Laikas are popular Russian hunting and sledding dogs of the Spitz type. All the main breeds of this group - the West Siberian Laika (WSL), the East Siberian Laika (ESL), the Russian European Laika (REL), and Yakutian Laika - are working dogs, bred from their aboriginal ancestors of northern Russia and Siberia.
"Laika" in Russian means "barker". It is a Russian dog name, widely known as the name of the first dog in space.
West Siberian Laika (WSL)
The West Siberian Laika (WSL) is quite a large dog standing 18-20 inches at the 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 Laika 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-Sibirskaya Laika
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East Siberian Laika (ESL)
The East Siberian Laika is the largest of the Russian Laika dogs (males stand 22-26 inches, females 20-24 inches), weighing 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 a wolfish appearance, covered in a medium-length double coat of black and tan, white, gray, black, red, and brown colors of all shades. With its strong hunting instinct and a 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 Laika dogs, 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 a reliable watchdog. Its Russian name is Vostochno-Sibirskaya Laika
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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 other Laikas, the Russo European Laika was originally developed to hunt various kinds of games. 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-Evropeiskaya Laika.
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The Laika dogs 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, 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 owners from any threat.
These Russian dog breeds are rustic and resistant, and usually, do not have serious health problems.
Owning a 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), Russian: Западносибирская лайка
East Siberian Laika, ESL, Vostochno-Sibirskaya Laika (Vostotchno-Sibirskaïa Laïka), Russian: Восточносибирская лайка
Russo European Laika, Russian European Laika, REL, Russko-Evropeiskaya Laika, Russko-Evropeïakaïa Laïka, Russian: Русско-европейская лайка
Find a Russian dog name for your Laika dog puppy! Learn some Russian dog commands!
Comments ( 15 )
I have a Karelian Bear Dog, my second one, and was curious how closely related they are to the Eastern Laikas. His name is Alexander, I call him Sasha, so everyone (here in the US) thinks he’s a female.
The Finnish Karelian Bear dog belongs to the same group of Northern Laikas. It is a close relative of the Russo European Laika that has almost a similar appearance (breed standard). As a second time owner of a Karelian Bear Dog, you know that they are wonderful dogs but they need early socialization to make them tolerant to other small animals.
In Russia, Sasha is both male (Alexander) and female (Alexandra) name. It’s a very nice name for a home pet too. Congratulations on your dog!
Are there any East Siberian laika breeders in US?
I have RELs…and puppies. What is your contact info?
Charlie Lane says
I’m looking for REL puppies.