Yakutian Laika: Breed Profile

| Updated: August 19, 2023
Yakutian laika dog lying on a sandy road in the forest and nibbles on a stick.

Origin History of the Yakutian Laika:

The origins of the Yakutian Laika breed are steeped in mystery and intrigue. While some believe the breed has been around for around 8,000 years, others speculate that the breed is even older. The breed comes from an area of Russia known as Yakutia, an area where the remains of 40,000-year-old wolves have been found. This has led many to believe that the Yakutian Laika may be related to the ancient wolves, making them one of the oldest dog breeds in existence today.

Traditionally, the Sahka, the people of ancient Yakutia, used the Yakutian Laika as a sled dog in the harsh winters of the region. This allowed them to transport goods and assist in hunting, making them an integral part of the Sahka’s everyday life. The breed also proved to be a companion dog, as breeders worked to eliminate aggression towards humans.

In 2004, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed, adding the Yakutian Laika to their Foundational Stock Service group. Today, the breed is known for its outgoing personality and stunning features and is becoming increasingly popular around the world. The ancient breed is loyal and affectionate to their people and loves to be around them constantly. With the right training and attention, the Yakutian Laika can be an amazing family dog.

Yakutian Laika Appearance:

The Yakutian Laika is a medium-sized, sturdy breed with an impressive double coat. Males typically stand 21 to 23 inches from the shoulder and weigh 50 to 66 pounds, while female Yakutian Laikas are typically 20 to 22 inches from the shoulder and also weigh 50 to 66 pounds. Their double coat is comprised of a soft, dense undercoat and a slightly coarse topcoat that comes in many colors, including white, gray, black, and brown.

Most often, the breed is black and white, but some Yakutian Laikas are tri-colored with black, white, and brown. The double coat is meant to keep the breed warm in their native harsh climates and helps protect them from extreme temperatures. However, it is still important to keep them warm and apply sunscreen to any spots on their face or lighter areas.

Diet and Nutrition:

Yakutian Laikas are active and energetic dogs, so they need the right diet to keep them healthy and happy. A balanced diet of high-quality, nutrient-dense dog food is best for your Yakutian Laika. You should choose a food that is specifically formulated for their size and activity level, as well as their age. Puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs all require different nutritional profiles. It’s important to feed your Yakutian Laika the right amount of food, as well. Too much or too little can lead to health and behavioral issues. You can measure their food to ensure they are getting the right amounts.

Your Yakutian Laika will also benefit from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. These can provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber to their diet. Many dogs enjoy carrots, squash, and apples. Others may enjoy spinach, celery, and sweet potatoes. Ask your vet for advice on the best fruits and vegetables for your dog.

You should provide your Yakutian Laika with plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. Your dog should always have access to clean, fresh water to stay hydrated. You should also avoid giving your Yakutian Laika table scraps, as these can be high in fat and calories and can lead to weight gain.

Overall, the diet and nutrition needs of a Yakutian Laika are not complicated. A balanced, nutrient-dense diet, access to fresh water, and limited table scraps will help keep your dog healthy and happy. Ask your vet for advice and guidance on the most appropriate diet for your Yakutian Laika.

Common Health Issues Affecting Yakutian Laikas:

Common health issues affecting Yakutian Laikas include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and luxating patellas. Hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder that affects the hip joints, causing them to become weak and unstable. This can lead to lameness and pain. Eye problems can range from cataracts to progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness. Luxating patellas are a common issue in many small breed dogs and can cause the kneecap to slide out of place. This can cause pain and lameness and should be addressed by a veterinarian. Additionally, Yakutian Laikas can be prone to skin allergies and ear infections, as well as flea and tick infestations.

It is important to be aware of the common health issues that can affect Yakutian Laikas and to take proactive steps to prevent or mitigate them. This includes regular check-ups with your veterinarian, feeding a nutritious diet, and keeping up with vaccinations and parasite control. Additionally, regular exercise and mental stimulation can help keep your Yakutian Laika healthy and happy.

Yakutian Laika dog lying on grass
Credit: Евгения Матвеец/ Gettyimages

Interesting Facts About Yakutian Laikas:

Yakutian Laikas are an interesting breed with a long and fascinating history. Here are some interesting facts about this loyal and hardworking breed:

• The Yakutian Laika is a very ancient breed, believed to date back to 8,000 years ago. They were bred by the Sahka people of Yakutia, Russia to be sled dogs who could help transport goods and assist in hunting.

• The Yakutian Laika is also known as the Yakut Husky, Sakha Laika, or Yakutian Sled Dog. They are an indigenous northern breed and are the original sled dog.

• Yakutian Laikas have a thick and weatherproof double coat, which is designed to keep them warm during the harsh winters of Yakutia. They come in a variety of colors, including black, white, red, brown, and grey.

• This breed is very people-friendly and is known for its intelligence and loyalty. They get along well with other dogs, as well as cats and other small animals, although it is important to introduce them in a calm and controlled environment.

• The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed in 2004 and added it to the Foundational Stock Service group.

• Yakutian Laikas are strong, hardworking, and reliable sled dogs, but they also make great companions. They are intelligent and eager to learn, and with the right training, they can be excellent family pets.

Where to Adopt or Buy:

If you are looking to adopt or buy a Yakutian Laika, you may be in for a bit of a search. This is an uncommon breed, so it may be difficult to find one in a rescue or shelter. However, you can always check with your local shelter, or look for a rescue that caters to all kinds of dogs.

If you’re looking to buy a Yakutian Laika, you may have more luck. There are reputable breeders that specialize in the Yakutian Laika, and you can find them by searching online or asking around. When looking for a breeder, make sure to do your research. A good breeder will be able to answer questions you may have about the breed and will have puppies available in a variety of colors and bloodlines. It’s also important to make sure that the breeder is providing their puppies with the necessary veterinary care and socialization that every puppy needs.

No matter how you go about finding a Yakutian Laika, it’s important to remember that this is a special and unique breed. Make sure you take the necessary time and effort to find the right pup for you and your family. Good luck!

A Yakutian Laika dog sits on a forest road. Outdoor photo.
Credit: Anita Kot/ Gettyimages


In conclusion, the Yakutian Laika is a breed that has been beloved by people for thousands of years. With its friendly demeanor and intelligence, it makes a great family pet. The breed is also an accomplished working dog, having been bred to pull sleds and assist in hunting. The Yakutian Laika is an independent breed and can be stubborn at times, so they need consistent training and attention. If given the proper amount of attention and exercise, they will be a loyal and loving companion.

With its thick coat and stunning features, the Yakutian Laika is sure to be a standout in any family. If you’re looking for a loyal and affectionate companion, the Yakutian Laika could be the perfect fit for your home.


Q: What is the nature of Yakutian Laikas?

A: Yakutian Laikas are friendly, loyal, and devoted dogs with a strong sense of protection. They are incredibly intelligent and eager to please, making them great family companions. They are active and energetic, but can also be quite calm and independent when needed. Yakutian Laikas are also brave, courageous, and devoted to their families.

Q: Are Yakutian Laikas good with children?

A: Yes, Yakutian Laikas are great with children of all ages. They are patient and gentle, but also have an instinct to protect their family. It is important to teach children how to respectfully interact with the dog and to never leave them unsupervised.

Q: How often should I groom my Yakutian Laika?

A: Yakutian Laikas have a thick, double-layered coat that requires regular grooming. The coat should be brushed at least twice a week to keep it healthy and free of mats. You should also check their ears for debris and pests daily, and trim their nails when they are starting to get too long.

Q: Do Yakutian Laikas get along with other pets?

A: Yes, Yakutian Laikas can get along with other pets, especially if they are reared together. They are used to traveling in packs and have a strong pack mentality. However, they may have a prey drive, so it is important to introduce them to other animals in a calm and controlled environment.

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