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East Siberian Laika?
edited February 2012
Is there an East Siberian Laika or have they been merged with another dog group?
edited November 2011
I think Brad is still tweaking... Give it time.
There's a few he is still missing: Norrbottenspitz, a literal offshoot of the Finnish Spitz, which the FS is the same breed as Karelo-Finnish Laika. There is some debate whether or not Karelian Bear Dog and Russo-European Laika are the same breeds; but most agree the two are related.
I am not even sure what you would consider the Norwegian Black Elkhound, Norwegian Grey and the Swedish (Jamthund) as or how closely related they are to the Russian laikas. They are mentioned as recommended breeds, along with the Lundehund, in the famous hunting manual though.
As far as I understand it they are still considered a separate breed, tho there is no distinct difference between the WSL and the ESL (as far as I can tell, anyway).
I asked Vladimir about this, he wrote...
"East Siberian Laika is thriving and almost all of them are used and bred by hunters in Russia and in Scandinavian countries."
edited November 2011
He's right, Brad. They have breed clubs in Sweden, Norway and Finland. One of the Swedish Vallhund breeders I converse with is planning to get a East Siberian Laika when she moves out into the country.
A large part of this is because the Russians, Romanians and Ukrainians transformed the West Siberians into boar-dogs and bear-dogs due to the low market value of the commercial fur trade; but people still want dogs bred for both moose and upland games, hence why some uses the East Siberian.
To give you an idea how low the demand for bear-dogs is... Finland only issues about 70 permits a year for the brown bear while 30,000-60,000 permits are issued for moose every year.
Unfortunately the squirrel-dog folks in North America are having a heck of a time of finding a West Siberian for import that is still birdy enough not to go after large games.
East Siberian Laikas are quite popular in Russia. ESL is bigger, heavier boned and overall somewhat coarser, then WSL. ESL is allowed to be almost of any coat color, including patchy black and white like in REL. WSL is agouti gray (like wolf or coyote), pale red, white and any shade of gray with white patches in any proportion. Originally, there were many black, black and tan and black and white WSL. Black and white puppies can be found in some WSL litters until present. Most recent breed standard does not allow this. Until WWII, REL were predominately agouti gray dogs. They still occurred in 70th among Laikas of hunters not interested in showing. To make work of show judges easier and help to distinguish WSL from REL, only black and white coat color was reserved for REL. Light built with longer ears and longer muzzle REL very similar to WSL, except the coat color, can be seen until present. All these peculiarities have no effect on hunting abilities and usually are not interesting to the practical hunters.
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