West siberian laikas


West-siberian laikas


laïka de sibérie occidentale - info

Character in general

The west siberian laika is affectionate and devoted to his owner. The majority of them bark at a strangers approaching the house and the attitude to unfamiliar people varies individually and depends on the situation. Some dogs first bark and then greeting the guest, but some can be proactive to their master.

During the adult life of dogs, younger dogs, especially males, will challenge older males and try to resolve their problems by fighting. Generally, dogs belonging to one household and raised together since puppy live in peace with in other. However, relationships among males introduced to each other as adult may remain tense for their lifetime.

The West Siberian Laika is a good fighter, but he has not the desire or killing another dog. His reason for fighting is only to establish the dominance or defend something important as defend their territory against an intruder dog of same sex, favourite toy, food, female in heat, etc.

He is primarily a hunting dog, so ever one who decides on a puppy of this breed should expect a full package of traits of a typical hunting Spitz. This means that if he has an opportunity to hunt he will chase game and can disapear for some hours, also from the place where you live. He will not just stay 50 meters from you or the house like a guardian dog will do, so dangerous with busy roads in the neighbourhood.

The laika is an emotional dog, very observant to the habits of its master and everything happening in his surrounding. However he is also very intelligent dog and will realize quickly that a field trail is not a serious hunt, but just a game. Therefore the results of field trails are usually disappointing compared to the real hunting capacities of the laika. If you just want to compete in field trails you better choose another dog. 


The West Siberian Laika likes and needs freedom for physical activities like hunting, hiking, running, mantrailing, bloodtracking, scent detection and not only obedience or agility training, because he will get quickly bored. 

 If a West Siberian Laika is used for hunting, it is a great potential to have a happy dog, but his happiness is never complete if he is not a member of the family. He is a poor kennel dog: If the dog is left alone, locked up in a small backyard or kennel they develop a habit of barking, digging holes, destroying things, climbing over the fence etc.

He is a good companion dog for on a hiking trip. However, its extraordinary interest in wildlife demands special attention, because the dog may tree some animals or go for a hunt so stay away from you for some time.


It is important if you want to buy a laika that it should not only be based upon his beautiful natural look, but also be aware of his hunting instinct and you have to find a way to release his energy in physical activities.

Info Book: Hunting Laika Breeds of Russia, Vladimir Beregogoy


The light built and fast Laikas of the Voguls(Mansi people) were known in Russia since very old time. The native people, as well as the Russians of Ural and West Siberia kept similar dogs long before they became registered as purebreds under the name West Siberian Laika.

The West Siberian Laika was established by selective sampling of aboriginal dogs of Mansi(Vogluks) and Hanty(Ostyak). These Mansi and Hanty dogs attracted Russian hunters because of their exceptional hunting ability, size, strength, endurance and extraordinary beauty.

In the beginning two groups of the West Siberian Laika were formed:

First group originated from a male named Grozny in Sverdlovsk 1930. He sired many outstanding dogs that were transferred to individual hunters and Government owned kennels. This group remained very important before and after World War II.

The second purebred West-Siberian Laikas originated in the twentieth in Moscow. A Hanty type male named Mishka was born in 1924 from dogs of Obdorsk. Other important dog were Ulf and Ural, female Damka etc.

Other groups of purebred West Siberian Laikas were formed in Gorky, Perm and Novosibirsk.

During this period Sherehesky obtained the most important dogs and used them or breeding. He was a leader o a team working in the government’s kennel of all union research institute for hunting industry. . In 1944 a bitch named Panda and a male named Borka were brought from the Khanty Mansi National Province and were not related, but had the typical conformation of aboriginal West Siberian Laikas. The total number of puppies raised in this kennel was about 400 including the first, second, third and fourth generation.  The majority o these puppies were distributed among the individual hunters of different provinces of Russia to create more sources o quality West Siberian Laikas.

Sherehesky describes his West Siberain Laikas as follows:

  • Body structure is strong
  • Temperament is well balanced, but lively and alert
  • Height at shoulder 55 – 62
  • Coat is well developed with thick undercoat
  • Body is well developed with deep and long chest
  • Head very typical of the breed

Appearance of dogs of the Borka-Panda strain of the West-siberian Laika is characterised by the so called “Zverovatost” what means a wolf like look, a particular primitive similarity to the wild ancestors that is characteristic of Laikas in general. The hunting reflex is strongly developed


There are dogs with a narrow elongate head, long muzzle and race build head and there are dogs with a shorter muzzle, broad occipal part o the head and compact and sturdy body. Using both types helps to maintain a health genetic diversity within the breed.

The question is how one breed standard can support two slightly different types in breed? It was possible, because the choice of dogs for breeding was based on the diligently tested hunting capabilities, as well on the conformation. The FCI standard 306 is for the West-Siberian Laika.

FCI Standard 306 West Siberia Laika
ORIGIN: Russia.
UTILIZATION: Hunting dog for all-round purposes.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 5 Spitz and primitive types.
Section 2 Nordic hunting dogs.

Dog of medium to slightly larger size; substantial with strong and clean built. The length of the body, measured from the forechest to the buttocks is slightly superior to the height measured from the withers to ground. Sexual dimorphism is clearly pronounced. Males are bigger than females and clearly masculine. Muscles are well developed and bone strong.


Body length exceeds height at the withers as 100 to 103-107%, in males and as 100 to 104-108 % in females. Height at withers exceeds height at the croup by 1-2 cm (males) and it is equal to, or exceeds the height at the croup by 1 cm (females). Length of the head exceeds considerably the width of the head. Length of the muzzle is equal to, or a little less than half the length of the head. Legs height from ground to elbow slightly exceeds half the height at the withers.


Steady, evenly tempered. A vigorous dog with very well developed sense of scent and detecting game, with an alert, sensitive and pronounced passion for hunting, is equally keen to hunt feathered as furred game. Self confident and alert towards strangers.

HEAD: Lean, wedge shaped, in proportion to the size of the dog. It is similar in shape to an equilateral triangle when viewed from above. Cranial part is moderately broad; lesser in females than in males.


Skull: Elongated, obviously longer than broad; when seen from front flat or slightly rounded. The bridge of muzzle is parallel to topline of skull. The sagittal crests and occiput are well pronounced. Occipital part of the skull is rounded. Superciliary arches slightly developed. Stop: Slightly pronounced.


  • Nose: Of medium size, black. In white dogs a slightly lighter (brownish) nose colour is tolerated.
  • Muzzle: Moderately pointed, broadening in the fang area. The length of the muzzle is half, or slightly shorter, than the length of the head. Viewed in profile the muzzle is moderately wedge-shaped.
  • Lips: Tight.
  • Jaw / Teeth: White, large, strong, well developed, evenly positioned and un-crowded; complete (42 teeth) dental formula; scissor bite.
  • Cheeks: Clean in cheekbones.
  • Eyes: Not large, oval shaped, slanting, set fairly deep (more so than in the other Laika breeds) with intent and intelligent expression. The eye colour is dark brown or brown in accordance with coat colour.
  • Ears: Pricked, set on high, V-shaped with pointed tips, mobile. Earlobes are slightly developed.
  • NECK: Muscular, dry and long; length equal to length of head. Oval in cross-section. The neck is set at approximately 45°-55° to the horizontal line.


  • Topline: Firm and solid, slightly slopping from the withers to the tail-set.
  • Withers: Well pronounced, especially in males.
  • Back: Strong, straight, well muscled, moderately broad.
  • Loin: Short, moderately broad, well muscled, with a slight arch.
  • Croup: Broad, moderately long, slightly sloping.
  • Chest: Moderately deep, broad (the chest reaches the point of the elbow), long; oval-shaped in lateral section.
  • Underline and belly: Tucked up; the underline from the chest to the abdominal cavity rises slightly.
  • TAIL: Tight curl; carried over back or hips. When full straightened can reach the hock joint, or may be 1-2 cm shorter.


  • General appearance: Viewed from the front straight, set moderately wide apart and parallel. The height of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground is a little superior to half of the height at the withers.
  • Shoulder: Long and well laid back. Upper arm: Long, place obliquely, muscular. Well angulated between the shoulder blade and the upper arm.
  • Elbow: Fitting close to the body; points of the elbows are well developed and placed back, parallel to the body axis.
  • Forearm: Long, straight, not coarse, muscular, oval in cross-section.
  • Metacarpus (Pastern): Not long, slightly sloping when viewed from the side. Dewclaws are not desirable.
  • Forefeet: Oval, arched with tight toes. Middle toes are a little longer.


  • General appearance: Muscular, strong, with well defined angulations of all articulations. When viewed from the rear legs are straight and parallel.
  • Thigh: Moderately long, placed obliquely.
  • Stifle (Knee): Well bent.
  • Lower thigh: Moderately long, placed obliquely, not shorter than the upper thigh.
  • Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Placed almost vertically. Seen from the side, a perpendicular line, from the buttocks to ground, should fall close to the front of the rear pastern. Dewclaws are not desirable.
  • Hind feet: Slightly smaller than forefeet. Oval, arched with tight toes. Middle toes are slightly longer.
  • GAIT / MOVEMENT: Free, energetic. Typical movement is short trot, alternating with gallop.
  • SKIN: Thick and elastic, without any folds and subcutaneous cellular tissue.


  • Hair: Outer coat is dense, harsh and straight. Undercoat is well developed, soft, abundant and woolly. The coat on the head and ears is short and dense. The coat on shoulders and the neck is longer than on the body and forms a collar; on the cheekbones it forms side whiskers. In males the coat on the withers is longer. Limbs are covered with short, harsh, dense coat, which is slightly longer on the back side of the fore limbs. The coat on the back of rear legs forms trousers without feathering. There is a protective growth of brush-like hair between the toes. The tail is profusely covered with straight and harsh hair that is just slightly longer on the underside but without feathering.
  • Colour: Grey with reddish-brown, red with reddish-brown, grey, red, fawn and reddish-brown in all shades. Pure white or parti-colour i.e. white with patches of any colour mentioned above similar to the ground body colour.
  • SIZE: Height at the withers: Males 55 - 62 cms. Females 51 - 58 cms.

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault is regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work.

  • Deviations from sexual dimorphism.
  • Slightly nervous or lacking confidence with strangers.
  • Lack of sagittal crests and pronounced occiput, roman nose.
  • Light coloured eyes.
  • Pale pigmentation on nose, lips and eye rims.
  • Lack of teeth: Absence of not more than 4 Premolars regarding PM1&PM2.
  • Pincer bite after the age of 6 years.
  • Ears set low; soft with weak ear carriage; not mobile.
  • Croup horizontal; slightly sunken.
  • Straight shoulders, elbows turned in- or outward.
  • Flat-ribbed chest, slightly shallow in chest.
  • Flat feet, splayed feet.
  • Flecking (roaning) of same shade as base coat colour on head and limbs.
  • Lack of undercoat, absence of coat-collar and side-whiskers (except for natural shedding).
  • Restricted movement.
  • Exceeding the maximum height with +2 cms in females. 2 cms below the minimum height in males.


  • Obvious deviation from sexual dimorphism.
  • Excitability too high.
  • Males of feminine type; females of masculine type.
  • Obesity or meagre.
  • Abrupt stop, snub-nosed muzzle, short muzzle; loose lips.
  • De-pigmentation of nose, lips or eye-rims.
  • Round eyes; horizontal set; bulging; yellow eyes; loose eye lids.
  • Lack of teeth; small, sparsely set teeth.
  • Ears standing out from sides of the head; round-tipped; too big; over-developed ear-lobes.
  • Hollow back; roached back.
  • Long loin; narrow; sagging or arched loin; overbuilt.
  • Shallow in chest.
  • Tail too long or too short or not touching back or hips.
  • Obvious east-west pointing feet; pigeon-toed or bandy front.
  • Down in pastern.
  • Overangulated or straight in hindquarters; knees turning out; cow-hocked or narrow in rear.
  • Heavy, restricted movement; stilted or mincing gait.
  • Too long coat on the back-side of the forequarters; pronounced feathering on the upper thighs and the tail.
  • Wavy, curly, soft or too long coat; coat parting on the back and the withers.
  • Excessive flecking (roaning) of same nuance as base coat colour, on head and limbs.
  • Flecks of different colour than the ground colour.
  • Black or black and white colour.
  • Deviation from the size by more than +- 2 cms; height at the withers less than height at the croup.


  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Incorrect bite.
  • Wry mouth.
  • 4 or more missing teeth, including PM1 or M3. Excess incisors.
  • Wall eye. Flecked eyes.
  • Ears dropped; semi-dropped.
  • Plumed tail; otter- or sabre tail; stumpy tail.
  • Too short or too long coat.
  • Coat colour that is genetic brown; genetic blue; brindle or albino.


  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.