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East Siberian Laika

Oliver Jones

July 8, 2021
Height: 21.5-25 inches
Weight: 40-50 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Black, white, white & black, tan & black
Suitable for: Experienced dog owners, active families, those with a yard
Temperament: Intelligent, independent, energetic

If you’ve never heard of the East Siberian Laika, that’s probably because the breed is fairly rare in North America. Originating in Russia, East Siberian Laikas are medium-sized dogs that are very adept at hunting. As you might expect based on the climate in which these dogs were bred, they have also been used as sled dogs. While these active dogs may not be the most well-suited to new dog owners, they can be wonderful family dogs for the right home. Keep reading to learn more about East Siberian Laikas.

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East Siberian Laika Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy
Shedding
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of East Siberian Laika Puppies?

Adopting an East Siberian Laika puppy will typically cost you around $1,000. These dogs are not very common in North America, so it may take you some time to find a reputable breeder. The relative rarity of this breed also explains the high price tag. While it may be tempting to purchase a puppy for a lower price from a backyard breeder or pet store, these breeders are often not trustworthy and don’t have the dogs’ best interest in mind. You may be unlikely to find an East Siberian Laika in a shelter, but if you do, adoption can be much cheaper than buying a dog from a breeder. Plus, you would be giving a good home to a dog that needs one.

Since the East Siberian Laika is not registered with the American Kennel Club, your puppy will not come with pedigree papers. If possible, you should ask your breeder to meet your puppy’s parents so that you can get a sense of their behavior and health history, which can in turn tell you a little bit more about what to expect from your dog.

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3 Little-Known Facts About East Siberian Laikas

1. The East Siberian Laika is the largest Laika breed.

The other three breeds are the Karelo-Finnish Laika, the West Siberian Laika, and the Russo-European Laika.

2. The East Siberian Laika breed almost went extinct.

In the 1970s, there were only around 40 known East Siberian Laikas. The breed has increased in population since then, but it is still relatively rare.

3. One of the East Siberian Laika’s relatives is the wolf.

Of all of the Laika breeds, the East Siberian Laika is thought to have the most wolf blood.

East Siberian Laika
Image Credit: paparazzza, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the East Siberian Laika

Bred as hunting dogs, East Siberian Laikas are intelligent and independent animals that can sometimes have a stubborn streak. They are not recommended for beginners, but they can be loving and loyal family companions if they are properly socialized.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Despite their history as hunting dogs, East Siberian Laikas are usually good with children as long as they are properly socialized. If you purchase a puppy, you should begin socializing them right away so that he knows that the members of your family are part of his pack.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

While they are usually good with children, we do not recommend buying an East Siberian Laika if you have other pets, including other dogs. East Siberian Laikas can be territorial and will likely take issue with another dog in their domain. Smaller animals could pose problems, too; this breed has a very high prey drive and is likely to chase animals such as cats, rabbits, or other smaller pets.

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Things to Know When Owning an East Siberian Laika

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The East Siberian Laika should eat about 2.5 cups of high-quality food per day. Make sure the food you select is formulated for medium-sized dogs. The precise amount of food that you give to your dog depends on his ideal weight, activity level, and age. In order to determine exactly how much to give your dog, talk to your vet.

In addition to your dog’s regular food, treats can be part of a healthy diet for your dog. If you are training your dog, treats can be a great way to reward positive behaviors and help your dog learn how to behave in your home. However, you should be mindful of how many treats you are giving your dog. In general, treats should make up no more than 10 percent of the calories your dog consumes in one day.

Exercise 🐕

East Siberian Laika
Image Credit: Maximillian cabinet, Shutterstock

East Siberian Laikas are very energetic dogs with high exercise needs. You need to make sure that your East Siberian Laika receives at least one hour of exercise per day. You can take your dog on a few long walks or several shorter walks throughout the day. While dog parks are not recommended because these animals don’t tend to enjoy the company of other dogs, your East Siberian Laika will be happy to join you for jogs and hikes and will even during activities such as obedience trials. If you have a yard, your dog will enjoy having the ability to run around off-leash. Since they are such high-energy dogs, East Siberian Laikas are not very well suited to apartment living.

Training 🎾

East Siberian Laikas can be stubborn and independent animals. As such, they require patient and consistent training. If you are a first-time dog owner or inexperienced with training dogs, you may want to invest time and money into hiring a professional trainer for your dog.

Grooming ✂️

If you are looking for a low-shedding dog, this is not the breed for you. The East Siberian Laika sheds frequently and, at times, heavily. However, you can combat some of the shedding by brushing your pet with a slicker brush a minimum of one time per week. In addition to brushing your dog, plan on trimming the fur on your dog’s feet every so often. You will also need to clean your dog’s ears regularly, though you don’t need to fully bathe him unless it’s necessary.

Health and Conditions 🏥

East Siberian Laikas are overall very healthy dogs. However, all dogs are prone to certain health conditions. Below, we have listed some of the most common minor and serious health conditions you may see in this breed.

Minor Conditions
  • Monorchidism
  • Eye problems
Serious Conditions
  • Joint Dysplasia – Joint dysplasia is genetic but affected by diet, growth rate, and other factors. A dog with joint dysplasia can develop problems such as arthritis, pain, and even lameness if the problem is not addressed.
  • Gastric Volvulus, or Bloat – This condition may not sound serious, but it can be dangerous and lead to death if not addressed. If your dog is experiencing bloat, his stomach expands due to gas, liquid, or food. Sometimes, bloat can cause a dog’s stomach to twist, which can trap blood in the stomach and prevent it from flowing to other parts of the body.

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Male vs Female

There are no specific physical or behavioral differences between male and female East Siberian Laikas. Overall, any differences between male and female dogs cannot be generalized; after all, like humans, dogs are individuals with individual personalities. That being said, males may be more likely than females to display territorial or aggressive behavior, especially when around other dogs. They may also display some unwanted sexual behavior, though having your dog neutered will help to mitigate these behaviors.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, East Siberian Laikas can be great pets, but they are certainly not for everyone. One of the biggest and most prohibitive factors is the upfront cost of an East Siberian Laika puppy. Unless there is a specific reason why you are interested in this breed, it can be hard to justify paying $1,000 or more for a dog when there are so many other breeds that are less expensive and easier to find. You may also decide this breed is not for you if you live in an apartment, if you are not active or don’t have time to take your dog out for frequent exercise, if you’re looking for a low-shedding dog, or if you are an inexperienced dog owner without the resources to properly train your pet. However, if you’re looking for an energetic, intelligent, and loyal companion, the East Siberian Laika might just be the right breed for you and your family.

Related Read: 9 Russian Dog Breeds (with Pictures)


Featured Image Credit: Maximillian cabinet, Shutterstock

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.

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