Animal Description

West Siberian Laikas - descended from aboriginal dogs kept by the people of the Ural Mountains and Siberia, in areas the Mansi, Hanty, and Zyrvan. It is thought that the West Siberian Laika shares its ancestry with other hunting dogs including Spitz-like breeds common in Europe.

West Siberian Laikas - bond quite strongly with their owners,but can be cautious towards strangers. In general as adults they do not take particularly well to other people and will bark an alarm at any intrusion, large or small. Because their hunting instinct is quite strong they are prone to chasing cats,rabbits,and other animals. They can be trained not to chase specific animals if socialized with them from a young age. West Siberian Laikas need lots of exercise. Although they will submit to being penned or chained, if they are given opportunity to run free they can become quite destructive and also are quite capable of escaping any enclosure. Siberian Laikas love to dig, especially in hot weather, so fences should have a surface underneath that cannot be dug trough. However, it is necessary for Laikas to have a dirt or similar surface to dig in so they donīt feel completely penned. West Siberian Laikas can be permitted to run free, provided they are safe from traffic. They do not roam far from home and can be relled on to return. Laikas have no scent of their own, but do enjoy rolling in fresh cow manure or carrion. All in all this breed does best outdoors and would not be well suited to anything but life in the country.

West Siberian Laikas - are moderately sized dogs. Males reach between 54 and 62 centimeters, while females are smaller reaching between 52 and 58 centimeters. They reach up to about 24 inches in height and about 50 pounds. Most West Siberian Laikas are white, reddish grey, or grey and red. White spots may appear. They have a coarse, straight outer coat and a soft undercoat. The coat is longer on the shoulders and neck, forming a ruff or mane. Both tail and legs well coated. Because Laikas are cold-weather dogs, their coat protects them from inclement weather. They do shed profusely in the summer. West Siberian Laikas have narrow heads and long muzzles. Their ears stand straight and are pointed, resembling traingles. They have smallish, oval eyes, usually dark brown. They are very strong, muscular animals. West Siberian Laikas have few know health problems. They rarely have the problems associated with other breeds such as ear infections of hip dysplasia.

Laikas have long been know - as a dog to cytch fur-bearing animals such as rabbits. They were also used to pull sleds. The fur the Laikas helped catch was invaluable to the people, paying their tributes to the Mongols in the 7th and 8th centuries and later purchasing land. Fur was the first major export the people of Russia and Siberia had to trade with Europe. The West Siberina Laika is a very ancient breed that still retains much of its original wolf-like appearance. They have always been quite useful and because of their versatile abilities have always and are still very valuable. They are most adept at hunting small animals that bear fur, pointing birds and baying larger game such as moose and bear. The West Siberian Laika was first recognized in the middle of the 20th century and quickly became a very popular hunting breed in Russia. In the United States, it is registered as a rare breed by the Federation of International Canines and more recently recognized by the United Kennel Club.

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