Huntaway vs Karelo-Finnish Laika - Breed Comparison

Huntaway is originated from New Zealand but Karelo-Finnish Laika is originated from Russia. Huntaway may grow 18 cm / 8 inches higher than Karelo-Finnish Laika. Huntaway may weigh 32 kg / 71 pounds more than Karelo-Finnish Laika. Both Huntaway and Karelo-Finnish Laika has almost same life span. Huntaway may have less litter size than Karelo-Finnish Laika. Both Huntaway and Karelo-Finnish Laika requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Working dog
Origin:
New Zealand
Russia
Height Male:
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
38 - 48 cm
14 - 19 inches
Height Female:
52 - 62 cm
20 - 25 inches
38 - 48 cm
14 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
25 - 46 kg
55 - 102 pounds
11 - 14 kg
24 - 31 pounds
Weight Female:
20 - 35 kg
44 - 78 pounds
11 - 14 kg
24 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 7
6 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
New Zealand Huntaway, New Zealand Sheepdog
Laika
Colors Available:
commonly black and tan, tricolour, variable
Reddish
Coat:
smooth or rough
Longish and coarse
Shedding:
Minimal
Moderate
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Courageous, Energetic, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Playful, Responsive, Sweet
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Stubborn, Sweet, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

The Huntaway or New Zealand Huntaway is a herding dog that originated in the New Zealand sheep country. Their main purpose is to drive sheep and they are not an old breed. They were developed late in the 19th century for their working skills. The only real criteria was that they were black and tan. A dog must win a trial in order to be placed in the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association studbook. They drive sheep mainly through their deep, loud voice.

In the New Zealand high country there was a need for a working dog with stamina, agility and intelligence to work the sheep as a drover (herder). The dog had to be able to handle rough, steep land and work with very large groups of sheep. The sheer area of land that the sheep graze and the dog would have to cover, demanded that this dog have stamina and strength to cover large pasture land and work for days if necessary. Before this the shepherds had used British sheepdogs but they preferred dogs that barked while working. So they bred the British Sheepdogs with Collies, Border Collies, Labrador, Rottweiler, Doberman and other barking sheepdogs to create the Huntaway. In addition to the bark, they bred for stamina and size.

They were participating in field trails in 1870 and ads for them were seen in newspapers by 1884. They became a separate breed in the 20th century. Today they are spreading around the world and are becoming very popular. It is not recommended that they be kept as pets however, since they are true working dogs.

The Karelo Finnish Laika is a Spitz type hunting dog from the Karelia area of Russia.Some people say the dog developed in Sweden. The dog is from a group of ‘Laika’ breeds and has that typical Spitz-type look – the sharpish face, the erect ears and the tail which curls over the back.

This attractive dog was developed as a hunting dog, and has a thick, weatherproof coat.The Karelo-Finnish Laika breed developed because people wanted a smaller sized hunting dog that could cope well with the weather, and these Laika dogs matched well.

The breed is ancient – centuries old, and after dying out in numbers during the second world war, the breed was revived when Russians imported Finnish Spitzes from Finland and bred them. The dog is similar to the Finnish Spitz, and in 2006 the Finnish Kennel Club and Russian Kennel Federation included the Karelo-Finnish Laika as a Finnish Spitz breed.

Description

The Huntaway is a large dog with a deep chest and a black and tan coat. They are strong, big and muscular with voices to match. They herd, head, work the sheep in pastures and force them into pens. They are bred to have that big authoritative, deep bark. They do not yap. Their bodies are well proportioned but longer than high. They have well - padded feet and a deep chest for stamina, along with strong legs and body that allows them to run fast and change directions at will.

The tail of a Huntaway if long, while their heads are shaped like blocks while the muzzle is long and the nose is black. They have dark, round eyes and long ears. An unusually attractive dog, they have dense fur with fringe on the tail and chest. There is characteristics a very large variety in the in the way the breed looks from one dog to the next. Thus they do not participate in confirmation events, as the standard is based on working characteristics rather than appearance guidelines. They are more a “class” than a “breed”.

With his wolf-like appearance, the Karelo Finnish Laika is a sharp, intelligent dog and is the smallest Laika in Russia used for hunting. He stands at about 38–48 cm in height and weighs about 11 - 14 kg.

His coat is a reddish color and the fur is fairly long and coarse with a dense, soft undercoat. He looks like a red fox with his sharp, bright face, his erect ears, black nose and bushy tail which curls over the back.

Temperament:

The Karelo-Finnish Laika is a sweet dog with a quiet character. Whenever you suggest a game for him, he throws his docile side to the wind and becomes highly energetic and animated. He is an active dog and loves nothing more than a game with his human family members.

He is mistrustful of strangers, he tends to bark easily and he is territorial and all these characteristic go towards making him a good watchdog. He is quite prepared to live peacefully alongside other dogs in the home, more so when he has been trained and socialized.

He makes a great friend and pet for families and is more than ready to be loving and loyal to his human family.

Health Problems

The Huntaway is a pretty healthy breed, developed as it was from the sheepdogs and collies. They still face some inherited issues such as:

  • Hip dysplasia – can cause lameness and arthritis
  • Cancer of bone – life threatening
  • Ear Infections – long eared dogs are prone to infections
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IIIA (MPS IIIA) – rare metabolic issue can cause neurological problems.
  • Dilated Caridomyopathy (DCM) – enlarged heart can cause heart failure

Apart from his good looks, the Karelo-Finnish Laika happens to be a pretty healthy breed and there are no known hereditary health problems with him. Diseases which can affect any dog -

Hip Dysplasia:

Many large breeds are prone to hip dysplasia. In hip dysplasia, joint problems cause arthritis and pain and eventually lameness. These days, when buying a puppy, people ask breeders about whether the parents were screened for hip dysplasia.

Obesity:

Any dog fed the wrong diet and who isn’t exercised can become overweight. Obesity in dogs is linked to many health problems in dogs. If you’re in doubt about your pet, consult with your vet on the best food for him.

Cancer:

Many dogs are at risk for certain types of cancer, including lymphoma which is cancer of the lymph nodes. When you are brushing your pet, check him for any unusual lumps so that you can catch cancer early.

Heart Conditions:

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is where the chambers of the heart are stretched out and don't pump blood properly. Sometimes it can go undetected for a while until the dog becomes seriously ill, requiring emergency medical attention. Medications can regulate heart rhythm but there is no cure.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the Puppy

If you are not using your Huntaway to herd, then feed a medium formula not a high protein, high calorie formula. Feed 3-4 times a day and 1-2 cups.

Feeding the adult

3 cups per day feeding twice a day high quality medium calorie food.

Points for Good Health

Exceptional stamina

Games and Exercises

This herding breed has a great need of mental and physical stimulation. They were born to herd and to do so over vast tracts of land in challenging conditions. They need to be challenged. They need daily exercise at a very high level. A Run them every day or take them on a couple of long walks. They will excel in field trials, Barnhunt, agility and rescue. They love to learn.

The Karelo-Finnish Laika is a most attractive looking dog and his thick, double coat will need to be brushed at least twice a week to keep it free from dust, grass and burrs. He sheds throughout the year so this brushing will keep the loose dog hair under control.

Diet:

Watch your Karelo-Finnish Laika’s diet as a lean, mean dog can live longer than one who is overfed. Dogs which are overweight are likely to develop joint problems and heart disease.

The quality of food you feed your pet is hugely important. Popping chocolates and peanuts into his mouth because you love him so much will be toxic for him. Apart from his top quality dry kibble, add in some cooked chicken, rice and vegetables as a tasty treat and mix in a little bit of raw meat also when you can.

Exercise:

Exercise for your Karelo Finnish Laika is a key component to prolonging his life, and he absolutely loves games, walks and action all the way. It will keep him in shape, keep him happy and prolong his life.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

They are very good with children and love to play with them.

Special talents

Stamina, speed and independence

Adaptability

Not really. Don’t do well in small spaces. Better off in the country.

Learning ability

Very intelligent, quick learner, loves learning new things.

The Karelo Finnish Laika is such an energetic dog, full of life and he promises to make an affectionate family dog.

He is a fairly low maintenance dog too and not prone to getting sick easily. Treat this attractive Laika dog like he deserves and you’ll find that he makes a splendid pet.

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