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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Samoyed


Origin: Siberia

AKC Group: Working

Height: Males: 20 - 23.5 inches; Females: 19 - 21 inches (Male)

Weight: Males: 55 - 70 pounds; Females: 45 - 55 pounds (Male)

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Samoyeds are playful and need lots of exercise. They love the cold outdoors. These dogs look and act happy - their black lips curve upwards so they look like they're smiling. They're very good with children, strangers and other pets. You might have a hard time housebreaking a Samoyed; however, and they're notorious chewers.

Samoyeds are working dogs. In general, working dogs pull sleds and carts, guard homes and serve in the military. Because these dogs intelligent and capable of learning almost anything, they make excellent companions.

Their very size can make them difficult to control; however, so they must be trained by a competent professional. Most working dogs ar pack dogs, so they may be aggressive with strange dogs and other pets.

Male height: 
Males: 20 - 23.5 inches; Females: 19 - 21 inches
Male weight: 
Males: 55 - 70 pounds; Females: 45 - 55 pounds
Rough with a ruff (thick hair) around the neck. Longer hair on the chest, stomach, legs and tail. Brush two to three times a week. Tail curls; ears prick up.
White, cream, biscuit or white with biscuit shadings. Eyes are dark; nose is black, brown, or flesh-colored.

The Samoyed dates back to 1000 BCE, and he hasn't changed much in appearance or temperament in all that time. The breed is named for the Samoyede people, a great nomadic tribe that lived on the tundra of northern Russia and Siberia, near the Arctic Circle. The tribe used dogs whom they called bjelkiers to herd reindeer, pull sledges and occasionally hunt bears. These friendly, useful dogs were much cherished and were treated as members of the family, living with them in their primitive dwellings.

A Norwegian explorer named Fridtjof Nansen first brought the Samoyed to the attention of the Western world. He relied on teams of them during his 1894 expedition to the North Pole, and his glowing reports caught the attention of other explorers. In 1889, the breed began to be imported into England and made it to the shores of the United States in 1904. With a long history of close association with humans, the "Sammy" remains an amiable family companion today.

The Samoyed is exceptionally friendly, easygoing, and affectionate. Gentle and trusting, this people-oriented dog was bred to work in a team, so he is very social and thrives in a family environment. This intelligent, dignified dog also has a playful side and can even turn mischievous when the mood strikes. According to some aficionados, the Sammy "displays affection to all mankind."
At home: 
The Sammy can live in a small house or apartment, but he is hardy and active and requires exercise every day. He is too friendly to specialize as a guard dog, but his bark offers some deterrence to intruders. He is susceptible to distress in heat or humidity because of his thick coat. This heavy coat also sheds heavily, so be prepared with a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner.
The Sammy is active, and adults should have a long walk, jog or play session every day. The young Sammy should have ample playtime, but care should be taken to prevent overexertion that would put stress on growing bones. He should always be supervised when exercising in hot weather.
The athletic Samoyed is a hearty eater whose weight should be monitored. He requires the energy that food gives him, but of course he needs to be kept in shape - his abundant coat can sometimes hide a weight problem.
The Sammy is intelligent and responsive, but he can also have a bit of a stubborn streak. It is best to start his training early, and be patient and consistent. A puppy kindergarten class may be beneficial. This sociable fellow requires lots of interaction with his human companions.
The Sammy is friendly to just about everyone and loves having children to take care of. He also gets along with other dogs and pets.
The average life span of the Samoyed is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include diabetes; heat-related issues; hip dysplasia; hypothyroidism; and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Fun fact: 

The first person to bring Samoyeds to the United States was Princess de Montyglyon, a Belgian countess and hereditary Princess of the Holy Roman Empire.

Grooming blurb: 
The Samoyed's abundant coat should be brushed or combed two to three times a week. He sheds dirt quite well, so bathing is seldom required. (When it is, be sure to soak the coat and undercoat down to the skin - the Sammy's hair sheds water as well as dirt.) The breed sheds heavily once or twice a year and will require daily brushing or combing during these periods.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.