The Samoyed is a combination of strength, beauty and fun. Their compact body is strong and powerful, providing endurance, agility, an agile stride and speed. Their white fur and graceful features make them an elegant creature any owner would be proud to show off. However, the Samoyed isn’t only about strength and beauty. They are about fun too.
With a playful smile and happy attitude, Samoyeds make great companions for anyone, including children and other dogs. They will cozy up to just about anyone, making them one of the most loving and friendly breeds.
Physical CharacteristicsA Samoyed's body is compact and muscular. The head is wedge-shaped, and the muzzle is proportioned to the size of the dog, and it tapers to the nose. Nose color varies: black, brown or liver. The black lips of the Samoyed curve upward, making it look like a constant smile. Ears are thick and rounded at the tip but triangular in shape. Eye color is usually black or brown, and the shape of the eye is almond. Blue eye color is possible, but it is not allowed in the show ring.
One of the most notable features of the Samoyed is the tail. It curls over the back loosely and rests on the back and to one side. The double layer coat contains a topcoat with long, coarse hairs. The undercoat is more dense and soft, but it heavily sheds seasonally. Coloring ranges from pure white, pure biscuit and a mixture of both white and biscuit.
TemperamentSamoyeds have been nicknamed "Sammie smile" and "smiley dog" due to their extremely friendly disposition and their alert, happy expression. They are a playful, gentle, friendly and easygoing dog, willing to play with anyone, including intruders, making them poor guard dogs. However, their tendency to bark whenever someone approaches their property alerts owners to strangers. Due to their friendly attitude, they make great companions for anyone, and they are great with children.
It is important to have them properly trained to avoid bad behavior, such as excessive barking and pulling the leash. Exercise and leadership is also very important or else they become destructive when left along. This breed does have an instinct to herd, including trying to herd children.
Care & GroomingThe best home for a Samoyed is a home with a large, fenced yard to provide room to play. Keeping them challenged with training and activity is imperative to avoid boredom, which causes digging, chewing and attempts at escape. The Samoyed is sensitive to heat, so minimal exercising during warmer weather is best, but they do well in cold weather. It is important to being training and socialization at an early age to prevent bad behavior and timid behavior.
Due to their thick, double layer coat, Samoyeds require frequent brushing to remove loose fir and keep the coat looking smooth and healthy. When the coat is shedding, daily brushing is necessary to remove the shed hair. When the coat is not shedding, brushing once or twice a week is sufficient. Bathing is required less at about once every eight weeks, but bathing is quite time consuming as it takes a while to wet the fur, rinse the shampoo and dry the fur. Teeth brushing should be done a minimum of two to three times a week, and nail trimming should be done once or twice a month.
HistoryThe Samoyed originally come from Siberia, Russia where the Samoyede people lived. They used the breed to hunt and herd reindeer and haul sledges. However, they weren't only working dogs to the Samoyede people. The breed were part of the family, joining in on family activities and helping to keep the children warm during the cold nights. This bond between the Samoyede people and the Samoyed breed has stuck with the breed, causing them to be trustful and loyal.
It wasn't until the late 1800s that the Samoyed finally journeyed out of Siberia. They pulled sledges on many dangerous expeditions to the Polar Regions. The trek was so dangerous that only the strongest Samoyeds survived.
The first Samoyed to arrive in England was believed to be Antarctic Buck, and he was given to Queen Alexandra of England who loved the breed and promoted it heavily. Most of the Samoyeds of today in England and America are descendants from her own Samoyeds.
People quickly fell in love with this playful and beautiful breed, and by 1923, the Samoyed Club of America was created and adopted the American breed standard.