The Karelian Bear Dog (KBD) or Karelsk Björnhund is a Spitz type hound originating from Finland. There in his homeland, where people call him Karjalankarhukoira, he has become a national treasure in recent years. KBD was developed from now extinct Karelian Bear Laika, just like the Russo-European Laika. These two breeds are actually the closest relatives and both belong to the Nordic Hunting Dogs group in the class of primitive dog breeds. So, what’s like this breed in general? It is a medium sized dog used for big-game hunting – moose, bear, wolf, wild boar, etc. The dog, as its main “job” demands, has a sturdy body, superb natural instincts, and he’s very resilient. Also, he is fearsome, instinctive, and loyal, which makes him an ideal companion for every hunter. Karelian Bear Dog life expectancy is around 10 and 12 years.
Karelsk Björnhund Close And Personal
Even though his size might fool you, be sure that this dog can and will confront a bear if hunter needs protection, hence such name. Actually, it is no wonder he’s capable of such brave feat, if we consider that some of the other main characteristics of Karelian Bear Dog are agility, intelligence, speed, determination, alertness, and persistence. You got the picture, he is a true powerhouse! However, his brave and fearsome nature has its other, not so pleasant side. He can be quite aggressive with other dogs, especially with those of the same sex. When you add that he is very territorial, that he will certainly defend yours, pardon, his property, the problem with neighboring dogs might be quite serious. Besides, KBD has a strong prey drive, so you can guess he is dangerous for cats and other small animals.
The temperament of individual Karelian Bear Dogs may vary. They need a lot of direction and work to be well mannered. This is the reason they are not as good family companions as they might seem. Don’t get me wrong, they like to be in the company and will respect all members of the household, but they usually get attached to their primary owner and submit to him/her only. When it comes to kids, these dogs can be nice and playful, but won’t tolerate any mistreatment. Some children tend to be rude and nasty with their dogs, which can be a real problem in this case. It is advisable that you look after your kids while they’re playing with this buddy. Also, it is recommended to not raise two Karelian Bear Dogs simultaneously since they will bond each other and ignore the owner.
The Karelian Bear Dog is also a very territorial and protective dog, who is quite suspicious and reserved with strangers. No wonder this is an excellent watchdog and guarding dog. However, you have to be aware that KBD can be aggressive towards them and won’t hesitate to confront them if they try to enter your property. This is why it is important that you put a proper warning on your front gate. These dogs are known as silent hunters – they track down an animal till the moment they spot it. Then, they keep it at bay with fast moves and loud barking. However, this doesn’t mean that they are usually quite dogs. On the contrary, they tend to bark as much as other dogs, especially, if there’s anything suspicious going on nearby. Fortunately, they are not prone to excessive barking, except in some rare cases.
The Karelian Bear Dog is highly energetic, so the daily exercises are necessary in order to be sure he won’t do some nasty things out of pure boredom. Now, imagine his energy and strength combined with his high intelligence and independence. Of course, it is more than obvious that this buddy demands an experienced dog owner to handle him properly. And, even if you have experience working with other dogs, be warned, he will definitely test you to the limits! However, when you finally get along with this incredible dog, you’ll have a dedicated friend and tireless working machine. He will definitely make you happy for so many reasons, and I’m sure you will be one very proud owner. Now, let us take a look at his main physical characteristics.
Physical Characteristics Of A Karelian Bear Dog Breed
The Karelian Bear Dog is a fierce and sturdy breed in every way. His strong and compact body is covered with medium-length double coat, which has a longer, stiff outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. The main KBD color is black, which can be lone (a copper tint) or in a combination with white motives on stomach, chest, legs, top of tail, neck and head. Some dogs can have black speckles on white, but that is considered a fault. They shed a lot, especially in the spring and fall, so the regular grooming is a must. KBD has a wedge-shaped, but slightly rounded head with triangular, erect ears, black nose and medium-length muzzle with strong jaws. Karelsk Björnhund has the yellowish, almond-shaped eyes with a look of a true smart-ass, which he actually is :)
The Karelian Bear Dog‘s body composition is quite reminiscent of other Nordic Spitz breeds. The back is straight and firm. He is a bit longer than he is tall in shoulders. Similar to other primitive dogs, the KBD’s tail is long and curved in a circle atop his back. The fur on it is a bit longer as well as on the buttocks, stomach and hind legs. Speaking of legs, the front legs are strong and straight, while the hind are slightly angled back and positioned wide. They are perfectly mobile and well adapted for a fast, impulsive movement if necessary. The chest is wide and deep, giving him strong composure. When you closely examine all of his physical characteristics, it is quite obvious why Karjalankarhukoira is such a strong and agile creature. Now, let’s check some abilities, which makes this breed so special.
Karelian Bear Dog Size And Weight
– Height between 21 and 24 inches (54–60 cm)
– Weight between 45 and 52 pounds (20,5–23,5 kg)
– Height between 19 and 22 inches (49–55 cm)
– Weight between 44 and 50,5 pounds (20–23 kg)
Highly Intelligent Working Dog
The Karelian Dog is a multipurpose working dog. Apart from being a great and robust hound, he can equally well be used for guarding or even herding if trained the right way. No matter which task you choose for your KBD, know that he will be happier while working than lying. That is in his nature, otherwise he gets bored and nasty. He possesses this working habit primarily thanks to his incredible intelligence. He will sit down, look you in the eyes, and hear all you have to say about the mission you have for him. The moment you finish with the instructions, he will immediately start accomplishing his duty. Another of his qualities in this case is his persistence. He won’t stop at any cost until the job is done! No wonder he will fight a bear if need be. So, you see, Karelsk Björnhund is simply a wonderful breed!
Karjalankarhukoira’s Incredible Athleticism
The Karelian Bear Dog agility is just outstanding! I’m sure you’ll scratch your head in awe after you see what this buddy is capable of doing. You will witness all sorts of weird and unexpected movements and direction changes. KBD can easily jump very high out of calm, lazy stance. So, yeah, I warned you, don’t let that scare you :) He can even climb a tree if he thinks is necessary. On top of that he possesses incredible quickness. Literally, nothing can escape this extremely athletic fur ball. As you can see by the main characteristics of Karelian Bear Dog, this is a fearsome breed with a huge heart. Yeah, the price of this dog is quite large in the USA (more than 1.000$), but if you decide to buy one, be sure that, with the proper training and socialization, you will have the best possible dog in so many ways.