Nenets Herding Laika

Nenets Herding Laika

A representative of the breed needs a human. Sociable and open dogs quickly establish contact with strangers and animals. Inquisitive and constantly aware of what is going on. If there will be a long separation, be prepared for the depressed mood of the Nenets Herding Laika.

Breed Information

Another NameReindeer Laika,
Reindeer Spitz,
Nenets Laika,
Tavgian laika,
Russian Samoyed Laika
HeightMales 44-52 cm
Females 40-45 cm
Weight10-15 kg
ColorZonar ginger, gray, brown, white, black, papad, spotted
Lifespan12-16 years
FCI ClassificationBreeds outside the FCI classification
GroupWatchdogs, guard dogs
PriceFrom $350 to $1300

Breed Photos

Origin History

The history of the breed goes back to the Paleolithic era. The ancestor of the Nenets Herding Laika is considered to be the ancient peat dog. It is from her that the representatives of the European spitzes originated. The northern peoples lived in isolation. Therefore, the reindeer spitz preserved its blood purity. Scientists are divided in opinion about the origin of the breed. Some believe that the representative served as a primitive native of the Arctic lands. Others are sure that the Scandinavians brought from Europe to the Yamal Peninsula relatives of the peat dog. Then the Nenets Herding Laika fell into the hands of the Lapps.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Lapps saw that the Nenets were herding without helpers. So they sent their four-legged friends to help them. Before that, the reindeer herding spitz performed hunting functions. Near the Nenets, he became an excellent shepherd for the reindeer herds. The dog was recognized as an integral member of the indigenous northerner’s family. The educated Nenets Herding Laika was equal in price to a deer. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale did not recognize the modern representatives of the breed. They have been recognized only in Russia since the late 1990s.


Nenets Herding Laikas are typical representatives of northern animals. They are notable for their physical endurance despite their small size. Males are larger than females. The head is wedge-shaped with a pointed muzzle. The small eyes set obliquely. The rounded ears are covered with a thick coat. This coat protects against low temperatures and insects. The skeleton is well developed. The legs of the reindeer spitz are straight, set parallel.

The lush coat consists of stiff padded hair and a soft undercoat. The wool over the body is, on average, about 8 cm. The tail can reach up to 25 cm in length. It is omitted or rounded closer to the back. Nenets Herding Laika with wavy hair, undercoat, tiger color, floppy ears, and big round blue eyes is not officially recognized.


A representative of the breed needs a human. Sociable and open dogs quickly establish contact with strangers and animals. Inquisitive and constantly aware of what is going on. If there will be a long separation, be prepared for the depressed mood of the Nenets Herding Laika.

Pets are suitable for both families with children and single people. They are more disciplined than other representatives of northern dogs. Intelligent and make their own decisions in unexpected situations. Given the reactions of the owner to a particular action, act intuitively. The animal will make a good guardian. Cowardice and aggressive behavior are not officially recognized.


The Nenets Herding Laika gets along best in a private home. It needs space and likes to be active. For apartments, the dogs are not very suitable. Nenets people didn’t take much care of the shepherd dogs of the tundra. Therefore, in extreme and natural conditions, the pets cope with hygiene on their own. If the dog lives in a house or apartment, regular combing will be required. To speed up coat renewal, brush daily during active shedding periods. A thick coat helps the dog to withstand sub-zero temperatures and hot +30. It is recommended to bathe a husky not more often than once a year. If it is not necessary, then even less often. Regular compulsory care includes filing nails, checking ears and eyes.


Training a Nenets Herding Laika is not difficult. The intelligent representative of the breed quickly grasps commands. Do not use aggression in training. Often adults are used as mentors to share experiences.

It is recommended to start training after one year of age. Train Nenets Herding Laikas according to the functions they have to perform. The training should be carried out in an active form of play. In the absence of physical activity, the dog quickly gains weight. Practice walks twice a day for one hour.

Common Diseases

Because of natural selection, the breed has strong health. Also, mankind throughout history conducted a serious selection: unhealthy puppies were immediately killed. On average, huskies live about 14 years. Some representatives live up to 16 years. No widespread genetic diseases were found.


The Nenets Herding Laikas kept the husky as a caretaker. It used to eat the leftovers after cutting up a deer carcass. It also ate food from the master’s table. The modern representative of the reindeer spitz needs meat, fish, and by-products. Plus porridges, vegetables, and vitamin and mineral supplements. Completely exclude fatty, sweet, spicy, and smoked foods. If you choose dry food, give preference to premium food for owners of thick coats.

In summer, dogs catch mice as food. In winter, feed your pet once in the evening. It is better to cancel morning meals to maintain natural activity.