Karelo-Finnish Laika

25-30 lbs
Finnish Spitz
The Karelo-Finnish Laika was developed as a hunting dog in the Karelia area of Russia. They are an attractive looking dog with a rich thick fur that is a red coloration. Devoted to their owners, they are affectionate and loyal. But they do tend to distrust strangers and can bark when they arrive and be very standoffish and protective towards their family. Sensitive by nature, they respond best to praise, patience and kindness. If they are punished, this dog can hold a grudge and be stubborn and resentful when handled. While they normally get on well with other family dogs, they can be aggressive to unknown dogs that invade their territory. Being a hunter born and bred, they do tend to treat smaller pets as prey and will often give chase. But their loving nature and their attractive appearance makes for a beloved family member who will bond well with children and adults alike. While this dog matures quickly, they never lose their playful and animated nature and will be a starter for any game, walk or challenge that you can think up.
purpose Purpose
Hunting, Companion
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Spitz, Finnish Spitz

Karelo-Finnish Laika Health

Average Size
Male Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats
Height: 17-19 inches Weight: 25-30 lbs
Female Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats
Height: 16-18 inches Weight: 25-30 lbs
Major Concerns
  • None Known
Minor Concerns
  • None Known
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Ear Infection and Inflammation
  • Bloat
Occasional Tests
  • Ear Examination
  • Regular Full Physical Examination By Veterinarian
  • Blood Sugar Testing
  • Full Chemistry Panel Tests and Blood Count

Karelo-Finnish Laika Breed History

The smallest Laika of Russia is the Karelo-Finnish Laika. The red-coated Spitz dogs were bred to be more or less pure until 1930, although the years of World War ll saw many of these dogs lost and the breed in danger. Severe conditions, as well as starvation, meant that many dogs were in fact eaten for survival and caused the breed to be almost decimated. In Petrozavodsk, there remained only 24 registered dogs and then most were lost to rabies. In 1953 Russian cynologists imported two male dogs and one female of the Finnish Spitz from Finland and developed the breed by crossing them with the remaining red-coated Spitzes found in Southern Karelia, the Olonets Laika and the Karelian Laika. By 1970, the number of Karelo-Finnish Laika had risen to about 200 dogs in Moscow alone. Other breeders were known to have used Finnish Spitzes imported from Finland. The advantage of the Karelo-Finnish Laika is that they are smaller and therefore easier to transport on hunting trips. It also meant that the smaller dog could live in with the family and become a companion and watchdog.  In recent years the Karelo-Finnish Laika has risen in popularity due to their affectionate and friendly nature. But they do need careful, patient handling as they are sensitive to the mood of their master and can become sulky and resentful if mistreated. They make excellent hunting dogs for grouses, squirrel and other small game and have the heart and willingness to try for other game, although their size limits them to what they can handle.

Karelo-Finnish Laika Breed Appearance

The male Karelo-Finnish Laika has a more boxy body shape than the female, who has a more slender appearance. Their face is almost wolf-like in looks with a very pointed muzzle, round dark eyes, and sharply pointed ears. They look alert at all times and miss nothing. Underneath their dense double coat, they have a deep flat chest, strong muscular neck and short straight legs that provide speed and their round padded paws can turn them as quick as a shot. Their tail is set and carried high, often curling over their back. With a straight back and tucked up tummy, they have the body of an athlete. While this attractive dog is the smallest of the Russian Laika's, they make up for this in sheer energy and exuberance. Their dense double coat consists of an outer coat of coarse straight hair, while the undercoat is shorter, soft and dense. Acceptable colors are red or a variation of that color with white spotting on the chest and tip of the tail as well as white strip across the forehead in some dogs.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Karelo-Finnish Laika eyes
amber Karelo-Finnish Laika eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Karelo-Finnish Laika nose
Coat Color Possibilities
red Karelo-Finnish Laika coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Karelo-Finnish Laika straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Karelo-Finnish Laika Breed Maintenance

The rich dense fur of this canine requires brushing twice a week to keep the coat in great condition. If your dog has been out hunting, a thorough brushing once the dog returns will get rid of any dirt or debris picked up while out and about. The Karelo-Finnish Laika only requires a bath on an 'as needed' basis, which enables the natural oils to protect the dog when they are out and about in cold weather. The undercoat will shed annually although dogs living in warmer climates tend to shed all year. Regular brushing will reduce the amount of shed hair floating around your home. The Karelo-Finnish Laika is an extremely healthy dog and only requires extra care for their ears (to avoid any infections), weekly teeth brushing, and a nail trim as required.
Brushes for Karelo-Finnish Laika
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Karelo-Finnish Laika requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Karelo-Finnish Laika Temperament

Affectionate, friendly and loveable are words to describe the Karelo-Finnish Laika. However, they can also be sensitive to tone and resentful towards punishment, with some dogs carrying a grudge against their owners for mistreatment that damages their relationship forever. Kindness and patience should be practiced with this dog (or any dog for that matter) to get the best from them. They make great family pets, and have the energy and enthusiasm to play for hours with children. With other household dogs they are fine, although a strange dog encroaching upon their territory will bring out aggressive behavior. Away from home, they mix well with strange dogs. Because of their instinct, which is to hunt small animals, some household pets will be considered as prey so care is needed when raising rabbits, guinea pigs and other small creatures. This pup is intelligent and willing to learn but training does require patience and kindness. Expect to repeat the lessons frequently until they understand and get it. Make training fun or they will lose interest and focus. Several short fun sessions are better than one long tedious lesson. The Karelo Finnish Laika has an almost puppyish enthusiasm,  even when they are mature. They have a high energy level, and will bark to let you know who has entered the property. Alert, lively and with a sense of fun in the personality, this dog is an interesting companion.

Karelo-Finnish Laika Activity Requirements

The Karelo-Finnish Laika is a dog with a ton of energy, therefore they need a decent daily walk each day to keep them happy. They are willing to please but quite sensitive in nature, so during training be patient and prepared to go over and over the steps until your dog gets it. Keep training interesting with a lot of praise and a small treat here and there for work well done. The Karelo-Finnish Laika has an almost puppyish exuberance and loves to play. They bond well with children and will play their games and cause a lot of laughter as they show off and bound around. They require a yard that is well secured to prevent them chasing off after small prey-like animals or from protecting their patch from other dogs. When they are tired, they love to be close to their family and relish human companionship.
Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
20 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes
activity minutes

Karelo-Finnish Laika Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Karelo-Finnish Laika Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats at six months
Height: 10.5 inches Weight: 11.5 lbs
Female Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats at six months
Height: 9.5 inches Weight: 11.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats at 12 months
Height: 16.5 inches Weight: 21.5 lbs
Female Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats at 12 months
Height: 15.0 inches Weight: 21.5 lbs
18 Months
Male Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats at 18 months
Height: 18.5 inches Weight: 27.5 lbs
Female Karelo-Finnish Laika size stats at 18 months
Height: 17.5 inches Weight: 27.5 lbs

Karelo-Finnish Laika Owner Experiences

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