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Laika vs American fur hunting dogs
edited February 2013
There is a discussion on Russian laika forum about laikas in US
What do you think guys? We know laika is more "universal" dog, but how laikas vs American breads for squirrel and raccoon hunting.
Only have experience with mine.
Here's my guess, and maybe it's just my dog. I know she has tons of "tree", but I don't know that she has the nose to be a great coon dog. She trees squirrels largely by sight, which is probably why we were slow to start on coon.
I think that anytime you take a multipurpose hunting dog like the Laika and compare it to a dog produced strictly for one specific game, the multipurpose dog will look weaker than the game specific breed.
America seems to be all about single-game dogs. We produce dogs who are great at one set of skills, but useless outside of those skills.
The Laika comes from a different world than the western hunting breeds, so I think it's hard to compare.
I'm not displeased by any means. We've had a blast in general and I'm happy to hunt with her, but Brad's probably onto something. Laiki are meat dogs. Coon dogs are, well, coon dogs. Tuula trees coons. Incidentally, she trees turkeys, squirrels and the occasional bowhunter. She bays groundhogs, fights possums, and gets sprayed by skunks, too. I'm not overly upset by any of these things. They aren't good or bad, they're just part of what she's programmed to do. Except maybe treeing the very annoyed-looking bowhunter. Sorry, dude.
, that is true of dogs recently, but some of the old breeds here in the US are useful on many different types of game. The mountain cur is one. The Plott hound is another--you can hunt damn near anything with either breed.
edited February 2013
I don't think it is so much Laikas versus Curs. Nor it is breeding for specialists.
It is more the culture of hunting with dogs. Americans have competitions. Our hunts, sporting events and trials reflect that, and many of them tend to be time-based. When things become competitive, then specialization and certain temperament traits naturally follow since those characteristics are what yield the best dogs within our competitive systems.
The desire for specialized breeds is derived from the British estates where they have driven shoots where it is typical up to 3 000 pheasants could be shot in a day. Also, the British upper-class highly valued specialized dogs since economic status reflect the number of dogs owned, especially if each dog is only good for one function.
For some reason, Americans, even as early as 1700s with fox-hunting, wanted to mimic that lifestyle. On the other hand, our frontier past and life of poverty on the farm developed multipurpose dogs much like Germany or Russia. Competitive hunting didn't arise until 1950s when people began to be able to afford more luxury items and time.
I have thought if I was going to get a bird-dog or a duck-dog, I would get a dog from
Jagdgebrauchshundverein - USA
. From what I have observed in Europe is the trials are based on points and each dog are judged individually instead of being stacked against each others.
I am not saying competitions are bad. They certainly do lead to innovations. Long-distance Alaskan Huskies are constantly being outcrossed for maximum performance. Border Collie - Jack Russell Terriers are at the edge of flyball, Innovations are good. However, it just seem a bit weird to compare two continents when the development of dogs to fit the environment are drastically different.
edited February 2013
I think that cur and feist are similiar to the Laika in hunting except in hunting with strange dogs; most Laikas do not do well in that format. Competition hunting drives breeding in the US were testing drives breeding the Europe. There are a few Laika that will hunt with strange dogs but they were not designed to do that. People hunt or own what fits them. I like dogs that are different mainly because the fewer that own them I find easier to do the intended purpose of the breed. Jagdterriers I didn't need to train to hunt they just hunt. Laika I did not have to train to tree they will tree if they are put in the woods.
As far as versatility verse non-versatility the Laika can be trained to be game specific many of the profesional hunters in Russia did that. One of the things Vladimir wrote about in his book was that if you want a Laika to not hunt something ignore it. I ignore Ivan and tell him to "Leave it" and "come on" if he messes with a possum. Now he has started to ignore them because he knows it does not please me and the Laika wants to please me.
Hounds are more hard headed because they hunt for themselves and I found harder to break from off game. The positive is they will not quit on a track as easy; especailly on game that runs long distances or will stay treed for long periods and in some cases days. Both benificial in big game and coon hunting where the dog has to search long distances. These are just my thoughts.
I have owned curs & fiest that hunt just like my laikas do. Hot nosed, winding machines. Run a track on a dead run with their head up. They use there ears & eyes, a lot. Tree anything from mice to partridge to coons & squirrels even turkeys. But a coonhound is a different type of dog completely. Cold nosed trackers. Can't compare that to a laika. Some Pointer bird dogs make great squirrel dogs. Some people use different breeds of dogs together to hunt the same prey. Running hogs & bear with hounds & catch dogs. Birds with pointers & retrievers. Its mostly what animals you hunt also. Some dogs are broke of different game to only pursue what you want. You just turned a "universal " dog into a broke dog. & selective breeding for competition & state game laws. Areas to hunt. There a lot of reasons why. So people try to breed what they want & this is what we all get in the end.
That's true, curs & fiests will hunt most things. I guess my thoughts were mislead.
THANKS BRAD IVE HUNTED ALL MY LIFE I GOT ME A LAIKA PUP IM GOING TO TRY ONE SOUNDS LIKE THERE GOOD DOGS. PEOPLE TOLD ME JUST PUT IN THE WOODS. JIMMY BARNETT.
Jimmy, that's true for their hunting instincts. It's the obedience training that must be done. Some laika like to do their own thing. So come and stay are a must before hitting the woods. I also think pups need to socialize a lot! Different people and different dogs can make a laika act strange. You're on the right road already, you got yourself a laika... best of luck to ya!
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