Dog Breed Group: Hunting Dog
Life Span: 12-15 years
Weight: Male: 20-22, Female: 20-22
Height: Male: 24-26, Female: 22-24
Origin of Name: The East Siberian Laika is a Russian breed of dog of spitz type.
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Although the exact origin of the Spitz type dogs is unknown, it is believed that all dogs of this type originate in the Arctic regions today. Genetic testing of Spitz-type dogs has found that dogs in this group are most closely related to wolves, and are thus considered to be some of the oldest types of dogs. It is thus proven that it was the ancestor of these Spitz-type dogs that lived with wolves, and from that point human selective breeding leads us to the variety of dogs present in this category today.
Being of such a primitive northern breed, the former Siberian Lyca retains its wild ancestor wolf traits both in appearance and behavior. Although all Laika are considered to be versatile Hunting Dogs, each breed of Laika became more or less specialized to perform a certain task depending on their use and the environment in which they lived.
In populated areas in the early 19th century, hunters began using specialized eared eagle breeds, the laeca was almost lost through genetic infection and uncontrolled interbreeding with scented wounds, sithuds, and bird dogs.
As a result, there were few sparsely populated villages at the extreme end of the purely Laikas, with the country's northern provinces remaining. As purely Lyca numbers began to decline near extinction levels, the Russians stepped in with a breeding program to protect the prey Laika from extinction. This was accomplished by importing some of the remaining purebreds from these outlying regions throughout Russia to reestablish pure lines.
As a result of this newly established controlled lyca breeding program, four individual breeds of lyca were established and recognized as pure breeds in the period between 1930 and 1950, these were the Carlo-Finnish Lyca, Russo-European Lyca, West Siberian Lyca and East Siberian Lyca.
Although the hunting style of each lyca is generally similar, each specific breed of lyca brings with it its advantages relative to the geographical conditions of their country of origin and the most popular sport in that region.
It would be impossible to draw a line on a map illustrating the distribution of East Siberian Lyca relative to the West Siberian Lyca, due to the fact that the ancestors of the West Siberian Lyca (Mansi and Hanti strains of Lyca) are also inhabited. Eastern Siberia. However, the Russian east near the Amur River basin and sea area were large, hard-built lycas used for hunting all kinds of game and pulling sleds. It was the dogs of the region who were later recognized as pure Eastern Siberian lycra.
It was during the 1960s and 19's that a systematic breeding program for the eastern Siberian Lyca was established in a government kennel, located in Siberia's largest city of Irkutsk, as well as in Leningrad. In 1979, the All-Russian Stud Book of Hunting Dogs reported that only 39 pure former Siberian Lycas were recorded.
It was in Irkutsk kennel, that there were two major breeding males purchased from these Far East provinces as purebreds to rebuild the breed. There was a large powerful male 'Zulbers', with a sable patterned scarlet black coat, and another large powerful male 'Bulaka' with a black and white coat. In Leningrad, pure East Siberian Lycas were also being used to reestablish the breed, but these dogs had a lighter tapered head and a longer wedge-shaped muzzle similar to the West Siberian Lyca. The result was some variation among the purebred former Siberian Lycus that still persists today, and although this breeder may not do well for the show breeder, it was beneficial to the overall genetic health of the breed.