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Can You Handle The East Siberian Laika Temperament (Protective, Territorial)?

The East Siberian Laika temperament makes these dogs a rough fit for first-time owners. These dogs can be territorial, independent, and aggressive without proper training. They need an owner who has dealt with challenging breeds before and can socialize them in the right manner.

The traits mentioned above aren’t the only ones that make this a tough fit for a new dog owner. Several other characteristics make this breed a less than ideal fit for certain households.

But with the right set of circumstances, these dogs can become wonderful companions. In fact, these problematic traits can become incredibly useful and beneficial with the proper training: as you’ll see from the discussion in the next section.

The East Siberian Laika Temperament & Personality

As you’ll gather from the following traits, the East Siberian Laika temperament can be a little overwhelming for certain owners. And from the discussions below, you’ll be able to decide if this dog is a good fit for your home.


The East Siberian Laika (ESL) is an extremely active dog that needs a ton of physical stimulation. Their high level of exercise needs come from their past use as a hunting dog. It’s best you find them a consistent daily source of significant activity.

You should at least give them 60 minutes of exercise every day. Without this amount of activity, these dogs will quickly become nightmares to deal with: zoomies around your home, digging into couches, becoming overly aggressive.

As a result, think about daily walks or even the occasional hike to avoid the building up of excess energy. But the one thing you shouldn’t do is take them to a dog park. These dogs aren’t dog-friendly in the slightest and problems will most likely ensue.

You could also try providing other energy outlets such as training them in agility or giving them jobs to do. It’s all about finding a way to stimulate them physically without activating their more aggressive side.

Territorial & Aggressive

Since these dogs have dominant wolf traits, the East Siberian Laika temperament tends to be a little bit aggressive. This aggressiveness will come out mostly towards other animals, which makes them a horrible fit with other dogs.

This trait has made them incredible hunting companions in the past. But it can be quite problematic in suburban areas where other dogs live. Getting a heavy-duty fence and high posts would be a good idea, or there could be some issues.

These dogs also tend to be quite territorial about their things or homes. With this in mind, bringing a friend’s dog over to your house wouldn’t be a good idea. Even with proper training, these dogs need constant supervision around other dogs.

It’s also essential you realize that both these traits come out more quickly around dogs that are the same gender. In other words, these dogs don’t do well with another animal threatening their alpha status.


But even with these wolf-like traits, these dogs can be fantastic, loving companions. All you need to do is show them consistent strong leadership and their more friendly side will emerge: their wolf-like traits will only appear when danger presents itself.

It’s quite common for these dogs to become docile, affectionate animals that love their owners. In fact, they’ll form bonds with the whole family and end up being the dog you’ve always envisioned having.

But this softer side will only come out with the right situation. Given this information, it’s essential you understand whether or not you fit that right situation. These dogs need a firm hand who will provide them with constant attention.

Independent & Intelligent

Without proper socialization, these dogs will continue to show their independent temperament streak. But even in the perfect home, it’s not uncommon to find them sleeping in rooms away from their owners. They value their privacy and will let you know when you’re invading it.

Even though the East Siberian Laika do value their privacy, they’ll still need to be the center of your attention. If they aren’t, they’ll they can become mischievous. This isn't something that you want to experience.

It usually means tearing apart your valuables.

It also doesn’t help that these dogs have a high level of intelligence. This makes them very curious and inquisitive, which can lead to some problematic issues.

But on the other hand, both of these East Siberian Laika traits can be very beneficial to a dog owner. Their independent nature will make more unlikely to crowd you regularly. It’ll also make it easier to leave them alone at home when you’re doing errands.

Concerning their high-level intelligence, it makes them a delight to train. There isn’t much an East Siberian Laika can’t learn with the proper handler. It also helps them be incredible watchdogs with their ability to separate non-threats from threats.


These dogs are unbelievably sensitive to their surroundings. But surprisingly, this heightened sensitivity doesn’t make them overwhelming barkers. These two qualities put together makes them fantastic watchdogs for their families.

In fact, it seems these dogs take pride in being protective over the people they bond with; they often will be cautious and reserved with strangers to ensure they don’t pose a threat.

Likewise, this innate distrust of strangers makes them more willing to confront an intruder on sight. However, these dogs won’t typically bite in these situations unless instructed to do otherwise. They will instead alert you and make sure you're aware of the threat.

A Brief Overview of the East Siberian Laika History

The best place to start with the East Siberian Laika is noting that it has three relatives within Russia: Russo-European Laika, West Siberian Laika, and Karelo-Finnish Laika. The East Siberian Laika, in particular, gets most of its traits from its wolf ancestors.

Aside from its wolf ancestors, the East Siberian Laika also has been linked to both Chinese and Japanese dogs. Not much is known about the ancestry of these dogs, but they helped to cultivate the East Siberian Laika temperament.

Concerning the year it was developed, there isn’t an exact date; however, the East Siberian Laika was recognized as a separate breed in 1947. Their popularity started to dwindle when hunters turned toward other dogs for bird dogs and scent hounds.

It got so bad that the East Siberian Laika almost went extinct. But thankfully, a few were rounded up and separated from the other three types of Laikas. From there, a breeding program was developed around the 1930s through 1950s to bring the breed back.

It was during this breeding program period the goal was set to establish a written breed standard for each Laika type. As mentioned before, they were able to achieve this for the East Siberian Laika in 1947. After doing so, a government-controlled kennel was started for these dogs in the 1960s.

This kennel saw little success as there were only 39 purebred East Siberian Laikas by the 1970s. As a result, they realized there was an adjustment that needed to be made and modified the breed standard: this action increased the breed’s popularity, but it's widely still considered rare.

The East Siberian Laika Training Regime

Training an East Siberian Laika isn’t the frustrating experience you might encounter with other breeds. These dogs are highly intelligent, which makes them fantastic at grasping new commands and tricks.

But the best part about the East Siberian Laika is they’re incredibly eager to please their owners. With these two qualities, it becomes apparent that this breed is one of the easiest to train.

However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t some things to look out for in the training sessions. Given their wolf traits, these dogs do have dominant tendencies; therefore, they’ll need a handler with strong leadership skills, or the training won’t take.

It’s also essential we note that these dogs work exceptionally well with positive reinforcements techniques. Although if you’re not consistent or authority with these techniques, they won’t have the desired results.

You should also make sure you’re consistently using the commands in their daily activities. If you don’t, the Laika’s bossy and independent wolf traits will rear their ugly heads.

And since these dogs need strong leadership, it’s best to start their training as soon as you bring one home. And the earlier the better.

These dogs can handle training sessions as early as eight weeks: starting this early will establish the bond between owner and dog quicker.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your ESL dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

A Guide into the East Siberian Laika Health Issues

If you do plan on getting an ESL, there are little health issues you need to worry. The main reason behind the low risk of health conditions is their ancient breed status.

But this doesn’t mean they're immune; there are still issues you have to be aware of as a prospective owner. And the following conditions are the ones that an ESL most likely to contract:

The easiest way to ensure your dog doesn’t get one of these issues is regular vet visits. Otherwise, there isn’t much you can do besides making sure the dog you get has parents with an OFA certification.

This OFA certification will significantly diminish the chances your East Siberian Laika gets Hip Dysplasia. As a result, it’s imperative that the breeder you buy from has your dog’s family history and this certification available.

If they don’t, it’s best you move onto a different breeder. This certification is a standard operating procedure for reputable breeders; therefore, if they don’t have it, it’s highly probable that there’s something fishy happening with that breeder.

Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your ESL friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.

The East Siberian Laika Grooming Requirements

The first thing you need to understand is that these dogs shed a lot. And it becomes almost unmanageable during their seasonal shedding periods.

In non-shedding periods, brushing once a week should be fine.

However, when their seasonal shedding does start, it’s a must you give them a daily brushing. If you don’t, the shedding could quickly get out of control.

Whenever you’re brushing these dogs, it’s best to use a pin brush. Another option would be a deshedder, but this might not be as effective because of the Lakia’s heavy coat.

Concerning their bathing requirements, you should only do it a couple of times a year: seasonal shedding periods would be the ideal time.

When bathing them, it’s best you use a mild or vet recommended shampoo to ensure they’re spotless.

Other than these baths and brushing measures, the grooming requirements for this dog’s strictly general care:

  • Trim nails every couple weeks
  • Check ears for build ups regularly
  • Brush their teeth as frequently as possible.

Finding Your East Siberian Laika

As with any breed, you’ll have to two ways of getting an East Siberian Laika: adopt or buy. The only issue is that this breed is incredibly rare, which could be a significant problem.

Regardless of if you buy or adopt, it’s going to be hard finding a suitable ESL for your household.

East Siberian Laika For Sale

If buying is the best option for you, the best route is going through United Kennel Club database. However, their rarity makes finding a reputable East Siberian Laika a genuine issue. It could a long time before you get one of these dogs into your home

You could also search through places like puppyfinder.com, which might have a few more results. Although some of these breeders will be the ones you want to avoid buying from; therefore, it’s essential you set a meeting beforehand.

Once you do find a breeder, you need to make sure the situation is right.

What are the warning signs are for a bad breeder?

  • Numerous litters of East Siberian Laika puppies or other dogs on the property at the same time.
  • They always have puppies for sale.
  • You can buy a puppy online with a credit card.
  • Give you the option of buying a puppy without papers for a lower price.
  • Puppy has parents without OFA certification

If the breeder has any of these qualities, you should move onto a new one immediately. But if they pass all these tests: you should expect an East Siberian Laika puppy price to be between $800 to $1000.

East Siberian Laika For Adoption

Adopting an East Siberian Laika will be a little bit trickier. Since they’re such a rare breed, these dogs often go to homes that don’t turn them into shelters: they typical find good homes and situations.

But you might have some luck using puppyfinder.com or Adoptapet.com. These two sites will give you the nearest available dog and let you contact the organization that has them. You could also try your luck at the nearest shelter or humane society.

After all, you never know what kind of dogs will enter those faculties each day. It won’t hurt to let them know your interest in this particular breed and give them your information.

But regardless of how you adopt, make sure it’s a good fit before bringing them home.

Ask the East Siberian Laika rescue or shelter specific questions about their temperament as well as things like house training, overall demeanor, medical history, etc.

If you do find adoptable one, you should expect an East Siberian Laika price to be between $50 – $500. Since this breed is quite rare, you should go into the adoption process knowing it’ll be closer to $500.

Conclusion: Is the East Siberian Laika the Right Dog For You?

If you want an exercise partner, the East Siberian Laika temperament will fit nicely into your lifestyle. The ideal situation would be a single animal home in a rural environment with an experienced owner.

In this environment, these dogs will be more likely to have their softer side emerge: keeping their wolf traits at bay. Otherwise, you might face some problematic issues that you don’t want to experience as a dog owner.

If this ideal situation doesn’t sound like your household, it’s best you look elsewhere. And given their high need for attention, these dogs aren’t the best fit for first-time owners either.