Other names: Samoiedskaïa Sabaka
The Samoyed is a very majestic-looking, nordic dog. Its thick white fur and friendly personality makes it loved by many. Naturally independent but still affectionate, particularly with children, this white dog makes the perfect pet for the whole family. Initially bred as a sled dog, the Samoyed needs regular physical activity to be happy. Experienced and active owners are best-suited to this nordic pup.
Key facts about the Samoyed
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Origins and history
The Samoyed’s origins stem from Nordic countries, a trait shared with other sled dogs as well. Its name originates from the Samoyed tribe, which bred this dog in the far North. However, the dogs they bred were not white, but instead predominantly black. The Samoyed’s white fur was selected for in modern breeding practices, which began in the United States and England, from both the “bear” and “wolf” varieties created by the tribe. The breed was first thought to have come from England, however, we now know that it is linked to North Russia and Siberia, under the Nordic Kennel Union (NKU).
Physical characteristics of the Samoyed
Female : Between 18 and 20 in
Male : Between 20 and 22 in
Female : Between 33 and 49 lb
Male : Between 44 and 66 lb
The coat can be completely white, white biscuit or cream.
Type of coat
The fur is long.
The outer coat is long, straight and coarse, while the undercoat is short, soft and dense. Both of these create a thick and abundant fleece-like fur.
Females’ fur is slightly shorter and softer than males’.
The eyes are dark brown.
Samoyeds are an elegant, strong and resilient dog. They are proud, robust, and assertive. There are notable differences between the males and females of the breed.
Good to know
Along with its undeniable friendliness and charm, this nordic dog can actually smile, delighting both young and old. This is due to the shape of its mouth, which slightly bends upwards towards his cheeks, giving him the well-known “Samoyed smile”.
This dog is gentle and affectionate. It will love playing with its owners, all the while maintaining a certain distance, which is very common among nordic dogs.
Even as an adult, this nordic dog will always want to play. This is especially the case with children, which this breed adores.
This sled dog is very dynamic and active. However, if its exercise needs are met with a diverse range of stimulating activities, the Samoyed can be calm and appreciate the comfort of its bed.
On one hand, the Samoyed’s ability to adapt to a number of lifestyles shows its intelligence.
On the other hand, the Samoyed won’t cooperate easily. Communication can become difficult if a Samoyed notices a lack of coherence in its training or doesn’t trust its trainer. It may seem paradoxical, but this is also a sign of intelligence.
This beautiful white dog is a good hunter, even if this isn’t its favourite activity. Samoyeds can see small animals as prey. However, being more playful than predatory, this instinct is not overly prevalent.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Unlike many dogs of this type, the Samoyed is mostly welcoming of strangers, which makes it a less-than-suitable guard dog.
The Samoyed isn’t fearful or aggressive towards strangers, instead preferring to be stroked by them or even played with.
Like many nordic dogs, the Samoiedskaïa Sabaka is very independent in nature. However, it is still very attached to its owners, and always seeking to please them.
Behaviour of the Samoyed
This dog will not cope well with being kept separate from its social group. Nor will it cope well if left on its own in the house. A Samoyed may resort to barking or destruction as an outlet for its emotional discomfort.
Easy to train / obedience
In general, training nordic dogs is no easy feat. Their independence and stubbornness doesn’t leave much room for spontaneous cooperation.
However, this white dog can cooperate if its owner is consistent, patient, and trustworthy.
Samoyed dogs must be trained at a very young age to avoid picking up bad habits.
You should train your dog using positive reinforcement. Never get aggressive, or you may scare your Samoyed to the point where training will no longer be possible.
This nordic dog barks a lot to communicate with both humans and other dogs, whether to express its joy, frustration or enthusiasm.
Tendency to run away
The Samoyed’s independence coupled with its propensity for hunting, (depending on the lineage), can make this nordic dog prone to running away.
This tendency can be accentuated if its physical, social and sensory needs aren’t properly met by its owner.
Being a very active dog in need of almost constant activity, boredom is its worst enemy.
A Samoyed can become destructive if not sufficiently exercised or if left for too long on his own.
However, this isn’t the case for dogs that are regularly exercised and stimulated.
Greedy / Gluttony
This big white dog won’t ever refuse a treat, but must only ever be given one as a reward for good behaviour.
Obesity is not appropriate for the Samoyed’s lifestyle; your dog must therefore learn not to beg and to wait patiently for mealtime.
The Samoyed’s friendliness, happiness, and enthusiasm upon the arrival of strangers doesn’t make it a good guard dog.
Intruders might be scared off by barking, but owners might not take the signal seriously, since this is very normal behaviour for the Samoyed dog.
The Samoyed’s majestic appearance has the potential to melt the hearts of future dog owners, but it’s important to remember this dog’s true nature.
Not everyone will be able to take on such a stubborn and active dog.
A lot of time and patience needs to be invested to have a successful experience with this dog. The Samoyed therefore has the potential to quickly overwhelm an inexperienced owner.
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Samoyed in a flat
This dog is not at all suited to life as a couch potato; behind its elegant appearance lies a rustic personality and true athlete who has to be kept in shape through constant activity.
A Samoyed is happiest living in a home with a garden in the countryside, and even more so in the mountains. Heat is not well suited to this dog.
Whether living in an urban or rural environment, indoors or outdoors, the Samoyed should regularly be taken for long and stimulating walks, as well as engage in other sporting activities.
Need for exercise / Sporty
As a sled dog, the Samoyed was born active and needs to run on a daily basis to burn off excess energy. Simple walks around the block won’t be enough to satisfy this dog.
To add to this, a Samoyed should also participate in regular sporting activities in order to maintain its physical and psychological well-being.
Dog sports like agility, dog dancing or even tracking are all activities in which this beautiful white dog can excel.
Travelling / easy to transport
Medium-sized, this dog can accompany its owners on trips without too much difficulty. The thick fur is actually what makes the Samoyed seem like a big dog.
To ensure that the journey goes as smoothly as possible, your dog should’ve been trained, in a firm but fair way, as well as properly socialised.
Samoyed and cats
While its hunter instinct may be weak, it is nonetheless present, particularly around small-sized animals such as cats.
Harmonious cohabitation between dog and cat can therefore be difficult, unless your Samoyed was socialised at a very young age.
Samoyed and dogs
Having evolved to live in a pack, this white dog can be quite rowdy, and won’t hesitate to initiate conflict with its canine counterparts. However, proper socialisation will keep this reflex in check.
With unneutered males, however, do not set your expectations too high!
Samoyed and children
The Samoyed is a gentle, affectionate and attentive dog who loves children, making it the perfect playmate.
Nonetheless, rules should still be established and respected, notably by the children, in order to ensure everyone’s safety.
Samoyed and the elderly
Unfortunately, this dog’s unrelenting energy makes it incompatible with inactive people.
The price of a Samoyed varies depending on his origins, age and sex. You should budget around £895 for a dog registered with the KC.
You should also set aside around £50 a month to meet the needs of this majestic creature, including a premium diet and regular grooming.
Grooming will require rigor, patience and regularity in order to maintain the beauty and quality of the Samoyed’s impressive coat.
While grooming can sometimes be tedious, a Samoyed needs to be brushed on a daily basis during moulting periods (once a year for males, twice for females). For the rest of the year, a weekly brush will suffice.
If regularly exposed to snow, special attention will have to be paid to its paws (applying vaseline before an outing, wearing boots in case of an injury, etc).
This dog loses a significant amount of hair, notably during the annual shedding periods. During these times, the loose hair will have to be removed daily.
Nutrition of the Samoyed
Industrial food makes it easy for owners to provide nordic dogs with a proper diet. However, it’s still important to visit specialised shops and/or websites to best fulfill this dog’s needs.
If the Samoyed has a traditional diet, it will need additional sources of fat, vitamins and micro-nutrients injected into its daily ration, including raw meat, vegetables and well-cooked rice.
This dog should be fed two meals a day: a smaller portion in the morning and a more substantial helping in the evening. However, one meal a day can also be enough, preferably being given in the evening.
Your dog’s diet should always be adapted to its age and physical condition.
Health of the Samoyed
Its lifespan is around 11 years.
Strong / robust
This dog is very robust, mainly thanks to its thick double coat that protects it very well. Samoyeds also have a relatively long life expectancy and rarely fall ill.
While this nordic dog is very well suited to a European climate, it is still best adapted to the cold, only tolerating the heat to a very limited extent.
Samoyeds can remain comfortable even in very cold temperatures, thanks to their incredible coat.
Tendency to put on weight
If properly exercised on a daily basis, this athletic dog will easily stay in shape. However, it’s still important to monitor dogs who don’t have an optimal diet or physical condition.
- Hip dislocation
- Atrophy of the retina
- Cortical cerebellar abiotrophy (destruction of cells in the cerebellum)
- Skin disorders
- Kidney failure
- Spongiform leucoencephalomyalopathy (neurodegenerative disorder)
- Myasthenia gravis (autoimmune disease resulting in muscle deterioration)