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About the breed
© Susanne Tinzmann
FCI Standard for Carelian Bear Dogs
FCI-Standard N° 48 / 12. 03. 1999 / GB
KARELIAN BEAR DOG
TRANSLATION : Finnish Kennel Club.
ORIGIN : Finland.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID
STANDARD : 12.03.1999.
UTILIZATION : A dog mainly for elk and bear hunting, holds the game at bay. Eager
hunter; very independent, yet works cooperatively to game, marking game by barking. The senses, especially of
scent, are keen, thus the breed is suitable for big game hunting. Very good
sense of direction.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 5 Spitz and primitive types.
Section 2 Nordic Hunting Dogs.
Working trial only for the nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland).
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Komi dog, also called the dog of Zyrians, is considered to be the origin of the
breed. However, the basic stock dogs originated from the Lagoda's Karelia, Olonets
and Russian Karelia , where they were used for all different types of game
hunting. The breeding was started in 1936 with the goal to create a sturdy dog which barks at big game. The first standard was
established in 1945. The first dogs were registred in 1946. Today the breed is common in Finland.
GENERAL APPEARANCE : Medium sized, robust conformation, strong, only slightly longer than the height at the withers, with dense
coat and pricked ears.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : The length of the body is only slightly longer than the height at the withers. The depth of the body is
about the half of the height at the withers. The ratio between muzzle and skull is approximately 2 : 3. The length of the skull is about the
same as its breadth and depth.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Balanced, slightly reserved, courageous and persistent. Very self-confident, may be aggressive
towards other dogs, but never towards people. Highly developed
|| Viewed from the front triangular in shape.
|CRANIAL REGION :
||Broad; viewed from the front and in profile slightly
Broadest between the ears.
The frontal furrow is barely visible. The
superciliary ridges are only slightly developed.
|| Not very pronounced, rather long, arched gradually towards the
FACIAL REGION :
|| Large, black in colour.
|| Deep, tapering only slightly towards the nose. The nasal
bridge is straight.
|| Rather thin and tight.
|| The jaws are very strong. The teeth are well developed
and symmetrical; normal dentition. Tight scissor bite.
|| The zygomatic arches are strong.
|| Rathers small, slightly oval. Brown of different shades, never
The expression is alert and fiery.
|| Erect, set rather high, medium sized with slightly rounded tips.
|| Muscular; of medium length, arched and covered with
profuse hair. Without dewlap.
|| Clearly defined, especially in males, less defined in bitches.
|| Straight and muscular.
|| Short and muscular.
|| Broad, strong and slightly sloping.
|| Spacious, not very broad, rather long, reaching approximatelyto the elbows. The ribs are slightly arched; the forechest clearly
visible, yet not very broad.
|| Slightly tucked up.
|| High set, of medium length, curved over the back, the tip of
the tail touching the body on either side or on the back. A natural
bobtail is permitted.
|| Strong with strong bone. Viewed from the front straight and parallel. The upper arm and the shoulder blade are equal
in length, the forearm is slightly longer.
|| Relatively oblique, muscular.
|| Slightly oblique and strong.
|| Pointing straight backwards, placed on the vertical line
drawn from the highest point of the shoulder blade.
|| Strong and vertical.
| Of medium length, slightly oblique.
|| Tight, well arched, roundish and pointing forward. Pads
springy, the sides covered with dense hair.
|| Strong and muscular, viewed from behind straight and parallel. The front line of the hind limb is evenly arched.
|| Broad and long with strong muscles.
|| Pointing forward, medium angulation.
|| Long and muscular.
|| Low; angulation clearly visible.
|| Short, strong and vertical.
|| Tight, slightly longer and less arched than the front feet.
Pads springy, the sides covered with dense hair.
| Light, ground covering and effortless. Changes easily from trot to gallop, which is the most natural style of movement. The legs move parallel.
|| Tight overall without wrinkles.
|| Outer coat harsh and straight. On the neck, back and backside
of the upper thighs longer than elsewhere. The undercoat is soft and
|| Black, may be dull or shaded with brown. Most individuals have clearly defined white markings on the head, neck,
chest, belly and the legs.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at withers : Ideal height for males 57 cm,
Ideal height for females 52 cm.
With a tolerance of ± 3 cm.
Weight : Males 25 - 28 kg,
Bitches 17 - 20 kg.
FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be
regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
- Light in bone.
- Narrow skull.
- Strongly bulging forehead.
- Snipey muzzle.
- Yellow eyes.
- Soft or bat ears.
- Too deep or barrel shaped ribcage.
- Straight or insufficiently curved tail.
- Straight shoulders.
- Straight hocks and flat feet.
- Dewclaws on hindlegs.
- Wavy coat.
- Predominantly white colour with black markings or some so called wolf hair.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Overshot or undershot mouth.
- Wall eye.
- Ears hanging or with drooping tips.
- Other colours than allowed in the standard.
- Aggressiveness towards people.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.