Have you ever heard of a dog that’s smiling and even singing? And you can even use its wool coat to knit beautiful sweaters. It might sound unbelievable, but these are some of the fantastic Samoyed traits.
Bred to herd reindeers, sled, and work in the Arctic, the Samoyed is a pretty, cheerful, loyal, and brilliant dog breed. Although it’s a working dog, this white snowball is a magnificent family dog and an excellent children’s companion.
Let’s learn more about these dogs, including:
- Breed Details and Characteristics
- Breed History
- Samoyed Temperament
- Common Health Issues
- Training and Exercises
- Where to Buy or Adopt
What Is a Samoyed?
Since most people hardly pronounce its name correctly, Sammies, Sams, and Smiley have become the most common nicknames for this breed. Other names associated with this breed are even harder to pronounce — Russian moniker or European Bjelkier.
But no matter how you pronounce its name, a Samoyed dog remains loving, clever, and playful.
The Samoyed is among the 14 ancient breeds with excellent endurance and stamina. They’ve gradually transformed from working dogs mostly living in Siberia to gorgeous family pets worldwide.
Even though their hunting and herding genes are somewhat latent nowadays, they’re still energetic dogs with high prey drive. So they’re most suitable for people who love the outdoors.
Breed Details and Characteristics
The Siberian Samoyed is a medium-sized dog that’s gentle and easy to train, but it can still be stubborn sometimes. They’re usually 19–23 inches high and weigh between 35–65 pounds.
Since these dogs were bred to herd reindeers and hunt, they need socialization as early as possible. They’ll chase anything from cats to squirrels if not trained from a young age.
The breed is famous for its Samoyed smile, hence the nickname Smiling Sammies. It’s due to their upturned mouth corners. Also, these dogs are very vocal. If you give them plenty of attention and train them properly, you can even understand their different vocalizations. For instance, they might try telling you when they’re happy or when they dislike or disapprove of something.
Samoyeds are loud barkers, too. Some even give them as examples of nuisance barking. So, although they’re apartment-friendly, they might be more suitable to owners of a house with a backyard. On a positive note, that’s exactly what makes them good watchdogs. Samoyed facts often mention that they’ll bark anytime something alerts them, or someone is approaching.
They’re generally healthy dogs with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
History of the Breed
Siberian tribes initially bred Samoyeds. Reportedly, they were frequently praised by their owners for their devoted work and companionship. Perhaps that’s what makes the Samoyed playful, cheerful, and pawesome family pets.
These dogs helped with herding reindeers and pulling sleds. Initially, you could find them in many colors, but the white dog breeds prevailed later on.
In Europe and lately in America, they became popular in the late 1800s. The word is they were a favored breed of Queen Alexandra of England. Many British and American Samoyeds are directly linked to the dogs she bred.
The dogs’ stamina and endurance made them popular among explorers, too, and they took part in many expeditions. Samoyeds were even an essential help in Roald Amundsen’s first expedition to the South Pole.
Today, although they’re still used as working buddies, most Samoyeds are bred as loving family pets worldwide.
Samoyed dog breeds are friendly, playful, and loyal family dogs. Usually, they’ll stick to the one person that gives them the most attention, but they’ll still respect and love to play with all family members.
Their instincts and intellect are so well-developed that they can sense all your moods and act accordingly. That’s what makes Samoyeds fantastic therapy dogs, too.
If socialized from puppyhood, they can also be friendly toward other pets. So you should enroll them in dog kindergarten as early as possible. That’s the only way they can learn to cope with the breed’s herding and hunting drive.
The Samoyed temperament is full of energy without being excessive. While they can be strong-willed at times, proper training can help them become well-behaved dogs.
If you’re looking for a hiking or running pal, Samoyeds are more than willing to jump on board. They’ll be your faithful companion, and they’ll even challenge you to move forward and keep going.
Since these dogs are brilliant, they need proper mental stimulation. If you leave them alone too long, they can start chewing or digging. So always offer your Sammie indestructible dog toys to help it deal with boredom.
Common Health Issues
The available Samoyed information shows these are generally healthy dogs. But like other dog breeds, there are still some health issues that owners might have to deal with. They include:
- Hip dysplasia
It’s an abnormal hip joint development when there’s no good fit between the ball and socket. Usually, it’s a genetic problem, but age and the Samoyed weight could also influence the condition. The signs you should look out for include lameness, pain, and an audible click when walking. Once you detect such symptoms, you should immediately take your dog to the vet. The condition is diagnosed with an X-ray. It’s treatable with anti-inflammatory medication, and the best joint supplement for dogs can help, too. Still, surgery might be necessary if the condition worsens.
- Hereditary Glomerulopathy
Also known as Nephritis, it means inflammation of the nephron — the basic kidney unit. The condition is primarily hereditary. Signs of this disease include excessive drinking, poor appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and even blood in the urine. It’s diagnosed chiefly with urine analysis but, unfortunately, isn’t curable. Still, with a diet and medication, you can prolong the Samoyed lifespan by a few months.
The medically called “canine diabetes mellitus” is a complex genetic disorder that’s also influenced by environmental factors. It’s a condition where the body can’t control its blood sugar level. The signs are excessive thirst and appetite, weight loss, anorexia, and even vomiting. Aside from genes, obesity can be a risk factor for developing diabetes. That’s why it’s crucial not to overfeed your dog. Diabetes can be treated with low glycemic dog food or injections.
It’s the most common thyroid disease in dogs. The autoimmune disease occurs when the thyroid gland isn’t incorporating iodine into the hormones. That affects many functions throughout the body. Reportedly, you can see the signs between the first 2–5 years of life, but only when the disease is developed at 75%. You’ll notice lethargy, easy weight gain, and a lack of interest in exercising. The condition is controllable with medication and won’t affect your dog’s lifespan.
The Samoyed’s luxurious white coat is very high maintenance. After all, the breed has a double coat to keep it warm for Siberian work tasks. The coat requires a lot of daily brushing, especially in shedding seasons. To keep that fur luxurious and gorgeous, we recommend a combination of slicker brushes and metal combs. One of the best on the market is GoPets Dematting Comb on Amazon.
Supplements can also help to keep the Samoyed coat beautiful and healthy. We like the Natural Dog Company Coat Supplement Chews on Amazon as they’re full of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They’ll keep your dog’s coat silky and shiny while boosting its immune system and preventing skin allergies. While we’re on the subject of allergies, you should know that the Samoyed is hypoallergenic.
Another fun fact is that the undercoat is pure wool. So you can use it for knitting. No surprise here that the breed makes it onto our list of fluffiest puppers.
You should only bathe your dog occasionally. Samoyeds are cat-like in this respect, meaning they clean their coats. We recommend washing them every three months or when they get dirty.
Samoyed Training and Exercise Needs
The typical bad habits of Samoyeds include barking and their love of digging and chewing, especially if bored or unhappy. So you should start your Samoyed puppy kindergarten as soon as possible. If that’s not an option, at least try to do early socialization. That means taking your dog to busy parks, allowing it to meet many people and children.
While training your dog at home, you should always do it with positive reinforcement. Samoyeds are brilliant pets that can learn easily and fast. But the Samoyed personality comes with some stubbornness, so they’ll need your patience and devotion.
When it comes to exercise, these dogs are energetic but not hyper. They love to be included and participate in family activities. But if you leave them alone, they can start digging. They’re famous escape masters, so having them on a leash during walks is the best way to keep your Sammie sound and safe.
The average recommended exercise for these dogs is at least an hour daily. But be careful with the type of exercise if your Sam is still a puppy, as they’re prone to hip and eye dysplasia.
Also, be aware of the weather, humidity, and heat. During hot days, it’s better to play with your dog indoors.
Where to Buy or Adopt
Always look for a reputable breeder when buying a dog. The Samoyed price varies depending on the breeder and the parents’ pedigree. Generally, it’s between $600–$1500. But it can reach up to $3000.
Unfortunately, even if they’re purebred, you can find Samoyeds in animal shelters, too. After all, 3.3 million dogs enter US shelters each year. Although we can’t tell you how many of those are Samoyeds, you can consider checking your local shelters.
These barking and gentle dogs are fantastic additions to families that love the outdoors. The smiling face and warm personality of the Samoyed will surely brighten up your days.
Playful by character but brilliant, Samoyeds will adjust their vivid temperament to your calendar. Whatever chores or tasks you have, they’ll be your faithful partner. But if you exclude them from your activities, expect some sadness and destruction.
Now, it’s up to you to decide if these white bundles of joy are a match made in heaven for you. While they’re very devoted pets, they’ll need your devotion, too.
Why are Samoyed dogs so expensive?
The most expensive Samoyed ever sold went for 14,000$. Generally, they cost between $600–$1500. What can get the price high is the breeder’s reputation, pedigree, and personal traits.
Is Samoyed a good family dog?
Aside from being bred for hunting and hauling sleds, Samoyeds were also companions to children of the Siberian tribes. That speaks volumes of how amazing family dogs Samoyeds are.
Are Samoyeds aggressive?
Rarely. Samoyeds can show aggression only when they or a family member is threatened. Plus, aggressiveness doesn’t always mean danger. They’re barkers but not biters. You won’t find Samoyeds on the most aggressive dog breeds list.
Do Samoyed dogs shed?
Yes, a lot. They need daily brushing during shedding seasons and twice per week in other periods. The Samoyed shedding can get somewhat excessive twice a year.
Are there black Samoyeds?
No, there are no black Samoyeds. The colors are primarily white, cream, or biscuit. In the past, there was more variety, but the white color prevailed.
Are Samoyed high maintenance?
Yes, they are. Samoyeds need regular grooming as they shed a lot. During the shedding season, their coat needs daily brushing.
Do Samoyed dogs smell?
All dogs smell, but the Samoyed smells very little. They’re even considered odorless pets. Of course, they can get smelly if they’re dirty from playtime.