Well-known for having black lips that slightly curl at the corners into what has been dubbed the trademark “Samoyed smile,” the Samoyed is a hardy and eager worker that has long excelled in agility, herding, sledding, and pack hiking. As an intelligent and gentle breed that enjoys being surrounded with human companionship, the Samoyed is currently ranked as the 68th most popular dog breed registered in the United States by the American Kennel Club. If you are interested in welcoming a Samoyed into your home, read on for a full breed description to determine if this majestic and graceful spitz is the ideal match for your family.
|Other Name||Nenetskaya Laika, Smiley, Sammy, Bjelkier, Samoiedskaya Sobaka,|
|Origin||Northwest Russia and Western Siberia|
|Size Type||Medium Dog Breeds|
|Breed Group||Working Dog Breeds|
|Life Span||12 - 14 years|
|Temperament||Friendly, Playful, Alert, Stubborn, Lively, Sociable|
|Height||Female: 50–56 cm; Male: 54–60 cm|
|Weight||50 to 60 pounds|
|Colors||White & Biscuit, White, Cream|
|Puppy Price||Average $800 - $1500 USD|
As a muscular dog with a compact body, the Samoyed has a wedge-shaped broad head that is slightly crowned at the skull with a proportionate muzzle and no well-defined stop. The dogs have erect triangle-shaped ears that stand high on the head with slightly rounded tips. While the lips are always black, the nose may appear as black, brown, or liver. The dark almond-shaped eyes are somewhat set apart and deep-set in the skull, but have a slightly slanted lower lid.
Considered one of the breed’s more distinguishing features, the tail is curled over without actually touching the back. The solid and muscular legs are adorned with flat feet that are covered with hair to keep the paws warm in cold climates. Male Samoyeds are typically between 21 to 23 inches at the shoulder height with a weight from 45 to 65 pounds, but females are significantly smaller at 19 to 21 inches and weighing between 35 to 50 pounds.
While pure white is preferable within show competitions, the Samoyed’s coat color can range from white to biscuit, cream, yellow, and light silver.
The Samoyed possesses a thick double coat that consists of a short-haired soft undercoat and a long-haired harsh outer coat that grows out straight. As always, the males of the breed tend to have a more profuse coat with extra ruff standing out around the neck and shoulders to frame the head, similarly to a mane.
|Good with Kids|
Due to the profuse coat that gives the breed a powder-puff appearance, it is no surprise that the Samoyed has extensive grooming requirements that may necessitate a professional groomer. It is recommended that owners brush the dogs frequently with a pin brush with rounded ends and a rake or comb with rotating teeth. Since the hair is quite dense, it is often wise to brush the dogs in two-inch sections while combing down in the direction of natural hair growth.
Although the dogs shed their coat once or twice each year rather heavily, it is never recommended that the Samoyed coat be clipped or shaved. Instead, professional trimming can help remove excess hair from the hocks, feet, paw pads, and hindquarters. Since the breed is known for staying remarkably white without bathing due to the self-cleaning of the coat, the Samoyed only needs to be bathed when necessary.
Named amongst the most ancient dog breeds that have been bred for at least 3,000 years, the Samoyed is very close to the primitive dog with no detectable trace of wolf or fox running through the breed’s genetic material. Believed to have originated in Siberia with hunters and fishermen who were known as Samoyeds, the breed was used to pull sleds, guard property, and herd reindeer. In the harsh winter climate of their homeland, the Samoyed was also helpful for keeping their human companions warm.
Rising to fame in the late 19th century worldwide, a team of sled dogs led by a single Samoyed named Etah accompanied Roald Amundsen on his Antarctic Expedition to becoming the first man to reach the South Pole. Another explorer named Robert Scott was responsible for bringing the prized breed back to England, where the dogs were further developed and spread around the globe. By 1906, the Samoyed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in the Working Group.
Too friendly to an effective guard dog, the Samoyed is often described as being a gentle, devoted, easygoing, amiable, playful, and loving companion that loves everyone. Willingly adapting to family life and getting along well with children, the Samoyed is a highly intelligent dog that responds best to firm patient training from a confident pack leader. Caution should be taken around other small non-canine animals due to its natural instinct to herd.
Since the Samoyed is used to working in teams, the breed is often stable-minded, lively, sociable, and obedient when given plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Requiring a reasonable amount of exercise in the form of a daily walk or jog, the dogs can become very destructive and obsessive chewers when these needs are not met. With its profusely heavy coat, it is important that prospective owners do not live in overly hot climates.