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Karelian Bear Dog

Size: Medium / Large

Weight: 45 - 50 lbs.

Height: 21" - 24"

Life Span: 10 - 12 years

Health Problems: Because this breed is almost never kept as a pet; little is known about its health record.

Origin: Russia / Finland (1800s)

Also Known As: Russo-European Laika, Russko-Europiskaia Laika

Group: Northern Breed / Spitz

Category: Hunting

Exercise Needs

No special exercise requirements.

Grooming Needs

No special grooming requirements.


The Karelian Bear Dog is a fearless, athletic breed that does not make a good companion. It was bred strictly for hunting wolves and other large animals. This breed, which is not well-known outside of Russia, should only be kept by experienced handlers who use the dogs for hunting purposes.

Compatibility with Kids

Does not make a good companion


This breed was developed in the 1800s by crossing Finnish Spitz-type dogs (excellent big game hunting skills) with Russian Utchak Shepherds. To this day, the breed is still considered too aggressive to be kept as a companion and is strictly used for hunting purposes.