Type: Northern Breeds

Height: Females: 18 - 21 inches; Males: 21 - 23.5 inches.

Weight: 35 - 65 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 5 - 9 puppies.

Country of Origin: Russia, Siberia, other Scandinavian countries

Activity: High

Watch-dog: Very High. A Sammy will give low growls or sharp barks when strangers approach.

Guard-dog: Low. These dogs are a friend to all.

Description: The Samoyed is a good-natured, kind, somewhat mischievous, family dog who has a fondness for people, especially children. They have developed over the years in close proximity with people, and therefore love to be around them. The beauty of a Samoyed is in its smile, which extends from ear to ear and will attract attention when they are out. An owner of a Samoyed should be somebody who is willing to give of their time in both grooming and activity. Samoyeds do not shed, instead you will find their woolly undercoat coming out like white balls of fluff floating through the air. Their coat is also odorless, which is why it has been used in the past for spinning wool. The Samoyed, or Smiling Sammy, used to come in colors of white, black, or white and black. Today however, the white has become so popular that black hardly ever shows up anymore. A truly white Sammy is said to have a silver glow on the coat. They are medium sized dogs that can have a range of eye colors, in which blue is included. Samoyeds are extremely friendly, welcoming and lively. The Samoyed has become a popular pet in America today for these very reasons.

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Other Names: Samoyedskaya, Smiling Sammy, Sammy

Colors: Pure white, white and biscuit, cream. Truly white Sammy's outer coats are silver-tipped.

Coat: Harsh, but not wiry, and straight with a thick, soft, short undercoat.

Temperament: Samoyeds are intelligent, alert, affectionate and friendly. They are very people oriented. Samoyeds are gentle, lively, and can be mischievous. They are not completely obedient, and can be independent. They love to be around their owners and family, however. They get along with children and other pets well. Samoyeds are game to tackle any task thrown their way, and enjoy doing a job.

With Children: Yes, loves children.

With Pets: Yes, but prefers children.

Special Skills: Herding dog, watchdog, sled dog, hunting dog and family pet.

Care and Training: Brushing of their coat two to three times a week is necessary, plus extra care should be taken during bi-annual shedding. Bathe only when necessary. Samoyeds need a reasonable amount of daily exercise which should consist of walks, free exercise in yard or large area and some type of working activity. Training should begin early for a Samoyed puppy as they can be willful if bored. They can also become mischievous.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - High. Sammy's can be difficult to train, and intractable when uninterested or commanded harshly. They can be slightly independent.

Special Needs: Attention, exercise, grooming and training.

Living Environment: Rural or suburban. Samoyeds will adapt to kennel living if their daily activity involves people. They are unsuited for hot climate because of their heavy coat. The best owner for this breed would be an active and involved family living in the suburbs or country.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, diabetes, cardiac problems, eye problems, skin allergies, renal problems and bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Samoyeds can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests.

History: Samoyeds are named after a nomadic tribe which lived in the tundra of northern Russia, in Siberia. Another breed very similar to the Samoyed was named the Nenets Laika, named after the Nentsy tribe. They were used as a herd and guard dog responsible for keeping masses of reindeer together. They were chosen specifically for their non-hunting abilities and urges, so that they would not accidentally attack the reindeer, but keep them safe. The breed is especially friendly, and has been bred down this way due to their close proximity with humans over the years. They were said to even share the chooms, or portable tents, with the tribes they traveled with. Back then, the breed could be either black, white or black and white. The white color became predominant due to popularity. In the 1890s, Fridtjof Nansen and Ernest Shackleton attempted the first polar expedition with this breed, using white and black and whites. In Siberia, fur traders took hold of the breed and brought some species to England. Other English travelers came upon the breed, such as Ernest Kilburn-Scott in 1889, and brought it back to England with them. Kilburn-Scott was so impressed with the breed that he brought several of the breed back with him and began breeding the Samoyed. On the first trip to the South Pole in 1911, a Samoyed named "Etah" traveled with Roald Amundsen on his quest. It is thought that only 12 dogs of the Samoyed type were the breed base for all the Samoyeds that exist today. When the breed reached America it became very popular, and the white coloration became nearly universal. They are still is used today as a reindeer guard dog in reindeer breeding programs in Eastern Siberia and the Kamchatka Peninsula.

First Registered by the AKC: 1906

AKC Group: Working Group

Class: Working

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC(GB), UKC