Too floofy to be a husky. Too big to be a pomeranian. And too unique to be anything other than a Samoyed. Learn all about this gorgeous dog’s history, healthy, and grooming needs. If your Samoyed needs care, Mad Paws has primo Pet Sitters in Byron Bay, Geelong, Broome, and all over Aus!
Quick Facts ✔
Height – 48 – 60cm
Weight – 20 – 30kg
Lifespan – 12 – 14 years
Country of origin – Siberia, Russia
Breed type – Working Group
- Families with children (especially older children)
- Owners who spend a lot of time at home
- Active Owners
Samoyed Breed History ♜
If you thought that Siberian Huskies were the only dogs braving the icy tundra of Siberia, the Samoyed is here to set the record straight. In fact, Samoyeds might have been making doggy snow-angels for just as long, if not longer, than the sled dogs to the East. And, there are a few more snowy surprises that the Samoyed would want you to know!
To start, Samoyeds are part of the group of so-called basal breeds. This means that, like the Siberian Husky, Saluki, and Akita, they have less genetic variability than breeds that were developed since the 18th century. This is likely because Samoyeds have been around for thousands of years in the isolated regions of Siberia.
Originally, these puppers led a nomadic life alongside the community responsible for domesticating them, the Samoyedic peoples. The Samoyedic people were primarily reindeer herders, and their fluffy pups were tasked with keeping the herd safe from wolves and other predators. When the community needed a sled-puller, the Samoyed could be harnessed up for the task.
But, they weren’t only a working dog. Samoyeds were also beloved family pets. These warm dogs slept inside with their Owners and were known to be caring and protective of children.
If you read our Dog Breed Corner on the Siberian Husky, you’re probably noticing a few parallels. Indeed, the indigenous group responsible for domesticating the Siberian Husky, the Chukchi, were also reindeer herders who relied upon their pups for a number of the same tasks. But, there wasn’t much, if any, overlap between the two communities.
The two Siberian dog breeds may never have crossed paths if not for explorers crossing the Arctic Tundra. These Russian travelers often relied upon the help of the local tribes for navigation tips, food, and sometimes, their dogs.
Unlike the Siberian Husky, these puppers wouldn’t become known for their sled-pulling speed. But the explorers did appreciate the Samoyed dog’s work ethic and friendliness. And, these white dogs seemed to be better at navigating the trickiest obstacles Siberia had to offer.
By the start of the 20th century, the Samoyed would be brought to England and the United States, more as expedition heroes than potential family dogs. In fact, many were put on display in zoos and other exhibitions. But, they would soon be accepted into kennel clubs, prompting Dog Owners to seek out the companionship of this lovable dog.
Samoyed Personality Traits ★
The Samoyed smile says it all. This happy-go-lucky dog turns heads wherever they go. And as people-oriented as they are, they seem to love the attention!
At home, Samoyeds are gentle and even-mannered. They love to be around children, and will follow the little ones around to make sure everyone is safe and sound. That said, they can be a bit enthusiastic. Make sure to give this dog enough exercise and training so that they play gently with children.
Samoyeds typically develop a strong bond with one member of the household, but they’re loyal and loving with everyone in their close family group. These dogs are social, and they don’t like to spend time alone or in the backyard when their family isn’t with them. If you’ll be spending a lot of time away from home, this dog would love to stay in the care of a friendly Pet Sitter.
Now, if you’re hoping for a watchdog, the Samoyed may not live up to the title. These dogs don’t tend to be territorial or wary of strangers, although they will bark when they hear something out of the ordinary. But when it comes to houseguests, these dogs are more akin to a fluffy welcoming committee than a guard dog.
When it comes to other dogs, Samoyeds tend to be playful and outgoing. That said, other animals can sometimes bring out their herding and hunting background. If you want this dog to get along with cats and refrain from chasing after wildlife, socialisation and obedience training will be necessary.
Samoyed Trainability & Training Tips
As well-mannered as these dogs are, they’re also highly intelligent, with a bit of a stubborn streak. Training a Samoyed, then, takes some time and patience.
To start, recall is not one of the Samoyed’s strong suits. So, it’s best to keep them on a leash or in an enclosed area while they’re learning the basics. Otherwise, this long-distance runner is likely to get away from you pretty quickly.
And, the Samoyed is an independent thinker. They feel most comfortable when they’re able to make their own decisions, and overly harsh training methods will bring out their rebellious side. It’s best, instead, to structure training sessions around incentives and rewards. That way, this big fluff ball will feel more engaged in the process.
Finally, there’s the issue of timing. As a smart, boisterous dog with an eye on the horizon, a standard training session will likely bore the Samoyed. It’s a good idea to keep training sessions short and don’t force this dog to stay engaged when they’ve already moved onto something else. This means, of course, that the Samoyed may not learn basic commands at the same rate as a more engaged dog. But, with some patience and flexibility, they will eventually learn whatever you go about teaching them.
To summarise, Samoyeds are best trained with plenty of treats, short training sessions, and a training style that is more enthusiastic than punishing.
Exercise Needs & Living Conditions ⌂
Samoyeds are highly energetic dogs who need daily exercise and mental stimulation to be happy. This means at least an hour of exercise per day, plus a few opportunities for mental stimulation.
One of a Samoyed’s favourite activities is playtime with other dogs. They’re not the fastest dogs around, but they’re persistent in convincing others to play. So, whether it’s free play at the dog park or a playdate with their furry friends, a Samoyed will gladly run themselves tired alongside other puppers.
Swimming is also a great form of exercise for dogs like the Samoyed, but only if your pup enjoys it. Many Sammies shy away from water, possibly because of their heavy coat. So, if you do manage to entice them into the water, don’t be surprised if they only want to splash around in the shallow end.
If you’re looking for activities that will challenge a Samoyed physically and mentally, agility training is a great choice. These hyper doggos love the exercise, and they might love having an audience even more!
As far as living conditions go, the Samoyed is more flexible than you might think. Even with their heavy coat, they can live comfortably in warm climates. That’s not to say that they’ll be happy hanging out in the backyard when it’s warm out. But, they don’t have to be disqualified from life in warmer climates.
Something else to know about the Samoyed is that they don’t make the most quiet housepets. Sammies are highly vocal dogs. They’ll bark when they’re happy, sad, and bored. So, when living in close proximity to neighbours, it’s especially important to provide them with regular exercise and attention to lower the volume.
Finally, there’s the shedding. We’ll get into how to manage that show-stopping coat in a moment, but keep in mind that a Samoyed’s living conditions will be covered in fur. Potential Owners of this doggo should be ready to hoover regularly.
Samoyed Grooming ✄
There are many admirable things about that Samoyed coat. For one thing, it’s simply gorgeous. A Samoyed’s double fur is floofy and silky and never fails to turn heads in public.
Another positive? That coat is clean. Samoyeds don’t typically have a doggy smell, and their coat does an excellent job of repelling dust and dirt. This allows them to stay brilliantly white without needing to bathe your Samoyed after every outing. In fact, many Samoyed Owners only bathe their dogs about every 6 months or as needed.
And, Samoyeds are virtually dander-free. That makes them ideal for families with mild dog allergies or dander irritation. That’s not to say that the Samoyed is completely hypoallergenic. But, their fur is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than many other breeds.
Unfortunately, the good news ends there. Because while there are many advantages to the Samoyed coat, this dog is far from low-maintenance.
Throughout the year, Owners will need to brush their Samoyed at least three to four times per week. This should be done with tools specially designed for their thick undercoat and long, silky outer coat. A pin brush is a must, as well as a long-toothed comb. There are even some grooming supplies that are self-cleaning, which can be helpful given that the brush will fill up with fur after just a few strokes. To make your brushing sessions most effective, it’s a good idea to ask a professional groomer for the best technique, or watch a few Samoyed brushing tutorials.
Typically, a Samoyed will also go through a seasonal coat blow. This explosion of fur happens when your Sammie trades out their winter coat for their summer one and vice versa. During this two to three week period, expect to groom your pup every day.
In addition to their brushing needs, grooming for this dog will include nail trimming (don’t forget the dew claws!), tooth brushing, and checking their ears for infection. And, with all that fur, it’s also a good idea to monitor this pup for fleas and ticks.
Samoyed Health +
For a dog of their size, the Samoyed has a pretty long life expectancy and they’re generally healthy. That said, there are a few health concerns that appear in this breed:
- Hip Dysplasia and Patellar Luxation
- Glaucoma and Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Certain forms of cancer
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy, which is a form of genetic kidney disease
Dogs with long coats may also be more prone to obesity since weight gain isn’t as noticeable. Luckily, the Samoyed is an energetic doggo who can pretty easily maintain a healthy weight with proper exercise. With their high energy needs and risk of obesity, a nutritious, balanced dog diet is essential for the Samoyed.
Fun Fact about the Samoyed ♥
Fibre arts like knitting, crocheting and weaving have seen an increase in popularity in the last few years, but not many modern day crafters would consider using dog fur in their creations!
Apparently, Samoyed wool, or yarn spun from the fur of Samoyed sheddings, is a highly valuable commodity, and it’s been around in various cultures for generations.
And you can’t just use any doggo’s fur. Samoyed wool is soft, silky, and less itchy than some other natural fibres like mohair or raw sheep’s wool. Chow Chows and Newfoundlands are two other dog breeds that are perfect for spinning up a skein of luxurious wool.
Final Thoughts on the Samoyed
Once you look past the spectacular coat and adorable smile, you’ll see that the Samoyed really does have a heart of gold. They love their Owners, are great with children, and will make friends with just about any doggo they meet.
There are some remnants of their past, such as a love of adventure and independence, which can make this free-spirited dog a bit hard to control. But with patience and the right training method, a Samoyed is smart enough to master any command, trick, or agility course you throw their way.
Exercise and a good diet is essential for this dog. And be ready for above-average grooming needs. But if you can put in the time and effort to keep this dog mentally stimulated and active, they’ll end every day the way that they have for thousands of years: as big floofy cuddlers.
The Samoyed is beyond compare, and that smile truly does encapsulate this dog’s wonderful personality.