The Samoyed is a big and gentle dog breed distinguished by its dense and fluffy white coat. Samoyeds, also known as Sammies, love affection and are more than willing to put in some effort for their owners, whether it’s herding, hunting, or hauling a sled. Sammies are perfectly adapted to withstand cold temperatures.
They have an extremely effective double coat that protects them from freezing temperatures, as well as an upturned mouth that prevents drool—and thus icicles—from forming at their lips. Despite their innate toughness, Samoyeds are just as happy to be a family pet as they are to work. Sammies, with their sweet natures and easy-going personalities, make great animal companions—as long as they get plenty of affection and attention.
It should come as no surprise that the hardy, thick-coated Samoyed breed originated in Russia, where frigid temperatures necessitate a well-insulated shield against the cold. Their name is derived from the semi-nomadic Samoyede people of Siberia, who have depended on the breed for centuries for activities such as hunting, herding reindeer, pulling sleds, and snuggling for warmth on cold Arctic nights.
Sammies are considered a basal breed, which means they predate the origins of most modern dog breeds. Their strong work ethic and exceedingly friendly temperament have made them a good companion to humans throughout their long lifetime, allowing the breed to spread. Arctic explorers introduced the breed to England in the late 18th century, where their regal coat and warm disposition quickly made them a favorite among the English elite. They were the breed of choice for Alexandra of Denmark, who succeeded Queen Victoria as Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions in 1901.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) formally licensed the first Samoyed in the United States in 1906, with a dog called Moustan of Argenteau. Although Sammies were already common among North American mushers, the AKC’s recognition is the first official instance of Samoyeds being recognized as a premier, show-worthy breed.
Samoyeds are known for their elegant white coat, which is a double coat. The long, coarse outer coat is made up of hairs that cover and clean the undercoat. Warmth is provided by the undercoat, which is small and thick. The Samoyed is a weather-resistant breed that usually blows a coat or sheds twice a year. The Samoyed’s coat is either white, biscuit, or a combination of the two. Male Samoyeds weigh 45 to 65 pounds, while females weigh 35 to 50 pounds.
- Weight: 17 to 32 kg
- Coat length: Long, thick coat
- Amount of shedding: High
- Color: Bright white, cream or biscuit (extremely light brown)
- Pattern: Solid
The Samoyed is an amazing companion dog that enjoys being with people. This breed is excellent with children but needs a lot of care and affection. If the Samoyed is left alone for extended periods of time, it will suffer. The breed suffers from separation anxiety and has been known to misbehave when separated from its owners (this includes destructive chewing and incessant barking).
If you work outside the home full-time, this is not the breed for you. Since this is a herding dog, keep an eye out for instincts like nipping at your children’s feet. If given the chance, your Samoyed will also chase cats, deer, and livestock. It’s a basic instinct for them, and it’s very difficult to crack.
Despite its intelligence, the Samoyed can be difficult to train. To present a unified front, you can use consistent training approaches to ensure that the entire family is on board. Make sure that there are penalties for poor conduct as well as rewards for good behavior.
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
- Active: High
- Intelligence: Medium
- Vocalize: Medium
Responsible breeders aim to uphold the highest breed quality set out by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). Hereditary disorders are less likely to occur in dogs bred to these requirements. However, the breed is prone to certain genetic health issues. The below are few things to keep in mind:
- Hip dysplasia is a disorder in which the hip socket of a dog develops abnormally, causing inflammation and joint complications.
- Patellar luxation is a condition in which a dog’s kneecap dislocates from its normal location.
- Allergies and other skin problems : Allergies to pollen, threats, plants, insects, food, and medicine can cause skin problems.
- Eye diseases: Glaucoma, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (RTA)
- Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy: A genetic kidney disease
- Diabetes Mellitus: Failure of the pancreas to regulate blood pressure
- Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis: An obstruction or blockage in the blood flow to the heart
- Hypothyroidism: A disease where the thyroid doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of hormones.
Want more facts? Click here for more animals facts on Instagram!