According to the official FCI breed standard, the Yakutian Laika is a medium sized, compact, well muscled and strong dog with moderately long legs and thick skin with no signs of looseness. The average height should be between 21-23 inch, which is 53-59 cm and weight is typically between 40-55 pounds, which is 18-25 kg. There are visible differences between males and females – the males are larger, stronger and more powerful.
This breed has roots in artic russian Yakutian region, so it is only logical that they have thick dense double coat which protects them from cold weather. The coat is straight, weather resistant and medium long. You can find them in variety of colors, most commonly in solid white or black and white, but also in tri color, white with spots, red, sable, grey or brown.
The almond shaped eyes are set straight and wide. The eyes can be dark brown or blue. Or the Yakutian Laika can have each eye in different color. The triangular ears are thick, erect and set high and the furry tail is sickle or curled up as a semi circle.
The Yakutian Laika is a highly intelligent dog with high desire to please its owner, which makes the dog relatively easy to train. Although they know how to be stubborn, so you will still have to be a patient and firm trainer to raise completely obedient Yakutian Laika.
Yakutian Laikas have extraordinery senses. It is because they are multipurpose dogs and they need to be good at many jobs, for example in reindeer herding, hunting or sledding. Because of that, they have very well developed sense of smell, vision and hearing. They also have strong prey drive and high endurance.
Because of the strong prey drive, they are not the best partners for other smaller household pets, since they just might try to hunt them. On the other hand, they are very social, friendly and gentle towards members of its family, including children. But of course, you should never leave any dog with a very young child unsupervised.
As you can probably imagine, this is a highly active dog that needs plenty of daily physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. If you have a Yakutian Laika as a companion dog and not as a worker, than daily longer walks or hikes accompanied with some playtime are must.
The Yakutian Laika will prefer to live in a colder climate and you should not leave them outside in warm weather. If you are living in a region with hot summer for example, make sure that your Yakutian Laika has access to water all day long, make some cool zones for your dog, it can be airconditioned room or just a kiddy pool and never shave its coat. This is important, because the coat is not only keeping them warm in cold weather, it is also cooling them down in hot weather. By shaving the coat, you will make things worse.
The Yakutian Laika has ancient roots, but it is a newly developed dog breed. According to the AKC, This working breed originated in the Yakutia region of the Russian Siberia and, in ancient times, the dogs were employed by the native Yakute people as universal animals for hunting, herding, companionship and drafting.
The Yakutian Laika was first documented in the 1800s and it was estimated that there were several thousand in existence, which is quite a lot. Sadly, because the demand for working dogs was declining in 1900s, the population of Yakutian Laikas dropped drastically and it was not until 1990s when group of enthusiasts decided to save the breed. Their efforts were successful and in 2004 the Russian Cynological Federation accepted the Yakutian Laika breed standard and began registering dogs.
Health and grooming
The average lifespan of Yakutian Laika is between 11-13 years. This is pretty healthy dog, occassionally they can suffer from eye problems, bloating, hip and elbow dysplasia.
As i already mentioned earlier in this video, this is a dog breed with very dense doublecoat, so you should expect some shedding. Regular brushing will remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding and also it will keep the coat tangle free. When the dog is shedding heavily, you will have to brush their coat on daily basis. Just like with all the dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.