The Fierce and Courageous Karelian Bear Dog

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white and black Karelian Bear Dog closeup

Nothing best describes the Karelian Bear dog as a smart little pooch. Bred for their hunting behavior, these dogs have strong inclination to please their owners, in fact, you’ll never find a pooch as devoted to their master as the Karelian!

Meet the Fierce and Loyal Karelian Bear Dog

The Karelian Bear dog is not one to be messed with. These doggos may look adorable and cute, but they are incredibly intelligent and protective of those they are loyal to. The Karelian Bear dog is an ancient dog breed that is native to Finnland.

As the name suggests the Karelian Bear dog was used primarily for the purposes of hunting large game animals such as bears, lynx, wild boars, and even moose. The Karelian Bear dog shares its ancestry with the Komi dog.

History of the Strong Bear Dog

The Karelian Bear dog is an ancient dog breed who shares its ancestry with the now extinct Komi dog. Being an ancient dog breed, it has been quite hard for archeologists to determine where and how did this dog breed come to be. However, much archeological evidence does suggest that the Karelian Bear dog may have originated in Northwestern Europe.

Archeological findings have shown that the Karelian Bear dog, along with other spitz-type dog breeds, had worked alongside Vikings during the years 793 to 1066 AD. In fact, history shows us that the Karelian dog was only a loyal companion, but also a strong hunting dog.

Appearance and Personality of Karelian Bear Hunting Dog

The Karelian Bear dog is a medium-sized dog breed that can weigh anywhere between 45 to 50lbs. Being a member of the Spitz family, the Karelian Bear dog tends to retain a lot of the features seen in most nordic-spitz dog breeds. Like most Spitz dog breeds, the Karelian Bear Hunting dog retains a muscular neck, squared body, and an erect-curled tail.

The Karelian Bear dog will appear to have a fairly triangular shaped head and broad skull. Their eyes are almost oval in shape, while their ears appear triangular and erect.

Perhaps the most notorious feature of this dog breed is its iconic black and white coat. All Karelian Bear hunting dogs will have a rough outer coat and a dense soft undercoat. There is little to no variation in coat color, so all Karelian Bear dogs tend to retain a deep black to brown coat color with prominent white markings.

Territorial and Brave: Temperament of the Karelian Bear Dog Breed

Karelian Bear dogs are strong and courageous animals. These dog breeds tend to have a fairly dominating nature, making them difficult to handle at times.

As such this type of dog breed is not suited to new owners and families with young children. Nevertheless, with proper training and guidance, the Karelian Bear has been described to be a loyal and obedient member of the family.

white and black Karelian Bear Hunting dog resting on grass

4 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Finnland Bear Dog

  1. The Karelian Bear dog may not look that menacing, but they are known for their incredibly loud and powerful barks. It is the very nature of this bark which intices fear in the Karelian Bear dogs prey!
  2. This dog breed is considered quite rare! They are so rare that it is believed that there are only 300 Karelian hunting dogs in the United States alone.
  3. They don’t just make great hunters! Although the Karelian was bred for hunting, they have also been used in guarding homes. This is because these dogs will have an inherently protective nature.
  4. The Karelian Bear dog is often compared to the Russo-European Laika. Although both dog breeds share similarities in their appearance, the Karelian Bear dog is still considered a different dog breed.

Dogs that Look Like a Bear! The Russian Bear Dog vs the Karelian Bear Dog

Though these furry friends bare no resemblance to an actual bear, they make up for it through their hunting and tracking skills.

The Russian Bear dog is another dog breed that is compared to the Karelian Bear hunting dog. However, unlike the Karelian Bear dog, the Russian Bear dog was bred to be a herding dog. Their primary purpose was not only to herd livestock but also to protect livestock from predators.

Now although the Karelian Bear dog bares no resemblance to an actual bear, they still do have quite a bear-like personality.

Yes, what they lose in their looks, they make up in skills. The Karelian Bear dog gets their name from their incredible hunting and tracking abilities. Although medium in size, these dogs show extreme courage when faced in a dangerous situation

So, Does this Bear Hunting Dog have a Clean Bill of Health?

Since this dog breed is pretty much over 12,000 years old, you might be wondering if they were considered healthy or not?

Well, these furry-friends weren’t called Viking dogs for no reason!

The Karelian Bear dog is one of the healthier dog breeds you’ll ever come across. These dog breeds have very few health problems and so they can often live long lives. The most common health conditions seen in this dog breed include:

Now, don’t let this scare you! A lot of these health problems can be easily preventable with proper care.  If your dog remains on a healthy diet and is regularly exercised then they can have a lifespan anywhere between 12 to 15 years.

Russian Bear Hunting Dog cousin standing in grass

Ready to Get a Bear Dog! Karelian Bear Dogs for Sale

Owning a Karelian Bear Hunting dog can be a life-changing experience. These furry friends are loyal and obedient animals, that will remain by your side even through the toughest of times.

If you’re interested in getting your very first Karelian dog, then you can choose to go through a registered breeder, or you can search for them in rescues.

Adopt don’t Shop

Because of their personality, Karelian Bear Hunting dogs are often impounded in shelters. Now, just because they’re in a shelter does not mean that they’re dangerous dogs!

For the most part, dogs in shelters are often abandoned as owners are not able to care for them. But, adopting a dog from a rescue is a rewarding experience.  If you’re interested in saving a life, then consider speaking to your local pet shelters and private dog rescues.

How to Choose the Right Breeder

If you’re ready to purchase a Karelian Bear Hunting dog from a breeder, then one of the most important things you need to do is your research!

Many irresponsible breeders will often inbreed and overbreed sick and unhealthy dogs. They do this to gain a profit! And so, you may end up getting a very sick puppy.

Nevertheless, there are many excellent and reputable breeders out there that do care genuinely about their animal. Reputable dog breeders will not only be able to provide certification papers, but they will also ensure that all puppies are sent to good homes.

Puppy Price Tag: How Much do the Karelian Dog Breeds Cost?

Do you think you’re ready to buy a Karelian dog? Well, you might be ready, but make sure your wallet is too!

Karelian Bear Hunting dogs don’t come cheap! Since they are a rare and ancient dog breed, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1200 to $1500 per pup!

sad karelian Bear Dog puppy resting in grass

5 Tips for Dog Lovers Who Own a Karelian Bear Dog

  1. Karelian Bear dogs were bred to be outside! They are high energy dogs that will require a lot of exercise. So, these dogs are ideal for active people.
  2. They love to go on adventures! These doggos have a natural love for the wild, Karelian dog owners can feed this innate instinct by taking their bear dogs for long hikes and camping trips.
  3. Watch out for that prey-drive! These dogs were bred for the purpose of hunting prey, so it comes with no surprise that most Karelian Bear dogs will love to hunt and chase animals. As such, pet owners need to ensure that a Karelian is the only animal in the house.
  4.  Start training them young! Because of their high-prey drive and dominant nature, these dogs can be difficult to control. Many breeders and dog behaviorists recommend that owners place their dogs in obedience training schools to ensure their dog develops good manners.
  5. Feed them well!  A big problem these dogs face is being either overfed or underfed. If you’ve got an active Karelian dog then you need to feed them at least 3 cups of food per day. However, if you’ve got a pooch that simply loves to eat, then you need to adjust the portion size accordingly.

Common Questions

What dog is bred to hunt bears?

Are Karelian bear dogs good pets?

How much is a Karelian bear dog?

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