The Samoyed has a compact, muscular body. The wedge-shaped head is broad and slightly crowned. The muzzle is in proportion to the size of the dog, tapering to the nose. The stop is well defined but not abrupt. The nose color can be black, brown or liver. The lips are black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The dark, almond-shaped eyes are deep-set, somewhat wide apart, with a slanting lower lid and dark rims. The erect, triangular ears are slightly rounded at the tips. The tail is moderately long, well-covered with hair, carried rolled on the back. The legs are solid and muscular and the feet are flat and covered with hair. The thick, double coat is profuse. The undercoat is soft, short and thick with longer hairs growing out to the outer coat. The outer coat is harsh and stands straight out, not wavy. Males’ coats are more profuse than females’. There is a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head. Coat colors include pure white, biscuit, yellow and cream. Sometimes white with silver tips. Pure white is preferred in the show ring.
The Samoyed is a gentle dog. Very devoted, easygoing, friendly and quite playful, it loves everyone. It will gladly be friendly to all, including intruders. It is too friendly to be of much use as a watchdog, although its bark will alert you to the presence of strangers. It willingly adapts to family life and gets along well with children. It is highly intelligent, and will respond to firm, patient training, which should be started at an early age. Make sure you are this dog’s firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid potential behavior issues such as, but not limited to, obsessive barking. The Sammy is accustomed to working in teams, and shows outstanding qualities. When this dog is given what it needs to be a stable-minded dog, i.e. enough mental and physical exercise, along with clear leadership, it proves itself to be outstanding, good-natured, lively and sociable. It never seeks trouble but can handle an adversary if necessary. These dogs have a reputation of being chewers. If the Sammy is lacking in leadership and/or exercise it can become very destructive if left alone for many hours at a stretch. Samoyeds can get along with non-canine pets when raised with them from puppyhood or when properly trained to do so, however they do have an instinct to hunt and caution should be taken around other small animals. They can get along with a family cat. This breed has an instinct to herd.
Height: Males 21 – 23½ inches (53 – 60 cm) Females 19 – 21 inches (48 – 53 cm)
Weight: Males 45 – 65 pounds (20½ – 30 kg) Females 35 – 50 pounds (16 – 20½ kg)
Samoyeds are particularly prone to hip dysplasia and some suffer from diabetes. Also prone to skin allergies. They are prone to PRA (eyes), primarily in male dogs.
The Samoyed will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is very active indoors and a small yard is sufficient. Its heavy coat makes this dogs unsuited to life in very hot climates.
Needs a reasonable amount of exercise, including a daily walk or jog. Take it easy during warm weather because the woolly undercoat inhibits loss of the heat built up during exercise.
About 12-15 years
About 4 to 6 puppies
Extensive grooming is needed. They are seasonally heavy shedders. The fluffy double coat needs frequent brushing, but tends to stay white without bathing. Some people with allergies have reported that the coat of the Samoyed did not bother them.
Samoyeds are an ancient working breed. They have lived in Siberia with hunters and fishermen known as Samoyeds, hence where the breed received its name. The Samoyed people used the dogs to pull their sleds, guard their property and for herding reindeer. Its gene pool is closely related to the primitive dog with no wolf or fox mixed in. The dogs slept with the people to keep them warm. Robert Scott, an explorer, brought the dogs to England in 1889. It was in England that the breed was further developed and from there it spread throughout the rest of the world. It was recognized by the AKC in 1906.