Samoyed Breed Guide

Samoyeds have weather-resistant coats that are heavy and suitable for very cold weather. Their double coats come in pure white, cream, biscuit, and cream and biscuit. The undercoat is short, thick, soft, and woolly, and the outer coat is longer and harsh. These dogs are known for their black lips that form a slight curl to produce the "Samoyed smile." The breed has dark, almond-shaped eyes, triangular and erect ears, and a black nose. Samoyeds measure 19 to 23.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 50 to 60 pounds.

Daily walks are a good choice with this breed, but care must be taken not to overdo it on hot days; Samoyeds are sensitive to heat and do better in cold climates.

A loyal and intelligent breed, Samoyeds love spending time with family and make great companion animals. These dogs are gentle at home and active outdoors, running and chasing small animals. Daily exercise is important to provide an outlet for excess energy, and this breed requires regular brushing to prevent matting and control shedding.

Some people choose to save shed hair from their Samoyed and spin it into yarn that is used to knit socks, hats, and other items.

Playful, loyal, and gentle, Samoyeds make excellent companion animals for families with children. These intelligent dogs bond closely with loved ones, and they typically get along well with other pets and dogs. They are even amiable with strangers. Generally, Samoyeds are alert, friendly, and adaptable; they are not typically shy, distrustful, or aggressive.

These dogs prefer to stay busy and enjoy participating in herding, sledding, agility, conformation, and other dog sports. Regular physical and mental activity helps prevent boredom, which can cause these dogs to bark, dig, or otherwise act out. Daily walks are a good choice with this breed, but care must be taken not to overdo it on hot days; Samoyeds are sensitive to heat and do better in cold climates.

Although these dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, they prefer to live and sleep indoors with their human family members. They need a good amount of attention and may become lonely, withdrawn, or depressed if neglected or left alone for long periods.

Samoyeds are a relatively healthy breed and are not prone to many serious genetic illnesses or other health problems. Of course, this is not a guarantee that any individual dog will be healthy or free of disease. Purchasing or adopting from a reputable source is a good first step in obtaining a healthy puppy.

Hip dysplasia, skin allergies, hypothyroidism, and diabetes are all seen more often in Samoyeds than in some other breeds. Heart problems such as plutonic stenosis and aortic stenosis are other problems that may negatively affect length or quality of life. Moreover, this breed is at increased risk for certain eye disorders, including progressive retinal atrophy, a condition that leads to blindness.

Samoyeds usually live a long, full, and active life of up to 14 years, provided they receive routine veterinary care, timely canine vaccinations, proper nutrition, and regular exercise.

Samoyeds are known for being stubborn. They are independent thinkers, and this can make training a challenge. Additionally, these dogs tend to bore easily and have a natural talent for finding trouble when left unsupervised for long periods.

For maximum effectiveness, Samoyed training sessions should be kept short and interesting to hold the dog's interest. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise, play, and food rewards, are especially beneficial when working with these dogs. Training should always be firm and consistent, but never harsh or unfair.

Socialization is important for all dog breeds, and this is very true when it comes to the young Samoyed. Early socialization can teach these dogs to differentiate between real and imagined threats, and continuing socialization helps them grow into confident, secure, and tolerant adults. Puppy kindergarten is great during the early months, and trips to the dog park, walks around the neighborhood, and visits to local shops are beneficial later in life.

The Samoyed's thick, fluffy, double coat requires regular brushing to prevent and remove tangles and mats. Brushing every one to two days will help control shedding, which can be significant during the spring and fall shedding seasons. A pin brush, slicker brush, and metal Greyhound comb are all important tools to keep on hand. If flying hair is a problem during brushing, catch it with a damp towel or brush the Samoyed outdoors.

Bathing is rarely necessary unless the breed rolls around in something harmful, stinky, or sticky. A bath every three months is usually sufficient, although more frequent bathing can help minimize shedding. It is essential to use a pH-balanced canine shampoo and to rinse thoroughly after every bath.

The nails need clipping every few weeks to prevent snags, breaks, and clicking against the floor. Brushing the teeth every day will cut down on cavities on help prevent potentially serious gum disease. Additionally, weekly ear checks are essential to find and remove excess ear wax and to spot signs of ear infection early, before the infection becomes serious.

Samoyeds are an ancient breed with no mixture of fox or wolf in the breed's gene pool. The dogs were developed by the Samoyed people of Siberia and were primarily used for hunting, herding reindeer, and hauling sledges. These dogs were so beloved by the Samoyed people that they were allowed to sleep inside tents with them. The Samoyed is one of only fourteen dog breeds identified as ancient through DNA analysis.

The first known Samoyeds to arrive in England did so during the late 1800s. Not all of these imported dogs had pure white coats like those of today. Queen Alexandria was a big fan of the breed and did much to promote its popularity. In fact, descendants of her dogs are still found in modern pedigrees.

It was not until 1906 that the first Samoyed came to the United States. This dog was a gift from Russia's Grand Duke Nicholas. An increasingly popular sled dog, the breed formed part of the sled teams that made their way to Antarctica during the early 1900s. In America, Samoyeds have grown in popularity since World War II.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Samoyed in 1906.