Limitations of wsl

edited May 2014 in General
I'm doing as much research as I can before purchasing, or rather attempting to purchase a West Siberian Laika. Is there anything they are specifically bad at? Or stubborn/hard to train to? I'm looking for a dog I can train to go everywhere with me. Not be to scary but able to look scary if need be....I don't think I would ever want him to attack just bark and distract/draw attention. I'm a troubleman for a power company and have to turn power on or off in some shady neighborhoods and I work 3 shift :/ I also very much enjoy hunting with dogs, mostly raccoons squirrels and track wounded that order. I would need a very obedient dog that would heal, without a leash but still able to go hunting and peel off to tree a coon.... I have trained a dachshund to hunt coon but he can't get in and out of the truck on his own, not to mention he's def not gonna scare anyone wanting to make a headache for me lol......would all of this be to much to ask of this breed? Are they better as a farm dog that's left alone but hunted often? I would have the dog by me almost 24/7 except when I had family functions, and even then he/she could often come so the time to train would be ample.....getting a dog is still about 6 m away but I'm an info junkie :) and there arnt any detailed description on what this dog can't do probably due to is adaptability and versatility .....sry such a long post thanks in advance


  • edited May 2014
    I think you need to send Vladimir Beregovoy an e-mail. He knows more about what other people have done with their Laikas more than anyone else, including things which are considered as unorthodox by most hunters.

    He would be the person who can tell you about probability and versatility.
  • Can't hardly mention WSL without that man lol, I tried once from anothe web site but I heard he wa semi retired.....maybe I'll have better luck through here :D
  • edited June 2014
    The thing is, a lot of people will say "Laikas can only do this and that", but Vladimir always has information which break stereotype.

    And for myself, well, I never bothered trying to train my Laika to do the things you mentioned. So, I can't say things if I never bothered doing it in the first place.
  • Many say the laika is hard to train or recall but I have trained them to do all obediance. One I trained last year at profesional dog trainer school.

  • I dunno that Laika are very scary to other people. Mine love people.
  • edited May 2014
    I agree with brad. Not to scary. But I've seen mean laika before.

    The laika is still a dog. It's up to the dogs owner to teach the dog and socialize it. Not all laika would be a perfect fit for you, but most would. They are people friendly but I feel sorry for whoever messes with its master. You might have to stop working once and a while to go get your laika that treed a coon or house cat but I think it would fit your needs. The hunting shouldn't be problem for the laika.

    When I was growing up we always had a English Sheppard. Just a yard dog that would tree squirrel and coons or go to work with you. Mostly construction work. Exactly what you described you are looking for. The problem with Sheppard's is not all are hunting dogs. The laika remind me of these English Sheppard's around the house. But more of a treeing dog.

    Problems I have with laika. Chicken killer's, keep the chickens fenced up. Dog hair everywhere when they shed out. Most of the time when I let my laika out around the house, I have to get it from a tree somewhere. One minute she's with you the next she's treed behind the neighbors house. They will go hunting! But that's why I love laika. They go hunting...
  • Sounds like it is better for you to look at different breeds.
    They are people friendly and if one messes with with you they will think its a game of some sort.
  • edited July 2014
    Thanks, I'm heading to hawii for about 6m or a year then I'll be back and prolly looking for a dog. Between the 9 nieces and nephews I have (all hunt,fish ect) and being the only male figure for them to look up to,a dog to go hunting with us will be a must. I'm still working where I will live after work and what I will do between now and then but I think it will work out good. I will keep reading and staying up to date on here,thanks!
  • Our WSL will bark in an alerting manner if someone strange approaches the house. If we introduce him to someone, no worries other than he gets too playful.

    Alpom is right, they tend to treat everything as a game. Akela will get down real low looking like he's going to pounce (which he will), but his tail wags indicating he thinks this is a game. Most people don't read the body language and think he is being aggressive. But, that's the WSL nature when baying prey: intimidate and out maneuver. He's never hurt anyone or another dog. But he will wrestle hard until he's completely spent. I have not met a dog he cannot out pace. He once wore out three Huskies - at once!

    As for obedience, I have found him to be very independent. So, learning basic obedience has take much longer than expected. The more often we work together, the better. Even then, when his instincts engage, it's very hard to get his attention for a command.
  • I am a life long Laika fancier. This is my favorite type of dog. I can tell you that Laikas has its own limitations. First of, this is not a city dog and not that kind of dog, on which Cesar Milan does his wonder works in training. Laika is happy, when he is used for hunting or allowed to investigate the surrounding and hunt on his own, at least digging and killing rodents. Laika needs regular time for free off leash exercising in a safe place. In a good Laika, hunting overrules everything else, especially in a young dog. When he is on the loose, he goes to investigate. This is not a small city yard dog, will bark at other dogs, passing by, will tree your neighbor's cat, dig your beautiful grass lawn and shed heavily, when in season. However, if you have a house on a large piece of land or, better yet in a wilderness environment, this is aright dog for you. Laika easily learns to leave farm animals or house pets alone, riding in a car and be good family dog, but only if you give him enough time to satisfy curiosity and drain energy. Otherwise, better buy an Airedale Terrier. They make most versatile all around dogs, even in a city. Laika is an independent thinker and hunter. He has plenty of initiative and decides what to hunt and how to handle every kind of game. For example, when you hunt squirrels, the dog works like machine, one squirrel after another. When you think this is enough, the dog thinks of the next squirrel and does not come up! I usually take my Laika on the leash, when I shoot the last squirrel. When under the tree, Laika stays on the opposite side from you all the time. This may be a frustrating experience how to catch your dog, when he still wants to hunt. Siberian hunters think that a Laika, which can be easily called off the game, is a bad Laika. You may sit on a log and wait patiently, when your dog will gets tired and comes up to you...
  • Sounds like patience is the hardest part, but other the that it seems as if they are a great hunting breed, I plan on purchasing one when I can give the pup what he needs( land time ect) the only extra thing I would ask is for him/her to come with me where I go. I would sill hunt home 3-4 times a week or running at least everyday if not 2x (wife runs a lot) then free huntin in the woods whenever season allows.....the extra would be the companion part
  • Laika is a very faithful dog, especially in woods, during hunting. The dog will hunt with you and for you, very different from a scent hound, which goes like a missile over miles. Whatever Laika finds interesting, according to his doggy judgment, he barks and he barks to attract your attention. The more attention you give, the more encouragement the dog receives. This dog hunts not just like being your servant, but rather like a partner. If you are not happy with what Laika finds, just ignore it and call off or lead your dog away. If you like it, shoot it or pet the dog and express it in nice tone and words. Dealing with big predators, Laika will be your protector. Some Laikas are protective against violent humans as well, but those are not frequent.
  • Listen to what Vladimir is telling you. Yes I have trained Laika to do all kinds of things from obedience to agility and even started the initial phase of bite work. They do it for the person that pours their heart into them. I have hunted all types of hunting dogs but I love this breed because they are a true hunting partner. As I train three puppies for other people it is such a joy to watch this dog love to please and hunt with me.

    They are a special hunting dog and breed. As stupid as this might sound when I turn mine loose to hunt it makes me reflect that this dog and man were and still are a team today even in a modern World. No other animal shares that bond or relationship with man.
  • Not stupid at all @dpetty. Pretty awesome if you ask me.
    I've only had my pup for a short while, but he's already very bonded to me and likes to go out and stalk with me. It's really fun to interact with him out in the woods.
  • To emphasise: although laika is a hunting machine he does bond and also shows affection. While in the woods and the laika runs by you and keeps on going past you the point to keep in mind is that he does this because he sees us as part of the team. Eventually he will come in get a Pet and a rub and off he goes again. Some see this constant running off as a lack of affection but in laika language the fact that he comes back to ckeck in - this is affection. The key in my opinion is to spend quality time with a puppy and this time includes time in the woods. These dogs bond greatly but dont show it always in ways that modern lap dogs show it. We just have to accept the fact that the laika has a greater love than us humans and that is the love of hunting, but the good news is he wants us to hunt with him so in actuality we are his best friend. With modern dogs hunters take their dogs hunting, with laika they going hunting with or without us and they love it when we help him get his quarry. Thus to be a laikas best buddy that bond really fully develops while hunting together.
  • Menk,

    Awesome can't say it any better!
  • The more I learn, the more I like them.....if situation allowed I would get on right now. But being in Hawaii I'll prolly have to wait until spring. Then I can get one and give him the attention he deserves. Has any one done any sledding with them? I read they are willing to pull and take to it well. Just wondering. I'm kind of and info type person and would really like to use my pup to his full potential when I do get him. Plus it would b a good exercise in the off season.
  • Kicksledding is probably the only weight they might be able to pull safely.
  • yah the dagger for firewood analogy really explains it lol. WSL is just for hunting, thank you all for indulging my curiosity. I really am a information junky :)
    I would absolutely love to have a WSL but I would also want it with me all the time. This breed is perfect for the hunting style I enjoy, everything about the information i have gotten so far is showing me that this is the one stop dog for all the small game hunting needs i have....the one last one would be blood trailing, they seem to have the nose for it and the drive but i curious to know if anyone has had any luck with this? People will pay a lot of $ for this around where I live especially if its a trophy buck, but I'm unsure if this is something they would be willing to do more then must keep you dog on a leash and they semi pull you along until they find the deer.....interested in all things you can hunt:)
  • edited October 2014
    I read a thread on a big-game hunting forum where one houndsman actually traveled to Sweden to participate in the brown-bear hunt there. He said hound-owners would not be impressed with hunting spitzes since they run on hot trails, and don't have cold-noses. He witnessed them giving up after 1/2-mile.

    But to be honest, from personal experience, I think this fit Canadian hunts. We don't have very many roads, so if your dog is bayed up, you have to walk in. Quads get stuck in most places. The only truly reliable mean of transportation is horses, mules or foot. Trucks can only get someone so far. And after being on a few bear hunts hosted north of Vancouver, I really don't want to walk in to a bayed up hound. It's okay if there's a truck available, but with all the forestry-roads gated, it's a pain in the behind.

    Besides, I ran into a wolf a few days ago. It was friggin' big. I have gotten used to seen the smallish Eurasian wolves, which are about the same size as the coyotes I got used to seeing, and wasn't really prepared to see a Canadian wolf in the wilderness. So, I almost pissed my pants.

    I am not sure how ranchers and farmers mistaken coyotes, German Shepherds or Alaskan Malamutes as true wolves. They are in two completely different size categories. It also made me realize the so-called volkodav, or "wolf-crushers", have no chance when faced against a northern wolf.

    And that was when I became appreciative of the Laikas' wolf-avoidance trait. If I was running a hound, that dog would had turned up dead.
  • edited October 2014
    Blood-tracking is easy though. Most breeds can do it. All of my dogs have had done it. Some better than others, of course.

    The only thing is that Jack Russells and dachshunds are more popular because they can be carried on a horse or in a shoulder-bag more easily.
  • i have no interest in a deep me walking 5-10 miles for a coon when theres is probably one within 5-10 feet seem silly. they are vastly under hunted in my area an are all over the place. i just can't shine very well and would love a dog to go with. no wolves around here, only coyotes and small ones at that, they keep to themselves unless its breeding season and then its usually to chase dogs off rather then to attack em.
  • He said hound-owners would not be impressed with hunting spitzes since they run on hot trails, and don't have cold-noses. He witnessed them giving up after 1/2-mile.

    But to be honest, from personal experience, I think this fit Canadian hunts. We don't have very many roads, so if your dog is bayed up, you have to walk in.
    You just made a very important statement there Dave.
    All the time we hear about how terrible the Laikas are because they don't follow the game for a long time.
    This may be a good thing, if you have roads all over the place like we do here in Scandinavia. The dog can be picked up or cut off anywhere at any time.

    Laikas come from an area where roads are not present, except for the term; "the end of the road". After that...nothing. Just wilderness.
    There is a reason why they are the way they are. They would be lost if they where to hunt like a hound, or like some of our own Scandinavian spitz breeds. The Siberian taiga is not the kind of cultured forests as we have here With a spiderweb of roads running through it.
    The taiga give and the taiga take. Dogs die there for a number of reasons.

    Laikas genetics is not something you can crush in an instant... :)
    Laikas genetics is something that must be accepted and embrased for what it is. If you don't like it, no need to change it. Get something else.
  • edited October 2014
    Laikas come from an area where roads are not present, except for the term; "the end of the road". After that...nothing. Just wilderness.
    There is a reason why they are the way they are. They would be lost if they where to hunt like a hound, or like some of our own Scandinavian spitz breeds. The Siberian taiga is not the kind of cultured forests as we have here With a spiderweb of roads running through it.
    The taiga give and the taiga take. Dogs die there for a number of reasons.
    I wish I had discovered Rokslidie forum or some of the New Zealand hunting forums before getting a Laika. It would had made the learning curve much less steep. Would had saved me lots of mistakes and money.

    None of them have anything to do with hunting dogs. But that's more of the fault of me trying to learn how to use the terrain, and not the dog. It doesn't make me a better hunter, but it does allow me to stay out longer and push deeper.
  • Can u exsplain how the hunt is diffrent? What was the hardest part to pick up on? Or the harder things to train? I havr around 1000 acers I can hunt, typically we 4 wheel to a spot the get out hunt a 5 mile radius and ten 4 wheel to a diffrent spot. One thing I think the lakia would excell at is coyote decoying, which is they bark and entice a coyote to give chase then run back to the hunter to shoot em....usually cur dogs are used and the hardest part is discouraging to far of a range or to willinness to fight....essentially you want the dog to play tag but not get caught. (I don't plan on doing this just wanted to know ur thoughts on it)
  • edited October 2014
    In New Zealand, there are no access-roads and off-road motorized vehicles are illegal. So, they often have 3-days to 3-weeks self-supported hunts in pursuit of hogs and feral deer. There are no cabins or homes to go to after a good day. One have to plan to stay toasty, but one can't bring so many things that they quickly tire.

    So, I can't really employ the same strategy southern hunters have where their own hunting ground is in their backyard. To them, staying overnight is like camping. They bring all the heavy comforts with them on their quads or in the trucks.

    For someone like me, following the advice of southerners mean spending money on the wrong gears; and also spending more time learning from my own mistakes. It becomes repetitive because there's no need to repeat the same ones other people before. By doing so, it makes everything harder than should be, and there are lots of delays. If I had discovered forums like Rokslide or Alaska Outdoors Directory earlier, then I wouldn't had to do everything twice over.

    But if you're in the backcountry, you can't really spend a lot of time camping-- the key is covering a lot of ground on foot. You get up early, you go to bed late. There's only 3 hours to hunt in the morning and 3 hours in the evening, otherwise the forest is dead. Travelling and scouting takes place mid-day. There's only 10 minutes to break down camp, eat breakfast and get going. Repeat in the evening with setting everything up.

    Here, using an off-road vehicle would just get you stuck in the swamps. If one has an amphibious vehicle, then it's easier. However, it's really expensive to purchase an Argo.

    However, that means I have to acknowledge the limitation of travelling 15km a day (9mi) without hunting on rough grounds; or the limitation of covering only 50km (30mi) in good weather and easy terrain. A savant like a hound can cover much more ground.
  • Yesh no wounder you guys don't use hounds! It's not unusual for us to look at a buddies track ad say"get the truck he's over 10 miles away" then you spend a lot of the time drivin around when you can see coon tracks in fresh snow right in front of you....that's frustrating to me. I want a dog that will get out and start getting without the truck rides and pointlessly long chases. I'll be a hunting fools when I start my new shift this spring, 3pm-11pm I'll be able to squirrl hunt early morning coon hunt late at night coyote hunt the weekends deer hunt most mornings in the fall.....Dream come true just glad I found a versatile dog that can keep up...every other traditional Houndsman had told me I'll need 4-5 dogs glad that's false.....can't wait for spring, any one have any pup they are planning on beig rdy then? I will have around 2 months off to bond an begin training
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