Dog Breeds

West Siberian Laika

West Siberian Laika is an intelligent, but reluctant to obey human commands, independent and brave dog. He was bred in Siberia as a helper of a hunter hunting mainly for big games.


West Siberian Laika is a dog from Siberia that has retained its original function as a hunter. Although his life in the taiga can be hard, he does what he was created to do. He is tough, resilient and loyal – like the people he grew up with.


West Siberian Laika is Spitz-type dogs popular all over Siberia. The word “Laika”, which can be translated literally as “barker,” comes from the Russian “laika” – “bark.” During hunting, the role of these dogs is to hunt and dispose of animals.

First, they chase her in silence, and they start barking only when they are issued. These dogs are mainly used for hunting wild boars, less often for ducks.

West Siberian Laika. Training and education

On the one hand, Laika is very attached to the owner, on the other, quite independent, because they work independently. The owner of a dog of this breed should not expect absolute obedience from the Laika. Careful socialization is very important.

Who is this race for?

You don’t have to be a hunter to become a landowner. However, you should prepare for long walks. West Siberian Laika can also run by bicycle or work in a team.

Even if you are not a hunter, it’s worth your West Siberian Laika to take part in hunting dog competitions. To this end, you do not even have to train your dog specifically, because working with a Laika depends primarily on its innate skills.

West Siberian Laika. Advantages and disadvantages


  • requires a lot of traffic
  • has a strong hunting instinct
  • quite independent and stubborn
  • it can be aggressive towards other dogs
  • likes to bark a lot


  • a good helper of the hunter, not requiring much learning, because the work is based on instinct
  • excellent watchman
  • attached to the family
  • healthy and resilient
  • easy care


West Siberian Laika is very healthy and resistant. There were no typical health conditions in this breed.


Laika does not have specific nutritional requirements. Of course, hunting dogs should receive more energetic food during the hunting season.

west siberian laika


Laika has very dense and lush hair that requires regular combing. During the molting period, they lose very large amounts of hair.


In huge areas of Russia, it is difficult to talk about pure breed dogs in the present sense of the word. They lived there for centuries as working dogs. Their most important feature has always been skilled, not appearance. Of course, specific physical characteristics were associated with the dog’s performance, enabling him to perform his functions.

A different type of dog is bred in almost every region of Siberia. This is due to both different environmental conditions and the needs of the population, as well as the mating of various dogs occurring in a given area. In this way, many local varieties of meadow plants were created. They are used not only as hunting dogs, but also sled dogs, guard dogs and shepherds.

The planned breeding of stalls began with the creation of the Soviet Union. Several expeditions were organized to describe locally occurring types of these dogs.

west siberian laika

The first bench models were created in 1939. Initially, they were bred in three types – hunting, train and pastoral. Since 1947, only hunting benches have been bred in four breeds, of which three – West Siberian, East Siberian and Russian-European – have been recognized by the FCI.

The homeland of West Siberian Laika is the forests of the Urals stretching to Yenisei. Among her ancestors, there is a scapula of Timancz, Vogułów, Khanty and Mansi tribes, as well as dogs brought to their territory by Russian hunters. All three recognized breeds of straw are very similar to each other, difficult to distinguish even by experts.

west siberian laika

Hunters cultivate West Siberian stalls. Therefore, although they are not very rare dogs, few individuals appear at the exhibitions. The meadow owners prefer to take part in hunting dog competitions or just hunt.


West Siberian Laika – Group V FCI, Section 2, Model No. 306

  • Country of origin: Russia
  • Character: dog brave, durable, full of energy, yet balanced, with a strong hunting instinct; excellent watchman
  • Size: dogs: 54-60 cm, bitches: 52-58 cm
  • Weight: not specified in the standard, approx. 20-25 kg
  • Coat: thick, hard coat, heavy undercoat
  • Color: all colors allowed; most common: willy, red, white, cream, spotted
  • Lifespan: 14-15 years
  • Vulnerability to training: average
  • Activity: needs a lot of traffic
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: very resistant
  • It is possible to buy a puppy: the breeding of the baits is mainly done by hunters; they are reluctant to sell dogs to non-hunters so that Laika remains primarily a working dog

Interesting facts

The most famous Laika is without a doubt … Laika, the first dog, or rather the first living being sent into space. Sputnik 2 with Łajka on board was launched on November 3, 1957. It is not known, however, what breed it was. Certainly it was a small bitch named “Kudriavka”.

Some sources say that it was indeed a Laika, others that a terrier, which was simply called (it must be admitted that the name “Barker” also fits most terriers). The name “Łajka” apparently owes to the fact that she barked a lot, especially at engineer Sergei Korolov.

Laika ended her life tragically. It was not planned to bring her down, and the oxygen supply was to last for 10 days. It was originally reported that after reaching orbit the dog survived several days, but in the early 1990s it was revealed that it only lasted a few hours. The reason for Łajka’s premature death was overheating of the ship, caused by its poor thermal insulation, so that the temperature inside reached about 40 degrees C.

The bitch’s death was not in vain. Before her flight it was not known whether the living organism could be in a state of weightlessness at all. Laika’s mission opened the way to space for other animals and people.

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