The Samoyed dog is an arctic breed of dog with a white coat that is commonly referred to as the “smiling Samoyed” and is known to be one of the world’s most beautiful dogs. Samoyed dogs are active, loyal dogs, who love human companionship.
Is the Samoyed the right breed for you?
In this article, we are going to talk all about this affectionate dog and key you into their history, and physical traits while helping you decide if they are a good choice for your lifestyle.
History of the Samoyed Dog
Many legends speak of the Samoyed people and their nomadic tribes being pushed by competing tribes further and further north until they reached land that was filled with ice and snow.
With the help of their unique, white sled dogs, they were able to keep warm in the cold weather and even thrive by keeping herds of reindeer, mostly thanks to their Samoyed dogs.
The Samoyed breed is an ancient breed that has long been known to be a great working dog who aided in many different tasks.
The Samoyed People
The Samoyedic people also depended on their dogs to act as guard dogs against different predators found in their home of ice and snow.
Even in Britain, Queen Alexandra took a fond love to these brilliant and beautiful dogs. The AKC (American Kennel Club) officially recognized the Samoyed in 1906.
The Samoyed is a descendant of the Nenets Herding Laika, which is a spritz dog that was bred specifically for herding reindeer in the northern regions of Siberia.
During this same time, the Nenets were referred to as the Samoyeds.
In the late 1800s European explorers looking to travel to the South Pole brought these magnificent dogs with them to aid in hunting and offer protection.
The Samoyed dog is well suited to be able to withstand extreme temperatures.
Samoyed Dog Traits
Physical Characteristics of the Samoyed Dog
The Samoyed is a medium-sized dog known for its strong, athletic, yet compact body and regal appearance. They are stout dogs who are similar to a Spitz.
These animals are used for a variety of tasks and dog sports and are very capable dogs.
The Samoyed are also known for their signature “Sammy smile” due to the turned-up corners of their mouths.
Samoyed Dog Size
The Samoyed ranges from 19-23 inches tall, with females being slightly smaller than their male counterparts. They can range in weight from a mere 30 pounds all the way up to 60 pounds.
One of the most interesting features the Samoyed exhibits is their signature smile, which even has a real purpose.
Since they live in mainly frigid and frozen regions, their smiles prevent them from drooling so ice won’t collect around their mouths.
The Samoyed breed is thought to have only a white coat, but it has multiple acceptable coat colors that the AKC recognizes.
Samoyed Dog Coat Colors
- White and biscuit
Samoyeds do not present with any markings due to their white coloration.
Samoyed Dogs Have a Double Coat
They have extremely dense fur that is a thick double coat which means it has an outer coat and underlayer.
They have almond-shaped eyes, triangular ears, a wedge-shaped head, a very muscular body, and are very gentle dogs.
Samoyed Dog Lifespan
Samoyeds lead fairly long lives with the average being around 10-12 years. Feeding a proper diet and giving this breed lots of exercise and affection will aid in a full and healthy life.
Many Samoyeds are even capable of living up to 14 years or more with the right care, making them fantastic long-term companion dogs.
Personality of the Samoyed Dog
The Samoyed is an active breed that will need a securely fenced yard to play. They are generally very gentle with young children. They make great family dogs and enjoy human company.
They enjoy family activities and are best suited to an active lifestyle which includes daily exercise.
Samoyed Dogs are Loyal and Loving
Owners of Samoyeds often call them their best friends and a true part of the family due to the wonderful nature of these dogs.
They are the first to be ready to work and the first to be ready for quality family time with lots of love and hugs.
Are Samoyeds Good Guard Dogs?
The Samoyed can be trained to be a very excellent guard dog, but due to their very friendly demeanor, they may end up trying to befriend the intruder rather than fend them off.
Adequate training would need to take place for a modern-day Samoyed to be used as a secure guard dog.
Samoyed Puppy Considerations
It is best to immediately start training your puppy, even from an early age. Modern Samoyeds are very intelligent dogs and can learn many things from an extremely young age.
Begin working with your puppy from the day you bring them home from either a reputable breeder or animal shelter (no matter their age!)
Training a Samoyed Dog
Training can take the form of either formal dog training at a school or even working with them in your living room or backyard.
Socialization is an important part of training any dog and should be carefully considered and practiced when training your Samoyed.
If you have rescued an older dog from a shelter, socialization is even more important to make sure that your dog has experience being around people.
How to Chose the Right Samoyed For You
Make sure that you talk to your breeder or representative from the dog shelter about everything you are looking for in a dog or puppy in order to bring the right dog home.
Make sure that you never get your puppy from a puppy mill, as they do not treat their animals well.
Samoyed Dog Breeders
Finding a reputable breeder is one of the best ways to support people who truly love animals, care for their wellbeing, and ensure that you are getting a puppy that isn’t going to end up with a lot of health issues down the road.
When selecting a puppy, many times, the breeder can offer a lot of insight into each dog’s personality and which one will be best suited to you and your family.
If you can, meeting the parent dogs is a great way to check for their personality and temperaments.
How Much Does a Samoyed Puppy Cost?
You can expect to pay between $1000 and $3000 for a purebred Samoyed puppy from a reputable breeder.
Why Are Samoyed Puppies So Expensive?
This is a unique and special dog and the price you will pay reflects that. There are also very strict requirements for breeders to adhere to the breed standard.
Should You Choose an Adult Samoyed?
If you choose to adopt an adult Samoyed you will want to try and find out as much of the dog’s previous history as possible to address any behavioral issues that could be present due to abuse or neglect.
There are many wonderful dogs in the shelter searching for their forever homes and you may find the perfect Samoyed there!
Be sure to be open and honest with the shelter staff and ask many questions to be sure you are picking the right dog.
Samoyed Dog Breed Health Issues
As with any breed of dog, there are some specific health issues that come with owning a Samoyed. They are much more predisposed to health conditions such as:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Genetic health problems
- Overheating/ heat stroke
A great way to prevent issues and protect your dog is to speak with your vet about proper diet nutrition, and preventative treatment for your dog.
How to Feed Your Samoyed Dog
The Samoyed Club Of America has a great feeding resource for your Samoyed that can be useful. Remember, always check with your local vet for advice.
Samoyeds, like all dogs, need a well-rounded diet. Many Samoyed owners choose to feed their dogs a raw diet and implement fruits and vegetables on top of feeding freeze-dried or raw meats.
The amount of food needed per dog will vary depending on their activity level and their overall health and age. It is very common for Samoyed puppies to be very finicky eaters.
Samoyed Dog diet
You may need to add “supplemental flavorings” to encourage them to eat their food. Some of these could be:
- Chicken broth
- Beef broth
- Bacon grease
If you find you have trouble getting your Samoyed to eat, speaking with your vet or a dog nutritionist will help overcome any challenges.
Samoyed Dog Care and Exercise Needs
These energetic dogs do best with lots of exercises and a fenced area to roam and play in.
Daily walks will keep that adorable Samoyed smile going strong and keep your pup from being left to their own devices and potentially getting into trouble.
They are very playful dogs who will enjoy doing different sporting events and being near you at all times.
Samoyed Dogs are Fairly Easy to Care For
Care requirements for the Samoyed are not extreme, but the biggest factor to consider is that they need to be able to stretch their legs and roam freely without the risk of being able to escape from a yard.
They may not be the best dogs for apartment living unless you can take them on a walk every day or even twice a day.
A Samoyed dog needs to be part of an active family.
Grooming Requirements for a Samoyed Dog
Samoyeds have beautiful and very thick coats that need consistent attention and maintenance.
A simple and quick brushing every day will keep maintenance time to a minimum and get you back to enjoying activities with your dog.
Many Samoyed owners take part in daily brushing and then bring their furry friends to a dog groomer bi-weekly or once a month for a “deep clean” and touch-up.
Are Samoyed Dogs Hypoallergenic?
No dog is truly hypoallergenic but many owners claim that the Samoyed is much more friendly for allergy suffers than other breeds may be.
They say the Samoyed does not smell and does not leave a lot of dander behind.
Samoyed Dog Names
If you have a special dog like the Samoyed you need a special name for them! Here is a short list of some popular names for the Samoyed.
Related Samoyed Dog Questions
Is the Samoyed dog breed good with children?
The Samoyed is generally very good with children and makes an excellent family member. Each dog will be different, so it is wise to always be cautious with small children and dogs.
Samoyed dogs make a great companion for older kids looking for an active buddy to take with them as they play and work but still can be great play pals for younger kids with supervision.
What kinds of things can I do with my Samoyed?
Samoyeds love anything and everything that has to do with being out and about and active. Many enjoy running, obedience training, playing fetch, or competing in dog sports such as agility.
Do Samoyed dogs like to travel?
The Samoyed is, in general, a very easygoing dog as long as they can get enough exercise. They love to be with their human families, so wherever you go, they would like to go as well.
They may make a good dog for someone who enjoys traveling or spending time being active.
How often do I need to brush my Samoyed?
Most Samoyeds will need to have daily brushing. They have very thick double coats and may be prone to heavy shedding at times.
This can be reduced by brushing and weekly or bi-weekly bathing. Grooming is a great time to bond with your dog and will keep them feeling comfortable.
Their thick coats can easily get knotted and tangled if not cared for properly.
Samoyed Dogs Can Make Good Family Pets
The Samoyed is a fun-loving and sweet dog who would make a great addition to active families.
With easygoing personalities and a signature smile that is hard to forget, they touch the hearts of dog owners across the United States and all over the world.
Figuring out if they are the right breed for you is a personal decision that always needs careful consideration, but they are a great breed to consider when selecting your next dog.