West Siberian Laika
The West Siberian Laika is a medium-sized dog breed that naturally developed to fit their Russian tribe’s needs. They were mostly used for hunting different prey and it is a job they love doing to this day. This is a Russian dog breed that belongs to the primitive Spitz-type family of dog breeds.
The West Siberian Laika is one of the four Russian Laika breeds and its name should not be mistaken for the name of the first-ever dog in space. The Russian canine cosmonaut Laika was a crossbred dog and “Laika” was its name. Sadly it is not a part of the West Siberian Laika family.
20-24 in (51-62 cm)
40-55 lb (18-25 kg)
Dog Breed Characteristics
The West Siberian Laika is a medium-sized dog that has a square built that is just a bit off. They are slightly longer than they are tall and could not be considered as having a completely square built.
The West Siberian Laika usually has a black nose although, white dogs can have a lighter color. Their eyes are oval-shaped, medium-sized, and slanted. They can come in various shades of brown. Their ears are pricked and V-shaped.
These dogs are muscular and really strong. They have a thick, double coat that has a rougher, longer outer coat and a softer, wooly undercoat that insulates them from extreme Russian weather conditions.
- Group 5 (Spitz and primitive types), Section 2 (Nordic hunting dogs). With working trial.
- height - males 21,5-24 in (55 - 62 cm), females 20-23 in (51 - 58 cm)
- date of acceptance - 6/3/1980
This breed is not accepted by the AKC
West Siberian Laika has a dense and harsh outercoat and a soft and woolly undercoat.
West Siberian Laika should be brushed daily to keep their coat healthy and in good shape. Twice a year these dogs will shed heavily. If you keep your dog as a pet, a bath every six to eight weeks should be enough. The rest is basic care; trim their nails when needed (if they don't wear them down naturally), brush their teeth weekly to prevent tartar buildup and bacteria development. Regularly check their ears for any sign of redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. You can wipe their ears with the cotton ball dipped into an ear cleaner. The key for your dog to get used to all things mentioned above is to start early with them. Make a positive experience for the dog, full of praises and rewards, and you can be sure that your dog will enjoy all these things when they grow up.
West Siberian Laika coat colors:
- grey with reddish-brown
- red with reddish-brown
West Siberian Laika temperament
The temperament of the West Siberian Laika is considered a typical “Laika” temperament. It is a working dog breed with plenty of energy. They need a constant occupation and if they don’t have one, they will become destructive and problematic.
These dogs are known for their love and loyalty to their family, their pack. The West Siberian Laika’s temperament towards strangers is completely different. They are distrustful and suspicious of anyone outside their trust circle. They are great protectors but can be aggressive towards humans and especially towards other dogs. This is not a breed that new and inexperienced owners should pick.
Training and socialization
The West Siberian Laika’s training is one of the most important things you need to incorporate in their life. Start training them from an early age and make sure you earn their respect. The WSL is a natural hunter and through training, these traits can become polished. Be firm and fair with your dog and make sure you use positive training methods and loads of treats and food to reward their good behavior.
Your West Siberian Laika’s socialization should start as soon as they arrive at your home. Expose your dog to strange people and situations and make sure they don’t react aggressively. Make it a positive experience for them and make them feel safe and secured. The truth is that no matter how well your dog is socialized, you might never have a dog that is great for dog parks and your home guests. They have a high prey drive and should never be trusted around small pets and animals. The West Siberian Laikas are dogs that prefer being the only household pet.
If you are looking for an active, working dog breed that can withstand harshest conditions and work tirelessly, this might just be the breed for you. Keep in mind that these are working dogs and if you are looking for a family pet, think again if you are looking into the West Siberian Laika breed.
Like any other dog breed, the West Siberian Laika can potentially develop health problems. If you are buying a dog, make sure the breeder can provide you with the necessary health tests and guarantees. Always ask to see the results of tests from the puppy’s parents. The health problems these dogs are associated with are:
- Umbilical Hernia
The West Siberian Laika is generally considered a very healthy breed that can live 14-16 years.
West Siberian Laika breeders
If this breed is a good fit for you and/or your family, make sure that you find a registered and reputable West Siberian Laika breeder that can provide you with a great dog that will be physically and mentally healthy. Ask the breeder to show you the health certificates of his breeding dogs and if you can try and see what the puppy’s parents look like.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team