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Karelian Bear Dog
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Karelian Bear Dog

Karelian Bear Dogs “Loyal, Independent, Courageous”

Karelian Bear Dogs were bred to be naturally aggressive to other animals for hunting purposes. For that reason, it takes a good deal of socialization and training to keep them as household companions. Also, they have high energy and exercise requirements.

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


The Karelian Bear Dog is a Spitz-type breed with an ancestry that goes way back. In fact, archaeological records suggest that dogs similar to the modern Karelian Bear Dog existed in northeastern Europe and Scandinavia as far back as Neolithic times, and they likely followed the first human settlers to the area thousands of years ago. People who lived in the region depended on successful hunts to eat and survive, and Karelian Bear Dogs were kept and bred to help with that task. They were most often used to hunt squirrel, hares, and other small game, but they were also capable of hunting large, aggressive animals, as well. Two Karelian Bear Dogs could easily tree a bear and bark at it until their human could catch up and bring the animal down.

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).

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.

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