Karelian Bear Dog FCI Standard
In more modern history the Karelian Bear Dog has been developed mostly in Finland and is called there the Bjornhund and Karjalankarhukoira. In 1920 in the wake of war conflict between Russia and Finland Karelian region has been divided in two separate territories. This led to somewhat artificial split between two almost identical breeds – the Russian-European Laika on the Russian side of Karelian region and the Karelian Bear Dog on the Finnish side.
As the result of two World Wars a current territory of habitation of the dog has been split between the Russian Republic of Karelia, Russian Leningrad Oblast, and Finland (the regions of South Karelia and North Karelia). Right after the World War II the Northern part of the Finland was laid in ruins and the numbers of survived dogs were truly scarce. Local fanciers of the breed launched a breeding program and searched for remaining dogs all over the country. These specimens participated in restoration of the Karelian Bear Dog. All modern dogs have in its lineage one of that forty or so dogs, that have been tracked, rescued and used in breeding process after the war.
In 1945 the Finnish Kennel Club approved the first breed standard and gave it a name «Karelian Bear Dog». In the same year the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized the breed and in 1996 the United Kennel Club (UKC).
Nowadays, in Sweden, Finland and Norway the Karelian Bear Dog is used to hunt elks.
In America the usage of the dog is considered to be the best choice when things concern bears harassing suburban areas. The Karelian Bear dog is utilized by the National Park Service to frighten off and teach bears to stay away from territories occupied by people. Another organisation, which is interested in this breed is the Wind River Institute whose goal is to diminish number of bears killed by humans by training them to leave out human settlements.
The strangers are tolerated by the Karelian Bear Dog but with certain rate of restraint and coldness. It will feverishly defend the subordinated territory from strange people who are perceived as unwelcomed guests but won’t resort to open aggression if it’s not absolutely needed.
The unknown dogs that intrude its territory will also stir a protective instinct in this breed that may lead to cruel fights between them. Actually, the Karelian Bear Dog is able to cohabitate with other canine animal only if they have been raised together and even then one should expect some confrontation till the dogs clarify its place in the pack.
The Karelian Bear Dog has a hunter instinct imprinted in it during the millennial history therefore the dog constitutes a great danger for cats as well as other small home pets. Naturally, there is a chance that things turn out to be just fine if they are brought up in the same household, but still there is no guarantee.
• canine hip dysplasia;
• eye problems.
Regular brushing (preferably daily) can alleviate this problem to some extent, but the future owner should accept the fact that dog’s rigid hair will be found in abundance all over his/her possessions.
Designed for hunting purposes, the Karelian Bear Breed isn’t a good choice for a family. But if you still intend to adopt this dog, socialisation is the only way you can learn it appropriate behavioural patterns in a family as well as in outside world.
The leash is a must for this breed; otherwise your carelessness may cost a life of neighbourhood cat. It will greatly enjoy a free run in a safely secured territory, if you are able to provide it.
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