Pet Advisor Blog

Karelo-Finnish Laika – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Small to Medium
Weight: 26-35 pounds
Height: 15-19 inches
Longevity: 15
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: Medium
Compatibility to other pets: Medium

Adopt a Karelo-Finnish Laika, Dog Breed Guide


The Karelo-Finnish Laika is native to the Russian region that was once known as Karelia. They are the smallest of the Laika dog family. Some believe that they are closely related to the Finnish Spitz but should be considered as a different breed. But the Finnish Kennel Club and the Russian Kennel Federation worked to have these dogs under one classification. Even in its native country Russia, it is often called the Finnish Spitz.

Official Name

Karelo-Finnish Laika
Other Name:
Finsk Spets
Finnish Spitz


Date – Ancient Times
Country – Russian cities of Petrozavodsk, Moscow and Leningrad.
Family / Group – Northern, Nordic, Non-sporting, Spitz

Recognized By

Continental Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
Kennel Club of Great Britain
Australian National Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
American Pet Registry, Inc.
American Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.


Native to Russia and were developed in the areas of Petrozavodsk, Moscow, and Leningrad, the Karelo-Finnish Laika is one of the dog world’s most ancient breeds and one of Russia smallest Laikas. This particular Nordic breed has been subjected to debacle and debate. Purist fans of these dogs consider them a separate breed from their closely related cousins the Finnish Spitz. They were often bred together in Russia and other northern Scandinavian countries. But the Finnish Kennel Club together with the Russian Kennel Federation worked for the two dogs to be treated as one purebred.


Karelo-Finnish Laika is like the fox-like and medium-sized Finnish Spitz dogs but is relatively smaller. But asides from the minor physical difference they share the same set of traits. This small Russian Laika’s are known to be loyal, friendly and lively. But they do not lose their cautious trait, especially in new situations, places, and people. They may look like foxes, but some find them cat-like when their behavior is concerned. They are also dogs that are independent and highly intelligent.

Bred For

Karelo-Finnish Laika are dogs that are great bird hunters. Fastly becoming a popular companion pet.


The Karelo-Finnish Laika will do okay in an apartment and without a yard provided it gets enough exercise. Prefers cool climates.


The Karelo-Finnish Laika has a self-cleaning coat, as do most other Arctic dogs. This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder.


Obedience training is possible only if trained by trainers with natural, gentle, calm authority.


Generally healthy, the Karelo-Finnish Laika may suffer obesity and minor heart problems.


This Russian spitz needs plenty of exercises, including daily, long walks or a jog. This dog breed makes an excellent jogging companion.