Activities For East Siberian Laikas

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Introduction

The East Siberian Laika is a gorgeous Russian breed that was initially designed to be a hunting dog. The origin of the breed is somewhat complex, but it is believed that they have Spitz ancestors (due to their slightly similar appearance) and also contain DNA from dogs that lived in areas such as "Baikal Lake region, Irkutsk Province, Evenki National Territory, the Amur River basin and Maritime Territory". Because this is a hunting breed, the East Siberian Laika has quite a lot of energy that needs to be burned on a daily basis. They have a tendency to be a bit stubborn and very independent, but they are also a wonderful family dog that is loving and great with kids. They will just need a lot of socialization around other dogs and a chance to expend their energy daily in order to help encourage good behavior!

Hunting

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
3 hrs
Items needed
Whistle
Leash
Permit
Activity description
Because both the East and West Siberian Laika breeds are designed for hunting, this activity is the most natural selection for helping your dog get out there and burn their pent-up energy. For those who love hunting, it is hard to come by a better dog to assist in the process. The East Siberian Laika is hard working, diligent, independent, and attentive. With these traits, you can depend on your dog to not only help you with the hunting portion of the activity, but thanks to their incredible loyalty and protective qualities, should any unwanted predators come your way, the East Siberian Laika will do everything in their power to protect you.
Step
1
Get your permit
With any season of hunting, the first thing you need to do is get the correct permit. Whether that be for deer, elk, or even bear, you will need to check with your local Wildlife service in order to obtain a hunting tag. Once you have this in your possession, you can then decide on where you want to go hunting.
Step
2
Know your dog
A big part about relying on your dog during a hunting expedition is trust. If you have just gotten your East Siberian Laika or you are working on easing them into the hunting world, be sure that you know the strength of the bond you share and keep in mind that this breed has a very strong prey drive and may wander because of it. Keep your dog on a leash until you know whether or not they will listen to your commands and stay with you during the trip. Practicing this beforehand is very helpful as well.
Step
3
Be alert
At any time during your hunting trip, the main element will be to stay aware of your surroundings. Your East Siberian Laika will be looking to you a large majority of the time to know where to go, when to be still, and what to do once an animal has been spotted. Thankfully, this breed is known for being the largest and most silent of the Russian hunting dogs; so no matter what happens, you can rely on your pup to stay silent when they need to be, and help you in any way that they can should the moment arise.
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Dryland Sledding

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Cross back harness
Lead
Treats
Booties (optional)
Bike, scooter, or cart
Activity description
The sport of Dryland Mushing can actually be split into four categories: canicross, dog scootering, bikejoring, and dog trekking. Any one of these methods will be an excellent energy outlet for your East Siberian Laika. Because the breed was built for pulling sleds as well as hunting, they are fit to do any of these activities and love every moment of it. Not only does it work their body physically, but it also allows the dog a job to do, which they know pleases their owner. When choosing one of these activities to work your dog, just keep in mind that safety comes first, so pay attention to body language and any signs that your dog gives you that they may be tired, hurt, or nervous with a new situation (or animal). This way, no one will get hurt while on some form of transportation (such as a bike or scooter) and the activity will be a positive experience for both dog and owner!
Step
1
Get comfortable with harness
First and foremost, it is a good idea to get your East Siberian Laika comfortable wearing the X-back harness before adding any weight to the activity. Doing this young will aid in helping the harness to be a second nature item and the dog will happily recognize this item as something positive. Once the pup is used to wearing the harness, you can slowly add weight (or pull on it yourself while walking) to introduce the idea of pulling.
Step
2
Choose a category
Now that your dog is used to the harness and pulling weight behind them, you can decide which part of Dryland Mushing you'd like to partake in. This will determine what equipment you need. If you decide to do scootering or bikejoring, then the harness, lead, and bike/scooter will be all you need to get started. If you want to do canicross, then get some good running shoes and a waist lead so that you both can participate in the activity with ease.
Step
3
Socialization
Doing these activities on your own out of civilization may be the best step to start with your East Siberian Laika. Once they are comfortable with the equipment and activity (not to mention being extremely well socialized) you may want to join a club or competition in these events. Just remember that this breed is very loyal to their master and can be territorial. Typically, if they meet a dog away from their territory, there won't be an issue; however, it's better to be safe than sorry when dealing with the safety of your dog and others. So practice proper socialization and manners before delving into the events with other people, and all should go smoothly!
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Poke and Seek

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Cold Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Stick (or broom pole)
Aromatic treats
Snow
Activity description
Poke and Seek is an excellent game for a hunting dog that isn't currently out on a hunting trip. This activity will not only have your dog burning energy by digging in the snow for hours, but it will also work the mind as the East Siberian Laika needs so much. The process is simple, just poke holes in the snow and drop treats for your dog to find inside. However, the payoff will be great as your pup has fun and you get some much-needed relaxation time as high energy dogs cooped up inside can sometimes be quite taxing!
Step
1
Poke holes in snow
Start the activity by getting a stick, broom pole, or mop pole and heading out into the yard. Poke as many holes as you would like around the yard, mixing up the areas (under bushes, behind trees) so that your East Siberian Laika has a challenge in trying to find all of the holes and the goodies inside.
Step
2
Hide treats
Once you have all the holes poked, you can take some delicious and very aromatic treats to drop into each one of the holes. You will want to use smelly treats as opposed to dry kibble in order to make it a bit easier for your dog to find the items inside each hole. As your dog gets better at this activity, you can switch to less aromatic treats to make it more of a challenge.
Step
3
Mix up the items
As your East Siberian Laika gets more practice with Poke and Seek, you can switch from treats to things like toys or other random items instead, treating at the end once all items have been found. This is quite an advanced stage of the game, but it will definitely keep your dog thinking once things get more familiar.
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More Fun Ideas...

Guard Dog Training

If you want your East Siberian Laika to be a guard dog, then you can absolutely harness their natural protective nature. Search for a guard dog training program in your area to ensure that your pup receives the proper training in order to keep you, your family, and any other animals in your household safe. Keep in mind that a guard dog is different than a regular protector and is meant to keep people off of your property, whether that is your own house, or for example, a junkyard.

Socialization Outings

As mentioned throughout this article, the East Siberian Laika can be quite territorial and wary of strangers without proper socialization. If you are not wanting to mold your pup into a guard dog, then it may be beneficial to spend a great deal of time on socialization. Whether through classes or merely going on a lot of walks, proper socialization is extremely beneficial to the East Siberian Laika as a house companion.

Conclusion

Due to the fact that the East Siberian Laika has a tendency to be extremely territorial and aggressive towards other dogs (and humans if encouraged), they make excellent watchdogs. However, it is important to ensure that if you desire to have this breed strictly as a house pet, lots of socialization and exercise in a safe area is required. This breed is not really fit to just be taken on a jog around the city unless they have had plenty of chances to be socialized. Thankfully, these activities will provide plenty of opportunities to let your pup blow off steam, while also molding them into a wonderful pet to be around!