Temperament: Adaptable, Friendly, Gentle
- Height: 21-23.5 inches (male), 19-21 inches (female)
- Weight: 45-65 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Working Group
The Samoyed is a substantial but graceful dog standing anywhere from 19 to a bit over 23 inches at the shoulder. Powerful, tireless, with a thick all-white coat impervious to cold—Sammies are perfectly beautiful but highly functional. Even their most delightful feature, a perpetual smile, has a practical function: The upturned corners of the mouth keep Sammies from drooling, preventing icicles from forming on the face.
The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should present a picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility, dignity and grace. As his work lies in cold climates, his coat should be heavy and weather-resistant, well groomed, and of good quality rather than quantity. Males should be masculine in appearance and deportment without unwarranted aggressiveness; bitches should be feminine without weakness of structure or apparent softness of temperament. Bitches may be slightly longer in back than males. They should both give the appearance of being capable of great endurance but be free from coarseness. Because of the depth of chest required, the legs should be moderately long. General appearance should include movement and general conformation, indicating balance and good substance.
About the Samoyed
Samoyeds, the smiling sledge dogs, were bred for hard work in the world’s coldest locales. In the Siberian town of Oymyakon, for instance, temperatures of minus-60 degrees are common. The Sammy’s famous white coat is thick enough to protect against such brutal conditions.
A Sammy sentenced to solitary confinement in the yard is a miserable—and destructive—creature. These are smart, social, mischievous dogs who demand love and attention. Sammies need a very firm but loving hand in training. As pack animals, they must learn early who the alpha dog is—and the alpha dog must be you.
NUTRITION The Samoyed should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Samoyed has a profuse double coat, with a longer outer coat of harsh hair and a soft, thick, woolly undercoat. Samoyeds shed quite a bit all the time, even more so during shedding season, which can occur once or twice a year. Daily brushing will help to remove dirt and loose hairs and keep the dog looking his best. Mats or tangles can be worked out with a slicker brush or metal comb. The nails should be trimmed every three to four weeks or as needed.
EXERCISE Samoyeds enjoy being with their people and participating in family activities. They need some daily exercise and enjoy play sessions with their owner in a safely fenced yard or long walks on leash. The breed has a strong urge to run away and roam, and if loose a Sammie might travel for miles, putting himself at risk.
TRAINING The Samoyede people lived in tents and huddled for warmth with their dogs on brutal Arctic nights. This unusual degree of dog-and-master closeness forged a tight bond between Sammies and humankind. A Sammy sentenced to solitary confinement in the backyard is a miserable—and destructive—creature. These are smart, social, mischievous dogs who demand love and attention. Sammies need a firm but loving hand in training.
HEALTH Samoyeds are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders test their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye and cardiac disorders. The Samoyed’s teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Hip Evaluation
- PRA Optigen DNA Test
- Cardiac Exam
- RD/OSD DNA Test