for hunting, and sometimes for sledding.
West Siberian Laika (WSL)
The West Siberian Laika (WSL) is quite a large dog standing 18-20 inches at shoulder and weighing 40-60 pounds. It has a strong and muscular body covered in a middle-size double coat of white, pepper and salt, or red and gray colors.
This dog differs from other Russian hunting dogs (Russian wolfhound, hunting Hounds, hunting Spaniel) and other Laikas in its great ability to focus on just one type of game, ignoring all other games. Professional hunters value the West Siberian Laika as a very reliable companion, especially when focusing on sable, pine marten and other animals with the most valuable fur. This kind of Siberian Laikas can also be trained to hunt birds.
While this Russian dog is losing its popularity in its native Russia where pro hunting is a dying profession, it is disclosing its unique potential to professional Western hunters, especially in Alaska and Canada. The Russian name of this dog is Zapadno-Sibirskaïa Laïka (dog standard).
East Siberian Laika (ESL)
The East Siberian Laika is the largest of the Russian Laikas (males stand 22-26 inches, females 20-24 inches), weighting 40-60 pounds. It was bred in the forest zone of Eastern Siberia and the Far East mostly for hunting. It is a strong, courageous and hardy Russian dog with wolfish appearance, covered in a medium long double coat of black and tan, white, gray, black, red and brown colors of all shades. With its strong hunting instinct and great sense of direction the East Siberian Laika is a dependable companion to hunt small (marten, squirrel, forest birds) and large game like bear, elk and reindeer. As all Russian Laikas, it is also capable of pulling sleds.
Compared to other Laikas, ESL is better tempered and quiet. It can be a good family dog and reliable watchdog. Its Russian name is Vostotchno-Sibirskaïa Laïka (dog standard).
Russo European Laika (REL)
The Russo European Laika is a middle sized (males stand 21-23 inches, females 19-22 inches) Russian dog from the taiga zone of northern Russia. It has a rather small head and a compact and strong body, covered in an impressive black, gray or white double coat.
Like otherLaikas, the Russo European Laika was originally developed to hunt various kind of game. Having a very strong hunting instinct, it successfully hunts bear, elk, boar, and pheasant, and never loses contact with its master in the forest. In Russia they call it Russko-Evropeïakaïa Laïka (dog standard).
Laikas are usually intelligent, easily trained and very obedient. They are very devoted and always look to their owners for guidance and leadership. Aggressive towards large predators, the Laikas can be very affectionate and get along well with children and home pets. They are also known as fierce protectors ready to fight till the end to save their owner from any threat.
These Russian dog breeds are rustic and resistant, and usually do not have serious health problems.
Owning Laika dog is a good choice not only for hunters but for all active people, especially farmers living in northern regions. All kinds of Laikas are energetic, dynamic and hard working. They are not very well suited for full-time indoor living and need a lot of outside exercise.
Laika Breeds Names:
West Siberian Laika, WSL, Zapadno-Sibirskaya Laika (Zapadno-Sibirskaïa Laïka)
East Siberian Laika, ESL, Vostochno-Sibirskaya Laika (Vostotchno-Sibirskaïa Laïka)
Russo European Laika, Russian European Laika, REL, Russko-Evropeiskaya Laika, Russko-Evropeïakaïa Laïka
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