Let's talk Russo-European Laika Dogs

It’s the curved bushy tail that’s a dead giveaway as well as the boundless energy for the Russo-European Laika dog. This little known breed hailing from the northernmost regions of the European and Asian continents is buoyant and willing, and was originally bred to be a faithful hunting companion as well as family dog. They are highly affable, a medium-sized dog with a free and easy gait and the confidence to match. Give them room to run in a rural setting and the Russo-European Laika will be one contented dog.

Official name: Russo-European Laika

Other names: Laika Russian-European, Laika Russo-European, Russian-European Laika

Origins: Russia

Black and white portrait of a Russo European Laika
 Drooling tendencies   Warm weather?  
 Shedding level  Medium Suited to apartment living?   
 *Energy Level Moderate *Friendly pet? 
 Compatibility with other pets   *Can stay alone?  High

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

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Illustration of a Russo European Laika
52 - 58 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 23 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
48 - 55 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 23 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

Russo European Laika stood looking to the side


Get to know the Russo-European Laika

All you need to know about the breed

Known for a deep attachment to their owners and a true desire to be around family, the Russo-European Laika is a super companion dog as well as sporting sidekick. A long history in the high Euro-Russian terrain means this hardy breed can withstand harsh temperatures and has a large amount of stamina. They also have an easy patience about them and a consistency in their behaviour, as a result of being part of the pack, so used to routine - a great blend of characteristics all around.

The Russo-European Laika is a spitz-type dog, characterised by that very thick coat, curled bushy tail, v-shaped ears, and pointed muzzle. They’re simple to spot, but it’s their pronounced bark that’s a hallmark trait, a result of time spent as a trusty hunting dog. Another upside of that role: the Russo-European Laika has a very good sense of orientation so won’t easily get lost; make sure to keep a tight leash though if on walks or around smaller furry friends as their prey drive may kick in, more often when out on their daily constitution.

Watch their fairly high prey drive. This isn’t the breed for owners who want intermingling of the pack as the Russo-European Laika can tend to be dominant. Their willingness to please though means they’re very well-suited to families, once trained. A more rural environment suits this rugged dog who will need lots of walks, jogs, or runs in order to stay their healthy best.

Russo European Laika sat in long grass


2 facts about Russo-European Laika dogs

1. Catch me if you can

As a dog first bred to aid hunters, the Russo-European Laika is used to giving chase. However, today’s more domesticated pet may give chase a touch too much. The Russo-European Laika may not be a suitable breed in households with smaller animals. If walked, keep your dog on leash to prevent any undue pursuit.

2. Loud and clear

Jubilant barks from one’s dog are a sure sign of contentment but at times the Russo-European Laika can use their voice a bit too much. Their main role in helping hunters has been to corner the game - often up trees - and alert hunters as to where it is, with very loud bays. Make sure to train your Russo-European Laika to keep their voice down, especially if neighbours live close nearby.


History of the breed

A history that’s said to date back centuries, the Russo-European Laika earned their name from the countries on the northern stretches crossing Europe and Russia where they were first found, specifically between Finland and the Ural Mountains. They were long used as a hunting dog, possessing the thick double coat that helped them survive in the harsh climates of the region.

The breed stems mostly from Cheremi and Zyrianskiy Laikas but there are as many as 13 varieties of the Laika dogs that were developed before this breed came into their own just after the Second World War. Russo-European Laika dogs are commonly still found in central Russia.

The breed was officially recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1980 and by the United Kennel Club in 1996.

Black and white portrait of a Russo European Laika


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Russo-European Laika dogs

1. Ears

V-shaped medium-to-small ears, set high, ending in point.

2. Body

Sturdy body with harmonious proportions.

3. Coat

Double coat: Straight and hard outer coat, thick and soft undercoat, longer at neck making a ruff.

Close-up of a Russo European Laika looking back to the camera


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Russo-European Laika
Russo European Laika sat on leafy ground


Caring for your Russo-European Laika

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The dense double coat of the Russo-European Laika is characterised by a hard, straight topcoat and a thick, soft undercoat. Brush them weekly and only bathe if absolutely necessary as doing so will break down any protective oils present in the coat. Brush their teeth as often as possible (daily if you can), clean eyes and ears regularly, as well as paw pads of debris, and trim nails as needed. This traditional sporting breed is used to lots of running and outdoor time so exercising the Russo-European Laika will be your new sporting routine. They are a perfect dog for runners and long walks are always great. The breed takes to playing games too so never hesitate to offer them a healthy round of fetch. The Russo-European Laika breed is excellent with children, once trained to be around them. They are extremely loyal dogs, and always up for being part of the group. As such, devotion to any task is one of the Russo-European Laika’s top characteristics.


All about Russo-European Laika dogs

The word Laika translates from the Russian as “bark,” and fits the Russo-European Laika breed well since they are a dog traditionally used in a hunting capacity. Laika dogs are spitz-type breeds that emanate from Northern Russia, known to be incredibly rustic canines that can thrive in the harshest conditions.

The Russo-European Laika breed was developed from a large group of other Laika breeds, 13 in total, including the East Siberian, Irkutsk, and Vogool breeds. The dog survived in difficult northern Russian climes. Today, there are only three recognised Laikas: the East Siberian Laika, West Siberian Laika, and the Russo-European Laika breed.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/