The West Siberian Laïka was the most common hunting dog found in the U.S.S.R., excluding the Russian Hound. It is the most popular of all the Laïkas in its native Russia. The dogs are still bred in the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains by Khantu and Mansi hunters. The breed hunts valuable fur animals such as mink, sable, marten, squirrel, otter and bear. Without these dogs, the hunters would be unable to hunt.
The original breed description for the West Siberian Laïka dates back to 1928, but the most recent standard used today was established in 1980. The West Siberian Laïka has tremendous speed and endurance over the difficult terrain in which it works. They are chosen for their size and power. As their work is so demanding, even the best hunters are allowed to retire after eight years of hunting. Through careful breeding, the last 25 years has seen tremendous progress in the number of uniform specimens as well as the quality of work produced by the dogs.