Karelian Bear Dog

Breed Details


Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:


20-23 Kg (Approx)

Life Span:

11-13 years (Approx)


Medium sized spitz breed with dense, profuse coat. Robust conformation with strong built.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length of the body is only slightly longer than the height at the withers. The depth of the body is about the half of the height at the withers. The ratio between muzzle and skull is approximately 2 : 3. The length of the skull is about the same as its breadth and depth.

Skin is tight overall without wrinkles.
The outer coat is harsh and straight. On the neck, back and backside of the upper thighs longer than elsewhere. Undercoat is soft and dense.
Colour: Black, may be dull, or with nuances of brown. Most individuals have clearly defined white markings on the head, neck, chest, belly and the legs.
Eyes are rather small, slightly oval. Brown of different shades. The expression is alert and fiery.
Ears are erect, set rather high, medium sized with slightly rounded tips.
Tail is set high, of medium length, curved over the back, the tip of the tail touching the body on either side or the back. A natural bobtail is permitted and is of equal value to a natural long tail.


The Komi dog, also called the dog of Zyrians, is considered to be the origin of the breed. However, the basic stock dogs originated from the Lagoda’s Karelia, Olonets and Russian Karelia, where they were used for all different types of game hunting. The breeding was started in 1936 with the goal to create a sturdy dog which barks at big game. Then it was agreed that the name of the breed is Karelian Bear Dog. The first standard was established in 1945. The first dogs were registered in 1946. Today the breed is common in Finland.


Eager hunter; very independent, yet works co-operatively to game, marking game by barking. The senses, especially of smell, are sharp, thus the breed is suitable for big game hunting.

Very good sense of direction. Balanced, courageous and persistent. Highly developed spirit for game. Very self-confident, may be territorial towards other males, but never aggressive towards people. Slightly reserved.


Karelian is playful, friendly and outgoing. Meaning, if you want a Karelian Bear dog then waking up early in the morning and regular evening walks will be your part of the daily routine. They are happy breed when they spend enough time playing and hunting.


Currently no Breeders in SA for this Breed