Dog Breed

Karelian Bear Dog

RareGuard DogAdventure Driven
Primary image of Karelian Bear Dog dog breed
Full Name
Karelian Bear Dog
Alternate Names
Karelian
Your PupScore
Take the best dog breed quiz to get your Pup Scores!
Life Span
10 - 12 years
Weight
50 - 60 pounds
Description

The Karelian bear dog is the dog that wins the award for the coolest sounding name. This is an ancient dog, and it doesn't just have the name for nothing- the Karelian bear dog has traditionally been used for big game hunting in cold temperatures. The Karelian bear dog is originally from Finland and is fairly rare in the US and the western hemisphere in general. Karelians are protective, loyal, and would do well if they have a job and can be exercised regularly. They are shy with new dogs or strangers, so they would do best in a home without other dogs, especially if protective instincts are what you are looking for. The Karelian is incredibly brave and loyal.

Origin
Finland
Bred For
Hunting big game in cold climates
Attachments
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog good with children?

    Unfortunately, the Karelian Bear Dog is not automatically well suited with children and we would not recommend for homes with very small children unless early socialization with children is taken seriously.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog friendly with strangers?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is not automatically friendly with strangers and we would not recommend for a living situation with frequent guests.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog friendly with other dogs?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is not naturally friendly with other dogs, but with a good amount of early socialization as a puppy they can learn to get along with most breeds of dog. Proper training is required before letting the Karelian Bear Dog go off-leash or to dog parks.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Karelian Bear Dog like to cuddle?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is not a cuddle bug, but it can still appreciate affection. It just has different boundaries with physical affection.
    Playfulness

    Does the Karelian Bear Dog like to play?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is playful both as a puppy and as an adult dog. As they get older they may appreciate their alone time, and may not be in the mood for constant play, but certainly will have plenty of time for play as well.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Karelian Bear Dog make a good service dog?

    Historically, the Karelian Bear Dog has never been used as a service dog and really would not be a good fit.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog good for first-time owners?

    The Karelian Bear Dog would not be the best fit for first-time owners. A breed is only good for first-time owners if it is raised for home companionship, and is open to training and is motivated to please its owner.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Karelian Bear Dog be trained?

    The Karelian Bear Dog does not have high levels of training potential. There are exceptions, but the Karelian Bear Dog is not typically seen in competitions or as a service dog or police dog.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Karelian Bear Dog shed a lot?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is an average shedder. Karelian Bear Dog owners will probably still tell you it's a lot of shedding, but certain breeds shed even more.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog easy to groom?

    The Karelian Bear Dog requires an average amount of grooming. Taking your Karelian Bear Dog to the pet salon will make your life easier, but its possible to groom a Karelian Bear Dog on your own as well.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Karelian Bear Dog need a lot of exercise?

    The Karelian Bear Dog needs a daily exercise partner! The Karelian Bear Dog is best suited for a family where it will get plenty of daily exercise; it has so much energy that exercise is mandatory to avoid destructive behaviors.
    Personality
    Intelligence

    How smart is the Karelian Bear Dog?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is very smart. Above-average intelligence means they can pick up on cues and signals quickly when it comes to training. But it also means that they need to be challenged mentally, in addition to their standard exercise needs.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Karelian Bear Dog bark? Does the Karelian Bear Dog bark too much?

    The Karelian Bear Dog occasionally barks, but only for specific reasons such as when they need something, for protection, etc.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog a good guard dog?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is not a dog breed necessarily known as a guard dog, but they are alert. The Karelian Bear Dog is protective of its family, and has above average tendencies when it comes to guarding property.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog good at staying alone? Is the Karelian Bear Dog independent?

    The Karelian Bear Dog prefers having family around at all times, but can also do well when left alone. The Karelian Bear Dog still needs plenty of attention, but is independent, and can typically be left alone for several hours without issues.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog a good apartment dog?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.
    Size

    How big is the Karelian Bear Dog?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Karelian Bear Dog tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Karelian Bear Dog?

    The Karelian Bear Dog can tolerate some heat, but should not be over-exposed to hot weather. In general, they can live in hot weather climates, but would do best with air conditioning or at least a fan in their home, especially where they sleep.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Karelian Bear Dog tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Karelian Bear Dog?

    The Karelian Bear Dog does very well in cold weather, and loves the snow. They were built for it!
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Karelian Bear Dog try to run away?

    It is natural for the Karelian Bear Dog to run away. They are easily distracted and excited, so the urge to run away should be expected and prepared for- a fenced yard is important.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog a healthy dog? The health of a Karelian Bear Dog should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Karelian Bear Dog is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Karelian Bear Dog high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Karelian Bear Dog?

    The Karelian Bear Dog has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Karelian Bear Dog into your home. Can you give your Karelian Bear Dog enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Karelian Bear Dog drool?

    The Karelian Bear Dog does not drool at all.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Karelian Bear Dog have a large prey drive? Does the Karelian Bear Dog like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Karelian Bear Dog has a very high prey drive and will naturally chase after any small animals it sees. They can co-exist with cats or other animals at the home, but we would not recommend it without supervision.
    Athleticism

    Is the Karelian Bear Dog atheltic?

    The Karelian Bear Dog is very athletic and would be well suited for a family that frequently works out or goes on adventures.
  1. Working
  2. Nordic Hunting Dog
  3. Karelian Bear Dog
The Karelian Bear Dog is a purebred dog that belongs to the Nordic Hunting Dog sub group, which falls under the larger Working dog breed group.
Working group: Working dogs encompass a wide range of different breeds- but they all were bred to assist people, so they are used to working hard. It is important for them to feel they have a "job" as their roles traditionally have varied from rescuing people to pulling sleds. Because of their large size and intensity, they may be a handful for first time dog owners. On the other side, they can be trained well, so any owner who can exercise and dedicate to training their working dog, will be well rewarded. A common misconception may be that the working dog's jobs are only in physically challenging jobs; actually working dogs can also make excellent service dogs, since they are also kind and attentive to their owners.
Nordic Hunting Dog sub-group: Nordic hunting dogs are exactly like they sound- dogs that have been bred to help with hunting game in the nordics, where it gets very cold. They are a primitive spitz type breed, but have been want to please their owner, and enjoy retrieving. Imagine the mix between a husky and a retriever... sort of. Nordic hunting dogs are unique, intelligent, and high energy. They are playful and lovable with family but hesitant with strangers. Because of their high energy and outdoor nature they are not the best apartment dog, despite their medium size. Furthermore, Nordic hunting dogs typically bark a lot- it is one of their main tools in indicating the location of hunting game, so it is bred as a part of them. They can be stubborn, but can be a fine dog for a novice if they are trained well from an early age.

Karelian Bear Dogs for sale or adoption

Similar Breeds