The Russo European Laika is one of the many different Laika breeds that are used for hunting different game in Russian forrests for centuries. Specifically the Russo European Laika has its roots in the European part of Russian, between the Finland and Ural Mountain Range, especially in the regions of Karelia, Komi and Archangelsk.
The Russo European Laika was developed from other Laika breeds, when in 1947 the off-spring of Arkhangelsk, Komi, Karelia, Votiatsk and some other Laikas were united into one breed under new name – which is Russo European Laika. The first official breed standard was published and approved in 1952. Today, the Russo European Laika is one of the three officially recognized Laika breeds worldwide, next to East Siberian Laika and West Siberian Laika.
As you already know, Laika dogs are most often hunters and the Russo European Laika is no different. These dogs have a very strong prey drive, extremely good sense of smell and well developed hunting instinct. Most often they are used for searching, following and treeing small game such as squirrels. After the prey is cornered or on the tree, the Laika start baying or hunting, so the hunter can easily locate it. The Russo European Laika was also used to hunt larger game such as moose. Even today, these dogs are very often used for hunting and these dogs are known for extremely good orientation, which enables them to hunt independently on larger distances from the hunter and they do not get lost.
This is not only a great hunter, but also very good and loyal companion dog. This dog truly loves its family and is completely devoted to it. They also tend to be quite protective over its owners and family, which is why they can be trained to be good guard dogs as well. This is very intelligent breed, which is also quite eager to please and they tend to be quite good at training. Of course, patience and consistency is the key for the training, just like with any other breed. These dogs are also very tolerant towards kids and they can live with other dogs in the family as well. Other smaller household pets might be problematic, due to the dogs higher prey drive.
As you can probably imagine, the Russo European Laika is a highly energetic dog with high exercise needs. These dogs are very endurant and they need a lot of daily outdoor walks, hikes or jogs to stay healthy and happy. They will love off leash runs, but you should only let them off leash in fenced or well known areas. Without enough daily exercise, these dogs will be bored and can potentionally develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking or destruction.
The Russo European Laika, or Russko-Evropeĭskaya Laĭka has a very descriptive name. The Russo European is describing its place of origin in european part of Russia. The word Laika, can be literally translated to english as barker, and indeed, these dogs are quite vocal. In Russia, word Laika is used to describe all kinds of hunting dogs and sled dogs.
You can tell on the first sight, that the Russo European Laika is a spitz dog breed. They have curved bushy tail, thick and dense coat, lean pointed muzzle and v shaped, erect ears. The average height of this breed is between 52-60 cm, which is 21-23 uinch and weight is typically between 40-50 pounds, which is 18-23 kg.
Just like all dogs that have its roots in Russia or northern Europe, even the Russo European Laika just must have a very dense and thick doublecoat, which is protecting it from the chilly weather and enables them to work and live in very cold regions. Most often you will see these dogs in black and white color combination, but solid black and solid white also occur.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention the maintenance and grooming. And luckily, it is not terribly hard. There is no need to trim or shave the coat, it will not help the dog in any way and it should be left natural. Of course, these dogs do shed and if you want to minimize the shedding, regular even daily brushing is recommended. But it is impossible to stop it. Just like with all dogs, you should reglarly check the eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
There is not many scientific studies about the breeds health, but it seems that this is usually very healthy and hardy dog breed with no specific breed related health issues. Of course, just like all larger dogs, they can ocassionally sufer from some joint problems, hip dysplasia or allergies and eye problems, but none of those ilnesses are very common with this Laika dog. The average lifespan is around 13 years.