Dog Breed Group: Hunting Dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 20-25, Female: 20-25
Height: Male: 21-23, Female: 19-21
Origin of Name: Russo-European Laika is the name of a breed of hunting dog.
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Although the exact origin of the Spitz type dogs is unknown, it is believed that all dogs of this type present today have their origins in the Arctic regions. 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 believed that it was the ancestor of these Spitz types of dogs that accompanied the wolves, and from that point human selective breeding takes us to the variety of dogs present in this category today.
In archaeological sites in central and northern Europe, fossilized remains of dogs similar to Lyca dated to around 10,000 years ago have been found. From these early times and until the early 20th century, strong, medium-sized likes with pointed mouths and prickling ears were widely spread in the Taiga forest region of northeastern Europe, from Finland and Karelia to the Ural Mountains in the west. Laikas of this time were used for hunting all kinds of big and small game and as a watchdog for their master family and property.
As agriculture began to replace hunting as the primary means of livelihood for families in the region, the land was deforested and these hunting-type Lyca dogs were gradually replaced with other dogs Were those who were compatible with this new world economy. Dogs that could guard the sheep or raise the sheep, scented predatory dogs and birds pointing to the bird became the new favorites.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the lands of some of the most remote areas of the Taiga forests were inhabited and snatched in favor of agriculture by hunting hordes of settlers from the west and south. Along with them these new breeds of agriculturally friendly dogs. The uncontrolled interbreeding of these new breeds with native Lyca dogs from there destroyed the population and brought the purebred Laika to the brink of extinction. Symptoms of lycra can still be found in mixed breed dogs of these areas.
By 1930, there were only a few purebred Laika in the remote areas of Vyatka Province, Komi Republic, Perm Province and Northern Ural. However, the vast majority of these haughty Hunting Dogs were no longer being used to fulfill their hunting roots, as they were withdrawn as ordinary peasant sentinels, who spent their entire lives open near home. Or spent living in a fenced yard at the back of the house.
Realizing that the breed is now on the verge of extinction, the old Russian hunters near Moscow and Leningrad remember the old methods of hunting and can remember the breed. Extraordinary hunting qualities began to buy what remained of the few remaining purebreds. Dogs can still be found. These dogs were then brought back with native lyca strains from different geographic regions to preserve the breed and rekindle their hunting instincts. In Russia, Lycus was generally named in the context where they were originally found, such as the case of Karelian Likes, Komi Likes, Zyrian Likes, Votyc Likes and Arkhangelsk Lyca strains referred to today. It was these Likes that became the foundation breeding stock for the development of the modern Russo-European Likes. The advantage of this breeding program is that it brought genetic diversity and health back into the breed at the expense of small changes in appearance. Although all of these likes looked substantially the same, there were some differences because the lifespan of some geographic regions varied in the length of the muzzle, the size of the ears, whether the body was colored or short, and the thickness and color of the coat.
Prior to the eruption of World War II, some small to medium-sized likes were raised by hunters in areas of Moscow and Leningrad as a result of this breeding program. Originally there were very few black-and-white Russian-European Likes because the dominant colors for dogs of this time were red, reddish brown or brown lambs in which black and white were rare. According to records referencing the Moscow Dog of the 1940s, only three of the Russian-European likes shown had a modern-day black-and-white coat, while most had other more common coat colors.