West Siberian Laika

The first dog to orbit the earth in a spaceship was named Laika, although it was probably a Samoyed. Find out everything about the behavior, character, activity and exercise needs, training, and care of the dog breed West Siberian Laika in the profile.

These dogs are most common in the Urals and Western Siberia, where they were probably bred by hunters as working and hunting dogs. Even the Vikings are said to have owned dogs of this type. The first standards for a total of four Lajka breeds were set up in Russia in 1947, three of which have since been recognized by the FCI.

General Appearance

A medium-sized dog with a thick coat and abundant undercoat, the Lajka has erect, side-set ears and a curled tail. The fur can be black-white-yellow, wolf-colored, greyish-reddish, or fox-colored.

Behavior and temperament

Lajka is very intelligent and courageous, loves the company of other dogs and of course people. He bonds very closely with his leader and likes to stay close to him. This breed is said to be particularly patient and loving with children.

Need for employment and physical activity

This dog needs a lot of exercises, is ideal for various dog sports or training to become a rescue or tracking dog. It can also be used in sled dog sports without any problems. It is also important to find him a substitute job that will help control his strong hunting instinct.


This dog is a quick learner and attached to humans, but is not inclined to cadaver obedience. This character trait is innate, after all, as a hunting assistant, he often had to make his own decisions. Anyone who owns such a dog must above all be able to convey to him that the human is the leader of the pack and has everything under control so that the dog can relax and devote himself to the tasks assigned to him instead of looking for some himself.


The fur requires a lot of care, it has to be brushed and combed daily to prevent it from becoming matted.

Disease Susceptibility / Common Diseases

Typical breed diseases are not known in Lajka. Nevertheless, special attention must be paid to its health, because this dog only shows its weakness when it is extremely bad so that the first symptoms can easily be overlooked.

Did you know?

The first dog to orbit the earth in a spaceship was named Laika, although it was probably a Samoyed. These “space dogs” suffered a horrible fate: They burned up in the space capsule.

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