By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 27th October 2022

Samoyed Dog


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The Samoyed dog is a fluffy, white herding breed, of the spitz group, indigenous to Siberia, taking its name after the Samoyedic tribe of the region. Their graceful appearance, teamed with their pleasant and hardworking demeanor, makes them a perfect house as well as working dog.

Samoyed Dog Pictures

Quick Information

Common namesSamoiedskaya Sobaka, Bjelkier, Nenetskaya Laika
Other nicknamesSammy, Smiley
CoatDense with double-layered coat; Undercoat: Soft, dense and short (keeping the Samoyed warm in winters); Topcoat: Coarse, long and straight guard hairs
ColorWhite, biscuit, cream, white and biscuit
Breed typePurebred
GroupSpitz, Sled
Lifespan 12to 14 years
Height Male: 21 to 23.5 inches Female: 19 to 21 inches
Weight Male: 45 to 65 pounds Female: 35 to 50 pounds
Litter size4 to 6 puppies
Behavioral characteristicsFriendly, happy, gentle, affectionate
Good with childrenYes
Barking tendencyModerately high
Climate compatibility Thrives better in colder climates, though may dwell well in warm environments
Shedding Moderate heavy (one or two times in a year)
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationACA, AKC, ANKC, ACR, CKC, APRI, FCI, DRA, NAPR, KCGB, NZKC, UKC, NKC
CountryNorthwestern and western parts of Russia and Siberia

What does a Samoyed look like

These large dogs, with an agile, sturdy and elegant appearance are characterized by the following distinct physical features:

Head: Wedge-shaped and broad

Muzzle: Medium in length and width, in proportion to its size, also tapering to its nose

Eyes: Black or brown, almond-shaped

Ears: Thick, erect, furry, triangular-shaped

Tail: Moderately long and hairy, curled to its back (especially when alert) but would fall when it is at ease and more relaxed

Video of Samoyed Puppies


The Samoyed is a hunting dog bred by the Samoyedes, a semi-nomadic tribal group that had come to Siberia about 1000 years ago. These hardy dogs had adjusted themselves to live in the chilling temperatures of Siberia and were mostly used for hunting reindeer at the beginning, since these people depended on the animal for a lot of things including food, leather and fur.  However, later, they were used for herding purposes as well as hauling sledges.

They were confined to their land of origin until the latter part of the 18th century, when Arctic adventurers came across these cuddly, fluffy pets and took them to England, with Antarctic Buck being the first Samoyed imported to the country. In fact, of the various explorers, Sir Ernest Shackleton and  Roald Amundsen were instrumental in popularizing them out of their native land. Queen Alexandria of the United Kingdom was fascinated by these dogs, promoting them as a show and companion breed.

Their fame even reached the United States of America in the first half of the 20th century, with the Samoyed Club of America formed in 1923.

Temperament and Personality

Sweet tempered, yet hardy, the Sammy has an intelligent, loyal and gentle disposition.

It possesses an alert nature coupled with a tendency to bark, which can therefore make it a good watchdog. However, the Samoyed shows immense friendliness to all including strangers, which therefore lessens its chances of becoming a powerful guarding breed.

The most significant trait in its character is its heartfelt, charming smile which can be seen through the upturned corners of its mouth, popularly known as the “Sammy smile”.

They form a strong bond with their family and may get miserable and destructive when left alone for prolonged periods.

The Sammy also shares a comfortable rapport with kids, but owing to their big size they can easily knock down the little ones even without realizing their mistake. Hence, parental supervision is a mandate when during the interaction of small kids with this dog.

The Samoyeds do well with other dogs especially when brought up with them, but may not share a comfortable rapport with cats and small pets since they have an instinct to chase or get after them because of their hunting and working lineage.



These energetic dogs have high exercise needs which should be channelized well to keep them physically and mentally fit. Take them out on long walks and also arrange for sufficient playtime in a fenced yard. If you live in a snowy place, then you might even take your Sammy along for a host of winter sports like snowshoeing, skijoring or sledding. Make sure your Samoyed is not outdoors when the weather is too hot as they could be at risk of heat stroke because of their double coat. They can also be trained for participating in events like showmanship, carting, flyball, obedience, mushing, and herding.

Note: Always take it out on a leash or keep your yard well fenced as they have chasing instincts and could even wander away outside their home.


The Samoyeds shed moderately, though it increases during the shedding season that may occur one or two times in a year. Brush it on a weekly basis to keep its coat free from mats and tangles, though during the shedding season the combing should be done frequently (three to four times a week). Bathe it in every two months or a little earlier if you see his coat has gotten really dirty. Other grooming needs include brushing its teeth twice or thrice a week, trimming its nails one or two times in a month, as well as cleaning its eyes and ears on a routine basis to keep any infections at bay.

Health Problems

Some of the health problems that have been noticed in these dogs include glaucoma, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, diabetes mellitus, cancer, subvalvular aortic stenosis, sebaceous adenitis, and Samoyed hereditary ghlomerulopathy (genetic disease affecting the kidney).


They are intelligent and smart but need a firm and tactful trainer to groom them well.

Socialization: The Samoyed puppies should be socialized so that they have a better understanding of their surroundings. Acquaint them with people of different characteristics and physical features. You must also accustom them to various situations, the good and the bad. In this way their perception about people would broaden and they may gradually change their habit of being friendly towards strangers always.

Obedience: Teaching them commands particularly “No or “Stop” would help them get over their destructive tendencies like barking and chasing. If it barks excessively then it is first essential to find the source responsible for such behavior and also try eliminating the trigger. You could also firmly say a no or do something to divert its attention, if your dog listens to you and stops then reward him with a treat.

Leash training: Train it to walk in a leash since its puppy days. Since it has a lineage of hauling sleds, there are possibilities that it could pull at the leash while walking. If you find him pulling the leash, stop and stay calm, then firmly call out your dog’s name and give him a treat if he responds.

Housetraining: To lessen its separation anxiety, you can try keeping it in a crate since the time it is a puppy. However, make sure not to confine it to the crate forcibly or use it as a method of punishment.


The National Research Council of the National Academies suggests that adults Samoyeds having a weight of 60 pounds require 1504 kcal per day. Select a good quality dry dog food with a high source of protein, containing whole meat (lamb, beef, whole chicken, fish) as well as meat meals. The dog food can be complemented with homemade diet, though on consultation with the vet.

Interesting Facts

  • The fur of the Samoyed which has been shed it often in knitting as a substitute for wool. Sweaters made out of such furs have a capability of handling temperatures below freezing point.
  • Samoyeds have been referred to in many novels and short stories like Stone Fox and Kino’s Journey.
  • It is one among the fourteen of the ancient dogs whose genetic footprints are said to be closest to that of wolfs.

American Eskimo dog vs. Samoyed

  • The Samoyed is more popular than the American Eskimo dog.
  • The American Eskimo dog is friendlier with kids than the Samoyed.
  • The Sammy is larger in size than the American Eskimo dog.
  • The American Eskimo has a comparatively longer life span than the Samoyed.
  • The Samoyed adapts better to training than the American Eskimo.

One response to “Samoyed Dog”

  1. Kathleen mcdermott in says:

    Looking for a lab chow dog

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