First time posting... West Siberian Laika, and sled dog team in Alaska...

edited February 2017 in General
Greetings fellow Laika enthusiasts! I am writing from Nenana Alaska. I have been living in Alaska for 16 years and working sled dogs hauling freight since I moved here. I got two WS Laika about a year ago and have some limited hunting experience with them.

They look like sled dogs to the casual observer in Alaska, but are very different dog between the ears. Does anyone have experience hunting pine martin and other weasel species with their Laika? And are you able to transition your dogs from hunting small game to large game and back again? Or do they tend to develop hunting preference?

I will try to post some pictures some time soon.


  • Welcome to the forum!

    I haven't hunted any weasel type critters with my Laika, I do hunt squirrels, raccoons, and he likes to catch opossum. He is just as happy to chase deer than he is smaller game, I consider him more of a generalist than specialist. Unfortunately hunting deer with dogs is not legal where I live so I can't let him do that. He does have a preference for raccoons over squirrels, I'm not exactly sure why. Squirrels are more of a fun hobby for him, he takes raccoons much more seriously.
    Having a generalist could prove obnoxious if you have a short season for a specific animal, like bear, and you dog keeps trying to tree squirrels instead of run the bear track. Mine is very obedient though, I can call him off one critter or just ignore him and he will eventually get the message that we are trying to find another.
  • Well so far I have only gotten squirrels(small Alaska squirrels), grouse and one porcupine. but to be honest I have not hunted with the dogs as much as I wanted, or the dogs probably need. The female I have seems superior to the male for hunting, but it is hard to get her to break away from squirrels. What I really want to do is get her to hunt Martin, which make a successful hunt really worthwhile.

    I was planning to take the along on a Martin trap line in the mountain spruce thickets hoping to get them acquainted with martin and open their minds to new opportunities. But work requirements interfered with my plans. So next year I hope to pick up the plan again(but that is what I said last year).

    What I really like is that they don't go to far afield and check back.
  • Glad to be here! One thing I find frustrating is that some people don't quite understand the value of a Laika. A spitz type hunting dog is so strange to many people who hunt with dogs that they don't believe a dog with upright ears and wolf like appearance could actually hunt.

    I've had many inquiries about my pups but they either want a couch companion or they don't believe they really will hunt. Frankly, I find the Northern breeds that hunt more interesting than the typical short haired, droop eared hunting dog. And a Laika and similar breeds seem more sensible for Northern hunting.

    I guess it will take some time and exposure before it becomes comprehensible to the average dog fancier. But I suspect that by then they will have bred the hunt out of them.

    I am thinking about getting an East Siberian Laika pup if I can sell the two WS Laika pups I have to finance the deal. I think I have found a source right here in Alaska.
  • Very interested to hear about ESL in North America!
  • edited February 2017
    I don't know who these people are or where they got their East Siberian Laika but here is a link to the add...

    I am really wanting to get one, but unless I sell my two WSL then I don't think I can finance the deal. I was tempted to keep it a secret to buy me some time to get the funds to purchase one, but that would be selfish and greedy. Plus, the more Laika enthusiasts that get them the easier it will be for me to get one when I have to cash.
  • Since I have a sled dog team and do mush, the ESL may fit my needs a little better than WSL. My WSL were smaller than I expected the breed to be. They still hunt well, but the ones that I saw in videos in Russia and Siberia seemed somewhat larger.

    For heavy sled work 55-60 pounds is the lower limit on weight, and that seems to be where the ESL standard ranges. Hopefully these ESL pups in Palmer Alaska are the real deal and not some scam, and I hope they are bred in a working dog home, rather than a couch dog kennel.
  • Are you wanting to sell your older dogs that are hunting?
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