Karelian Bear Dog Dog Breed Information Guide


Just like a Labrador Retriever is born with an affinity for hunting ducks, Karelian Bear Dogs are born with a keen sense for bears. Bear hunters have bred Karelian bear dogs for centuries in eastern Finland and western Russia. A properly trained Karelian bear dog will guard homes, camps, and people by warning bears away.
The Karelian Bear Dog is a cousin to other Scandinavian dog breeds including the Norrbottenspet and Norwegian Elkhound.

For centuries, Karelian Bear Dogs have been famous in Russian and Finland for their bear hunting abilities. The Karelian Bear Dog breed originated in Finland, where it was greatly treasured as a hunting dog.

Karelian Bear Dog History

The Karelian Bear Dog is the big-game hunting canine of the Finnish people. Huntsmen use the dog to hunt bear, elk, moose, deer and wolf. The breed originated in the area of northern Europe known as Karelia and the isolation and remoteness of eastern Finland ensured that the breed remained relatively untouched until the 20th century. World War II nearly put an end to the breed but dedicated enthusiasts set out to re-establish this intelligent and courageous hunter.

Karelian Bear Dog Appearance

Karelian Bear Dogs are handsome descendants of elk hounds with the body of a Siberian Husky, right down to the curlicue tail. Adults weigh about 50 pounds. Most of them are dairy cow black-and-white with intense eyes that peer through a raccoon-like mask of black.

COAT: The short-haired coat consists of straight and stiff hairs while the under-layer is soft and dense. The Karelian Bear Dog is white with black. Black speckles in the white are considered a fault.

Karelian Bear Dog Temperament

These endearing dogs are as gentle and loving with people as they are fearless with bears, and make wonderful family companions. The Karelian Bear Dog is very loyal to its own family and makes a good household companion. It may try to dominate other dogs but it is also sensitive, independent, intelligent, cunning, tough on itself, and energetic. It has a good sense of humor. These dogs can often be rather unfriendly towards other dogs.

Karelian Bear Dog Exercise Info

An active hunting breed, the Karelian Bear Dog thrives on plenty of daily exercise (at least an hour a day). A securely fenced yard is important to the breed’s safety.

Karelian Bear Dog Grooming Info

Grooming of the Karelian Bear Dog is easy. A good weekly brushing will remove dead hairs and keep the coat clean and shiny.

Karelian Bear Dog Training Info

Karelian Bear Dogs are intelligent and easy to train. Training should begin early and be consistent, given the Karelian’s tendency towards Alpha Dog behavior – it should be made clear that YOU are the alpha dog from a very early age.

Karelian Bear Dog Health Info

Karelian Bear Dogs are a generally healthy an long lived breed. However, as with all purebred dog breeds, congenital health issues can occur. It’s extremely important to choose a responsible breeder from which to purchase your puppy. Look for a breeder that is very knowledgeable about her breed and who carefully screens breeding dogs for health issues that could be passed on to her puppies. This is the best way to greatly improve your chances of acquiring a healthy, happy and long lived Karelian Bear Dog puppy.

Health conditions that can affect the Karelian Bear Dog Include:

Karelian Bear Dog Right Breed Info

If you happen to live in “Bear Country”, then there isn’t a more suitable breed out there. Failing that, the Karelian Bear Dog still makes a great choice for families wanting a loving, obedient and kid-friendly dog breed. From his handsome appearance to his sweet and gentle personality, this unique dog breed makes a wonderful member of the family.

A Karelian Bear Dog may not be a good choice as a second dog, given it’s tendency to dominate and show agression towards other dogs, something owners should also watch when considering a trip to the local dog park or off-leash area. And definitely don’t take your Karelian Bear Dog to the Zoo to see the bears! 🙂

More Information about the Karelian Bear Dog Dog Breed

Karelian Bear Dog on Wikipedia