West Siberian Laika

Home > Dog Breeds > West Siberian Laika
40-55 lbs
20-23"
Siberia
Zapadno-Sibirskaia Laika

The West Siberian Laika is a sturdy, rather intimidating dog with a rangy, wolf-like appearance.  He is a hardy dog with a very dense and harsh coat. The West Siberian Laika is similar to his cousin the East Siberian Laika but has a stronger prey drive and a slightly larger body. Along with the East Siberian Laika, the West Siberian Laika directly descends from the wolf. The West Siberian Laika has a keen sense of direction and can track game for many miles. Generally, he can make a good family companion as long as he has plenty of opportunity to play and has a job to perform each day. 

Purpose
Small and Large Game Hunter
Date of Origin
1940s
Ancestry
Wolf, Japanese and Chinese Dogs

West Siberian Laika Health

Average Size
Male West Siberian Laika size stats
Height: 21-24 inches Weight: 40-55 lbs
Female West Siberian Laika size stats
Height: 20-23 inches Weight: 40-55 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Mono/Bilateral Cryptorchidism
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Yearly Physical Examination
  • OFA on hips and elbows

West Siberian Laika Breed History

There are four different Laika breeds: Karelo-Finnish Laika, Russo-European Laika, East Siberian Laika, and West Siberian Laika. The Laika actually dates back to ancient times where he has been classified as an aboriginal primitive hunting dog. He does descend from the wolf and retains much of the wolf’s look and hunting instinct. The West Siberian Laika was a part of the Hanty and Mansi cultures within the Ural Mountain and West Siberia regions of Russia. The West Siberian Laika was used as a large and small game hunter in the region below the tundra zone where the Boreal Forest starts and the in the dense forested areas in the Ural Mountains. He was instrumental in the sable fur industry. When the sable nearly became extinct, the hunting of them ceased and the popularity of the West Siberian Laika sharply declined. There was a push to preserve the West Siberian Laika in the early 1900s. The breed standard was developed in the 1930s and in the 1940s the four Laika breeds were officially separated by region. The first West Siberian Laika to be imported into United States was by Dr. Vladimir Beregovoy, Ph.D. in 1992. Dr. Beregovoy was an immigrant from Russia and a breed enthusiast. Many speculate that without Dr. Beregovoy’s influence, this breed may never have come to North America. There have been about 21 West Siberian Laikas imported into the United States from 1992 to 2014. There are currently an estimated 300 West Siberian Laikas living in the United States. He was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1996.

West Siberian Laika Breed Appearance

The West Siberian Laika is classified as a medium to large breed Spitz-type breed. He has a wolf-like appearance that can be intimidating; however, he should never look coarse or massive. His nose is broad with wide nostrils and is always black in color. The West Siberian Laika has oval eyes that are very dark in color and set obliquely. He has ears that are set high on his skull and stand erect. The ears are triangular in shape and come to a sharp point at the tip. The West Siberian Laika has a dense, double coat. His topcoat is straight, medium length and harsh to the touch. The topcoat does stand away from the body because of the thickness of the undercoat. His undercoat is very dense, well-developed and softer to the touch. He has slightly longer hair on his cheekbones, forming a sort of beard. The West Siberian Laika can be found in several different colors but the most popular colors are white, red, salt and pepper and all shades of grey.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown West Siberian Laika eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black West Siberian Laika nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
red West Siberian Laika coat
Red
gray West Siberian Laika coat
Gray
white West Siberian Laika coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
West Siberian Laika straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

West Siberian Laika Breed Maintenance

The West Siberian Laika’s coat is many times compared to the German Shepherd Dog in terms of shedding. His double coat does shed seasonally and the loose hairs will float through the air and land on furniture, counters and clothing. When he is not shedding heavily, he needs to be brushed weekly to keep his coat shiny and healthy. When he is shedding heavily, he will need to be brushed daily. Use a slicker brush and metal comb for grooming. A deshedder and even a pin brush may also be useful tools to have in your grooming box. The West Siberian Laika does not have a strong dog smell even when he is wet. He does not require constant bathing. Expect to bathe your West Siberian Laika about two to three times a year. His coat is such that it naturally repels dirt since his coat is not oily like some breeds.

Brushes for West Siberian Laika
Slicker Brush
Comb
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
West Siberian Laika requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

West Siberian Laika Temperament

The West Siberian Laika is not meant for the first time dog owner simply because he is a stubborn dog that needs constant socialization and training. He will not do well in an apartment setting or a home with a small yard. The West Siberian Laika is an inquisitive dog and loves to go exploring. This dog is not meant to be left alone in the backyard for hours at a time. He will find something to occupy his time and can easily become a very destructive dog. He also likes to be vocal, he would alert hunters when he found his prey by barking, and can become an annoyance to the neighborhood if left to his own devices. Do not leave him alone with smaller pets in the home, he has a high prey drive and may harm ferrets, hamsters, birds or even cats. Generally, he can make a good companion dog as long as he understands his place within the pack or family.

West Siberian Laika Activity Requirements

The West Siberian Laika is a breed that requires a lot of exercise or he will get himself into trouble by finding things to occupy his time. A large fenced yard with plenty of toys is essential to keep him happy when you do not have time for him. He will do well with long daily walks through the neighborhood or visits to the dog park, although he should be monitored at the dog park with smaller dogs. The West Siberian Laika is not meant to be an apartment dog and will be extremely unhappy. He will become restless and may even become destructive. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

West Siberian Laika Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

West Siberian Laika Height & Weight

6 Months
Male West Siberian Laika size stats at six months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 22 lbs
Female West Siberian Laika size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 22 lbs
12 Months
Male West Siberian Laika size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 35 lbs
Female West Siberian Laika size stats at 12 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 35 lbs
18 Months
Male West Siberian Laika size stats at 18 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 47 lbs
Female West Siberian Laika size stats at 18 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 47 lbs

West Siberian Laika Owner Experiences

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd