The Russo-European Laïka is a hunting dog of the spitz type that was originally developed hunt large prey such as wolf, deer and boar. They are one of three Russian Laïkas (or 'barkers'), the other two being the West and East Siberian Laïkas. At one time a fourth Laïka was recognized, the Karelo-Finnish Laïka, but this breed was merged with the Finnish Spitz in 2006 due to having minor differences.
Russo-European Laïka Standards
- FCI (Group 5)
- UKC (Northern Breeds)
- 40-50 lbs
- medium to large-sized spitz
- triangular, prick ears
- tail is sickle or ring shaped
- coat is medium length, straight and coarse
- black with white markings
- grey with white markings
- salt and pepper with white markings
History of the Russo-European Laïka
The ancestors of the Russo-European Laïka were native wolf hunting dogs of Finland and Russia. Once the same breed as the Karelian Bear Dog, in the 1940s Russia split their dogs from the rest of Europe, claiming only Russian bred dogs could be Laïkas. After the split the Russian dogs were crossed with large flock guardians such as the Utchak Sheepdog as well as the West Siberian Laïka to help strengthen the bloodline.