The Karelian Bear Dog is very attractive physically, looks like a typical Nordic Spitz with prick ears and a tail that curls over the back, usually black or black with white marks and symmetrical distribution of white color. Males are 22-24" in shoulders, weighing up to 65 lb. Females are 20-22" and weight up to 50 lb. The head is wedge-shaped and somewhat broad in the back skull. The Karelian has a wide chest and is moderately angulated in the rear. The nose is always black and the eyes are dark brown. The breed has short insulating double coat that is more profuse on the neck, upper thighs and back.

Umka - this bear dog could be your new friend!

The Karelian Bear Dog loves everyone in the family, and is
absolutely reliable with children. They are very easy to train
and teach to tolerate other animals in the house, including
chickens and cats. They get along very well with other dogs, if raised together. However, they are very territorial and would not allow strange dogs to come close to their house, especially dogs of the same sex. The size of the enemy to fight does not matter. If turned loose, they normally do not run away very far and remain close to the house; will hunt and bark for the owner to come, if prey is treed.

Among Karelian Bear Dogs there are many individuals with good watchdog qualities, which may be enhanced by training. They make a lot of noise, if a stranger is approaching the house and keep their anger in a reasonable proportion to the activity of an intruder. Most stand off from strangers and are not immediately friendly. This quality, together with their natural ability to keep small predators away, make this dog an ideal farm house dog.

History of the Karelian Bear Dog...

According to archeological records, dogs very similar to modern Russo-European Laika, Karelian Bear Dog and Samoyed existed in northeastern Europe and Scandinavia since Neolithic time. They were simply aboriginal dogs of local people who lived by fishing and hunting. During most of their history they were used for hunting and as watch dogs.

The Karelian Bear Dog was used mainly for hunting small furbearers, such as squirrels and marten. Where available, three were also helpful in bird hunting and, of course, in the moose and bear hunting. It was the Eurasian brown bear, which is big and as aggressive as the American grizzly bear is. Actually, these dogs never fight dealing with the bear. This is a quick and well coordinated predator and this kind of hunting is very demanding and requires great courage, aggressiveness and agility of the dog.

In the past, the Russians considered these dogs national treasures, and they were not available for export. With their recent changes and openness, a few of the dogs are being made attainable.