The West Siberian Laika is a native Russian Spitz breed that developed naturally over many hundreds of years to meet the needs of local tribes. Used to hunt on varieties of prey, such as sabers and squirrels, even today they are best suited for a working lifestyle.

West Siberian Laika Dog

West Siberian Laika Dog Breed information

Laika dogs are all Russian Spitz-type dogs that have been traditionally used for hunting. The Russian word Laika derives from the word bark, the means by which Laika dogs announce that they have encountered an animal on a hunt. Many Westerners recognize the word Laika as the name of the first dog in space, yet the “astronaut” Laika was, in fact, a mongrel.

The earliest breed standard dates back to the early 20th century , but the West Siberian Laika has certainly been around for over a hundred years. Given their appearance, it will come as no surprise that they are closely related to the wolf. A truly ancient dog, they have worked alongside human hunters for many centuries. Every ethnic group within the vast expanse of land that is Russia would have had a type of Laika dog, although these would have been rare autochthonous, not bred for a specific aesthetic purpose.

West Siberian Laika Dog Breed personality

A West Siberian Laika dog works by nature , an inexperienced owner looking for a domestic pet should probably opt for a different breed. Although he is often loving and loyal to those he trusts. He is known to be very protective of his people and their property. Most breed members will alert intruders with their barks, but there is the potential for aggression towards humans and animals if their warning barks are ignored.

West Siberian Laika Dog Breed

West Siberian Laika Dog Breed characteristics

The West Siberian Laika differs from the East Siberian Laika by being lighter and narrower in construction . Its wolf head is wedge-shaped with a long, narrow snout. His brown eyes are remarkably deep, and his ears are perched on his head, although the size of the ear is variable. His muscular limbs support a slim body that should be longer than tall.

Their double layer of fleece keeps them warm in the winter, while the soft and dense inner layer allows them to tolerate low temperatures when they are out for hours on end.

West Siberian Laika Dog Breed health problems

With its wild heritage, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the West Siberian Laika is relatively unperturbed by inherited health issues – only the strongest specimens of the breed are used and bred for hunting. The gene pool for this breed is still very small and inbreeding is discouraged. The average life expectancy for the West Siberian Laika is 14 years or more.