Yakutian Laika – A New Ancient Dog Breed

Yakutian Laikas
Yakutian Laika (Yakut Laika) is a newly developed dog breed with an ancient history. It is a working breed that originates from the Yakutia region of the Russian Siberia and can be used for sledding, hunting, reindeer herding, as well as a family pet. This kind of Laikas is a close relative of the well-known East Siberian Laika, and the world-popular Siberian Husky. (Photo Credit: Ajarvarlamov/Wiki)

The Yakutian Laika breed is a middle sized hardy dog with a thick coat that is necessary in the hostile Arctic climate. This is a versatile dog with a strong hunting instinct, an excellent sense of smell, hearing, and vision. They are friendly to humans but can be aggressive to predators. They are also an active, playful, affectionate and curious dog that is fast and elastic in its movements.

Like other sled dogs, the Yakutian Laika has a strong, muscular body with rounded ribs and moderately long legs. Its double coat of medium length is straight and coarse to the touch, with a very well developed downy undercoat. Their coat comes in a wide variety of colors and markings, but normally it is black and white, or solid white. Just like of Siberian Huskies, the widely set almond eyes of the Yakut Laikas are usually blue or dark brown.

Yakut People

Since ancient times the ancestors of Yakutian Laikas were employed by native Yakut people as universal animals: they were used for hunting, they were used as draft animals, they were eaten, their pelts were used for making clothing, and for religious ceremonies. These dogs lived as primitive aboriginal breeds and mated free. They stayed outside throughout long cold winters hiding under snow and covering muzzles with tails.

The most important role that the Yakutian Laikas then started to play was in transportation. In this severe part of Siberia there were no other animals suitable for this purpose, and it was also possible to get enough fish and other food to feed the dogs in winter. The Yakuts became the first known people on earth to use the sleds (Yakutian nartas) pulled by the dogs.

The survey of the Yakutian Laikas conducted in 1856 has totaled as much as 15 157 dogs in the Yakutia region but in 20th century these dogs have lost their utmost importance for the Yakut people. Consequently, by the beginning of 1990s the number of Yakutian Laikas has dropped to only 3-4 thousands.

New Dog Breed

yakutian laikaIn 1998 a group of dog enthusiasts have started a laborious work to reclaim the Yakutian Laika breed. They have selected the best dogs they could, and have established a foundation stock in Yakutia with the purpose to breed the national Yakutian dog. Their efforts turned out to be successful, and in 2004 the Russian Cynological Federation RKF (Russian kennel club), after examining the developed Yakutian Laika breed, has accepted its basic breed standard.

The Yakutian Laika is not yet recognized by the world canine organization FCI, or by American or British kennel clubs. However, this new dog breed is becoming more popular not only in Russia but also outside its native country. (Photo Credit: Yras/Wiki)

Yakutian Laika Temperament

Like other Laikas, this is an intelligent, easily trained and obedient dog breed. Yakutian Laika is always full of energy, very playful, and inquisitive. This Russian dog is people friendly, sociable, and not aggressive though she needs to have very good relations with her owner.

The future of the Yakutian Laika breed is now in the hands of private breeders who promote it worldwide at various dog shows, and the dogs are mostly owned as companions. There are people though who use the Yakutian Laikas for recreational sledding and in hunting expeditions for game birds, seals, polar foxes, and even bears.

Yakutian Laika Size

Males  53–56 centimetres (21–22 in)
Females 52–55 centimetres (20–22 in)

Breed Names

Yakutian Laika, Yakut Laika, Yakutskaya Laika
Find a Russian dog name for your Yakutian Laika puppy!
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