23 Russian Dog Breeds

There are several distinct and popular Russian dog breeds. Some of these include the Borzoi, also known as Russian Wolfhound, famous for its speed and agility, and the Samoyed, which is known for its friendly and gentle nature.

Then there’s the Black Russian Terrier, a breed created by the Soviet Red Army that is highly trainable and often used in security. The Caucasian Shepherd, renowned for its protection skills, is also a frequent choice.

The Siberian Husky, which originates from Siberia’s northeastern area, is popular for its endurance and strength, often associated with sled pulling. Also, the Russian Toy, one of the smallest dogs in the world, is a beloved companion breed.

Finally, there’s the East European Shepherd and the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, which are both known for their strong guarding and protecting instincts. These are just a few examples of Russian dog breeds, each offering their unique characteristics and qualities.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

. Russia is most well-known because of its harsh winters, frozen tundra and a large portion that runs across Asia. It can be hard to live in an area with bitterly cold temperatures. This is why it has taken special canines over the centuries to survive these harsher climates . You might already be familiar with the most well-known Russian Dog Breeds.

But there are many breeds that were developed in Russia. These dogs are some of the oldest on the planet, with histories stretching back many thousands of years ,.

If you live in a colder area, you might consider adding a dog of Russian heritage to your family. Although not all these dogs are possible to acquire or care for, it is always beneficial to have a better understanding of what makes them tick. Continue reading to learn more about these amazing dogs from the north.

Russian Dog Breeds

Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier was bred to be able to deal with many situations . They love to play in the cold, and will often chase after rain or snow. These dogs were created to meet the demand for a gentle, but alert working dog that was also obedient.

These qualities are great for home life. A Black Russian Terrier makes a wonderful companion ! Although these large dogs can be wary of strangers, they will always show love and affection to their families.

While they love smaller animals , Black Russian Terriers enjoy being big and in control. They may have difficulty getting along with other large dogs. They are happy to live in small homes, regardless of their size. Around 60 minutes of walking per day will be enough to tire this big dog out and keep them well-behaved.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husk y is perhaps the most famous Russian dog. These dogs are a classic and one of the most loved breeds in the world . These dogs were originally bred to pull their sleds across vast frozen wilderness.

Huskies still enjoy working, but they are more often considered family companions. Although Huskies can be playful and enjoy spending time with their families they need to be trained properly so that their roughhousing doesn’t injure others.

These dogs are happiest when there is a job to do ,. They are very energetic. They will need a whopping 120 minutes of exercise each day, so you should ensure you’re able to keep up with their pace! Huskies are greatly benefited by living in active families that have the time and energy to take care of their energy needs. They are able to do strenuous activities, such as running after a frisbee or hiking.


The Samoyed is another popular dog from Russia. Their large, happy faces and dense, white fur make them hard to miss. Because they don’t have any wolf or fox genes, they are believed to be primitive dogs. They served in Siberia as companions to hunters and shepherds .

They are great family pets and are happy to do work in that area. They are loyal, friendly and affectionate dogs. They are well-suited for many types of households. Because they are friendly, Samoyeds don’t excel at guard dogs . They make excellent watchdogs due to their natural alertness and keen senses.

Keep your Samoyed happy. They can become destructive when bored. Training them can help you prevent destructive behavior. However, they may need to be commanded. Samoyeds can be stubborn ! They love to run and will require a large yard.

Franzuskaya Bolonka

The Franzuskaya Bolonka, one of the two Russian Bolonka breeds, is also a member of the Russian Bolonka family. It can be confusing to look at their etymology. “Franzuskaya”, which means “French”, is a Russian name for these dogs. This breed was created due to the popularity of curly French breeds like the Poodle.

Franzuskaya Bolonkas natural lap dog are always eager to be the center of attention. They are always happy to receive affection back! these can be very noisy . These dogs make excellent watchdogs.

Although they are good watchdogs, they are not very good at protecting their small size. They are also very social and enjoy making friends. These dogs are social and easygoing so it is a good idea for them to go to the dog park to make new friends. They don’t need a lot of activity to stay healthy, so leisurely walks of around 25-30 minutes a day should suffice.

Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

The Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka is another member of the Bolonka clan. The main difference between the two breeds of dog is the fact that Tsvetnaya can be coloured in a variety of ways, while Franzuskaya is only a white. These two breeds will have similar temperaments.

Tsvetnaya Bolonkas are excellent for lap dogs , and are happy in small homes like apartments. They thrive on lots of affection and love from their families. They tend to be reserved . and have a tendency to be shy. It is possible to socialize them early and help them get used to meeting new people.

Training is essential in puppyhood to ensure they aren’t too independent or stubborn. It is important to use positive reinforcement to help them learn good behavior. They will need to get some exercise each day but not too much, as their small bodies might have trouble keeping up.

Russian Hound

Russian Hounds are scent hounds that were developed in Russia roughly around the 18th century. They were bred to hunt ,, often working alongside dogs like the Russian Borzoi. The Hound would flush out prey and chase the other dog.

They are excellent hunting companions, but they have found a home in the home with their deep loyalty .. If you are planning to bring in a Russian Husky, make sure that there are no smaller animals living in your home. Their prey drive can create chaos in your home and be dangerous to smaller animals.

Russian Hounds are easy to socialize

and train due to their intelligence and obedience. Their energy is almost limitless and they will be at their best when exercising together. Around 60 minutes of strenuous activity can help tire this dog out, so ensure that you can keep up with their pace.

Russian Harlequin Hound

The Russian Harlequin Hound isn’t very popular outside of Russia but it makes an excellent companion . The Harlequin is another scent hound. They enjoy hunting and have a strong prey drive.

This can make it difficult to co-exist with smaller animals like cats. They enjoy being with their family and larger animals, despite this. They are very gentle with children. Socialization is a great way to encourage good behavior in puppyhood. They are not suitable for smaller homes because they need to move. They can also be very vocal which will make your neighbors mad. They require lots of space to run and exercise. They will need 1.5 to 2 hours exercise every day !.

Yakutian Laika

The Yakutian Laika is a Siberian Yakutian Laika. This dog can play many roles. It has been a herder to reindeer, a sleddog, a hunting companion ,, and a family pet. They love their job and will always do their best to please their owners.

Unknown animals can trigger a defensive instinct in them. They may become aggressive towards anyone they consider to be a danger to their safety. To help them behave better, it’s important to socialize them as soon as possible and to give them the correct obedience training.

The Yakutian Laika’s thick coat keeps them warm in winter. This coat can lead to them overheating .. It is important to keep them indoors in the summer heat. This active breed needs to be exercised daily. Expect to give them around 45 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day in order to keep them happy.

West Siberian Laika

West Siberian Laikas were descended form wolves ,, which is why their modern breed looks a little wolf-like. Their original purpose was to hunt large and small game. They have high prey drive and retain their hunting instincts.

If you are a new dog owner, it is not a good idea for a West Siberian Laika to be kept. It is hard to train them they are stubborn ; so you must learn how to be the pack leader. It’s possible to make them a good friend once you can do this. This dog is not happy in small spaces. If they see something suspicious, they will bark loudly. This could cause a problem for neighbors. They need plenty of space. West Siberian Laikas are high-energy dogs who will need around 100 minutes of exercise every day. Walking them on a leash can help curb their wanderlust.

East Siberian Laika

The East Siberian Laika is bigger than its Western counterpart. The East Siberian Laika was also used as a hunting dogs, but they were also useful in their role as a sled dog and driver . They are difficult to train, but they tend to be more friendly to their owners than their Western counterparts.

*Training your children well is key to instilling good behaviour. To avoid stubbornness, start training them as soon as possible. East Siberian Laikas have a high predator drive , and will happily chase any small animals in your home. They are best if they are the only pet in the home.

These dogs are very high energy and will require upwards of 60 minutes of exercise every day. You can tire them out by taking long walks, hiking, or engaging in sports to keep them happy and healthy.


Think this dog looks like a wolf? The Volkosob is a hybrid wolfdog. The Volkosob, a hybrid wolfdog, was created to help Russian soldiers defend the borders of the largest country in world .. They are a mix of size and temperament, and have the courage to match their bravery. However, they are not always on the job ,


are loyal companions and friendly to their fellow dogs. These dogs took a long time to breed, with over 200 wolf-hybrids being bred at the University of Cologne before the Volkosob emerged. It was in the year 2000 that the first unusually friendly wolf-dog was born; she was named Nadia and went on to have 40 puppies, all dubbed “Volkosobs” which is Russian for “wolf-dog”.

These dogs enjoy working . They have learned a wide range of skills and are now able to do a variety tasks. These tasks include tracking, sniffing explosives and detecting contraband. Volkosobs exceptionally skilled

often take fractions of the time it takes to complete tasks that would have taken minutes for a normal dog. Their work is always completed on time.

They also have a sense for smell six times stronger than dogs’. For reference, scientists think dogs’ sense of smell is around 10,000 to 100,000 times better than humans‘! Volkosobs are able to withstand extreme cold temperatures thanks to their thick coats. They possess an extraordinary grip and almost limitless stamina. They are known as “the secret weapon of Russian border patrols” because they possess all these amazing qualities.

Russo European Laika

The Russo-European Laika is another member of the Laika clan. They originated in the European parts of Russia sometime in the mid 20th Century. They are loyal to their human family , but can be wary of most people.

*You can help them curb their tendency to be aggressive by getting socialized early. They love spending time with their family members, but they will require a lot more care and respect. This dog has high energy needs and will require around 60 minutes of exercise each day. They will be content to go on daily walks with you, but they are also happy to join you on hikes through forests and mountains. *They will always need to bark loudly and often. They can be more sensitive to noise if they are kept in closed spaces for too long. A large home is essential if you want to adopt a Russo European Laika.

Karelo-Finnish Laika

The Karelo-Finnish Laika gets their start in the Karelo area of Russia. They are the smallest Laikas and were bred to be mobile during hunts. Although they are small, they can hunt larger game but can still handle smaller birds and game.

They are well-suited to serve as watchdogs and family companions. They are likely to be the most affectionate of all the Laikas and will show their love to their family. They can be a good companion for other dogs, but their high prey drive could make them dangerous to small pets.

These intelligent , dogs will need a lot more kindness and positive reinforcement. These dogs are sensitive and will hold grudges if they aren’t treated well. This dog will love to play; they need to be exercised to become more disciplined. Around 90 minutes of exercise each day is enough for them. This is a huge responsibility so make sure you are up for the challenge.

South Russian Ovcharka

The South Russian Ovcharka is one of the most respected guard dogs . Their purpose was to protect their family and property, but they also had deep loyalty. They can be more independent than others, making it harder to integrate them into the family.

You can still expect them to be affectionate .if you teach them the right behavior from an early age. You must insist that they know that you are the leader in the group.

These dogs don’t like living in small spaces and will not live in apartments. The South Russian Ovcharka will thrive in a home with plenty of space and a large yard. They are high energy dogs who require at least 70 minutes of exercise every day. You can take them on walks and let them explore the outdoors while you’re with them.

East European Shepherd

Another Shepherd breed developed in Russia is the East European Shepherd. They were bred to be able to withstand harsh, cold environments . They are very talented dogs, having histories in the military, the police, and search and rescue.

The East European Shepherd will be most happy if they have a job that they can do. The East European Shepherd is loyal to their family ,, but wary of other pets. Although they get along well with the other dogs in the home, their high prey drive could lead to them running after cats.

Training your dog well is crucial to ensure they behave in adulthood. This is easy because of their intelligence and obedience. These dogs are hugely active and will need 120 minutes of exercise every day. These dogs are great companions for biking rides as they can run well. This dog needs a lot mental stimulation so it is worth giving them variety.

Caucasian Shepherd

With their origins in the Caucasus Mountains at the southernmost point of Russia, the Caucasian Shepherd is a Russian dog through and through. These large dogs were used to protect flocks from danger HTML1.

Your Caucasian Shepherd might be very temperamental. You might find them aggressive or protective, but they can also be affectionate and warm. Dog owners should take the time to socialize their dogs as soon as they can. This will help them develop a good behavior and make them ready for family life. Positive reinforcement is a great way to get the dogs to behave. Be gentle but firm in your instruction.

These dogs aren’t very energetic when they reach adulthood. They will be content living in apartments. Taking them out for 30 minute walks each day will be enough to satisfy their energy needs. It’s a great idea to keep your dog entertained indoors with toys and games. Playing with their family is a good way for them to feel loved and well-behaved.

Hortaya Borzaya

The Hortayaborzaya sighthound is a rare breed. They are happier in the Russian countryside than in cities. They dislike small homes ,, and they prefer large areas of open space where they can run free. This is because they are hunting dogs. These dogs excel at athletics, but most prefer to be with their families at home. They are loyal, and have a friendly disposition which makes them excellent companions.

They get along well with most family members, but they will need to do a lot of socialization early if they want to get along with small pets. They are very prey-driven and will chase small animals, which can cause havoc in your home. They are extremely active, so give them 120 minutes of exercise each day, divided into shorter sessions for better manageability.


As a member of the Russian Sighthound family, the Borzoi has had a history of being an adept hunter’s companion. Their names are derived from the Russian word “swift”, which is no surprise. These dogs can run very fast , making them indispensable for long hours of hunting. The Borzoi can be a loving and sensitive pet when properly trained.

*They can be shy around other people and will need to have lots of socialization early in life. This will help them become more independent as adults. You can also add lots of positive reinforcement to help them not hurt their feelings. If you have children or pets, it’s not a good idea for a Borzoi to be kept. They were bred to chase small creatures , and it is difficult to get them out. Despite being skilled runners, the Borzoi does not particularly like strenuous exercise, and is content with 30 minutes of leisurely play each day. They enjoy spending most of their time indoors.


Another Russian sighthound was the Taigan, which was created in Kyrgyzstan during the USSR. These dogs were bred to hunt and are skilled at following fast-moving animals such as deer and wolves.

These dogs are elegant and dignified at home. They are loyal to their family , but they are less reserved and won’t slobber on their beloved ones. These dogs are independent and see their owners as equals. This can lead them to be very destructive and cause them to act in a bad manner.

These dogs seem boundless .energy Taigans require upwards of 120 minutes of exercise per day! It is possible to tire them faster by doing more strenuous activities, such as having them ride along on a bicycle. You need to keep them entertained. Taigans don’t like to live in small spaces. They are most happy when there is lots of land to explore.

Moscow Watchdog

The Moscow Watchdog was bred to be a watchdog –. We’re sure that you have! They were designed to withstand the Moscow winters and protect their family’s property throughout the year.

These dogs can be aggressive if they are not properly socialized or given obedience training. These dogs enjoy being with their families and will often be protective of them. Positive reinforcement is the key to getting them to behave.

These dogs are very active and will require at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day .. They will not be happy being housed in small spaces and will patrol the yard more often if they are given plenty of space. It is a great way to keep them active.

Moscow Water Dog

Another dog from Moscow, the Moscow Water Dog was bred in the 1950s to serve as a water rescue dog in the Russian armed forces. These dogs were more likely to bite people they were trying to rescue than to actually save them.

Their aggressive nature meant that they couldn’t be kept bred. All purebred Moscow Water Dogs are now extinct. It is worth noting, however, that this breed was instrumental in the creation of the Black Russian Terrier, a Russian dog breed.

These dogs were proficient at swimming , but as you can see, would prefer to exercise on their own. They displayed all the courage and confidence that the military needed, but they were not as soft-spoken as other dogs. It is hard to imagine what this breed would have looked like if it had been developed further, but it is important to keep them in mind and to recognize their role in breeding the Black Russian Terrier.

Sulimov Dog

The Sulimov Dog is an interesting breed, though they’re not strictly a dog. These are jackal-dog hybrids. They were bred from golden jackals and Lapponian Herders. They were developed in Russia sometime in the mid 1970s, by Klim Sulimov, for the purpose of working in airport security as sniffer dogs.

The original dog-jackal mix made it difficult to train. To improve obedience, other dogs were added. These included a reindeer hunting hound ,, a Spitz, a Fox Terrier and a Spitz. The Sulimov Dog was established after seven generations. They continue their bomb detection work to this day.

At present, there are only around 40 Sulimov Dogs who exist, all of which are the property of the Aeroflot company they were developed by. Twenty-five dogs are currently working as sniffer dogs. It remains to be determined if the lineage will continue, but it is possible. One day, we may find Sulimov Dogs as family companions.

Central Asian Shepherd

The Central Asian Sheepdog is said to be the oldest surviving breed today, having been around for roughly 5,000 years. While they originated in Central Asia, it wasn’t until the 1920s that they were standardized and recognized as their own breed- this was done by the Russians.

The CAS is both calm as well as courageous ,, and makes an excellent family protector. They can be suspicious of strangers and animals and feel threatened when people invade their space. It is important to socialize this loyal breed in order to take advantage of its inherent good nature. This will enable them to get along with all members of their family, including any other animals ..

Give your CAS the space that it requires to be happy. They will need more than an apartment. This breed is happier in larger homes, but they do better out on the streets. They have high energy needs and will need upwards of 90 minutes of exercise each day.

Final Thoughts

*Russia is known for its harsh climate, but many dogs who come from this vast area of land are warm and friendly. While each breed has its own unique characteristics, it is important to remember that each dog will be their own ..

The majority of Russian dog breeds will almost always require a job to ,, so if you have one, make sure they have the necessary tasks to be happy and healthy. It won’t matter if your pet is working hard or snuggling up at home with you, they will bring joy wherever they go.

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