Northern dog recognized very recently as a full-fledged breed, the Yakutia laika, pronounced as is whose exact spelling is “Laika of Yakutia” has been a companion for man for centuries. Classified in the category of primitive dogs, he is nevertheless known for his great sociability and his attachment to his home. Its great energy and endurance make it one of the favorite companions of athletes.
Photo credit: www.winterneverdies.com
The origins of the Yakuti Laika
The Yakutia laika Traditionally assists man on a daily basis in the large, harsh and icy spaces of the North. It is mainly found in northeastern Russia, in the Kolyma region. He pulls the sledges, protects the houses or even guards the herds of reindeer. He could also take care of postal transport.
Even today it is used to pull the sleighs and for the hunt. The first literary references to this dog date from the 17th century, and then arctic explorers regularly praise it. About 15,000 Laïkas were counted in the 19th century. This number has since been reduced to around 4,000 and a rigorous selection has been made. This allowed the Fédération Cynologique Internationale to recognize the breed in 2019, on a provisional basis.
The character of the Laika of Yakutia
The Laika is a dog very sociable, on condition of having been sensitized to others during his youth. Given his genetic background as a hunter, he is very playful and will only ask to exert himself in good company. He is a very reliable and curious dog who will be able to learn easily. He is neither fearful nor aggressive, he trusts the man he has known for centuries. Strangers do not turn him off any more than members of his household, to which he is very attached.
This makes it an ideal companion for a family with children, living in the great outdoors. Its dense fur matches a very cuddly character. Energy and intelligence are his main character traits. “Laïka” comes from the Russian “barking dog”, however it should be noted that it is a little noisy animal, which mainly speaks through the ears and only breaks its silence to warn or during games.
The physique of the Laika of Yakutia
The long hairs This dog’s warmth and thick skin attest to its Nordic origin. He keeps the habit of very cold seasons and outdoor life. In Russia, it can sleep in the snow, sometimes down to -40 ° C. He has a well-developed musculature, especially the male.
His compact physics, not very leggy, fits with his past as a hardworking and versatile dog. Males have an average size of 55 to 59 cm at the withers, females barely less. His muscles are built to pull heavy loads and run long distances. Its head is very balanced, triangular, and proportionate to the body.
The eyes are almond shaped and can be of several colors. Some have blue or minnow eyes as well. They are often edged with black hairs, while the nose appears on a white background. The ears are triangular, and often straight. The coat, although long, is rougher than soft. It is thick, and the very thick undercoat protects it from harsh weather conditions.
Its general appearance is nevertheless very attractive, with its thick fringes on the limbs, and its very bushy coiled tail. The hairs can be medium-long or long. Most of the time it is black and white, but other colors are possible in combination (gray, red spots …). It can be plain, and in this case, the hair will be white.
The Laika of Yakutia on a daily basis
From an early age, it is important to introduce this dog to other species of animals. This work will allow decrease your predatory instincts. During the walks, however, watch out for the resurgence of his character as a hunter: he could reappear if he crosses paths with small game.
It is namely that it responds to a smooth education. Coercive methods will not work with him, he is a very sensitive dog. You have to show firmness, but wrap it in a lot of positive.
His physical activity and maintenance
This dog from the great icy plains of the North, used to versatile physical work, will need big spaces to spend. Care must be taken to offer him very regular physical activity and sufficient. He is able to run for miles! This allows his master to practice many sports with him: cani-cross, cani-mountain biking, sledding … It is a dog who will be happy with sports sessions on a daily basis.
If his owner prefers to take him for a walk, it will vary the routes and plan a loop of at least an hour. With sufficient physical activity, he will be able to live calmly indoors. If he lives indoors, very frequent brushing is necessary to maintain his rich fur. This will prevent hair loss and knots. Given his taste for physical expenditure, he will need a rich diet, suitable for active life.
Namely: it is suitable for harsh temperatures from the North and will find it more difficult to withstand the heat. It can live indoors as well as outdoors. However, just because he lives outside does not mean that he will need less attention from his masters.
It should be noted that this dog is easily anxious during separations, it will be necessary to teach him little by little to remain alone if you have to be away.
Its lifespan is Eleven years on average, and in general he is in excellent health. However, some people have concerns about deafness, eye weakness, or joint dysplasia.
The Yakutia laika is an outgoing and very friendly dog. It is suitable for family life, or perhaps a significant support for more solitary activities such as hunting or sport. Provided you do not live in too hot regions, and take him regularly and exercise enough, he will bring a lot of happiness to his home.