1) Laika breeds
The East Siberian Laika is not the only Laika breed. Laikas are used all over the Russia and some neighboring countries, especially in the forests of Siberia for hunting all different kinds of wild game and next to East Siberian Laika there is also the West Siberian Laika, Russo European Laika, Karelo Finnish Laika, Yakutian, Nenets Herding, Kamchatka, Bashkir, Tomsk, Kyrghyz or Zyryan Laika.
Laikas are very old dogs. Specifically the East Siberian Laika evolved in the eastern part of Siberia, east of the Jenisej river to the Pacific Ocean, from local Laika breeds, such as Irkuts, Amur, Tofolar or Yakutia Laika. These dogs were used and bred for hunting and not for showring or appearance, so the history is not very well documented and it was not until the 1949 when the first breed description was written.
The East Siberian Laika is a all around hunting dog and indeed, many of these dogs are still used for hunting variety of game, ranging from squirrels to wild boars. These dogs have great qualities for hunting dog, such as high stamina and strength, high prey drive and chasing instinct, natural intelligence and problem solving ability, remarkable sense of orientation, which enables them to work independently on the hunter and they will always find their way back. These dogs have also very sharp sense of smell and hearing. Overall, this is just extraordinary hunting dog, sometimes also used as sled dog.
Even though mainly hunters, the East Siberian Laika is also good companion dog, which is very friendly to humans. These dogs do well with children they are raised with and they are very patient and gentle towards them, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. The Laika is much better suited as a companion dog for active families, who will take the dog on daily outdoor walks or jogs. Towards its family, this is very kind, trustful and friendly dog breed, which is quite loyal and devoted.
The East Siberian Laika has a very descriptive name. The East Siberian is describing its place of origin and Laika can be translated from russian as a barker and it is commonly used to refer to all varieties of hunting dogs traditionally kept by the peoples of the northern Russia and adjacent areas. So the breeds name can be literally translated as a hunting dog from East Siberia.
The East Siberian Laika is one of the largest of all Laika breeds, with muscular and athletic body and with height typically between 51-66 cm, which is 20-26 inch. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The East Siberian Laika is a lively dog with a very good endurance and stamina and they definitely need a lot of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Without enough exercise, they may potentionally develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction. You can deal with their exercise needs by daily walks, jogs, fun training sessions or some vigorous playtime, just anything that will occupy the dogs body, but also its mind.
The East Siberian Laika must be able to withstand hunting long time in harsh and cold Siberian weather, which is why they have a very practical, thick, dense and water resistant doublecoat. Male dogs sometimes have visible mane. The most common color is a so called keramis, which is black and tan, with light patches, but you can also find this breed in grizzle, white, grey, black, red or brown.
As you can probably expect, these dogs do shed all year long and if you want to minimize the shedding, regular brushing is needed. Regular brushing will also remove any dirt from the coat and will keep it as clean as possible. Other than that, you should reuglarly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The East Siberian Laika is usually very healthy dog breed, which is not prone to many health issues. But of course, just like with any other breed in the world, they may suffer from some health problems and there are some cases of epilepsy, eye problems, skin allergies or some infections, but overall, this is very hardy and healthy dog breed.