Origin and Brief History:
Samoyeds are one of the most ancient breeds of dog. DNA evidence has shown them to be very closely related to the primitive dog with no genes of wolf or fox mixed in. The breed’s interesting name was taken from the Samoyedic people of Siberia who originally developed the breed to herd reindeer and pull sleds.
Samoyeds are energetic working dogs. They love to play and are happy to pull things like sleds, carts or owners who walk too slowly. They do well in apartments but need a good walk or jog every day. These dogs are extremely friendly and thrive in families with children. Samoyeds are herding dogs and may use their skills to herd children during playtime. Because their gentle nature extends even to intruders, they do not make good guard dogs.
Samoyeds get along very well with other dogs. They can also get along with cats if raised with them or trained to do so. Owners with smaller animals should be cautious though. Samoyeds are a breed with good instincts and they may try to hunt smaller animals.
Samoyeds have a very thick double coat that requires constant grooming. They shed heavily and should be brushed daily to avoid build up in the house. Although the outer coat is coarse, the undercoat is so soft it has been used to make sweaters.
Specification of Breed:
A male Samoyed’s height should be 21 to 23 ½ inches. A female should be slightly smaller at 19 to 21 inches. As a medium-sized working dog, male Samoyeds usually weigh 45 to 65 pounds while females usually weigh 35 to 50 pounds. White is the most well known coat color for this breed but they also come in biscuit and cream colors. Samoyeds have black lips that curl slightly upwards. This gives them an expression popularly known as the “Sammie smile”. Another trait the Samoyed is known for is their thick, curly tail which touches their back when they stand at attention.
Although they are very friendly dogs, Samoyeds can be stubborn. They need to be trained from a young age with a firm but patient hand. If their owner does not act as a strong and confident pack leader, Samoyeds easily develop destructive behavior problems. The breed is known for excessive barking when not properly trained as well for chewing furniture and digging up yards. Because of their thick coats, Samoyeds do not do well in hot weather. Owners should watch their Samoyeds carefully to ensure they do not overheat. Samoyeds also have a risk of diabetes and a renal disease called Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy. Males tend to develop more serious symptoms of the renal disease and puppies should be examined for signs of it around the age of three to four months.