Samoyed: Care & Characteristics of the Dog Breed

Samoyed dog standing indoors in profile

With pointed ears, a thick double coat, and the traditional spitz tail that folds over its back, the Samoyed is a big Siberian working breed. These sweet dogs, sometimes known as Sammies, may be identified by their white fur, which is thick and fluffy. Samoyeds love to be the center of attention and are willing to work hard for their owners, whether it be herding, hunting, or pulling a sled.

Sammies are designed to tolerate chilly temperatures. Their upturned mouths prevent saliva from collecting at their lips, which would otherwise cause icicles to develop, and they have an extraordinarily effective double coat that insulates them from cold temperatures. Despite their natural toughness, Samoyeds prefer to lay around as family pets as much as they prefer to work. Given enough love and care, Samoyeds make wonderful companion dogs due to their amiable dispositions and willingness to please.

Breed Overview


Height: 21 to 23.5 inches (males); 19 to 21 inches (females)

Weight: 45 to 60 pounds (males); 35 to 50 pounds (females)

Coat: Double coat with thick undercoat and straight outercoat

Coat Color: Primarily bright white, sometimes cream or biscuit (very light brown)

Life Span: 12 to 14 years

Temperament: Playful, friendly, loyal, energetic, alert

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Origin: Siberia

Characteristics of the Samoyed

The Samoyed is very lively with its family, and its outgoing personality extends to both strangers and children as well as other animals. Samoyeds should only need basic socialization at initially to preserve friendly attitudes as this herding breed has a long history of interacting with different animals. However, because of their predatory instinct, they may require training to stop hunting smaller dogs or cats. Sammies are best suited for owners with plenty of free time to devote to their dogs' daily exercise and training requirements because they are high-energy canines.

These dogs can survive in warm weather just well, so don't be shocked if your Samoyed stays outside in the winter. Snowy days are a reason for joy for the Samoyed, just like they are for other arctic breeds, and your dog will be especially delighted to play outside with you or burrow itself in a snowy mound. Some owners go so far as to provide ice-filled kiddie pools for this species to play in during the summer.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding High

History of the Samoyed

It may not surprise you that the tough, thick-coated Samoyed is a native of Russia, a place where arctic conditions necessitate a well-insulated defense against the cold. Their name derives from the Samoyede people of Siberia, who live a semi-nomadic lifestyle and have used the breed for ages for tasks including hunting, reindeer herding, sled hauling, and cuddling during arctic nights.

Sammies are considered a basal breed, which means they predate the ancestors of the majority of contemporary dog breeds. Samoyeds have been a terrific companion to humans throughout their lengthy history thanks to their strong work ethic and exceptionally loving disposition, which has aided the breed's spread. These dogs were initially introduced to England by Arctic explorers in the late 18th century, when their royal coats and amiable dispositions quickly won them the favor of the country's aristocracy. They were the breed of choice for Alexandra of Denmark, who succeeded Queen Victoria in 1901 to become Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions.

The first Samoyed to be formally registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the United States was a dog by the name of Moustan of Argenteau in 1906. Even though Sammies were previously well-liked by North American mushers, the AKC's designation of the breed is the first time that Samoyeds have been referred to as a premium, exhibition-quality breed.

Samoyed Care

Samoyeds may make excellent friends and devoted pets, but their finest qualities don't develop without some effort from their owners. Your Samoyed will require daily care, a lot of strenuous activity, persistent training, and routine grooming. This breed may grow to be a treasured member of your family with the correct care.


Samoyeds need more exercise than many other energetic breeds do. These dogs require at least two hours of daily exercise, which should include jogging, long walks, or energetic playtime, as well as lots of one-on-one time spent with their owners.

A Sammie who is left alone too frequently may act out as a result of emotional and physical frustration. Giving this breed more attention will keep it happy and stimulated. Having a canine companion for Sammies is an excellent approach to ensure that all of their activity demands are satisfied because they are generally welcoming of other dogs.


The luxurious coat of the Samoyed comes with obligations. These dogs shed a lot, so frequent grooming is necessary to keep them looking and feeling their best. Due to their double coat, dirt and other debris can become entangled in their hair, causing mats and tangles. Regular brushing is essential to Samoyed maintenance, especially during their peak shedding seasons, which occur twice a year.

While a Samoyed may be well groomed at home, getting professional grooming services is frequently advised to make sure that their baths and brushings are done as completely as possible. To avoid infections, owners should also trim their dog's nails, wash their teeth, and use a pet-safe cleaner to clean their ears.


Once the fundamentals are covered, training a Samoyed should be straightforward because these dogs have deep attachments to their owners and are eager to please. However, this breed has a reputation for occasionally being obstinate. Puppies should start learning to obey when they are seven to eight weeks old.

Although learning new abilities may take some time for your Sammie, actively participating in training can assist your dog comprehend its purpose and sustain desired habits. The Samoyed's working heritage is advantageous for training because these dogs like learning new things. The innate abilities of this breed are best utilized in the areas of nosework, agility, and herding.

Common Health Problems

Samoyeds have certain common health conditions with other purebred dogs, but they are typically thought of as a healthy breed. Responsible breeders do genetic testing on potential parents, and if you adopt a Samoyed puppy, you should be given information on the health of the breed's parents.

The following are conditions most commonly seen in this breed:

  • : This painful condition causes pressure to build up inside your dog's eyes and eventually leads to blindness.
  • : Affecting the cells of the retina, this eye disease most commonly presents in adulthood or at a senior age, and it eventually leads to blindness.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Common in large breeds, this condition causes a malformation in your dog's joints as they age. Severe cases of dysplasia may require surgery.
  • Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy: This genetic kidney disease causes a buildup of toxins in the blood.
  • : This type of diabetes causes failure of the pancreas to regulate blood pressure.
  • Hypothyroidism: Also called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism affects the body's ability to produce important hormones.
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis: This condition causes an obstruction or blockage in the blood flow to the heart.

Diet and Nutrition

Feed this breed two daily servings of premium canned or home-cooked dog food. Samoyeds should be kept an eye out for symptoms of weight gain, just like other dogs, and their portions should be reduced as necessary if they are gaining too much weight. This industrious breed requires a regular feeding schedule in addition to a lot of fresh water to keep hydrated.

Consult your vet to establish the best diet for your particular dog depending on its age, weight, and level of exercise. If you detect weight gain, suspected food allergies, or gastrointestinal distress, your veterinarian can also help you modify your diet.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Samoyed

Samoyeds aren't very uncommon, however it could be challenging to find this breed in shelters. To find a Samoyed in need of a permanent home if you're interested in adopting one, contact breed-specific rescue organizations or go to your neighborhood shelter.

If you're thinking about adopting a Samoyed puppy, you must look into ethical breeders. The parents of the litter should be introduced to prospective adopters, along with the circumstances in which the dogs are housed and a family medical history (including any relevant genetic tests). Depending on pedigree and availability, costs for these puppies may be closer to $3,000, but are normally between $600 and $1,500.

These resources for the national breed club, breed-specific rescues, and the AKC can help you start your search:

  • Samoyed Club of America
  • Samoyed Club of America Rescue Groups
  • AKC Samoyed Breeders

These organizations can advise you on adopting a Samoyed and might even suggest a nearby branch or rescue. You might be able to foster a Sammie to determine if they are a suitable fit for your family if you are unsure whether this breed is suited for you.

Samoyed Overview

  • Gentle and friendly temperament

  • Can withstand cold climates

  • Great for families with children and other pets

  • Large amounts of shedding

  • Needs lots of time and attention

  • Can develop habits like chewing furniture if left alone

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you love the Samoyed, you might also like these similar breeds:

There is a perfect out there for everyone. With a little research, you can find your next best friend!

  • Is a Samoyed a Good Family Dog?

    Samoyeds are wonderful family pets because they are highly sociable and caring, and they frequently get along well with both people and other animals. Samoyeds thrive with busy families because of the breed's high level of activity and desire for attention.

  • Is a Samoyed a Husky?

    While the Samoyed and Siberian Husky share many traits, they are not the same breed. Samoyeds are herding dogs at their core, whereas Huskies were developed to pull sleds across great distances. Huskies can have any hue of coat, but Samoyeds are normally all-white.

  • Are Samoyeds Lazy?

    Samoyeds with proper training can appear extremely calm in public, leading some people to believe that they have low energy levels. Contrarily, this working breed needs committed owners who have plenty of free time for activities since it needs a lot of exercise every day to burn off its energy.

  • Are Samoyeds Easy to Train?

    Samoyeds are eager to please their owners and should be very easy to teach because of their heritage as working dogs. However, because to the breed's reputation for being obstinate, owners should be ready to reinforce training continuously for the duration of their dog's life.