The Samoyed dog breed, which was originally created for hunting, towing sleds, and herding reindeer, proved to be a valuable companion for the Samoyede people of northwestern Siberia. Pack hiking, tracking, and lying on top of their owners at night were just a few responsibilities of this working breed.
Due to their working nature, Samoyeds can be strong-willed at times. However, this does not prevent them from being friendly and affectionate dogs. Samoyeds love to meet new people and receive lots of attention from their owners.
History of the breed
This hardy breed was originally used for hunting, herding reindeer, and pulling sleds for the Siberian Samoyede people. They were also particularly talented at hunting reindeer for food. The Samoyede people treated these beautiful dogs like family members which contributed to the sense of closeness these dogs create with their owners.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Samoyed left Siberia to pull sleds on polar expeditions, including Sir Ernest Shackleton’s historic trek to the Antarctic. Along with the explorers they aided, these dogs went through many difficult situations from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Many Samoyed would not survive these dangerous trips; only the dogs that were the strongest and fittest would finish these journeys.
Antarctic Buck, a Samoyed, is reported to be the first to be transported to England. Queen Alexandra was a fan of the breed, and her kennels are the source of many modern English and American Sammies.
The official recognition of the Samoyed breed did not take place until 1909. The England Kennel Club became the first to recognize this breed; followed by the Samoyed Kennel Club of America in 1923. After the creation of the Samoyed Kennel Club of America, the American breed standard was established; this led to the recognition of the Samoyed breed.
Daily exercise and mental stimulation
The Samoyed is a very active breed of dog that is not suited to live in small spaces, including apartments and condos. These dogs need ample space to run around in and prefer owners that have large and secure yards. These dogs descend from working dogs and need plenty of space to release their high energy levels.
Do Samoyeds need to exercise daily? Yes, the ancestors of this breed were used for various outdoor activities that required a high energy level and stamina. These characteristics have led to the Samoyed needing daily exercise. This exercise can include a daily walk or jog. However, during the warmer months, you should limit vigorous exercise as these dogs have a thick wooly undercoat that inhibits heat loss and can lead to them overheating easily. This makes them prone to overheating in warm weather.
Samoyed dogs have a thick fluffy coat due to their ancestors living in a cold climate. These dogs love to play in the snow and enjoy the cold weather that winter brings. This thick double-coat requires more maintenance compared to other dog breeds.
How much should you brush your dog?
Do Samoyed dogs shed a lot? Samoyed dogs require frequent brushing to keep their excessive shedding under control. You should brush your Samoyed at least three to four times a week to keep hair from accumulating on your clothes and on your furniture. The best way to brush them is by using a pin brush along with a metal comb and a slicker brush.
You should begin accustoming your Samoyed puppy to being brushed at a young age. This ensures that the dog becomes used to the sensation of brushing and will enjoy the experience as he matures. It is important that you make grooming a positive experience for the canine companion to prevent unwanted problems from developing in the future. Offer your Samoyed treats and praise during grooming sessions.
These dogs tend to be very clean due to their excessive shedding. This means that you will only need to give your Samoyed a bath every three months or so. However, if you notice that your dog’s coat is particularly dirty or that it has a bad odor, it is ok to give them a rinse.
In addition to daily exercise and daily brushing, you should begin training your Samoyed puppy as soon as you bring him into your house. This will prevent unwanted behaviors from developing as the Samoyed matures. Like with other dog breeds, you must also ensure your Samoyed receives socialization, starting when it is just a puppy.
If he does not receive enough socialization with other people and dogs, he can become timid and react negatively to strange people, dogs, sights, sounds, and experiences. Enrolling your puppy in formal puppy obedience classes is a great way to socialize your dog and begin establishing ground rules.
Personality of the Samoyed
The Samoyed is a very loyal, friendly, and intelligent dog breed. They are especially friendly towards members of their family, including children. These dogs enjoy affection and are not made to be left alone for extended periods of time. Due to their affectionate nature, they are prone to developing separation anxiety.
Are Samoyed dogs good pets? Samoyed dogs make great pets, including great family dogs due to their loyal and friendly nature. Samoyeds love the energy that children bring to the household; you will likely find them chasing each other around the yard or house. This breed is great for an active family.
Due to the Samoyed past as a hunting dog, they do have a strong prey drive. You may find that your Samoyed loves to chase after small animals that he perceives as prey. Due to this instinctive behavior, you should always walk your Samoyed on a leash and ensure that he is secured within your yard at all times.
Unless you assert your role as the pack’s alpha, the same independent attitude that serves him well when bringing supplies over the desolate arctic may provide training issues. Sams are very intelligent but often strong-willed, despite their want to please you. Positive reinforcement, no-fear training requires a caring, tough, and persistent approach. Even after a year or more of puppy school, or if you adopt an adult rescue dog, it’s a good idea to hire a behaviorist on occasion to ensure that both you and your Samoyed keep learning new tricks; this also ensures your Samoyed receives some formal training.
Appearance of the Samoyed
How big are Samoyeds? Male dogs of this breed tend to stand at 21 to 23 inches tall at the withers. Female Samoyeds tend to stand 19 to 21 inches tall at the withers. Depending on their level of activity, these dogs tend to weigh between 50 to 60 pounds when mature.
The Samoyed breed has a straight outer coat and a soft, thick undercoat that resembles the appearance of wool. The color of this dense coat tends to be white, cream, or biscuit in color. Some people say that this majestic breed resembles the appearance of a cloud due to its thick white coat. The breed standard of the Samoyed states that the breed usually has black or brown eyes that are almond in shape. In addition, there are some Samoyeds that have blue-colored eyes; however, these are not recognized by the official breed standard.
The thick undercoat of the Samoyed typically sheds heavily one to two times a year. This annual shedding is referred to as blowing coat. However, this does not mean that your Samoyed will only shed during these times. This just means that he will be shedding more when he is blowing coat.
One distinguishing feature of this breed is its tails. Their tails curl over their backs and rest to one side. Unlike Alaskan Malamutes that have tightly curled tails, the Samoyed tail is held, touching the back and resting to one side. In the colder months, these dogs have been known to sleep with their tails over their faces to provide them with additional warmth and protection.
Feeding your Samoyed
What do you feed a Samoyed? Like with any other breed of dog, a healthy and high-quality diet is a must. It is recommended to feed your Samoyed 1.5 to 2.5 cups of food a day that is divided into two meals. It is important to note that how much you feed your dog should be dependent on the dog’s size, age, and level of activity.
Recently, many pet owners have opted to switch from feeding their dogs a kibble diet to a raw dog food diet. While feeding your dog a raw food diet takes careful planning, and more prep time, it has many health benefits compared to a diet of only kibble. The quality of dog food that you buy makes a huge difference in your dog’s health and longevity.
The Samoyed is generally a very healthy breed. Just like with other dog breeds, there are some health conditions that Samoyed are more prone to develop. One way to help avoid these health concerns is by working with a reputable Samoyed breed and avoiding breeders that offer cheap dogs without necessary health checks.
One of the diseases that this gentle breed is more prone to is glaucoma. Glaucoma is the increase of pressure in the eye and can either be hereditary or caused by a decrease in fluid in the eye. The symptoms of glaucoma include loss of vision and eye pain. Typically, the vet will prescribe an eye drop treatment to prevent the progression of the disease. In addition to glaucoma, this breed is also prone to developing retinal atrophy.
Aortic stenosis is another health issue that this breed is prone to develop. This heart issue is caused by the narrowing of the connection between the left ventricle and the aorta.
Patellar luxation is also a health issue that is more common in the Samoyed breed. Patellar luxation is when the knee joint slides out of place, causing the dog pain. As the dog ages, patellar luxation tends to worsen, which can lead to the dog being unable to walk.
Hip dysplasia is another common health issue within this breed. This is an inherited condition in which the thighbone does not fit properly in the dog’s hip joint. This improper fit causes arthritis to form in the dog’s hip as it ages.
How long do Samoyed dogs live? Due to their relatively healthy nature, Samoyeds have an average lifespan between 12-14 years. With proper exercise and diet, your Samoyed may even live longer!
Adopting a Samoyed
How much does a Samoyed puppy cost? The cost of adopting a Samoyed from a reputable breeder ranges from $600 to $1,500 on average. If you want to adopt a Samoyed, you should contact your local breed group or animal shelter to see if one is available.
Finding a professional breeder is critical to ensuring the health of your dog. Breeders’ dedication and love for their animals and offspring are essential to the animals’ physical and mental health. The ability of the mother to recuperate after each delivery is important to a diligent breeder. This limits the number of litters per year and the income provided by the brood, but it prioritizes the health and well-being of the dog.
Puppies should not be sold before they are eight weeks old. This stage of imprinting is crucial for the pups’ emotional and physical development. This ensures that your Samoyed will be friendly and able to interact with other dogs and humans as he grows up.
Of course, all of this comes at a price. Professionally bred dogs are usually more expensive than non-pedigreed dogs offered at pet stores. Alternatively, there are many purebred dogs waiting for a new home in animal shelters.
We encourage everyone to visit their local animal shelters since there are always pets waiting for a forever home. You might even score big and find a Samoyed looking for a home at your local animal shelter.