Beware of Crosses
The parent and governing club for Karelian Bear Dogs is the Finnish Kennel Club and the Finnish Spitz Club/Suomen
Pystykorvajärjestö is the official breed club for all the spitz breeds from Finland (one of which, of course, is the Karelian Bear Dog).  
Please read their english language page,  
please click here and pay close attention to the very bottom paragraph on their page
Suomen Pystykorva Järjestö English Page

We are dedicated to sharing information to educate those interested in learning about the Karelian Bear Dog, a rare Finnish breed,
and the unfortunate situation that exists here, in Canada and the United States .

Many KBD'S in Canada and the U.S. that are called purebred, by their owners, are actually crosses of the Karelian Bear Dog and
Russo European Laika.  It happened innocently enough in the beginning, when a breeder imported some REL, and registered them as
Karelian Bear Dogs with the Universal Kennel Club.  If you do your research, “Universal” is NOT recognized by the American Kennel
Club, the Canadian Kennel Club or any FCI country’s kennel clubs.  These two breeds both originate from the Finnish/Russian border
area, from the ancient Komi dog of that region.  Having been developed as individual breeds in their respective countries for  
generations,  the greatest similarity today is in their colour.  Both are striking black and white, although the REL can be white with
black markings, or black with white markings, or even shades of grey, while the KBD standard is black with white markings only on
the head, chest, neck and feet, as well as the tip of the tail.  No other colours are acceptable.

Each is recognized as an individual breed in all FCI countries, with it's own breed standard.  It is only in the United States and Canada  
that some breeders insist that they are interchangeable.  Why would these breeders be right and the rest of the world be wrong?  Of
course these breeders are not right, but having sold many puppies to families as "purebred", they refuse to back down, even today,
when the KBD has been accepted into the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Services, and they cannot record their dogs,
because they are not PUREBRED.  The United Kennel Club is the only U.S. kennel club accepted by the AKC, and United recognizes the
purebred Karelian.   The Canadian Kennel Club recognizes the KBD and what the breeders of the mixes in Canada , who register their
dogs with Universal Kennel Club, fail to realize is that under the Animal Pedigree Act, it is illegal for someone to claim a dog to be
“Purebred” unless it is registered or eligible to be registered with the Canadian Kennel Club.

Before buying a puppy, everyone has the right to know what they are buying.  Do your research.  If you live in Canada , ensure that
your new puppy is registered with the Canadian Kennel Club.  If you live in the US , ensure your puppy is registered with the United
Kennel Club and/or with the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock.  No matter where you live, be wary of a breeder who does not
ask anything about you and your reasons for wishing to own a Karelian, be wary of any breeder who just asks for a deposit and does
not offer any information on the breed, make sure to ask to see pedigrees and let the biggest warning sign be Universal Kennel Club
on that pedigree.  It may not matter to some whether or not their dog is a cross of these two breeds, but everyone has the right to
know the facts before they make their decision.  No one deserves to be be misled or lied to, or even innocently misinformed.  
Recently, some breeders  have added a purebred stud or bitch to their breeding stock, advertising them as such, but deliberately
omitting that they are breeding with a REL/KBD cross.

Also, please go to
Karelian Bear Dog Club of America where we begin by listing breed standards for both breeds and links to
breeders of purebreds in Canada , the US and European countries, along with other useful information.    
The Karelian Bear Dog/Russo-European Laika Controversy in
North America
Vapaa Sana August 16, 2007
  • Is very well educated about KBDs and the breed's traits, both desirable and undesirable.
  • Adheres to a highly selective breeding program which focuses on health, temperament and conformation.
  • Breeds only healthy, conformationally correct dogs with sound temperaments that are registered with the Canadian Kennel       
    Club (CKC) or, if from another country, with that country's authorative dog breed registry not some fly by night Kennel Club who will
    register anything for instance goldendoodles, yorkiepoos, KBD/REL crosses, etc.
  • Treats the dogs in their breeding home as members of the family, and does not constantly confine these dogs to crates, kennels
    or other pens.
  • Has breeding dogs carefully screened for hereditary and other canine disorders prior to breeding.  With KBD, doing hip xrays and
    having them certified by OVC, OFA or PennHip and an annual CERF eye exam.
  • Whelps puppies indoors and ensures that puppies are well socialized, given proper nutrition and receive plenty of love and play.
  • Offers and stands behind a reasonable health guarantee.
  • Has a spay or neuter requirement on all puppies placed in pet homes.
  • Is committed to each Karelian Bear Dog puppy for life, and will re-home or take back a puppy if you cannot fulfill your commitment
    for any reason.
  • Is happy to answer any questions you may have about the Karelian Bear Dog dog breed or their dogs and puppies.
  • Carefully screens potential puppy buyers to ensure that Karelian Bear Dog puppies are placed only in loving, responsible forever

A responsible dog breeder may seem like an over-anxious parent on their child's first day of school. They will demonstrate a strong bond
with their dogs and puppies, and a desire to assist you and remain in contact with you as your puppy grows and thrives in your loving
home. Don't settle for anything less than this. Buying your Karelian Bear Dog puppy is an important decision that will affect you and your
family for many years to come. Make sure you do not acquire a puppy in haste from a disreputable source! Do your homework and spend
the time finding just the right puppy from a responsible Karelian Bear Dog breeder.

Avoid Buying Your Karelian Bear Dog Puppy From:

  • A Pet Store.
  • A Newspaper Ad.
  • An online classifieds site.
  • The side of the road.
  • A parking lot.
  • A friend or neighbour, unless they are an experienced and responsible Karelian Bear Dog dog breeder.
  • Any breeder with whom you do not feel 100% comfortable; you will be in contact with this person for the life of your dog or puppy.

Canada, like the US and the UK, has more than it's share of puppy mills. If you do not know what a puppy mill is, they are places where
dogs are treated as livestock, and puppies as merchandise. In addition to supporting an industry that thrives on the cruel mistreatment of
dogs and puppies, by buying a puppy from a pet store, newspaper ad or online classifieds site is setting yourself and your family up for a
heap of heartache.
Puppy mill puppies can have numerous health, temperament and behavioural problems as a result of the conditions in which they were
conceived, born and raised. Usually this results in taking on a family member with health problems that will cause ongoing additional
veterinary costs, behavioural problems that may pose a hazard to your family, friends and neighbours, and, at worst, you may fall in love
with a sickly puppy that will eventually need to be humanely euthanized.
A Responsible Karelian Bear Dog Puppy Breeder: