Samoyed

The Samoyed is an ancient breed dating back to 1000 B.C. Read on to find out more about the dog that shares its history with the Samoyede tribesmen of Siberia. 

Samoyed dog standing on dried leaves

Height: Male 21-23.5 inches, female 19-21 inches
Weight: Male 20-27 kilos, female 16-23 kilos
Samoyed Lifespan: 12-14 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club

Positives and Negatives

Check out the positive and negative traits of the Samoyed below:

Pros:

  • Family-friendly pets
  • Suitable for apartment living
  • Great watchdogs
  • Easy to train, ideal for first-time owners

Cons:

  • Heavy shedders, requires regular grooming
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Doesn’t like being left alone
  • Vocal, likes to bark

Overview

The Samoyed dog breed dates back to 1000 B.C and is one of the oldest breeds alive today.

They were a huge help to the Samoyede tribesmen who would use these pooches for hunting, herding and pulling sleighs. These canines develop deep attachments to their owners and can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone regularly.

Sammies are renowned for their beautiful white coat. It’s water-resistant and has been developed to protect them from freezing temperatures.

Although the breed looks good, it will take a lot of grooming to keep them looking fresh. Be prepared for consistent shedding and brushing with a Sammie in the home.

Smiling happy Samoyed dog

The Samoyed size is small enough to allow them to comfortably live in an apartment. However, access to a garden is best for these energetic canines. Provided they receive enough exercise and attention from their owner, the Samoyed will be content.

Samoyeds make great family pets and love to keep busy. In a lively home, the Samoyed can easily become the center of attention. They have a strong prey drive so shouldn’t be allowed off the leash. In general, they are very sociable dogs with both humans and canines.

History

The Samoyed is an ancient breed named after the indigenous people of Siberia. They were used to herd reindeer, pull sleds, hunt, and to keep their owners warm at night!

The breed developed a fluffy white coat allowing them to work in freezing cold temperatures reaching minus 60 degrees. Their mouth shape stops drool that could form into icicles.

The Samoyede tribesmen, commonly from Northwestern Siberia, would sleep side by side next to their loyal companions. It’s no wonder why their loyalty and need for human companionship is so strong. The semi-nomadic tribe would treat their dogs as another member of the family.

Samoyeds are also known as a basal breed. This means the Samoyed has been around for much longer than other modern breeds. They’re also closely related to their ancient ancestors, as opposed to other dogs who’ve been developed through mixed breeding. Samoyeds are also members of the Spitz family.

It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the Samoyed dog began pulling sleds on Arctic and Antarctic voyages. The journey was tough and not all of the pack made it back alive. Explorers of the Artic brought the Samoyed back to the UK where they quickly gained notoriety amongst the aristocracy.

Antarctic Buck, was a member of the Samoyed pack assisting Carsten Borchgrenvink’s expedition. The dog was later found in an Australian zoo and was then brought back to the United Kingdom. This pooch was mostly responsible for establishing the breed in the UK.

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Personality

These canines are super intelligent and sociable. They’re a vocal breed, communicating through barking. Training will be needed to prevent this from becoming excessive. Samoyeds are very people-orientated and love to please their owners. They won’t cope too well being left alone consistently and could develop separation anxiety as a result.

A Samoyed puppy can be rather mouthy. They have herding instincts and may nip, bark, and chew when growing up. Another favorite activity of the Samoyed is digging! All of these traits will need to be guided through training to avoid excessive, nuisance behavior. The Samoyed personality is fairly similar to others in the Spitz family.

Are Samoyeds Good With Strangers?

Samoyeds are either reserved or friendly with strangers. Whichever way they lean towards, ultimately depends on their socialization. Samoyeds will bark to alert their owners to somebody new at the door. This sociable breed won’t resort to aggression.

Happy child and dog resting on the grass in warm sunny day

Are Samoyeds Good With Children?

Yes, this breed gets along very well with children. Whilst they might favor one person in their household, their boisterous nature is a great match for children. A Samoyeds energy could be a little overwhelming for smaller children, so always supervise play.

Are Samoyeds Ok With Other Dogs?

Yes, Samoyeds are known to be very sociable and love meeting and playing with other canines. Of course, this is completely dependent on whether they have been socialized or not. This dog is the type you can take out on a group doggy walk to the park. Whilst they have a strong prey drive, they can still live with cats if introduced early enough.

Exercise

Ideally, the Siberian Samoyed should receive up to two hours of exercise each day. They are highly active and love to socialize, making plenty of friends out on their daily walks. Due to the breed’s strong prey drive they must be leashed at all times. Gardens need secure fencing to prevent these escape artists from getting away.

Samoyed dog running on ice

Samoyeds can develop behavioral issues if they haven’t received their daily activity requirements. What else are they to do with all the energy pent up inside them? Strenuous exercise and mental stimulation will be needed throughout the day to keep this pooch content. Flyball and agility are the two best dog sports for this breed.

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Intelligence & Training

Samoyed puppies are raring to go from such an early age. Start training them from 8 weeks onwards. The earlier a dog is taught, the more impressionable they are. Samoyeds are highly intelligent, but like others in the Spitz family, they do have a stubborn side. That being said, these dogs connect deeply with their owner and can be ok to train.

This vocal breed loves to communicate through barking. One of the first commands you should begin practicing is ‘Quiet’. Excessive barking is a nuisance, especially to those who live around you. Samoyeds are sensitive and will become upset by harsh training techniques so remember to stay positive.

Be patient, keep training sessions short, taking place in different locations each time. Samoyeds love pleasing their owners so offer plenty of affection when they get something right. Food treats, toys and other items your pet enjoys can also be used for rewards.

Sammies need lots of exercise and without this, they’ll be highly energetic. Ensure your dog has been walked prior to training. It can be increasingly difficult trying to gain the attention of a hyperactive dog. If the Sammies activity requirements aren’t being met, bad behavior will follow, throwing all your training down the drain.

Health

Below are the breed-related health issues of the Samoyed:

  • Hip Dysplasia- The hip joint develops abnormally causing pain, lameness, inflammation, and swelling in the affected areas.
  • Diabetes- A lack of insulin can cause symptoms such as excessive drinking, weight loss, chronic infections and cloudy eyes.
  • Cataracts- A change of the eye lens causes abnormal cloudiness. If this is big it can interfere with vision leading to blindness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy- The deterioration of the photoreceptor cells in the eye will cause blindness over a period of time.
  • Hypothyroidism- A lack of hormones produced by the thyroid gland will cause symptoms such as a dull coat, weight loss, excessive shedding, and a lack of tolerance to the cold.

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Grooming

If you’re wondering do Samoyeds shed? The answer is yes, quite a lot! They will need lots of grooming maintenance for their magnificent, fluffy white fur. Professional grooming is a good choice to help keep this breed’s coat in tip top shape. Fur should never be trimmed or shaven down.

Their double coat is designed to protect them from the cold Arctic temperatures. This enables debris and dirt to hide within the fur. Brush through their coat multiple times a week. Daily brushing will be needed during the shedding season. Pin brushes, slicker brushes, wide-toothed combs, and grooming rakes are all ideal tools to use.

Samoyed dog in studio

The Samoyed has water-resistant fur that will need bathing every 6 weeks. It is important they are washed thoroughly reaching right down to the skin. All grooming products must be completely cleansed from the coat. To dry the fur a blow dryer must be used. A Samoyed can take 24-48 hours to dry on their own!

Trim the fur in between their paws, seek help from your vets if you’re not sure how to do this. Ears will need to be cleaned weekly to prevent a build-up of debris. Aim to trim their nails every 3-4 weeks. Finally, teeth will need brushing multiple times a week, however, some vets recommend this is done daily.

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