Karelian Bear Dog, Karjalankarhukoira

The Karelian Bear Dog, or Karjalankarhukoira, is a medium-sized, strong and robust dog which is used for moose and bear hunting by holding the game at the bay. This independent and eager hunter originated in Finnish area of Karelia and is valued by his keen sense of smell and a very good sense of direction. He is willing to take on virtually any game animal.

The Karelian Bear Dog is sociable and friendly, yet very territorial and fearless when threatened. This is not an easy dog to keep as a companion, so be sure to provide firm, consistent training if the dog is to be kept for this purpose. The Karelian is a very self-confident breed which may be aggressive towards other dogs, but never towards people.

Karelian Bear DogPhoto courtesy of GrawPaws Bear Dogs

The ideal height is 19 -23 inches at shoulders. The outer coat harsh and straight. On the neck, back and backside of the upper thighs it is longer than elsewhere. The undercoat is soft and dense. Preferred colors are black, may be dull or shaded with brown. Most individuals have clearly defined white markings on the head, neck, chest, belly and the legs.


  1. FCI-Standard # FCI-Standard # 48/12.03.1999/GB

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