10 Sturdy and Hardy Russian Dog Breeds

Looking for muscular and tough dog breed? These Russian dogs have the qualities you are looking for and have what it take to be a good companion pet or an ever-alert guard dog! Read on to learn more about the 10 sturdy and hardy Russian dog breeds. Check out each breed profile.

Aside from being sturdy and hardy, these Russian dogs are really gorgeous and stunning in their own right!


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The Samoyed is a working breed of dog whose origin traced back to Siberia. The Samoyedskaya,as it is called by the locals, was originally used for herding reindeer, sled pulling and hunting.

Typically, the Samoyed comes in white color. The breed has a compact, muscular body and a dense, double layer coat. It has a wedge-shaped head, black or brown almond-shaped eyes and erect triangular-shaped ears. Samoyeds are known for their ‘smiling’ black lips and tail that is held actually touching the back. On average, male measures 53-60 cm (21-23½ inches) in height and weighs between 20½-30 kg (45-65 pounds). Female averages 48-53 cm (19-21 inches) tall and 16-20½ kg (35-50 pounds) in weight. The Samoyed lifespan is about 12-15 years.

A hardy and eager worker, the Samoyed is a gentle, highly intelligent, loyal, confident, playful and easy-going type of dog. It is calm indoors and will fit in an apartment provided small provided it gets sufficient amount of exercise. Samoyeds are seasonally heavy shedders and need extensive grooming.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

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The Caucasian Shepherd Dog (Russian: Kavkazskaïa Ovtcharka) is a breed of dog that is extremely popular in Georgia. The oldest living Molosser breeds, this sturdy and hardy dog breed have existed since ancient times. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs were originally used to guard livestock, protect properties, and for hunting bears and wolves.

The Caucasian Shepherd has strongly-boned, muscular body having two coat varieties: short and long. Coat color ranges from Brindle, Fawn, Gray, Fawn, Pied, Tan, and White. It has moderate, dark eyes; hairy ears and tail. The forelimbs are long, straight and large, heavy paws. Males average 72 and 75 cm (28 and 30 in) at the withers and weigh 50 kilograms (110 lb). Life Expectancy: About 10-11 years.

Caucasian Shepherds are strong-willed, assertive and courageous dogs. It is aloof to strangers, but is playful with family and friends. It serves well as a guard dog, protecting family and properties. the dog. The breed will not do fine in apartment life and is highly recommended for home with big spaces or at least a large yard. The long-haired variety needs regular brushing, while the Shorthaired type requires less grooming.

West Siberian Laïka

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The West Siberian Laika (WSL), also referred to as Zapadno-Sibirskaïa Laïka, originated from Northern Ural and West Siberia, where the breed was first used as hunting dogs. In 1947 the West Siberian Laika was officially recognized as a new Russian breed of dog.

A large size dog, this sturdy and hardy dog has a muscular body covered with a thick “double coat”. The breed comes in black, white, red and gray shades. It has a well-developed chest, triangular-shaped head and ears, and a curly tail that is carried over the back. Males average males 54 to 60 cm (21 to 24 in) at the withers and females measures from 52 to 58 cm (20 to 23 in).

The West Siberian Laika is very intelligent, loyal, affectionate, and a highly active dog. A dog who simply enjoys outdoor activities, the West Siberian Laika is not suited for apartment living. WSL needs regular morning walks and exercise. The breed is known as a healthy dog, but requires frequent baths.

Karelo-Finnish Laika

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The Karelo-Finnish Laika (Finlandskaja), used for centuries as a hunting dog, is the smallest of the four Russian Laika breeds. The breed is a close relative of Finnish Spitz. It is a cross between a fox and a Nordic-type dog.

Karelo-Finnish Laikas have muscular body with dense, stand-offish coat and own a very fox-like look. Coat color varies from fawn of various shades, white with shades of gray and black, and red with a white chest. Males measure 38 to 48 cm (15 to 19 in) at the shoulders and 11 to 14kg (26 to 35 pounds) in weight.

The KFL are known great hunters. The breed is alert, aggressive, quite stubborn, but very loyal and an affectionate dog. It will do okay in an apartment provided it gets daily walks and exercise.

Siberian Husky

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The Siberian Husky is a Spitz-type breed of dog that traced its root in northeastern Siberia. It is originally used for centuries by the Chukchi Tribe, for herding reindeer and sled-pulling. The breed is known for its amazing endurance. The Siberian Husky was recognized by the AKC in 1930.

This sturdy and hardy breed is a medium-sized dog with the dense – coat. The Siberian Husky’s thickly furred double coat comprises two layers: a thick undercoat and a topcoat having short, straight hairs. The coat comes in almost any color and patterns – pure white, black and white, copper-red and white, gray and white, and the seldom seen “Agouti” coat. It has medium-sized head, almond-shaped eyes, medium-sized muzzles, erect triangular ears, and bushy tail. Males average 53 and 60 cm (21 and 23.5 in) tall at the shoulders and weighing between 20 and 27 kg (45 and 60 pounds). Females are smaller and lighter. Life Expectancy: About 12-15 years.

Huskies are known to be territorial and quite a stubborn dog breed. It is intelligent, affectionate, independent, gentle, playful and an active dog. They can do well in an apartment with a fenced-in large yard. A regular walk and exercise will do good for the Huskies. For better grooming, huskies need to be brushed and combed daily.


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The Taigan is a member of the family of Eastern Sighthounds breed adapted to the extreme mountainous regions of Kyrgyzstan. The locals trained this dog to hunt for prey such as duck, fox, ibex, marmot, rabbit, Roe Deer and wolves. The breed is listed as Endangered.

Similar inbuilt to the Greyhound, this dog has a muscular body having a soft, long and thick coat. Coat color ranges from white, black, brown, gray, yellow and black with white. It has a wedge-shaped head, oval-shaped eyes, drooping ears covered with soft and long hair “bourki”. The Taiga has a wide chest, long neck, and ringed tail. Males measure 65 cm (23.5 to 25.5 inches) tall at the withers. The breed is known for its keen sense of smell.

The Taigan is highly intelligent, obedient, affectionate, loyal, and a very energetic breed of dog. This sturdy and hardy dog gets along well with children and other pets, Since it enjoys spending time outdoors, it will not do well in apartment living. The Taigan is not recognized breed by AKC or any other major kennel club.


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The Borzoi, also called the Russian Wolfhound, was developed by crossing the Arabian Greyhound with Russian sheepdogs. Originally, the breed was used to hunt foxes, rabbits and wolves. Today, it is considered as a companion dog. The Borzoi was recognized by the AKC in 1891.

The breed resembles a Greyhound, with a long, silky coat. The Borzoi comes in various color patterns — black, golden, gray with black markings, tan and white. Some features of the breed include: a slightly-arched muzzle, narrow chest, black nose, dark eyes, small ears, and a tail set low with a curve. Males can measure 80 cm (30 inches) at the shoulder and can weigh 34 – 48 kg (75 to 105 pounds). Females can measure up to 66 cm (26 inches) tall and 27 – 41kg (60 -90 pounds). Life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.

This hairy greyhound is an intelligent, quiet, sweet, gentle, athletic and independent dog. Borzois will do okay in an apartment with an average-sized yard. A regular walk and exercise will make this dog very happy. Bathing is done very often. Its long, silky coat requires regular brushing with a firm bristle brush.

Black Russian Terrier

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The Black Russian Terrier (BRT) or Stalin’s dog (Sobaka Stalina)is primarily developed to serve as guard dogs. A new breed of dog, BRT was only recognized by AKC in July 2004. Despite its name, the breed is not a true terrier.

This sturdy and hardy dog has well-built, muscular body with coarse, black, double coat. It has a block-like head, dark eyes, small folded ears, large, black nose and tongue with black mark. Males average 64 – 74 cm (25 – 29 inches) and weigh 36 – 65 kg (80 – 143 pounds). Life Expectancy is about 10-14 years.

Black Russian Terriers are highly intelligent, loyal, brave, calm, and very observant. This breed seeks intense human companionship. BRT will do okay in an apartment provided it gets a regular daily walks and lots of exercise. The breed is easy to maintain — a once a week brushing is fine and 2-3 times a year regular trimming will do.

Russian Toy Terrier

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The Russian Toy Terrier, also called Russkiy Toys, is a very unique dog breed originally developed in isolation in Russia from the English Toy Terrier. It was originally bred both as a watchdog and an anti-rat dog. The breed comes in two types; the smooth haired/coated type and the long haired type.

One of the smallest breeds in the world, The Russkiy Toy has a small distinctive head with a little muzzle, long neck, large imposing eyes and stand-up triangular ears. Dogs average 20 cm (8 inches) and weigh about 1.4 kg – 2.7 kg (3 – 6 pounds). Color ranges from black and tan, solid red of various shades, sable, brown and tan, or blue and tan.

They are affectionate, loyal, and good with all family members. Russian Toy Terriers are typically not shy, nervous, or aggressive. These cute dogs are good for apartment life. A regular daily walk will make them happy.

Grooming the smooth, short-haired coat is a simple, gently brushed occasionally, but the long-coated type requires daily brushing with a soft bristle brush.

Russian Spaniel

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The Russian Spaniel is a breed of spaniel developed in 1951 in Russia by cross breeding English Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels. The breed which resembles the English Cocker Spaniel, was originally used as hunting dogs.

The Russian Spaniel is a small, sturdy and hardy dog with a skintight coat. The coat may come in a solid color or combination like white with dark (black, brown, or red) spots and speckles. It has a characteristically small squared head with a long square muzzle and big impressive eyes. Also, it has a broad chest, wide neck and huge ears that are covered in wavy fur. Lastly, it has skinny legs and small feet. Dogs measure 38-45 cm (15-17 ¾ inches) at the withers, and weigh 13-16 kg (28-35 pounds). Life Expectancy is 12-14 years.

The Russian Spaniel is an active, energetic, cheerful breed. It is intelligent, easy to train and an extremely friendly dog. This dog will do okay in an apartment provided it gets enough exercise. It loves regular long daily walks or jogs. The breed needs very little grooming since its coat repels water.

30 thoughts on “10 Sturdy and Hardy Russian Dog Breeds

  1. KC

    OMG, Siberian Husky! I've been wanting to own one! Maybe when we come back from my husband's 3-year sea duty, makabili na kami.. Di kase kami magdadala ng hayop dun at baka magkasakit at mamatay lang dahil sa long flight.. Pero, dream ko na talaga nun pa na magkaroon ng Siberian Husky 🙂

  2. Claire

    hahaha! natawa ako sa comment ni KC, yon sana din sabihin ko! Yep, Siberian Husky is really nice! I have a friend who has Siberian Husky sobrang ganda!

  3. Cheerful

    our kids always wanted to have dog/s pero dahil we are moving from one country to another sa ngayon, we just decided na tsaka na lang. like ko iyang siberian husky or that russian toy terrier. 🙂

  4. Teresa Martinez

    The Siberian Husky looks very able to defend its owner and it has such a regal bearing. Definitely the most attractive of them all.

  5. mhie@smarlk

    How I love to get a dog for my daughter but having a dog is like another child you have to taking care and walk 3 or 4 times a day to poop outside.

  6. lovemindanao

    among those breed of dogs from russia , i would fall in with the siberian husky as i have a personal encounter with them and i find this particular bred as playful and loyal to his master 😀

  7. ana karen Banhag

    The Samoyed are just so lovely… they look like japanese spitz… i remember seeing them in films pulling sleds, yes. 🙂

  8. Noks Sosa

    OMG! The first photo was very funny! Nyahaha. Anyway, I love the Russian Toy terrier. They are so cute. :)How I wish I can have one. 🙂

  9. Paolo U

    I like the samoyed the best. So, these are dogs that pull the sleigh on the snowy part of Russian.

    btw, something is wrong with the picture of samoyed dogs. ha ha ha

  10. markpogi

    My wife's boss owns not one but two Siberian Huskies and they're pretty nice too. Longing to own one if we have the space and budget to take care of one. ^_^

  11. R.O.M.E.L.O.

    there is something wrong with the samoyed picture because it looks like the dog in the back is humping one of the dogs in front… LOL

  12. AdoboTech Digital Technology

    The Siberian Husky looks really strong and tough, I bet if you have one here in our country it will be a high maintenance pet

  13. Alwin Aguirre

    the Black Russian Terrier immediately caught my eyes because it's huge! but it still looks adorable and cuddly. i think i saw one walking along with its owner in Greenhills, didn't know the breed. Now I know 🙂

  14. Rochkirstin Santos

    These dogs look super cute! But I especially would like to see a newfoundland in reality. It's so BIG.

  15. Anneille07

    i really liked Siberian Husky! I wish i own one, kayalang hirap mghanap dito ng pure breed ng siberia husky.lol 🙂

  16. MaryJane Tauyan

    omg! i wanted to havedogs too! though we live in a condo no space for animal hehe maybe sa farm nlng i love all of them too cute! xx

  17. The Purple Doll

    They all look so lovely! 🙂 I especially love the Samoyed and I'm really glad that we have our own Siberian Huskies 😀 They're quite lazy though >.< I guess we haven't worked them up as much as we should XD

  18. Orly Ballesteros

    I wish these dogs are ok in tropical country because like the siberian huskies it takes a lot of maintenance to allow the dog to cope up in our country

  19. ♣ lily ♣

    All those dogs are adorable! I won't mind taking care of them…

    People who wish to get a dog should be ready enough before they do so… 🙂

  20. Justin Buenagua

    Siberian Husky + Terrier + Laika.. they look so awesome!! my friend owns a Siberian Husky and it's so awesome.. it looks like a wolf! 🙂

  21. Tess Chancellor

    West Siberian Laïka and husky are my hubby's favorite dogs. They are loving and good dog. They really protects their human family especially
    the kids.

  22. Rojae B. l Adventuroj.com

    I would love to have a black russian terrier! I could just imagine myself as the girl walking with it, nothing could be a safer feelingthan having such a dog =)

  23. Jan-Jan (Jan Christian )

    The siberian husky is really my favorite in this list. My neighbor has one actually and it's really cute

  24. Ephramar

    Meron akong Husky sa bahay dati kaya lang palaging nagkakasakit dahil sa init. Dapat sa kanila may sariling kwarto at naka-aircon 😀

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