top of page

Yakutian Laika

GENERAL APPEARANCE : C The Yakutian Laika is strong, well muscled, medium in size, compact, moderately leggy with thick fur, never even slightly flabby. The coat is well developed, and should be sufficient to allow it to live and work under the harsh Arctic weather conditions. The sex gender is well pronounced, males are more robust and stronger than females.


Personality:  Active, alert and agile.

Energy Level : Very Active.  This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.  

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life Expectancy : 13-16  years old.

Bark level:  High.

  • YAKUTIAN LAIKA (Ykutskaya Laika) HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Yakutian Laika is an ancient breed of dog bred by the aboriginal peoples of Northeastern Russia, along so-called «river dogs». At different times, several explorers (AF Middendorf, VL Seroshevsky, LP Sabaneev, NV Slyunin, PK Maak, Prince AA Shirinsky-Dhikhmatov, VI Jokhelson, EV Pfizenmeier, EG Orlov, M. Dmitrieva-Sulimova, EI Shereshevsky, AG Chikachev and others) described the Yakutian Laika under different names (Alazeevskaya, Anyuiskaya, Arcticheskaya (Arctic), Verkhoyanskaya, Kolymo - Indigirskaya, Omolonskaya, Omsukchanskaya, Okhotskaya, Polarnaya (Polar), Susmanskaya, Severo-Vostochnaya (Northeast) sled dog, Tungusskaya, Chuvychanskaya, Evenskaya, Yakutskaya, etc.). As early as 1635, in the petitions of pioneer Cossacks, dogs were mentioned living together with “river dogs”. In 1692, in Amsterdam, a book was published by the Dutch traveling scientist, geographer and ethnographer, Nicolaas Cornellisson Witsen «Noord en Oost Tartarye», containing prints of engravings «Forms of Movement of the Yakutians in Winter». These engravings showed ways to use dogs as a transport traction. Those prints were the first images of Yakutian dogs, which also depicted a skier being towed by dogs and another winter sport which was winter windsurfing. Those impressions were the first images of winter skijoring and windsurfing. In 1730, Vitus Bering Jonassen began preparing the second extended Kamchatka expedition. During this expedition, Arctic Yakutia dogs were actively used, which were the first geographical expeditions in which dogs were used. Ivan Pavlovsky wrote in his book «Geography of the Russian Empire» in 1843: dogs (Yakutian Laikas) were used for “postal persecution”. So, in 1839, in the Yakutsk region, during the winter period, for mail messages from Yakutsk to Okhotsk and onwards to Kamchatka, up to 20 sledges were used there to transport cargo. They used to harness up to 10 dogs, 5 couples (with 2 dogs in a row) along a long leash led by the eleventh. They used to tow 25 to 35 "poods" (1000-1400 pounds) of cargo running up to 80 "versts" (about 53 miles) a day, and if not heavily loaded, the same dogs could cover up to 140 "versts". (about 95 miles) per day. In 1850, Professor Ivan Yakovlevich Gorlov described the traditional methods of preserving and using the Yakuian Laikas in his book, «Overview of Economic Status, Statistics of the Russian Empire for 1849». “Yakutians used the dogs for sledding and carrying heavy loads. All year round all dogs were outdoors; in summer they dug a hole in the ground to cool off or lay in the water for mosquitoes. In winter, they 4 St. RFK / 10.05.2005 sought shelter in deep pits in the snow by curling up and covering their snout with their furry tail». Versatile uses of the Yakutian Laikas in everything that accompanies daily life for many centuries, starting with hunting, protecting housing, livestock duties and, finally, for sled, certainly setting them apart from all the other “utility” breeds of the world.

  •   PROPORTIONS  • The length of the body – from the point of the shoulder to the croup – exceeds the height at the withers by 10-15%. • The length of the head is just under 40% of the height at the withers. • The length of the muzzle is 38-40% of the length of the head. • The length of the forelegs is 52-54% of the height at the withers.

  • BEHAVIOR/TEMPERAMENT: The Yakutian Laika is a bold, agile, friendly, sociable and temperamental dog.

  • HEAD: Moderately pointed wedge-shaped, in proportion to the size of the specimen. CRANIAL REGION Skull: Moderately broad, slightly rounded, with a high forehead. Cheekbones: Moderately defined. Stop: Transition between forehead and muzzle. Well defined. FACIAL REGION Nose: The nose tip is large, with wide nostrils, black or brown in color. Muzzle: Well full under the eyes, wedge-shaped, gradually tapering towards the nose. 

  • Lips: Slender and tight, well pigmented. Jaws/Teeth: Teeth are large, white, preferably full dentition (42 teeth according to dental formula). Scissor or pincer bite. It is acceptable for a three year old to have a tight inverted scissor bite.

  • Eyes: Front and wide apart, but not deep, almond shaped. The eye color is dark brown, blue, and even the eyes of different colors (one brown and one blue) or with the presence of blue segments in the brown iris. Eyelids are always thin, fine, well-fitting and pigmented with the same color as the nose tip. Depigmented eyelids are allowed on a white background.

  • Ears: Triangular, set high, wide at the base, thick, erect or sloping. Ears are covered with short, thick fur. When running, ears are laid back.

  • NECK: Sufficiently long, muscular, set midway.

  • BODY: Strong, muscular with rounded ribs. Topline: Straight and strong, slightly descending from moderately defined withers to base of tail. Back: Strong, broad, straight and muscular. Loin: Short, broad, muscular. Croup: Broad, muscular, long, rounded, almost horizontal. Chest: Broad, sufficiently long, moderately deep, rounded across.

  • TAIL : Set on high, curled upwards in a semi-circle and close to the back, covered with thick, abundant hair.

  • LIMBS: Strong, muscular, straight and parallel.

  • FOREQUARTERS: Straight, parallel, strong, very muscular. Shoulders: Set obliquely, of moderate length.

  • Shoulders: Muscular, set obliquely, of moderate length. Elbows: Fitted close to the body, directed to the back.

  • Pasterns: Short, strong, placed almost horizontally.

  • HINDQUARTERS: Well muscled with strong bone. When viewed from behind - straight and parallel. Thighs: Broad and muscular. Knees: Well defined.

  • Legs: Of medium length, strong. The angles of the hocks are well defined. Hocks: Vertical and strong. Forefeet and Hind Feet: Arched, toes tightly together with very hard and resistant pads, thick hair (brush) between toes. Hind legs are slightly larger than the front legs.

  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Fast, springy. Characteristic movements are fast trot and gallop. COAT: Thick, shiny, straight, rough to the touch, of medium length, with a dense, well-developed undercoat. On the neck, it can form a mane, more pronounced in males; on the back of the forelegs and hindquarters there is a full fringe, and at the tip of the tail there is a small hanging fur. Coat is shorter on the head and forelegs. COLORS: White and any other mix (two or three colors). 

  • SIZE AND WEIGHT Males: desirable height is 55-59 cm - ideal height is 56 cm. Females: desirable height is 53-57 cm - ideal height is 55 cm.

  • FAULTS: Any deviation from the terms of this standard shall be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work.

  • SERIOUS Faults • A strong deviation of the type described, short legs. • Square format. • Shallow, small or barrel-shaped chest. 

bottom of page