Karelian Bear Dog - appearance


A Karelian Bear dog male of good breed type (International, Swedish and Finnish Champion and Working Champion K & S-MVA FIN-K& MVA) Körri reg.no. 165233/77

A typical and excellent example of the breed, the male Dual Champion FIN & MVA Usvan Murri (10211/77) represents the breed as it was in the 1960s, of which Juho Perttola notes: "As a by-product of breeding for elk hunting something which is peerless in spitz breeding in Finland has been produced

A puppy born with a bob-tail, Piipun Nysä (11759S/80).

As far as the appearance is concerned, the aim of breeding is to obtain high-quality working dog, whose function and breed type fit the breed standard.
Karelian Bear Dog is a member of the hunting spitz, whose type and function are firmly united: thus the bear dog has clearly working quality.
The bear dog, and the other hunting spitz are square or just a little long in proportions, with a tail that comes over the back curled either more or less, and erect ears.

The Karelian Bear Dogs' hunting strengths are:

• keen senses especially of scent both for tracking and a sense of direction
• excellent search and find skills
• very good sense of direction
• co-operation with the hunter


By nature, the Karelian Bear Dog is:

• balanced
• slightly reserved
• utterly courageous
• gutsy
• friendly to people

For type, the bear dog is:

• medium sized
• strong boned but not heavy
• strong and built for endurance
• only slightly longer than the height at the withers
• has a harsh straight coat
• light gait
• moves typically at the gallop

Bear Dogs born with a bob tail 

Bear dogs can be born with a naturally bob tail and these still fit the breed standard. Puppies born like this do not need special certification, but have it recorded on their registration papers providing that the breeder declares them at the time of registration. Bob tail Karelian Bear dogs can be entered in shows in the normal way.

The breed type from the start 

Judging the Karelian Bear Dog is demanding from beginning to end. Right at the start the emphasis is on the black and white colour, the thick coat and a size fit for purpose. Hunters strictly select their puppies. This way quality develops quickly. Over many years a breed was created which is overflowing with nature's strengths, a little influenced by the arctic, a fabled dog which is comparable to untamed nature: ‘ The Karelian bear dog's black and white colour, his dark eyes' burning gaze, his upright bearing and muscular suppleness captivate the hunter. He is like a piece of wild, untamed wilderness.'

Bear Dog stands out from the herd

An overview of the breed today shows that it is more or less uniform. Of course natural variations occur in the sense that Karelian Bear Dogs are individuals who are easy to identify one from another.

Pure Breed Bear Dog

In Finland, the Karelian Bear Dog as a breed has not been crossed with another breed. At the breed's Winter Days (Tälvipäivät) in 2000 the Bear Dog breeding committee stated at their meeting: "Karelian bear dogs must under no circumstances be mixed with other breeds or have strange, unknown individuals muddying their backround and characteristics - there is simply no need for this.
Pystykorva 3, kesäkuu 2000 page 24.