FCI group 5, section 2, standard 306
The West Siberian Laika is sinewy and manoeuvrable. Compared to the East Siberian Laika, his body is lighter built and also the head is more narrow.
The West Siberian Laika is an all-round hunting dog, used for hunting birds and small game, but can also be used for hunting big game.
Because of the arctic circumstances in the country of origin, where temperatures can reach -40°C – or even -50°C –, the coat is very
important. It has to be double and very dense, it should feel hard and may not be too long. In summer, the coat is thinner. Very characteristic is the beard, longer hair on the cheek bones. The West Siberian Laika has a wolf-like appearance. The most desired colour is sable with a light mask, although almost all colours and colour combinations are allowed. In general, Laikas are well-built and powerful dogs.
The West Siberian Laika originally comes from the North Ural and West Siberia. Present West Siberian Laiki have primarily been developed from 2 types: the Mansijskaja and the Chantejskaja Laika. These 2 types show a lot of similarities in size, colour and way of use. There are some differences, however.
The Mansijskaja type is lighter built, the stop is less pronounced, the head is more narrow and these dogs have a longer muzzle. Furthermore, this type has less coat that forms no collar on
The Chantejskaja type is more heavily built, has a broader skull, a more pronounced stop and a shorter muzzle. This type has more coat and a well-developed collar on the neck.
The Laikas we see nowadays are mixtures of both types, but mostly one of the types can be recognized in a dog’s exterior.
The original breed description is from 1928, the most recent one is from 1980.
The West Siberian Laika is a medium-sized, slightly rectangular, lively and agile dog.
Equilateral triangle shaped, dry. Gradual stop, long muzzle, dry lips;
Scissor bite, teeth white and large;
Oval, slanting, dark in colour;
Pricked, set on high, pointed;
Strong, straight back with very pronounced withers. Short, souple loins. Broad and muscular croup, slightly sloping. Well developed chest. Belly lightly tucked up;
Strong, straight back with very pronounced withers. Short, souple loins. Broad and muscular croup, slightly sloping. Well- developed chest. Belly lightly tucked up;
Long front legs, well defined angulations in shoulder and upper arm. Pastern not long and elastic, well developed bone. Well defined angulated and strong hind legs, muscular;
Oval, tight toes, dew claws are not allowed;
Strong curl, carried over back or buttocks;
Typical for the breed is a short trot, alterning with gallop;
Hair of top coat hard, coarse and straight, well developed under coat. Due to the under coat, the top coat stands off and appears profuse. The coat is shorter on head, ears and front side of the limbs. The hair is longer on withers, neck and rear side of the limbs and forms a beard on the cheek bones, a collar on the neck and slight feathering on the rear side of the limbs;
Grizzle, white, red and grey in all shades. Black is permitted, also particolours and patches of the same colour;
Male dog 55-60 cm
Bitch 51-58 cm
The West Siberian Laika is balanced, self-confident and self-conscious. He is affectionate and loyal to the family and the herd. He is also social and friendly towards strangers and shows no aggression towards humans.
Usually, he will not start a fight with other dogs, but he can defend himself
well and effectively, if needed, but he will never fight without a reason.
The West Siberian Laika is intelligent, anxious to learn and can easily be trained. He has to be raised in a soft and friendly way, a hard treatment should be avoided.
The West Siberian Laika has an excellent hunting instinct by nature and has a remarkable sense of direction, like the other Laika breeds. He will never get lost and will always be able to find his way back. The movements and reactions are fast. The scent, sight and hearing are accurate and well-developed. While
hunting, the West Siberian Laika searches in a large area for game and uses his scent (either in the air or by tracking). When game is found, the West Siberian Laika is persistent, but keeps contact with the hunter, the latter defines the rules. Barking sound is loud and melodious and depends, expressing the course of events.
The West Siberian Laika is a healthy breed. Not many health problems occur, although some cases of
epilepsy, eye problems and bite problems are known.
The West Siberian Laika is a lively dog with a very good endurance. He needs a lot of exercise, and needs to run off-leash. If this is not the case, he will try and find another - mostly not a positive - way to lose his energy. Moreover, every Laika has at least a good (but often an excellent) hunting instinct. This means that there is a high chance that the dog will chase game as soon as there is an opportunity. Because of his hunting method, it is not unlikely that the owner needs to be patient for a couple of hours, before the dog will return. In many
countries this is not allowed and a dog hunting solitary and without permission can even be shot.
Therefore it is very important that, when choosing a Laika, one should realize that the natural looks should not be the only important fact. Along with it comes natural behaviour and this may not be convenient in all situations. Especially when keeping a Laika as a family dog only, there are some consequences to it, like finding a way for the dog to lose its energy and to use its hunting instinct.