The Yakutian Laika Dog Breed

Yakutian Laika In the Snow

At night the Yakutian Laika buries itself under a blanket or snow in it’s bed as temperatures drop. The ancient musher sits by their fire as these dogs yip and settle in for the night. Thanks to it’s thick coat it can handle the harsh environment.

These dogs are not only capable of working together as sled dogs, but they are great hunters, and guard dogs as well!

The Yakutian Laika History

The Yakutian Laika is an aboriginal breed from a vast arctic Region. They come from the same ancestors as other northern dogs like the Siberian Husky and West Siberian Laika. Siberia. Native Yakute people used this breed in ancient times for many different tasks. They considered the dog a member of the family and treated it with respect.

This breed did well throughout history. The breed was thriving into the mid-1800s until the breed population began to diminish in the 1900s. Enthusiasts started to reclaim the breed in 1998. The Russian Kynological Federation recognized the Yakutian Laika as a breed in 2004.

Where did the Yakutian Laika Come From?

Yakutian Laika Face

This breed originated in the Yakutia region of Russia. The Yakutes used these dogs for many different tasks. They were the first known people to use dogs to pull sleds! Often times, their furs were used in religious ceremonies and their most important role was transportations.

What Were They Bred For?

Yakutian Laika is a breed that was developed as a working dog for the Yakutes. This dog was used form many tasks:

  • Hunting
  • Sledding
  • Herding

These dogs are equally skilled in each!

AKC Org Breed Group: Foundation Stock Service (FSS)

Are They a Pure Breed?


Yakutian Laikas at a Glance

Good For Families
Tolerates Other Pets
Prey Drive
Health Score
Energy Level
Space Needs
Good for New Owners

Physical Traits

The Yakutian Laika is a fit, medium Sized dog. They are stocky but compact with longer legs. Because of their fur they tend to look much larger than their actual body size. Their ears are triangular in shape and stick up! These dogs have thick fur and loose skin.

The males and females have a noticeable size difference with the males being larger.

Breed Standard

Yakutian Laika Size

  • 21 – 23 inches
Yakutian Laika Puppy

Height measurements are always from the ground to the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades. The highest point on a dogs shoulder-blades are known as the withers.


40 – 55 pounds


Yakutian Laika Have thick coats. It’s coat is fine and dense. These coats can be kept in check by weekly brushing. During shedding season they will much more brushing. There are several brushes available specifically for brushing dogs with undercoats. Giving them the occasional bath will keep them clean.

Check their nails to make sure they are not split or cracked and trim as needed.

Check their ears to make sure they are not full of debris or wax and clean as needed.

Do They Drool?


Best Climate for the Yakutian Laika

Yakutian Laika has such a thick coat. They don’t do well in a warm or hot climate. These dogs came from extremely cold conditions! These dogs are better for areas that can become very cold. During Summer months try to keep this dog out of the heat.


The Yakutian Laika is intelligent and loyal! They are capable of so many tasks and love stimulation. Because they were raised as family in ancient days they are attached to it’s owner and families. They are attentive to it’s owner. These dogs also enjoy being around children and form tight bonds as family dogs.

How Easy are They to Train?

Because these dogs are so attentive and capable of so many complex tasks they are capable of being trained for complex tasks. They look for human guidance which helps training. These dogs are also able to perform independent tasks. Because of that independence they can be stubborn and mischievous. These dogs will do well with positive reinforcement training. They should be taught social behaviors to promote good behavior early to make them great companions throughout their lives!

Sledding is inherent in the breed and they naturally learn to do this skill easily.

Do They Tolerate Other Pets?

This breed love to play with other dogs. They were used as sled dogs and because of that they are used to and enjoy being around other dogs. Raising this dog with other animals from a young age helps them tolerate other animals throughout their life.

Are They Good for Families?

These dogs can be a great family companion and form strong bonds with their humans. They need socialization training to make acceptable behavior around people but once properly trained these dogs can be a great part of the family! They love interacting with children and can be a great part of any childhood!

Do They Have a Strong Prey Drive?

The Yakutian Laika is comfortable around other dogs but they do still have a moderate prey drive. They can be trained to be obedient to not chase after other animals.

Are They Social With Other People?

The Yakutian Laika’s can be friendly around other people. People like these dogs if they are well trained because they have great personalities and are smart.

Is The Yakutian Laika Good for New Owners?

The Yakutian Laika can have a stubborn personality and be quit a handful for new owners if they have not learned how to train a dog. They require a lot of attention and space. If you do decide to get one of these make sure to provide them with lots of structure and training.

On the other hand if you plan on using them to pull a sled then have at it!

Yakutian Laika Health

The Yakutian Laika is a hardy breed, and to keep him that way, responsible breeders check for health concerns such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat and certain eye anomalies.

This is a healthy and hardy breed. They don’t have many breed specific issues other than natural issues most dogs have when getting old. They have a shorter lifespan than most dogs their size but still live happy health issue free lives of treated well.

The Yakutian Laika Lifespan

  • 10 – 12 years

Health Issues

The Yakutian Laika can have the following health concerns during their lifetime;

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Certain eye anomalies

There are several recommended tests for this dog. They are OFA Hip X-ray (or PennHip), OFA Elbow X-ray, OFA Eye Exam and Routine Health Exam


Yakutian Laika Side Posing

This dog does well to stay active. They have a very high energy level and need an outlet to stay active. They are capable of running, pulling a sled, or playing fetch. Take this dog outside often to keep them active!

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