The Samoyed or Sammy is a smiling dog with a stunning white coat. Samoyeds have a characteristic “Samoyed smile” that turns into a grin when they are happy. This large dog breed has a sturdy body, straight back, well muscled loins and chest, powerful neck and a long and bushy tail curled above its back.
The Sammy’s head is wedge shaped with a medium-length muzzle, large brown eyes, firm black lips that can make all sorts of expressions, and wide set, erect ears. Samoyed’s have a thick soft undercoat with harsh outer coat growing through it.
The outer coat is water resistant and stands straight out from the body. The Sammy’s coat is either pure white, white and biscuit or cream and the outer coat has silver tips. Male Samoyeds stand 21 to 23.5 inches tall and females 19 to 21.5 inches tall at shoulder height. Females weigh from 35 to 55 pounds and males from 50 to 70 pounds.
Samoyeds have fairly large litters which range from 5 to 9 puppies. Sammy puppies are really adorable and look like teddy bear cubs. These puppies do best with early socialization with lots of strangers, cats and other dogs and they should be started on obedience training as soon as they have had their shots.
Samoyeds are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Working Dog Group.
History of The Samoyed
The Sammy’s ancestors were the Nordic European Spitz dogs. The breed derives its name from a nomadic Siberian people, called the Samoyed, who developed this breed to be an indispensable part of their lives.
They used Samoyeds to herd their reindeer, pull their sleds and keep their huts warm during the night. The breed was originally multi-colored but eventually the white became dominant. Artic explorers used Samoyeds as sled dogs.
The first Samoyeds reached Great Britain in the late 19th century and reached the US shortly thereafter. Samoyeds have become quite popular as family, companion and show dogs. Samoyeds were ranked 75th out of 154 dog breeds registered by the AKC in 2005.
Samoyeds are intelligent, gentle, friendly, loyal and affectionate. Sammys have none of the aggressiveness found in other sled dogs. The breed loves people, especially children and makes an outstanding family pet.
However Sammys have a reputation for stubbornness that is not fully deserved. They need early socialization and obedience training that must be started when they are young puppies. Training must be carefully and sensitively undertaken by ensuring that the Samoyed understands what is required.
All training must be done using food and praise and never through physical enforcement. If you try jerking a Sammy around by his lead and collar then you will create a stubborn dog. Sammy’s have a great sense of humour and often seem to be laughing at you while failing to understand a standard command.
Persevere and you will be rewarded. Samoyeds can bark a lot and make pretty good watchdogs but since they like everybody, they will cheerfully welcome burglars. Sammys do fine with novice or first time dog owners.
Sammys are working dogs and need regular exercise especially when they are young. They are impervious to bad weather so you can’t use that as an excuse to avoid a walk. Samoyeds can roam if the yard isn’t well-fenced.
Sammys like to dig when bored so make sure they get lots of exercise and companionship or you may end up having to re-landscape your back yard. Given sufficient exercise, the Samoyed will be calm and quiet inside your house.
Samoyeds blow their coats twice a year and can shed a large amount of fur. Use a double toothed metal comb to remove loose hair when they are shedding. The rest of the year Sammys are moderate shedders and brushing two or three times per week with a pin brush and combing with a wide-toothed comb will remove dead hair.
Don’t brush or comb the Sammy’s coat too vigorously or you could damage the undercoat.. Surprisingly the white coat sheds dirt fairly readily. However the Samoyed will require occasional bathing. Use a white enhancing shampoo to remove stains and discolorations and follow with a white conditioner.
Samoyeds can be expected to live for 12 to 15 years and are generally fairly healthy. The most common genetic disorder is hip dysplasia. Less common but serious disorders include: eye diseases (such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy and retinal dysplasia); heart disease (aortic stenosis); kidney disease; deafness; hemophilia; allergies; and skin disease.
Prospective Sammy buyers should insist on seeing the breeding parents Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) orthopedic test results for hip dysplasia and also the Canine Eye Registry (CERF) recent ophthalmologists report for eye disorders.