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Samoyed - Breed Profile

The Samoyed is a fine example of an ancient working dog. His eye-arresting beauty and gentle, companionable nature, coupled with unusual intelligence, demand the love and loyalty of his owner, which he will return a hundred-fold.

HISTORY

Hardy, vibrant and even tempered, the Samoyed was originally used to hunt, herd reindeer, and haul sledges for the Samoyede people they served in north western Siberia. 


The Samoyede tribesmen were peaceful nomads, who manifested extraordinary love for their beautiful dogs, treating them as members of the family. Thus their dogs developed a love and understanding of humankind and an unfailing sense of trust and loyalty which is retained in the breed to this day. They remain the delightful playmates and faithful protectors of children.

Samoyeds (or Sammies) were brought out of Siberia at the end of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century to pull sledges on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. These valiant dogs endured terrible hardships serving man in his quest for the poles. Only a few returned. Clearly, no toy or miniature version of the Samoyed breed could have performed those tasks. Only one breed; the powerful, gentle, magnificent Samoyed - a true working dog. 

Despite his Arctic heritage, the Samoyed has adapted well to warmer climates. He can sleep outside, although he prefers to sleep inside, and needs to spend a significant part of each day being a beloved part of the family, in the centre of everything you do. 

APPEARANCE

The Samoyed is medium-size dog with a thick white coat and a big, permanent smile on his face that reflects the happy-go-lucky nature of the breed.


The Samoyed is actually a rugged, compact working dog of both dignity and grace. He is a double-coated breed with a softer undercoat and a harsher standoffish outer coat.

The Samoyed coat can be white, cream or biscuit or a combination of any of the three. Any colour other than listed or blue eyes are faults in the Samoyed. 

The Samoyed is, in spite of what you may have heard, a breed that does well in all elements. While they prefer the cooler climates; the Samoyed acclimatises well to the warmer climates. Their dual coat protects them in both cold and heat. You will just need to use the common sense approach as it applies to the heat and humidity factors. The Samoyed is less active during the summer months and will want to go outside in the summer months in the very early morning.

Males are noticeably larger than females. Females are 45-51cm at the shoulder, the males are 51-56cm. Their weight is in proportion to the size.

The Samoyed being essentially a working dog, he should be strong, active and graceful. As his work lies in cold climates his coat should be heavy and weather-resisting.

TEMPERAMENT


Samoyeds are active, inquisitive, quick-witted and mischievous. They remain playful through to old age. With a twinkle in their dark, intelligent eyes and their ever present smile, the Samoyed has been called the dog that carries in its face and heart the spirit of Christmas the whole year through.

The Samoyed is alert, full of action but above all displaying affection towards all mankind.

The Samoyed has often been accused of being wilful and stubborn, and certainly he can be easily bored and distracted. However, his original environment demanded a very intelligent breed with an independent nature. He is easy to train, but dislikes repetition. He thinks for himself, and "if you keep throwing that ball away, you obviously don't want it!" 



If not kept entertained, the Samoyed will entertain himself - he enjoys chewing and delights in "gardening". At the very least, a Samoyed requires daily walking.

Samoyeds are naturals when it comes to dog sports, and will thrive on the stimulation and adrenaline rush of activities like obedience training and agility. There is also a sledding competition held annually during winter. 


Breeders warn that without the stimulation of daily exercise and people contact, the Samoyed will become a shadow of its true self and will fall into a depressed state. This can lead to unruly behaviour, as well as a tendency to escape from the yard. As with all dogs, early socialisation and training is a must with the Samoyed to ensure it develops good social skills.

Many Samoyeds are barkers, which makes them great as watchdogs, but as guard dogs, they are often found lacking - they will bark when a stranger approaches, but then show him where to find the silverware.

The constant companionship with man through the years, has given the Samoyed an uncanny human understanding. His guarding of reindeer, requiring always a protector, never a killer, has developed a disposition in the breed unique in the canine world. 


A Samoyed is totally trustworthy with children and develops a close affinity with humans. Due to their exuberance with children’s games, supervision is strongly advised with toddlers to prevent accidental knocking. 

A Samoyed’s main objective in life is to sleep by his owners. He needs to be an integral part of your family. 

They are a human-oriented breed, and want to be with their people inside or where ever their people happen to be at any given time. The affectionate Samoyed will be your friend for life! If you are looking for a dog to put out in the backyard to greet as time permits, you are looking into the wrong breed. An ignored Sammie equals a bored Sammie resulting in behavioural problems.

HEALTH

Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip dysplasia, PRA, RD/OSD, cardiac and eye disease. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Samoyeds are healthy dogs.

The Samoyed is a medium dog breed and has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

GROOMING

His magnificent white coat has two layers, a dense, woolly undercoat, which is typically shed out once a year, and a silver-tipped harsh outer coat of long, straight guard hairs. Grooming this lovely coat can be a pleasure, or a chore, for both dog and owner.


Surprisingly, that glamorous coat stays fairly clean and requires far less grooming than most people expect.

Weekly brushing is usually enough and mud sheds easily when dry. Little bathing is required and there is none of the "doggy odour" often found in other breeds.

As a side benefit of the thick white coat, the Samoyed readily adapts to climate extremes - both cold and hot. However, the coat will eventually "blow" - once or twice a year the undercoat sheds in a spectacular way requiring many hours work with a stripping comb.


A Samoyed will only smell if ill (normally from hormonal imbalance or gastric upsets) or if the under coast is left wet for long periods of time. For this reason when washing a Samoyed it is important to dry the thick under coat as quickly as possible, investment into a strong hair dryer or dog blower with a good supply of talcum powder is a great investment when owning a Samoyed.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Only dedicated and experienced dog owners should really consider owning a Samoyed. Samoyeds really thrive on human contact and are well suited to families who can offer lots of stimulation throughout the day.


For more details on the Samoyed breed, please contact:

Samoyed Club of Victoria
Samoyed Club of South Australia
NSW Samoyed Club







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