Samoyed Dog Breed

Dogs don’t get more upbeat and cheery than the Samoyed. With their wide grins, they’re sunshine personified, with the personality to match. Samoyeds have a real thirst for adventure. High energy, they love nothing more than bounding around outside with you for hours on end. Pack animals by nature, they do best as a central part of the family - spending time by themselves at home or outside is a guaranteed way to unlock this pup’s mischievous side. Yes, you’ll spend time every day keeping that gorgeously fluffy white coat looking its best. But all the doggy cuddles you’ll get in return (Samoyeds are friendly, affectionate dogs) will make up for it.

Samoyed Facts

When choosing a Samoyed’s most distinctive feature, it’s a toss up between their huge fluffy white coats and their big grin! These working dogs grow up to 60cm tall and weigh up to 30kg and are attention seekers. And why not - with those distinguishing features, it’s clear they were born to stand out.

  • Breed Group: Working
  • Height: Female: 48-53cm, Male: 53-60cm
  • Weight: Female: 15-23kg, Male: 20-30kg
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Coat: Double, long
  • Colour: White, cream, biscuit

Samoyed

Breed Characteristics

Friendliness
High
Exercise needs
High
Health issues
Medium Medium
Barking tendencies
Medium
Grooming needs
High
Shedding level
High

What Does a Samoyed Look Like?

Imagine a big ball of white fluff, with dark eyes and a huge smile poking out - that’s basically a Samoyed. Beautiful and graceful dogs, Samoyeds sport a lush, thick white coat that’s designed to keep them warm, no matter how cold it gets. Look out for their equally fluffy tail that can normally be seen wagging happily over their back. Adding to their cheerful look are their alert triangular ears.

Medium to large breed dogs, Samoyeds’ powerful legs let you know that these are active dogs who love an adventurous life. Their thick double coats normally come in pure white, but they can also be cream or biscuit (a darker cream colour). Although their wide smiles are a tell-tale sign of their friendly, cuddly natures, they’re also practical: the upturned corners of their mouth stop them from drooling, so icicles can’t form on their face.

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Samoyed

Breed Facts

Breed group:
Working
Height:
Female: 48-53cm, Male: 53-60cm
Weight:
Female: 15-23kg, Male: 20-30kg
Life span:
12-14 years
Coat:
Double, long
Colour:
White, cream, biscuit

Samoyed Temperament: Cuddly Pack Pup

Although bred to be working dogs in some of the world’s harshest conditions (they were originally bred in Siberia, where temperatures can dip to minus 60 degrees!), Samoyeds are these days most commonly found as beloved family pets. Rightly so, because they’re gentle and cheery dogs that thrive on adventure.

It’s because of their long working history that Samoyeds are so bonded to their humans - they used to snuggle together to survive the arctic nights. You won’t find a more loyal or affectionate pup than a Samoyed with their pack mentality. But this does mean they constantly crave love and attention. They won’t accept being left at home or outside by themselves for long - these smart, mischievous dogs will quickly turn destructive. If you work outside the home, it’s best to look into dog walkers or doggy daycare. Samoyeds will use their voice to get the attention they think they deserve - they have a tendency to bark or whine.

Super social, Samoyeds love nothing more than having outdoor adventures with their humans. They’re known for being great with children, although their boisterous, fun-loving natures (remember they’re quite big and powerful dogs) may result in accidental injury with younger children. Used to being a pack dog, Samoyeds live happily with other dogs in their home, especially if they’re a similar size.


Keeping Samoyed Healthy: 4 Issues to Watch Out For

Designed to survive the harshest conditions, Samoyeds are known to be strong, healthy dogs with a long expected lifespan.

Eye Problems

Samoyeds can develop cataracts, which cause their lens to become cloudy, affecting their eyesight. Signs to look for include cloudiness in their pupils, eye inflammation and squinting. Cataracts can be treated to avoid blindness and surgery might be needed.

Other eye problems Samoyeds can experience include Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) which causes them to go slowly blind over time. It normally starts with their night vision failing, before affecting their day vision. For some reason, male Samoyeds are more at risk of developing PRA. There’s no treatment currently available but most dogs adapt to blindness well and still live long, happy lives. PRA is an inherited condition and responsible breeders should screen for it.

Joint Issues

Like most dog breeds, especially active working dogs, Samoyeds can develop elbow and hip dysplasia. Caused by joints not forming properly and slipping out of their usual alignment, joint dysplasia can affect your Samoyed’s movement or make their joints stiff. There are plenty of treatment options, depending on how severe their symptoms are. These include weight management, physical therapy, medication and surgery.

Hypothyroidism

Your Samoyed losing their hair, gaining weight or being lethargic can all be signs of hypothyroidism. This is when their thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. If you spot any of these symptoms, take them to the vet who can check for this. A simple daily thyroid supplement can help.

Heart Disorder

Pulmonic stenosis makes it hard for blood to flow from the heart to the lungs, meaning a Samoyed’s heart has to work more than usual to pump enough blood around their body. Pulmonic stenosis causes Samoyeds to collapse or run out of energy when they’re in the middle of doing something. It can be treated with medication or surgery. However, it’s an inherited condition that your breeder should have screened for.


Caring for Your Samoyed Dog

You only need to look at a Samoyed to know that they have high maintenance needs - their pristine white coat needs lots of attention. They also have high energy needs with a thirst for plenty of daily outdoor adventures.

Grooming

Keeping a Samoyed’s coat in top condition needs daily effort. High shedders (especially during spring and autumn), give them a brush every day to remove any dirt and loose hair. A de-shedding tool can help get out old hair, while a comb can gently tease out and prevent matted hair.

A Samoyed’s coat is amazing - it’s water-resistant and helps regulate their body temperature to stop them getting too hot or too cold. This means that interfering with it too much can cause problems. Samoyeds don’t need to be bathed often - they’ll be fine with a bath at least twice a year. To keep them clean, wash their feet after each outdoor adventure and rub them down with a wet towel, before drying them with another towel. Try wipes to make things easier.

Work up to brushing their teeth every day to help prevent tooth decay and other dental problems. If you start from when they’re a puppy, it’ll be easier for everyone. Give their nails a trim every 3 to 4 weeks and you’re done!

Nutrition

Samoyeds don’t have any special dietary needs, they’ll happily tuck into quality dog food that suits their age (puppy, adult or senior). If you can, look for high quality ingredients that can keep your Samoyed’s coat looking healthy and reduce skin allergies.

Watch out for how many treats they’re getting every day, especially during training. Treat calories can add up and should be included in their daily calorie intake.


    Exercise

    Samoyeds are really active working dogs with plenty of energy to burn. They need up to 2 hours of exercise every day. Think long runs, hikes and hours of game playing, especially fetch. When you’re out exploring, it’s important they’re on a lead. Their independent streak can kick in and they’ll be off - and you’ll struggle to catch up, especially because they can reach speeds of over 50km/ph!

    Samoyeds’ thick coats were designed for below freezing temperatures, so try to exercise them in the coolest parts of the day to prevent them overheating. Early morning or late evening is best for outdoor adventures. If needed, they’ll be happy with indoor playtime, especially toys that engage their brain, like enrichment and puzzle toys.


    Training Your Samoyed

    When it comes to training a Samoyed, it’s important to remember a few things. Samoyeds are pack animals with a pack mentality, which means they need to learn early who the alpha dog is: you. As pack animals, they’re used to grabbing their pack mates with their mouths and they might try this on you. Nipping or tugging at their humans with their teeth in a non-aggressive way is common in Samoyeds that aren’t fully trained.

    To avoid this, start training them as soon as possible. They need to respect and listen to you, which will help rein in their independent, mischievous streak. Start with the basics: sit, stay and come, plus walking nicely on a lead. Samoyeds need a very firm and consistent but loving hand during training. Reach out to a professional dog trainer if needed to help you develop your Samoyed’s manners.


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