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Karelian Bear Dog
Finlandia FCI 48 - Nordic Hunting Dogs

Karelian Bear Dog

The Karelian Bear Dog is a very independent and intelligent dog.



The Karelian Bear Dog, which also bears the name of zyrians dog, is considered the progenitor of the breed. But the basic strain of the breed came from the Carelia de Ladoga, the Olonets and the Carelia Rusa, where these dogs were used to hunt in different ways. Breeding started in 1936 with the aim of developing a robust dog that could make noise when hunting big game. At that time it was agreed that the breed name should be Karelian Bear Dog. The first standard was created in 1945. In 1946 the first dogs were registered in the stud book. Today the breed is well established in Finland..

Physical characteristics

This four-legged friend has a great similarity to the Laika related to him.

With a height at the withers of up to 60 cm., males weigh about 28 kg. Bitches are slightly smaller and should not weigh more than 20 kg. The Karelian Bear Dog has a strong trunk and generally a compact and dynamic stature. On his head there are medium and erect ears and he wears a folded tail on his back. The icing on the cake is usually a white tip. Otherwise, dense coat color is usually black with white markings. The rough top layer is very close to the dense undercoat, that glows with a slight brown hue.

Character and skills

The freedom-loving character

This dog loves the vastness of the forest and its independence, a combination that combines his attitude with some challenges, because he'll take any chance to roam free. As this four-legged friend acts very independently during the hunt and must place the game alone, it is also, for the rest, a confident partner, who gladly takes command when the opportunity presents itself.

He is considered brave and is always ready to defend his loved ones. Contact with other dogs can be problematic without extensive socialization, because some Karelian Bear Dog show aggressiveness when meeting other dogs. But, other owners report their dogs great balance and praise their social compatibility. It is a fact that many Karelian Bear Dog they are also working together as hunting assistants – so with good conditioning and socialization this should not be a problem.

They are excellent watchdogs, that reliably indicate intruders. Despite all the lovely nooks and edges, the Karelian Bear Dog they also have their soft sides: They are not aggressive with people, they like to be petted at home and they love to be petted by their caregivers.

Karelian Bear Dog Education<

Education without subordination

Its independent nature requires a lot of knowledge, but it should be clear from the start to anyone considering having a Karelian Bear Dog: that this proud quadruped will never be subservient. Their independence reaches such a point that many Karelian Bear Dog they disappear into the woods for days in their native country, just to show up again when it suits him.

Harshness and yelling are absolutely out of place in training this sensitive dog, which will then retreat or crawl. But, with the right mix of positive reinforcement, empathy and consistent behavior, good daily obedience can be achieved.

It is important to socialize extensively with other four-legged friends from puppy age onwards., since some Karelian Bear Dog are considered incompatible with other dogs of the same species, what can become problematic on daily trips. It is a challenge to keep this dog available and away from independent hunting trips.. Specialists with experience in dogs of this breed are definitely needed.

Karelian Bear Dog Health and Nutrition

The original breed is considered very robust. If you buy it from a serious breeder and pay attention to a balanced and age-appropriate diet- plenty of exercise, your four-legged friend can reach a age up to 13 years.

Important for a healthy dog ​​life is, of course, also the daily food content. give to you Karelian Bear Dog a high quality food with a high proportion of meat and little grain. The energy needs of your four-legged friend depend on their constitution and daily exercise. So make sure to adjust your food accordingly and keep an eye on her slim waist..

As in humans, extra kilos increase the risk of various diseases, including painful joint problems. Always provide fresh water. On the longest trips, you should also have enough water for your partner, which is also more sensitive to heat. Visit the vet at least once a year for a checkup with your pet and talk to him about necessary vaccinations and regular deworming.

Caring for the Karelian Bear Dog

The fur of this weather-resistant quadruped is easy to care for. But, loses more hair during coat change, so it can be useful to brush it every day, so that less hair is spread around the house. Otherwise, brush it every few days; this ritual also strengthens the bond and should already be practiced with the puppy for a relaxed routine.

Always check the eyes, your puppy's ears and claws and use a special eye and ear cleaner if necessary. The claws can become too long in dogs that walk a lot on soft ground – or they move too little, what in this quadruped, However, should only occur in very old or diseased specimens. In this case, shorten them with special tweezers.

Many dog ​​owners brush their quadrupeds' teeth regularly with dog toothpaste and brush to prevent tartar and associated secondary diseases. You can now practice this with your puppy. Alternatively, you can offer your dog dental care snacks.

Activities with the Karelian Bear Dog

Occupation: go out into the woods!

This four-legged friend's favorite hobby is clearly hunting.: extensive travels through the forest and hunting tracking are his passion. The Karelian Bear Dog seek the game to be hunted almost silently. Once you have reached your destination, barks long and persistently at the hunt to keep it in place until the hunter arrives.

The Karelian Bear Dog sometimes they hunt in threes, so they can also keep larger animals like bears at bay. The breed does not necessarily have to be hunted. As an alternative to hunting, the karelian bear dog also suitable for dog sports, but in this case you can only do activities that you like. If you enjoy it, Agility sports can be a good activity for a Karelian Bear Dog adult. Also suitable as a companion for jogging or cycling – but you must keep his hunting instinct in check. Most of these excellent crawlers like crawling work of all kinds.

Is a Karelian Bear Dog right for me??

The Karelian Bear Dog belong to the hands of seasoned enthusiasts, preferably hunters. Alternatively, need a lot of exercise and outdoor work. Only then is it possible to keep them as family dogs. Dog experience should be available in any case. In addition, you must be clear that this quadruped can only be trained conditionally.. Does not belong to the group of dogs that subordinate to themselves – as a dog owner you must respect this, but still be able to direct their power in a controlled manner.

The Karelian Bear Dog not in any way suitable for a city apartment. The ideal would be to offer you a leak-proof garden, in addition to the daily run in forests and fields, but beware: the Karelian Bear Dog freedom lover is considered a fugue artist and can jump up to two meters high.

This four-legged friend likes to befriend children, but they should be older and have learned to treat animals with respect.

Cats in the same household are not necessarily a good idea, not to mention rabbits or other small animals. The norse hunter you will always see potential prey in them. Of course there are exceptions to the rule and there may even be friendships between Karelian Bear Dog and cats socialized at a young age – but you won't be able to get a guarantee before you move in. So you must bring a lot of time, space and experience if you want this proud dog to move in with you.

The Karelian Bear Dog is a four-legged friend for connoisseurs, which should not be chosen as a new roommate for its rustic appearance. If you are not looking for a true character head, you will have little joy with this animal roommate. Of course, before moving, it is also necessary to calculate the one-time expenses (buy creator, basic team, travel expenses) and regular expenses (food, veterinary, dog tax and insurance).

Where can I find a Karelian Bear Dog?

This breed of dog is found naturally mainly in Scandinavia, especially in finland. Further south there are only a few dogs of this very special hunting breed. In Germany, for example, not a single cub of Karelian Bear Dog in recent years. Special Nordic dog clubs can help you find the dog of your dreams. But, There are some things to consider if you are interested in a puppy from abroad. It's always better if you can get a picture of the puppies' house and meet their parents. The Nordic Dog Experts, who you should contact through the appropriate associations, can advise you if there are possible alternatives to Karelian Bear Dog that suit you, to your life situation and your wishes. Or you can refer them to the breeders of Karelian Bear Dogs, if there is currently no one in your country who will have a litter in the near future.

Characteristics "Karelian Bear Dog"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Karelian Bear Dog" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, you must take into account his character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Training ⓘ

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Suitability of the apartment ⓘ

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You can be alone all day ⓘ

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Suitable as first dog ⓘ

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Weight gain ⓘ

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Health ⓘ

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Intelligence ⓘ

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Kindness with child ⓘ

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Tendency to bite ⓘ

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Tendency to bark ⓘ

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Tendency to flee ⓘ

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Hair fall force ⓘ

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Suitable as a guard dog ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

joy ⓘ

3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Kindness with cat ⓘ

1.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

energy level ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Images "Karelian Bear Dog"

A 10-year-old male Karelian Bear Dog. Head shot with tracking collar around neck by Uusijani / CC0

Karelian bear dog by Friesian.marcin / CC BY-SA

Videos "Karelian Bear Dog"

Watch the Karelian Bear Team in Action

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 5: Spitz and primitive types
  • Section 2: Nordic Hunting Dogs. Proof of work for Nordic countries only (Sweden, Norway,Finland)..


  • FCI – Group 5 – Section 2 Nordic Hunting Dogs.
  • AKC – Nordic Hunting Dogs
  • CKC – Nordic Hunting Dogs
  • UKC – Nordic Hunting Dogs

FCI breed standard "Karelian Bear Dog"

FCIFCI - Karelian Bear Dog

Alternative names:

1. Karjalankarhukoira, Karelsk Björnhund (English).
2. Karjalankarhukoira (French).
3. Karjalankarhukoira, Björnhund (German).
4. Karjalankarhukoira (Portuguese).
5. Karjalankarhukoira (español).

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