Samoyed Breed Information

“The Samoyed is a friendly, gentle, and adaptable breed known for its stunning white coat, sociable nature and enduring stamina, originally bred in Siberia for hard work in cold environments.”

About the Samoyed

Group: Working

The Samoyed is a stunning breed, known for its fluffy white coat and sparkling smile. They are extremely friendly, and are often described as ‘smiley’ for a good reason! With their warm, sociable nature, they adore company and make a wonderful family pet. However, their thick coat needs regular grooming to stay healthy and prevent matting. They are also extremely energetic, require plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and can become destructive if bored. Bred for herding and pulling sleds in Siberia, they are strong and hard-working by nature, which makes them a bit of a challenge to train. Despite this, with patience and consistency, they can quickly become your family’s lovable, fluffy center of attention!

Physical information

Male Female
Average Height 21-23.5 inches 19-21 inches
Average Weight 45-65 lbs. 35-50 lbs.
Life Expectancy 12-14 years 12-14 years

Samoyed Breed Standard

For an authoritative and detailed description of the Samoyed breed, refer to the breed standard published by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

  • Acceptable Colors: According to the AKC, the Samoyed is typically white, though biscuit or cream shadings are also acceptable.
  • Acceptable Markings: The breed standard does not specify any particular markings for the Samoyed, meaning they can be solid white or feature variations of the acceptable color range.

Personality and Ownership Rankings

Good with kids
Shedding Level
Grooming Needs
Drool Level
Energy Level

Breed Highlights

  • Affectionate: Samoyeds are known for their genuinely affectionate nature, making them great family pets.
  • Sociable: This breed loves being around their human family as well as other pets.
  • Playful: Known for their exuberance and joyfulness, Samoyeds love to play and have fun with their owners.
  • Intelligent: Samoyeds are smart dogs, capable of learning commands quickly when properly motivated.
  • Energetic: They have high energy levels and require lots of physical activity to keep them happy and healthy.

National Breed Clubs and Rescues

Clubs and Organizations

Rescue Organizations

Care Needs

Samoyeds are generally healthy dogs but, like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. It is essential to keep your Samoyed active and provide a balanced diet to prevent obesity. Regular vet check-ups and good dental hygiene are also key for maintaining their health. PetMD provides comprehensive advice on Samoyed health practices, including spot checks at home and expert advice on common issues.

Recommended Health Tests

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • PRA Optigen DNA Test

Exercise Needs

As a high-energy and active breed, Samoyeds require regular, daily exercise to prevent boredom and associated destructive behaviors. They are athletic dogs traditionally used for hard work like herding and pulling sleds, so they enjoy activities that stimulate both their mind and body. Long walks, playtime in the yard, and off-leash activity in a securely fenced area are all great ways to exercise a Samoyed.

Actionable Exercise Needs Advice

  • Engage in daily long walks or jogs.
  • Arrange regular playdates with other dogs.
  • Use puzzle toys to challenge their mind and use extra energy.
  • Play catch or fetch in a secure fenced area.

Training Needs

Samoyeds are smart and eager to please, but their independent nature can make training a challenge. Consistency and positive reinforcement methods work best for this breed, making training a combined effort of patience, affection, and persistence. Training should start early while they are still puppies and socialization is key.

Actionable Training Needs Advice

  • Start training as early as possible.
  • Be consistent with commands and rewards.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praises.
  • Socialize your Samoyed with other animals and humans early to foster good behavior.

Nutrition Needs

Samoyeds need a diet that is rich in quality protein and that uses complex carbohydrates to support their energy levels and work-driven history. The right balance of fat, protein, and carbs combined with enough fiber are also essential for their digestive health. Portion control is essential, especially since this breed has a propensity for rapid weight gain if their intake of calories exceeds their energy use.

Actionable Nutrition Advice

  • Choose high-quality dog food that is rich in protein.
  • Moderate the carbohydrate intake to prevent obesity.
  • Portion control to prevent overfeeding and weight gain.
  • Provide fresh water at all times.
  • Consult with a vet on any specific dietary needs or modifications.

Samoyed Breed History

The Samoyed breed, known for its fantastic white coat and friendly disposition, has a history that roots back to the freezing tundra of Northwestern Siberia. They were breed by the Samoyedic people for thousands of years as sled dogs, protecting the herd, and occasionally for warmth during harsh winters. The Samoyed’s inherent resilience and sturdy built made them perfect companions for these nomadic tribes.

The breed underwent a level of early development in the late 1800s when explorers from England discovered the breed and brought them back. One of these explorers, Ernest Kilburn-Scott, played a pivotal role in introducing the breed to the West and establishing important breed characteristics that are seen today.

Samoyeds, like many breeds, went through a process of standardization whereby their ideal aesthetic and behavioral characteristics were defined. The British Kennel Club officially recognized Samoyeds in 1909, establishing an official standard that includes their distinctive ‘Sammy smile’ and thick white coat. Keeping these unique qualities intact remain the core part of Samoyed’s standardization.

The breed faced challenges and preservation efforts during World War I when many breeds faced the brink of extinction. Yet, resilience embedded in the Samoyed breed’s DNA ensured the breed transitioned into the modern age, only growing in popularity.

Samoyeds today are a popular choice worldwide, revered for their striking appearance and gentle nature. They hold a unique place as a multipurpose dog, renowned for their herding, guarding, and performing abilities, and once known for pulling sleds. Today’s Samoyeds still love to work, but they’re equally pleased being loyal, loving companions.

Main challenges for the breed today relate to maintaining their health, ensuring ethical breeding practices, and preserving their distinctive traits and versatility. These efforts are led by breed enthusiasts, breed clubs, and conscientious breeders who cherish the historical significance and unique qualities of this remarkable Arctic breed.

Samoyed Fun Facts

  • Arctic Origins: Samoyeds were originally bred by the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia to pull sleds, herd reindeer, and keep their owners warm during the harsh winter months.
  • ‘Sammy Smile’: Their signature curved tail and upturned mouth corners give them their distinctive ‘Sammy smile’ – which prevents drooling and icicle formation in freezing weather!
  • Rescue Dogs: Samoyeds were used on polar expeditions due to their incredible strength, endurance, and ability to survive in freezing conditions.
  • Yarn Spinners: Samoyed fur is so thick and wooly that people have spun it into yarn and knitted clothes out of it, just like sheep wool!
  • Highly Sociable: Samoyeds dislike being left alone. In the tundra, they would sleep with their families to keep them warm so they love to be in the company of others.
  • All-White Fur: While most Samoyeds are pure white, they also come in cream and biscuit colors – but they always have snowy white in their fur.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much exercise does a Samoyed need?

Samoyeds are active dogs and need at least an hour of exercise per day including play, walks, and runs to keep them happy and healthy.

2. Can Samoyeds live in hot climates?

Although Samoyeds are built for cold climates with their thick fur coats, they can adapt to warmer climates as long as they’re kept in cool indoor spaces during the hottest part of the day.

3. Are Samoyeds good with children?

Yes, Samoyeds are known for their gentle, friendly nature making them excellent companions for children.

4. What are common health issues in Samoyeds?

Samoyeds are generally healthy, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, skin allergies, and heart conditions.

5. How much grooming does a Samoyed require?

Samoyeds have thick, white coats that shed heavily, especially during shedding season. They require regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting.

Breeds Similar to the Samoyed

  • Siberian Husky: Similar to Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies are friendly, intelligent, and highly active dogs. They were also bred to pull sleds in cold climates, making them a strong, adaptable breed.
  • Alaskan Malamute: Alaskan Malamutes, like Samoyeds, are hardworking sled dogs with a friendly and affectionate nature. Their need for exercise and mental stimulation closely mirrors the Samoyed’s needs.
  • Keeshond: This friendly and intelligent breed shares the Samoyed’s predisposition towards being a great family pet. They are easy to train and their plush, hypoallergenic coats require similar grooming.
  • Great Pyrenees: Known for their gentle nature, the Great Pyrenees makes a great pet for a potential Samoyed owner due to its love for family, protective nature, and ability to thrive in cold weather; traits common with the Samoyed.