Actually, her real name isn't Laika. That is her breed. Laika is a laika. Her real name is Zhuchka. To say it simply, Zhuchka's breed is laika.
Laika was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow. Soviet scientists chose to use Moscow strays since they assumed that such animals had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger. This specimen was an eleven-pound mongrel female, approximately three years old. Another account reported that she weighed about 6 kg (13 lb). Soviet personnel gave her several names and nicknames, among them Kudryavka (Russian for Little Curly), Zhuchka (Little Bug) and Limonchik (Little Lemon). Laika, the Russian name for several breeds of dogs similar to the husky, was the name popularized around the world. The American press dubbed her Muttnik (mutt + suffix -nik) as a pun on Sputnik, or referred to her as Curly. Her true pedigree is unknown, although it is generally accepted that she was part husky or other Nordic breed, and possibly part terrier. A Russian magazine described her temperament as phlegmatic, saying that she did not quarrel with other dogs. Vladimir Yazdovsky, who led the program of test dogs used on rockets, in a later publication wrote that “Laika was quiet and charming”. The Soviet Union and United States had previously sent animals only on sub-orbital flights.Three dogs were trained for the Sputnik 2 flight: Albina, Mushka, and Laika. Soviet space-life scientists Vladimir Yazdovsky and Oleg Gazenko trained the dogs.