The West Siberian Laika originated from aboriginal dogs of Mansi, Hanty and Zyryan people sampled in Ural and West Siberia, as far to the east as the Ob River Basin. Primitive dogs of similar type were also found in some places of central and East Siberia and used for breeding with registration. The West Siberian Laika is related to other Spitz-like breeds used for hunting in northern Europe and Siberia. Since prehistoric times, Laikas helped hunters to obtain fur for money and clothes and meat for food. In some areas the same dogs were used for both pulling sleds and hunting. In XII-XIII Centuries, native peoples of Siberia and Russians, paid their tribute to Mongols (Yassak), a considerable part of which was valuable fur of sable and other animals. Under rule of Ivan the Terrible, in XV Century, Russians advanced eastward. According to old accounts, at that time, one good pelt of sable could bring enough money to buy a 50-acre farm. The first Russian seaport to begin their trade with England was Archangelsk and the sole trade commodity was fur, most of which was obtained with Spitz-like hunting dogs of northeastern Europe and West Siberia.
Just like with many other primitive breeds, the West Siberian Laika is one of the oldest types of dogs still retaining wolf-like features in the appearance, character and some biological peculiarities. Since very old times, these dogs were kept for utilitarian purposes, and at present they are highly valued because of their great hunting capabilities. Wild, undistorted beauty, well balanced character, devotion to the master and health of the West Siberian Laika make this dog an attractive pet and companion for those who live in a secluded place or spend long times in the wilderness. The West Siberian Laika is primarily a hunting breed. However, within its hunting capacity, it is among the most versatile breeds in the world. The West Siberian Laika is used for flashing pheasants, partridges and quails, treeing grouses and small fur bearing animals and baying big game, such as moose, wild boar and bear. They easily learn retrieving ducks and will swim at subfreezing temperature. The West Siberian Laika received its name and became recognized as a breed in Russia in the 1930-1940s. It rapidly became one of the most popular hunting breeds in the country. Now, the West Siberian Laika is available in the USA, where the United Kennel Club (UKC) registers it. For more details about the history of the West Siberain Laika go to my other web site: www.laikabreeds.com