Showing posts with label Karelian Bear Dog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karelian Bear Dog. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Karelian bear dog during dogs show in Katowice...
Karelian bear dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I first met the Karelian Bear Dog in 1997, and when I saw this beautiful breed with its excellent conformation and color contrast, I fell in love with it.

This breed is an Arctic breed from Finland originally and because of wars, later a breed of Russia. Like many far Northern Breeds the dog is hardy and has a thick coat that keeps it warm in severely cold weather. Different from many Northern Breeds like Malamutes or Siberian Huskies, the Karelian Bear Dogs' coat is short (in comparison) but dense. This breed can be strong-willed and yet very willing to please and they are extremely quick to learn anything. They pick up obedience training very fast, much faster than many other breeds, and do well in competitions. They are not seen very often in Obedience Competition because they are a rare breed.

This breeds' fame lies in that it is a natural protector of property and has the courage to move bear or large animals out of its area. The KBD is a natural hunter and is very devoted to its owner. The Karelian Bear Dogs are rare worldwide, and there are not many even in the United States.

The Karelian Bear Dogs are a rare, and unique animal, originating in the areas of Russia, Finland, and Siberia. They are considered a National Treasure in Russia and Finland and were not exported to other countries until just a few years ago.

The KBD was bred for hunting both large and small game. As their name indicates they were used for hunting bear, and also elk. In our nation, they are used in our National Parks to move the bears away from campgrounds and other people populated areas. The dogs are serving people by protecting them in such a manner.

The Karelian Bear Dogs protect their humans from any predators. For people who like to hike in the woods or mountains, these dogs are especially excellent. They are brave, courageous, obedient, and protective to their death, yet the Karelian Bear Dog is gentle and loving to their family.

The dog is friendly to anyone approaching them unless they mean harm to the master. And they seem to know the difference. Karelian Bear Dogs are extremely intelligent and excel in obedience training and tracking.

They are deeply devoted, especially to one person, who they give their heart, but they are still loving to the whole family. The Karelian Bear Dog craves human attention and they do not stray from the house, but stay faithfully close to home.

They are a dog that takes a gentle hand in training because they are such an intelligent and sensitive breed.

Our young daughter hooks her Karelian to her sled and the dog pulls her endlessly. She stops when commanded, but runs back to cover her young friend with doggy kisses. Such is the Karelian Bear Dog, brave and courageous, but sweet and loving.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


The Karelian Bear Dog is a close cousin of the Russian Laika and there is a very strong similarity between the two. However, the Karelian Bear Dog is a native of Finland. The Finnish name for the dog is  Karjalankarhukoira. The earliest settlers of Finland had to survive in a rugged land and hunting rather than agriculture was their main source of food. They needed a dog that was strong and fearless to hunt and bring down the animals of the region, which included deer, elk, moose, and bear. 

Karelski pies na niedźwiedzie sylwetka.JPG

The Karelian Bear Dog has always been the hunting dog of Finland and has changed very little from the earliest times. Because it is a limited genetic pool the lines are quite pure. It became a very popular hunting dog for large game and there was a considerable number of these dogs at the turn of the century in northern Europe and Scandinavia. However, the two World Wars decimated the population. It is now a rare dog and today all of the Karelian Bear Dogs can be traced back to only forty dogs which were still in existence after the war.

The dog has exceptional hunting ability although not exceptionally large. The height at the withers is about 22-24 inches. It is always black with white markings. The body is of a Spitz type (short backed and squared off with a tail which curls over the back.) Some Bear Dogs are born with a bobtail. The coat is not profuse or long but is quite dense and double in nature. He is a dog with good "substance" but not the appearance of massiveness. He needs to be an agile and speedy hunter and is therefore of moderate size and is slightly longer than he is tall. The ears are upright. He has a keen sense of hearing and smell and is considered a scenting dog rather than a sighthound.

The Karelian Bear Dog has today gained a popular following in Canada where it is used as a dog which does hunt and brings down the large game and especially bears, but this, of course, is only done during "bear hunting season". However, there is now another use for the Bear dog. Today there are resort owners who keep two or three of these dogs and use them on a regular basis to patrol their resorts and keep the bears away as a protection for the summer tourists. There happens to be an extremely interesting experimental program in progress at a place called the Wind River Institute in Canada which is utilizing the Bear Dog to "train" bears to stay away from populated areas.

It is unknown at this time whether this program is effective but to all appearances, it may very well be a new and quite useful application of the Bear Dog. The dogs are trained to bark and chase away ( rather than chase down and kill) the problem bears which raid the garbage dumps and so on...and correspondingly the bears are "trained" to stay away from the populated areas. This breed has a courageous and fierce natural hunting instinct, it will follow its game to the end and is persistent and unyielding. This is a breed which has never deviated from its original purpose and should not be owned by the casual pet owner.