Russian-European Laika

FCI standard Nº 304

Origin
Russia
Translation
Revised by Jennifer Mulholland and Renée Sporre-Willes / Original version: (EN)
Group
Group 5 Spitz and primitive types
Section
Section 2 Nordic hunting dogs
Working
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Tuesday 03 June 1980
Publication of the official valid standard
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Last update
Wednesday 02 March 2011
En français, cette race se dit
Laïka russo-européen
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Russisch-Europäischer Laïka
En español, esta raza se dice
Laika ruso-europeo
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Russisch-Europese Laika
In his country of origin, his name is

Russko-Evropeïskaïa Laïka

Usage

Hunting dog for all-round purposes.

Brief historical summary

This is a Russian breed of hunting dogs from the European forest areas of Russia. The first record about northern ear-pointed dogs was published by A. A. Shirinsky-Shikhmatov in the “Album of northern sledge dogs-laikas” in 1895. The dogs mentioned therein were named Cheremis and Zyrianskiy Laikas. The breed was limited to the regions of Komi, Udmurtia, Arkhangelsk, Yaroslavl, Tver, Moscow and some other areas of Russia.
In 1947 the off-spring of Arkhangelsk, Komi, Karelia, Votiatsk and other Laikas were united into one breed under the modern name of: – Russian-European Laika.
The breed standard for Russian-European Laika as a purebred dog was approved in 1952.
The correct modern type of Russian-European Laika, as a recognized purebred dog, was not achieved by breeding different Laikas off-spring; it is the result of selective breeding over a long period of time.

General appearance

Medium sized dog; of medium to strong built.
The overall impression is that of a square built dog, the length of the body (point of shoulders to point of buttocks) being equal to the height at the withers; however, the length of the body may be slightly superior to the height at the withers. The muscles are lean and well developed. Strong bone structure. Sexual dimorphism is clearly pronounced.

Important proportions

Males square to almost square and females slightly longer.
Index of format (height/length): males: 100/100-103, females: 100/100-105.
The height at the withers exceeds the height at the croup by 1-2 cm in males and it is equal to or exceeds the height at the croup by 1 cm in females.
The length of the muzzle is a little less than half the length of the head.
The distance from ground to elbow is slightly more than the distance from withers to elbow.

Behaviour / temperament

Steady, evenly-tempered, with very well developed sense of scent and detection of game.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Lean; viewed from above, it is wedge-shaped, triangular and longer than broad.
Skull
Relatively broad; and occiput is well pronounced. 
Stop
Slightly protruding superciliary arches give the impression of a pronounced stop, but it is never sharply pronounced.

Facial region

Nose
Of medium size; the nose is black in all coat colours.
Muzzle
Lean and pointed. The length of the muzzle is a slightly less than the length of the skull. The planes of the muzzle (nasal bone) and the skull are parallel.
Lips
Tight and firmly fitted.
Jaws and teeth
White, large, strong, completely developed and evenly positioned. Complete (42 teeth) dental formula; scissor bite.
Cheeks
Well developed; cheek bones and muscles are clearly pronounced.
Eyes
Not large, oval-shaped, with moderately oblique set eyelids; not deep set or protruding, with vivid and intelligent expression. Dark brown or brown eye colour in any colour of coat.
Ears
Pricked, not large, mobile, set on high, V-shaped, pointed.

Neck

Muscular, lean and dry, long-oval in cross-section, its length is equal to the length of the head. The neck is set at approximately 45° - 50° to the horizontal.

Body

Withers
Well developed, very well pronounced, especially in males.
Back
Straight, strong, muscular, moderately wide.
Loin
Short, wide, well-muscled, slightly arched.
Croup
Broad, moderately long, slightly sloping.
Chest
Broad, deep, oval-shaped cross-section; reaching the elbows.
Underline and belly
Tucked up; the underline from the chest to the abdominal cavity is well pronounced.

Tail

Curled or sickle curled; touches the back, the upper thigh or buttocks. When stretched reach down to the hock joint or be 2-3 cm shorter.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Legs lean, muscular; viewed from the front straight, moderately wide and parallel. The height of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground is slightly superior to half the height at the withers.
Shoulders
Shoulder blades are long and well laid back.
Upper arm
Long, well placed back, muscular. The angulations between the shoulder blade and the upper arm is well pronounced.
Elbows
Fitting close to the body; elbows are well developed and placed backwards, parallel to the body axis.
Forearm
Straight, lean, muscular, of oval-cross section, viewed from the front moderately wide and parallel.
Pastern
Short, slightly sloping when viewed from the side. Preferably no first digits (dewclaws).
Forefeet
Oval, arched with tight toes.

Hindquarters

Generality
Muscular, with well defined angulations of all articulations. When viewed from the rear the legs are straight and parallel.
Upper thigh
Moderately long, placed obliquely.
Lower thigh
Not shorter than the upper thighs; placed obliquely.
Stifle
Well angulated.
Metatarsus
Placed almost vertically. Seen from the side, a perpendicular line, from the buttocks to ground, should fall close to the front of the rear pastern. The presence of dewclaws is not desirable.
Hind feet
Oval, arched with tight toes.

Gait and movement

Free movement.

Skin

Skin is thick and elastic.

Coat

Hair
Outer coat is harsh and straight. Undercoat is well developed, thick, soft, abundant and woolly. The coat on the head and ears is short and dense. The coat on the shoulders and the neck is longer than on the body and forms a collar; on the cheekbones it forms side-whiskers. The coat on the withers is also slightly longer, especially in males.
Limbs are covered with short, harsh, dense coat, which is a little longer on the back side of limbs. The coat on the rear legs forms trousers without feathering.
There is a protective growth of hair between the toes.
The tail is profusely covered with straight and harsh hair which is a little bit longer on the underside but without feathering.
Colour
The most typical colours are black with white or white with black. Solid black as well as solid white also occur.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males 52 - 58 cms. Females 48 - 54 cms.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

 Deviation from the sexual characteristics.
 Apple head; prominent forehead; in-sufficiently developed cheeks.
 Over-developed superciliary arches.
 Partly missing pigmentation on nose, lips and eyerims.
 Lips which are pendulous.
 Pincer bite, small, markedor sparsely set teeth.
 Absence of more than any of the PM1 and PM2.
 Eyes large, small, round, not obliquely set, deep set or protruding, light coloured.
 Back soft, narrow, or roached.
 Loin long, narrow, or arched.
 Croup that is flat, narrow or steep.
 Chest that is narrow, flat, barrel shaped, or shallow.
 Straight pasterns; weak pasterns.
 Cat feet, hare feet, splay feet.
 Restricted movement.
 Thick, loose or wrinkled skin.
 In-sufficient undercoat, absence of ruff and side-whiskers.
 Greying; flecks or specks on head and limbs of same shade as ground colour.
 Height 2 cm above limit.

Serious faults

 Strong deviation from the sexual characteristics.
 Light or heavy in bone; thick set body.
 Obesity or meagre.
 Head too long, stop under-developed or abrupt.
 Muzzle that is turned-up (dish-face); too long or coarse.
 De-pigmented on nose, lips or eyelids.
 More than 4 missing premolars, including PM1.
 Ears large, set low, not mobile.
 Round-tipped ears, over-developed ear-lobes.
 Shallow in chest.
 Defined east-west feet; pigeon-toed or bandy front.
 Straight or too obliquely set shoulders.
 Hindquarters narrow, with knees turning out; too narrow or too wide; over angulated or straight in rear.
 Heavy movement, stilted action or mincing gait.
 Long coat on the back-side of the forequarters; obvious fringes.
 Untypical coat during shedding.
 Tan (red) coloured markings on the head and the legs, different from ground colour.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
 Incorrect bite, lack of teeth (other than PM1 and M3), including the pincer bite before the age of 6 years old.
 Wall eye, flecked or of different colour.
 Ears dropped or semi-dropped.
 Natural stumpy tail, sabre or otter tail.
 Too short or too long coat or plumed tail.
 Any other colour than those accepted.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Additional information from visitors

The Russo-European Laika is a close relative of the Karelian Bear Dog of Finland, but it wasn't created by crossing the Finnish breed with the so-called "Russian Utchak Sheepdog", as falsely claimed by many authors. In fact, there is no such breed as the Utchak Sheepdog, nor did it ever exist in Russia, being nothing more than a figment of imagination and proof of ignorance of some western writers. Another popular misconception is that the Russo-European Laika is the same breed as the more popular Karelian Bear Dog, which it most certainly is not. These two breeds are descended from the original Karelian Bear Laika, which no longer exists in its pure form, having been separated into the Russian and Finnish varieties. Both the Karelian Bear Dog and the Russo-European Laika share the same early ancestry and it could be argued that the Russian variety is much older, but whereas the Finnish breed has been bred to a strict type and gained recognition much earlier, the Russian Karelian Laika was primarily a common working dog, seen as just a regional type of the Russian Laika population before the 2nd World War. It wasn't until 1944 that this variety received proper attention, leading its fanciers to set up a selection, testing and breeding programme. After the decision made by the Russian All-Union Institute of Hunting Industry in the Kalinin province, as proposed by one of their researchers and Laika enthusiasts named Shereshevsky, all Russian Laika varieties were examined and classified as four official groups, establishing the West-Siberian Laika, East-Siberian Laika, Karelo-Finnish Laika and the Russo-European Laika as separate breeds in 1947, although various other Laika breeds remained in existence under the collective name of Russian Laika, including the four recognized ones, as well as local types found throughout Russia, such as the Amur Laika, Yakutian Laika, Kamtschatka Laika and others.
When developing the Russo-European Laika, Russian hunters sought out the best working examples of local hunting Laikas from Arkhangelsk, Udmurtia, Karelia, Perm, Ladora Lake, Komi and surrounding regions of north-eastern Russia, all of which appeared to belong to the same breed type, but noticeably different than the Karelian Bear Dog of Finland. By selecting the strongest and healthiest dogs, mainly from the Komi Republic and the district of Pomozda, then crossing them with the old Hanty type of the West-Siberian Laika, the breed developers soon established the appearance, temperament, hunting qualities and overall type of the Russo-European Laika and laid a foundation for the breed, but when the Standard was accepted by the Cynological Committee of Russia in 1952, all coat colours other than the black-n-white colouring as associated with the Finnish breed were proclaimed undesirable, seriously affecting the gene pool of the Russo-European Laika, since the breeders were forced to eliminate many dogs from their programmes and resort to heavy inbreeding to achieve the desired colouring. Although standardized and recognized as a pure breed in Russia since the mid-1950's, the Russo-European Laika was still being perfected through planned outcrosses over the next 10 years, while steadily gaining popularity among hunters and dog-lovers in its homeland.
Unlike the modern Karelian Bear Dog, which has been bred as a family pet and Show Dog for many years without the emphasis on preserving its hunting abilities, the Russo-European Laika remains primarily a working dog and is still a result of strict selection and testing guidelines, to ensure that only the dogs with the right temperament, hunting drive and working qualities are bred. The breed has traditionally been used to hunt bears, wolves, boars, elk, moose and other small and large game, as well as a fearless property guardian. Aloof with strangers, alert and very territorial, the Russo-European Laika is an excellent watchdog, but its love of children, devotion to its master and trainability make it a good companion for experienced owners. However, the breed is not suited for city life, needing plenty of excercise and is the happiest when working. It requires early socialization and responsible handling, due to its unfriendly attitude towards other dogs. The Russo-European Laika is a good rural pet, tolerant of farm animals, but it has a tendency to chase cats, rabbits, squirrels and other rodents, making a very effective vermin killer. Superficially similar to the Karelian Bear Dog, this impressive Russian breed is not as tall as its Finnish cousin, but is more muscled and agile, has a compact body, with a strong back, sturdy legs and a deep chest. The head is fairly small, elegant and moderately broad, with a powerful muzzle and erect ears. The tail is carried high, curled over the back, but some specimens are born bobtailed. The coat is dense, hard and rich, most commonly seen as a black-n-white bicolour, although working examples can also be encountered in uniform white or black shades, as well as being white-based dogs with black, red, brown, brindle, grey and fawn markings, but they aren't preferred for the Show rings. The average height is around 21 inches.

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