The Samoyed attracts a lot of attention due to its striking appearance. The dogs with the snow-white, lush fur have a mischievous expression on their faces. This is because they seem to be smiling. Although they are real all-rounders, the breed is largely unknown.
The Samoyed belongs to group 5 Lace and primitive type dogs of the FCI. Within this group it belongs to Section 2, Nordic Sled Dogs. The origin of the breed is in Russia. The patronage lies with the Nordic Association.
The Samoyed is a medium sized dog. Males reach a shoulder height of 57 cm, bitches 53 cm. For both, a deviation of up to 3 cm is allowed. The physique is compact, strong and looks elegant. The weight is between 18 kg and 30 kg.
The head is large, strong and wedge-shaped. It is slightly domed with a faint indentation between the eyes. The muzzle is strong and tapers towards the nose. The coat around the neck and shoulder area is dense and appears like a mane.
The ears of the Samoyed are small and stand erect. They are triangular, thick and slightly rounded at the tips. The distance between the ears is large because of the broad skull.
The almond-shaped eyes are slightly angled. Together with the upturned corners of the lips, it looks as if he is smiling. This facial expression is typical of the Samoyed. The eye color is dark brown. Blue or bicolor eyes are not allowed in the breed standard.
The coat of the Samoyed is best suited for the climate in the far north. The soft, dense undercoat protects him from the cold. The top coat is smooth and slightly longer in males. Especially around the neck and on the hind legs the hairiness is stronger.
The coat color must be pure white or cream according to the breed standard. White with few cream markings is permitted. Deviations or other coat colors are considered as breeding faults.
The Samoyed is a versatile dog. He is people-oriented and outgoing. His friendly and lively nature make him an excellent family dog. Although he enjoys being outdoors, keeping him purely in a kennel would be unsuitable. This is because Samoyeds are sociable and always want to be with their family.
The urge to move of this breed is relatively large. A Samoyed is nevertheless suitable as an apartment or city dog. He should only have the opportunity to let off steam outdoors every day. The playful and intelligent Samoyed needs many play sessions and variety.
Samoyeds do not show aggression and are not the best guard dogs. They would bark and report the intruder, but not confront him. Their nature is too friendly and carefree for that. They get along with dogs and other animals. Their hunting instinct is weak.
However, raising a Samoyed can be a challenge. This breed is very proud and has a mind of its own. You cannot expect blind obedience from a Samoyed. He will first weigh the situation and the command and then make a conscious decision.
This does not mean that the Samoyed is untrainable. With consistency, patience, and tact, you can train a Samoyed. A little positive reinforcement and incentives can be helpful.
The Samoyed is surprisingly adaptable. Although he originally comes from a cold climate zone, he copes well with heat. However, you should not overwork him in very warm weather. Offer him plenty of shade and water to cool off.
The right food
The diet of the Samoyed is uncomplicated. They are not overly prone to allergies or obesity. Nevertheless, the breed needs a balanced and species-appropriate diet for a long healthy dog life.
A healthy dog food should contain many high-quality proteins and vegetables. The vegetables provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your pet healthy. Carbohydrates, such as cereals, should only be fed in very small quantities. Choose a food that does not contain sugar.
The maintenance of the Samoyed is usually not very large. About once or twice a week you should brush the coat thoroughly. With the snow-white coat of the Samoyed it is tempting to bathe him as soon as he is a little dirty. After all, every puddle of rain leaves its mark on the immaculate white coat.
Nevertheless, you must be very sparing with the bath. Because shampoo and soap attack the protective fat on the undercoat. The skin is no longer sufficiently protected, dries out and becomes cracked. The hair looks dull and lackluster. Therefore, only bathe your Samoyed in extreme emergencies and when it is very dirty.
Twice a year, the grooming of the Samoyed is more elaborate. Because then the dogs complete the change of coat and lose a lot of hair. As an owner, you should be prepared for the fact that everything your pet comes into contact with will be full of dog hair. Brushing more often can help, but will not prevent it.
Otherwise, the care does not differ from that of other dog breeds. Search the dense coat for ticks after every walk and remove them. The eyes, ears and teeth must also be checked and cleaned regularly.
The Samoyed has long hair between the toes. Check the spaces regularly and carefully cut out matted hair. You can look for injuries or cracks on the paws.
The Samoyed is very playful and smart. He is happy about toys that challenge him physically. A ball or a Frisbee, which he can chase after, are best suited for this.
A former sled dog, the Samoyed is an avid runner. If you are not so persistent, you can go cycling with him. With a little training and a good bike leash, you can soon go on a bike ride together.
The Samoyed is happy about any outdoor sporting activity. If you want to keep such a dog, you should be prepared for it. Choose a sport that you enjoy and that you can do together.
Origin & History
The origins of the Samoyed lie in northern Russia and Siberia. There he lived with the Samoyed tribes of the same name. The Samoyed had to perform various tasks. He was a guard dog, herding dog, hunting dog and if necessary also as a sled dog in use.
But for the indigenous Samoyed peoples of Russia, he was more than just a workhorse. They were full-fledged family members who were even allowed to sleep in the tent at night. There they gave their owners warmth in the icy night.
According to the breeding standard, the coat of the Samoyed may only be pure white to light beige. In his homeland, they also exist in other colors. Especially in the south of Siberia and northern Russia live black and brown spotted dogs. They are not recognized by the breeding standard as breed dogs.
In 1889, the British zoologist Ernest Kilbourne Scott traveled to Russia. He lived for 3 months with the Samoyed tribes. There he got acquainted with the dogs and on his return he took a small brown puppy with him. Later he had a cream female and a snow white male imported.
Various research groups used Samoyeds as sled dogs for their expeditions. In the 19th and 20th century these were mainly European and American explorers. They brought back some animals from these expeditions to their homeland.
The imported dogs formed the basis for breeding in Europe. Since the breeders had only a few animals available, they also crossed lace with. Kilbourne Scott is considered the founder of the Samoyed. Since 1913 they are an independent recognized dog breed.
The Samoyed breed later gave rise to other dog breeds such as the Eurasian. The Samoyed is very persistent, but today it is rarely used as a sled dog. Huskies and Malamutes are more suitable, as they are faster and stronger. Therefore, outside of its homeland, it lives exclusively as a domestic and family dog.