Karelian Bear Dog

Temperament: Loyal, Independent, Courageous

  • Height: 19-23.5 inches
  • Weight: 44-49 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service 

The Karelian Bear Dog is an eager hunter and very independent, yet works cooperatively to mark game by barking. Their senses, especially smell, are sharp, thus the breed is suitable for big game hunting. They have a very good sense of direction, are balanced, courageous and persistent. This breed has a highly developed spirit for game and are very self-confident. They may be territorial towards other males, but are never aggressive towards people, though they may be slightly reserved.

About the Karelian Bear Dog

The Karelian Bear Dog is a medium-sized spitz with a dense coat. Bred to hunt large, aggressive game by himself, his build reflects his duties. He is a silent hunter, and only barks once the game is stopped or treed. Working with an experienced hunter, he communicates the type of animal he has located by the sound of his bark. Though he can demonstrate self-control around people, his fighting spirit surfaces around other dogs and can be difficult to handle. His spirit easily turns into aggression, as Karelian Bear Dogs love a challenge.

NUTRITION The Karelian Bear Dog should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep your Karelian Bear Dog clean and looking his best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. The strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

EXERCISE Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, orwalks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

HEALTH Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Karelian Bear Dog can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilise health screenings and genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

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