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ESL Breed Description

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Breed Organization

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Native Country

Other Names
East Siberian Laika, Vostotchno Sibirskaya Laika

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years

Litter Size
No Litter Information Available

Breed Group
FCI-Nordic Hunting Dogs

General Description

The East Siberian Laika is a Russian breed of dog of spitz type, a hunting dog originating in parts of Siberia east of the Yenisei River. It is a beautiful breed. The compact body as well as the white, grey, black, red and brown coat color enhances the wolfish appearance of the dog. This breed is actually presumed to have a close kinship to the primitive dogs. Similar to a wolf, a female East Siberian Laika comes in estrus only once a year.

This breed was primarily developed for hunters. The breed is acclaimed as one of the best hunting dogs for small and large game. This breed though is the quietest and the most well tempered dog among the four Russian Laikas. Thus the breed is kept by non-hunters being loyal companions and dependable watchdogs.

Breed Standard

Head: Not heavy. Skull is the shape of an isosceles triangle. Stop not pronounced. Clean muzzle. Tight lips.
Ears: Triangular, carried erect. Mobile. Pointed tips.
Eyes: Not large. Oval. Set obliquely in the skull. Dark color.
Body: Strong. Pronounced withers. Full chest is well let down. Broad, slightly sloped croup. Belly is tucked up. Short, slightly sloped loin. Solid, muscular back.
Tail: Carried in a sickle or curled over the back or the back of the thighs.
Hair: Long, coarse, dense, straight. Male has a mane and collarette. Dense, supple undercoat.
Coat: Pepper and salt, white, gray, black, shades of red or brown; spotted or mottled.
Size: Dog: 55 to 63 cm (22-25 in) ; Bitch: 53 to 61 cm (21-24 in).
Weight: 20 to 30 kg (44-66 lb).


The Eastern Siberian Laika originated in the large forests in the east. It is the result of crosses of various Laikas. This variety is used for hunting large northern game. This breed is famous because a Laika became the "first living ambassador from Earth" when he was hurtled into space aboard Sputnik II on November 3, 1957.


The dog is not aggressive to humans but it makes a good watchdog as it is always alert and it has an innate distrust of strangers. Highly territorial, this breed would need obedience training and socialization to curb the tendency to be aggressive and dominant to other dogs. Smaller pets would be very tempting to this breed because of its high prey drive.

This dog is not suited for life as a house dog. He needs space and considerable exercise.


The East Siberian Laika is a natural hunting dog used for a wide variety of small and large game, ranging from squirrels, marten, sable, and grouse to moose, bear, wild boar and mountain lions. They can also be used as sled dogs, and guard dogs.


This is a very hearty breed.

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

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If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

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Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.