I first met the Karelian Bear Dog in 1997, and when I saw this beautiful breed with its excellent conformation and color contrast I fell in love with it.
This breed is an Arctic breed from Finland originally and because of wars, later a breed of Russia. Like many far Northern Breeds the dog is hardy and has a thick coat that keeps it warm in severely cold weather. Different from many Northern Breeds like Malamutes or Siberian Huskies, the Karelian Bear Dogs coat is short (in comparison) but dense. This breed can be strong willed and yet very willing to please and they are extremely quick to learn anything. They pick up obedience training very fast, much faster than many other breeds, and do well in competitions. They are not seen very often in Obedience Competition because they are a rare breed.
This breeds’ fame lies in that it is a natural protector of property and has the courage to move bear or large animals out of its area. The Karelian Bear Dog is a natural hunter and is very devoted to its owner. The Karelian Bear Dogs are rare worldwide, and there are not many even in the United States.
The Karelian Bear Dogs are a rare, and unique animal, originating in the areas of Russia, Finland, and Siberia. They are considered a National Treasure in Russia and Finland, and were not exported to other countries until just a few years ago.
The Karelian Bear Dog was bred for hunting both large and small game. As their name indicates they were used for hunting bear, and also elk. In our nation, they are used in our National Parks to move the bears away from campgrounds and other people populated areas. The dogs are serving people by protecting them in such a manner.
The Karelian Bear Dogs protect their humans from any predators. For people who like to hike in the woods or mountains, these dogs are especially excellent. They are brave, courageous, obedient, and protective to their death, yet the Karelian Bear Dog is gentle and loving to their family.
The dog is friendly to anyone approaching them unless they mean harm to the master. And they seem to know the difference. Karelian Bear Dogs are extremely intelligent and excel in obedience training and tracking.
They are deeply devoted, especially to one person, who they give their heart, but they are still loving to the whole family. The Karelian Bear Dog craves human attention and they do not stray from the house, but stay faithfully close to home.
They are a dog that takes a gentle hand in training because they are such an intelligent and sensitive breed.
Our young daughter hooks her Karelian to her sled and the dog pulls her endlessly. She stops when commanded, but runs back to cover her young friend with doggy kisses. Such is the Karelian Bear Dog, brave and courageous, but sweet and loving.