West Siberian Laika

Country of origin:
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
grey with reddish-brown, red with reddish-brown, grey, red, fawn, reddish-brown, pure white or parti-colour
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • forms strong bonds with its master
  • easy to groom
  • loves children
  • even-tempered
  • great hunter
  • may by aloof with strange people
  • not for an apartement living
  • chases other animals


The West Siberian Laika is a breed of large dogs now famous not only in their motherland, but slowly acquiring popularity all over the world.

It is also interesting to know, that the representatives of the breed are similar to wolves, especially grey coloured ones. Even professional hunters are still mixing up this breed with wolves. But, unlike those carnivorous animals, the West Siberian Laika is a good companion.


The fist West Siberian Laikas were born in severe Russian Siberia approximately in the XVI century.

The Laika was bred out of aboriginal hunting and later sledge dogs of Hanty and Mansi, which, in their turn, were descendants of wolves. Only in 1920-1930 the breed pure to the type was established by selective samplings in Moscow, Ekaterinburg and some other cities.

The etymology of its name Laika can be interpreted this way: a breed of hunting dogs, which signalizes an appearance of a game with its barking (rus. «lai»).

Russian hunters were attracted with strength, endurance, size and exceptional beauty of the West Siberian Laika, using it, mainly, to chase fur and feather.

The Government Kennel Club in Russia recognized the West Siberian Laika as a purebred in 1950 and already by 1960 the Laika became one of the most popular hunting dogs in the former USSR.

In Russia, as well as in the whole world, some lovers of this breed don’t use the Laika for hunting today, and many of them have succeeded, presenting the agility skills and wild beauty of their pets in dog shows.


The West Siberian Laika attracts many breeders and admirers not only because of its hunting capabilities, but also thanks to the well-balanced character.

The Laika is a very devoted and affectionate dog to its master and likes to lick children’s faces, knocking them down and showing his endless love. Some of them become protectors of a family and their property. Unconditionally, this breed is a true guardian from the very birth.

The attitude to strangers varies depending on the situation. Some of the West Siberian Laikas first bark and wag their tails at once, welcoming a guest and allowing to be petted. Many other dogs of this breed are aloof, don’t like hands and watch unfamiliar people suspiciously.

The West Siberian Laika is quite inquiring to animals, whether they belong to a wild game or not. Having a strong hunting desire, it tends to attack any kind of animals, especially rabbits, cats and poultry. It can be taught to ignore such village animals as cows, pigs, calves, goats or sheep.

The Laika doesn’t fight with another dog (even of the opposite sex) without reason or just to kill. During the childhood, puppies can struggle only for fun. However, during adult life dogs of this breed will challenge their rivals to resolve such problems as territory, favourite toy, food, female and so on by fighting.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· monorchidism;

· umbilical hernia.


The West Siberian Laika has no special grooming requirements. The only thing, which you can do, is to bathe your pet when necessary, and comb its double coat during the shedding period.


The West Siberian Laika is an extremely clever dog and can be trained easily enough. Apart from hunting and sledging trainings, you can teach your pet such commands as Give a paw, Down, Bark, Sit, Search, Heel or Come. Trainings must be consistent and performed on an empty stomach, since a great motivation for your pet will be a slice of a sausage.

During your trainings, don’t forget about praising your dog. You should be a strict and tolerant teacher at the same time. Socialization should take place at an early age if you want your dog to be kind with another domestic animals, strangers and pets living together with it.


The West Siberian Laika doesn’t need much fantasy from its owner when things concern it exercises. It’s active enough to find what to do itself. Since the West Siberian Laika isn’t a homebody, the only thing your dog will appreciate is constant walking, running, cycling and hiking together. Your pet will also like playing fetch, imitating hunting.

Remember, the more your Laika sits at home, sleeps on a comfortable rug, eats delicacies, the less it will be the true West Siberian Laika, which is difficult to find.