Phung San vs Karelo-Finnish Laika - Breed Comparison

Phung San is originated from North Korea but Karelo-Finnish Laika is originated from Russia. Phung San may grow 12 cm / 5 inches higher than Karelo-Finnish Laika. Phung San may weigh 16 kg / 36 pounds more than Karelo-Finnish Laika. Both Phung San and Karelo-Finnish Laika has almost same life span. Both Phung San and Karelo-Finnish Laika has same litter size. Phung San requires Moderate maintenance. But Karelo-Finnish Laika requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Working dog
Working dog
North Korea
Height Male:
57 - 60 cm
22 - 24 inches
38 - 48 cm
14 - 19 inches
Height Female:
57 - 60 cm
22 - 24 inches
38 - 48 cm
14 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
11 - 14 kg
24 - 31 pounds
Weight Female:
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
11 - 14 kg
24 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 10
6 - 10
Large dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Poongsan, Pungsan
Colors Available:
White and cream
Shortish thick double coat
Longish and coarse
Moderate, Seasonal
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Stubborn, Sweet, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


The Phung San, Pungsan or ‘Poongsan dog’ is native to Korea. Outside of Korea, this dog is virtually unheard of.

The origin of the dog goes back to the 16th century, but there aren’t many records of where the breed descended from. Some dog experts believe the breed descends from Siberian Laika dogs while others say they are a mix of Mastiff and Herding breeds. It is believed that the Pungsan has been used for hunting large predators.

It was during the Japanese occupation of North Korea that the breed was declared a national treasure.

The Phung San isn't recognized by any major kennel clubs.

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.


This is a Spitz-type dog and it is considered to be medium to large size. He is an athletic, muscular dog with a deep chest standing at 57 to 60cm in height and weighing roughly between 25 and 30kg.

The legs are nice and straight, the ears erect and the bushy tails curls up over the back.The head is fairly triangular in shape, the nose is black and the eyes are brown, bright and alert.

The coat is thick and comes in different shades of white and cream.


These dogs are such loyal, devoted pets. They’re independent dogs and will benefit from being trained and socialized. With this kind of training they can get on well with children in the home. They can be quite snooty with strangers but they’re good watchdogs.

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.


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

Able to get to 13 or 14 years of age, the Pungsan dog enjoys good health, but there are some dog diseases that it is good to be aware of -

Hip Dysplasia:

Hip Dysplasia can mean no more games for your pet. It’s a disease that can have a large impact on your pet’s quality of life. It’s not reserved for old dogs either but it affects medium to large breed dogs.

Diet, weight of dog, genetics and environmental factors can all cause hip dysplasia, and while the symptoms are often subtle at first, you’ll see a limp starting and your dog holding his leg up off the ground. The severity of symptoms can change from day to day but the pain can be severe and you will need to get your pet to the vet.


This is an eye problem where the eyelids roll too far inwards and then scrape on the surface of the eye, possibly leading to corneal scarring and painful eye infections.


This is a life threatening illness where the stomach bloats up with gas and the stomach can actually twist. Your pet will be restless, panting and acting out of character and absolutely no time should be wasted getting your pet to the vet.

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.


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.


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


This is an active, energetic dog that will require some vigorous physical activity each day. While a walk is an excellent form of exercise, he will need something more hectic. You can take him to the park and allow him to run free off his leash, take him with you on your hikes and play ball- or frisbee games with him.


Your Pungsan sheds quite a bit because the fur is thick and you will need to have him brushed at least twice a week. Turn this brushing session into a proper grooming session. There are several things to check during these brushing sessions which your pet will love -

Run your hands over him and check for any unusual lumps.

Look inside his mouth and check his teeth. Your pet can’t tell you that there is a rotting tooth causing tremendous pain and illness.

Check the inside of his ears and make sure they aren’t red and clogged with excess wax and debris. There are ways to clean them and if you don’t know how or you don’t want to, allow a professional groomer to check his teeth, inside his ears and also trim his nails.

Make sure he has an excellent diet. There are some really good commercially manufactured dog foods that have the right balance of vitamins and minerals in them. Give him some home-made food too. Nothing exotic and spicy – just wholesome, simple food that won’t upset his stomach – boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and some sweet potato, carrots and spinach. Mix these into his kibble from time to time. Once in a while you can also give him some raw meat. Make sure he has easy access to fresh, cool water.

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.


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 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.


Your Phung San dog is a strong-willed dominant type of dog, and training and socialization will do him the world of good in terms of making him obedient and well mannered. He is loyal, faithful and loving and protects and guards those he loves.

Some people say these dogs aren’t a good choice for novice dog owners, but dogs essentially turn out the way their owners are. The right upbringing will ensure your Pungsan Dog is a good pet for new owners and for families with children.

Do research and you’ll see that these beautiful dogs make splendid pets and companions.

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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