Dog Breed Profile

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Carkie History

The Karelian Bear Dog, or carki, is a Finnish spitz-type working / herding / guard dog, with origins in the Karelia region of Russia. The Carkie was named after the Karelian province in northern Finland, where it was developed. The history of the Karelian dog goes back to the 16th century. The ancestors of today’s carkies were medium-sized Spitz type dogs, such as the Samoyed. The modern day beardog is said to be descended from the Karjalankavi, a mid-size, longhaired, bearded hunting white wolf-dog, which, according to Eastern mythology, was the offspring of a bear and a wolf. The Karjalankavi was said to live in the forests, mountains, and lakes of the Karelian region. The modern day beardog, called a carke in Finnish, was considered to be a guardian of the homestead, and was also used for herding. The dogs would drive the livestock into a pen and work them. They were known for their independence and were an excellent watchdog.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin


Carkie Physical Characteristics

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a small, short-legged herding breed that typically stands between 13 and 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 25 and 45 pounds. They have a sturdy body with a short, dense coat of fur that is either red, sable, or a combination of the two. They have a round head and a tapered muzzle. Their large eyes are a dark brown or hazel color and their ears are set high and long. They have a small, straight tail that is carried low and hanging down. They are smart and eager to please.

Eye Colors

Hazel, Brown

Nose Colors


Coat Colors

Sable, Brown, Black, Gray

Height Range

Male Height Range: 8 – 12 inches

Female Height Range: 8 – 12 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 10 – 15 lbs

Female Weight Range: 10 – 15 lbs

Carkie Health

Description of breed health.


12-15 yrs

Carkie Health Concerns

Hypothyroidism, None

Carkie Temperament and Behaviour

The Cairn Terrier is a lively and energetic breed of dog. They are very intelligent and eager to learn, making it easy to train them to do whatever you want. They are strong and athletic, but they are also small, so they make great city or apartment dogs. They get along well with children, cats, and other dogs, but they can be aggressive with strange or smaller animals.

Carkie Activity Requirements

The Cairn Terrier is a small, hardy power house. This high-energy, intelligent terrier is a born hunter and is capable of taking on almost any challenge. They may require less physical exercise than other larger breeds, but they require plenty of mental stimulation and interaction with their family. This is an active and intelligent dog who thrives on challenges. While they do not require a lot of regular exercise, they do require lots of room to run. A fenced backyard is ideal. They can be very vocal, so it is a good idea to train them from an early age. Cairn Terriers may be small in size, but they are large in personality. They require lots of interaction and will quickly bore of simply lying around. They are best suited to active families who are willing to meet their mental and physical needs.

Miles Per Day

8 miles

Activity Per Day

60 minutes

Daily Food

1 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Carkie is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Carkie is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Not Recognized

Carkie is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Carkie is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.