Toggle the Samoyed at 1 1/2 years old
The Samoyed has a compact, muscular body. The wedge-shaped head is broad and slightly crowned. The muzzle is in proportion to the size of the dog, tapering to the nose. The stop is well defined but not abrupt. The nose color can be black, brown or liver. The lips are black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The dark, almond-shaped eyes are deep-set, somewhat wide apart, with a slanting lower lid and dark rims. The erect, triangular ears are slightly rounded at the tips. The tail is moderately long, well-covered with hair, carried rolled on the back. The legs are solid and muscular and the feet are flat and covered with hair. The thick, double coat is profuse. The undercoat is soft, short and thick with longer hairs growing out to the outer coat. The outer coat is harsh and stands straight out, not wavy. Males’ coats are more profuse than females’. There is a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head. Coat colors include pure white, biscuit, yellow and cream. Sometimes white with silver tips. Pure white is preferred in the show ring.
The Samoyed is a gentle dog. Very devoted, easygoing, friendly and quite playful, it loves everyone. It will gladly be friendly to all, including intruders. It is too friendly to be of much use as a watchdog, although its bark will alert you to the presence of strangers. It willingly adapts to family life and gets along well with children. It is highly intelligent, and will respond to firm, patient training, which should be started at an early age. Make sure you are this dog’s firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid potential behavior issues such as, but not limited to, obsessive barking. The Sammy is accustomed to working in teams, and shows outstanding qualities. When this dog is given what it needs to be a stable-minded dog, i.e. enough mental and physical exercise, along with clear leadership, it proves itself to be outstanding, good-natured, lively and sociable. It never seeks trouble but can handle an adversary if necessary. These dogs have a reputation of being chewers. If the Sammy is lacking in leadership and/or exercise it can become very destructive if left alone for many hours at a stretch. Samoyeds can get along with non-canine pets when raised with them from puppyhood or when properly trained to do so, however they do have an instinct to hunt and caution should be taken around other small animals. They can get along with a family cat. This breed has an instinct to herd.
Height: Males 21 - 23½ inches (53 - 60 cm) Females 19 - 21 inches (48 - 53 cm)
Weight: Males 45 - 65 pounds (20½ - 30 kg) Females 35 - 50 pounds (16 - 20½ kg)
Samoyeds are particularly prone to hip dysplasia and some suffer from diabetes. Also prone to skin allergies. They are prone to PRA (eyes), primarily in male dogs.
The Samoyed will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is very active indoors and a small yard is sufficient. Its heavy coat makes this dogs unsuited to life in very hot climates.
Needs a reasonable amount of exercise, including a daily walk or jog. Take it easy during warm weather because the woolly undercoat inhibits loss of the heat built up during exercise.
About 12-15 years
About 4 to 6 puppies
Extensive grooming is needed. They are seasonally heavy shedders. The fluffy double coat needs frequent brushing, but tends to stay white without bathing. Some people with allergies have reported that the coat of the Samoyed did not bother them.
Samoyeds are an ancient working breed. They have lived in Siberia with hunters and fishermen known as Samoyeds, hence where the breed received its name. The Samoyed people used the dogs to pull their sleds, guard their property and for herding reindeer. Its gene pool is closely related to the primitive dog with no wolf or fox mixed in. The dogs slept with the people to keep them warm. Robert Scott, an explorer, brought the dogs to England in 1889. It was in England that the breed was further developed and from there it spread throughout the rest of the world. It was recognized by the AKC in 1906.
Northern, AKC Working
Holly the Samoyed at 3 years old walking in the Lake District in England
This adorable little thing is 3-month-old Ani.
"This is a picture of two six-year-old Samoyed females (Miki and Su) playing. They were both spayed a couple of years ago, but are still lively and playful. They love 'tug' toys and squeaky toys, but also make much use of Nylabones. Both are let off the leash daily in areas lacking wildlife and livestock. Squirrels visiting our garden have a hard time. Sammies are very smart—they can open doors, turn on lever-style taps and understand many words (many commands are understood, but not necessarily obeyed!). That coat is a chore in the winter, due to the amount of mud that it can hold, and when shedding, but a daily brush keeps them comfortable. Wouldn't have any other breed, due to their intelligence, gentleness and wise, happy nature."
"The 'shedding' picture is the undercoat removed from one dog in one session!"
"We are writing to express how grateful we are for your website and the "Understanding Dog Behavior" articles! We are Anna and Danny from the Netherlands. Two and a half months ago we rescued Boody, an approximately 5-year-old Samoyed from Spain through a charitable Dutch organization. They were trying hard to save as many dogs from those terrible killing stations in Spain. When our guy came to us, he was 18 kg (40 pounds), deaf, and with loads of health problems. After treating his ear infection he was not so deaf anymore, only when it was handy for him. :) Week by week he started developing bad behaviors, like aggressively barking at random people outside. Then skateboards, cars, bicycles, etc. We visited a dog behaviorist as we were getting worried that one day Boody would attack and hurt somebody. We were told that Boody is not an aggressive dog, just fearful. We were given some advice; some things helped us, others didn't. Later I understood why.
"Three weeks ago Boody's left front and back paws were operated on and as a result we were unable to walk him and give him enough exercise. It was at this point we noticed his behavior escalated even more. He started barking at people that he knew and used to be friendly with. That is when I luckily came across your website with precious articles! Thank you SOOO much as you helped us to understand much better, if not fully, what exactly is going on with our guy! It's a shame we did everything wrong from the very beginning (also in the past with my previous two dogs. I treated them as humans!), but as you said, it's never too late to change. Already after the first couple of days of establishing to him that we are leaders, we received impressive results! The simple things such as going through the doorways first, heeling on the leash and staying calm have already produced miracles in his behavior! We still have a lot to work on, which is to be expected, as we also have to change and learn a lot. But you cannot imagine how proud we feel when I or Danny walk him on a pack walk. For now we do it approximately 20-30 minutes at a time, as his wounds haven't healed fully yet. Boody does not react to the cars, bicycles or people walking toward us!!!
"Boody used to act a bit jealous toward Danny's daughter, but now, after teaching her to give him food and commands and to stay strict with him, he does listen to her and seems to accept her as a pack leader! Boody is never left alone with her. She's the one who always gives him food when she's here. It's amazing to see how a dog is changing and accepting authority of a 3.5-year-old girl!
"I would never have thought that setting rules for a dog has actually nothing to do with being cruel, but makes the dog and its owners much more balanced and happier! People need to see that things can be changed. Maybe not all at once, but it is possible. And being as super-soft with animals as I was, now I can definitely say that people can also change and become better leaders. We feel fully responsible for Boody and for what he does as we are now guiding him. From all of us, including Boody, thank you so much!!!"
"We rescued Lexus from our local Humane Society when she was 8 years old. They didn't know why her owner's had left her, but she's been a joy to us since we got her. She's an adorable purebred Samoyed and despite her old age we couldn't help but fall in love when we saw her. We brought her home and she's been a part of our family since then. However, on that first day we found out she loved stuffed animals! We let her check out our house and found her running around with a teddy bear in her mouth. I snapped a photo of her tearing up the teddy bear underneath a foosball table. After she figured out that not everything was her toy she fit right in. We love Lexus and can't stress enough how great it is to rescue a pet."
Lexus the Samoyed at 8 years old
Lexus the Samoyed at 8 years old
Lexus the Samoyed at 8 years old