Samoyed: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health


Of all the characteristics of the Samoyed, the most outstanding is the spectacular and abundant white hair. Also its eternal smile. Its character is loyal, active and alert, also very intelligent. At Petlifey , we explain everything about the Samoyed dog breed.


Character of the Samoyed breed

With its expressive, intelligent, active and alert character, the Samoyed constantly shows its affection and dedication for its loved ones.

This natural joy is guessed in the brilliant expression of its deep black eyes and in the typical shape of its mouth. The lips, also very well pigmented in black, draw its characteristic smile, which has earned them the nickname of the Samoyed smile.

With a loyal, expressive, highly intelligent temperament  (like the Alaskan malamute ), and devoted to its people, it was the first Nordic breed to reach high levels of popularity, especially since its arrival in England at the end of the 19th century.

The intelligence of the breed can be a challenge for its owners, who have to respond to the demands of their dog by providing the appropriate work and training.

Historically the families that had a Samoyed found in them their means of subsistence thanks to the services that the dog provided them.

But, due to the circumstances in which it lived and worked, the race ended up developing a certain personality with a point of independence and a great capacity to make decisions.

In fact, this is one of the dogs with the highest degree of self – confidence in their behavior, since they are aware that their survival depends on their own abilities.

For this reason, it is very typical for it to be independent and not at all doubtful, which should not be confused with stubbornness or stupidity, but quite the opposite, since it is a complacent animal.

What happens is that the first condition that it requires to place all its trust in its owner is that he demonstrate sufficient leadership capacity and do so in a firm and solvent manner.

The Samoyed adapts very well to living in any environment or situation. It is true that the city is not its natural environment, but as long as the necessary attention is devoted to it and that it can share most of its time with the family, the animal will be happy.

However, it always prefers to live in the country or, at least, in a house with a bit of land that allows him to run freely.

Although it perfectly supports life in the open, there is no greater pleasure for a Samoyed than to sleep inside the house and near the bed of its owners or the smallest of the house.

Its relationship with children is extraordinary and it quickly becomes their best playmate and partner in adventure.

The Samoyed is convinced that it is another member of the family and, although it should be treated like a dog and not like a person, it is convenient that this feeling be reinforced so that he is mentally satisfied.

A Samoyed who feels ignored or relegated to exercising a mere role of companion animal, which is only heeded to take it out two or three times a day for a walk, will surely become a source of problems and a difficult animal to handle.

By nature, the Samoyed can be noisy, as they like to bark and use their voice to generate a wide variety of sounds. This circumstance can become a problem if you live surrounded by neighbours, so it is interesting that the owner tries to control it.

It should be clear that in the character of the animal there is a fundamental part, of genetic roots, that cannot be modified, but there is another great part that, with daily work, is finished forging.

The Samoyed’s relationship with other dogs is basically good, since, accustomed to living in a group, it tolerates other congeners well, especially if it has become used to it since puppyhood.

But with other types of pets things change a lot, because one of the original occupations of the breed was hunting and their instincts in this matter are still very present.

And since making them understand that a cat, a rabbit or a hamster are not game animals but companions can be very difficult and even dramatic, it is best never to leave these animals alone within its reach.

  • Energy : It is an active and energetic animal that needs a lot of exercise.
  • Temperament : it is a friendly, affectionate, attentive and lively dog. It is not shy or aggressive and, since it is very sociable, it cannot be used as a guard dog. His hunting instinct is underdeveloped.
  • Adaptability : medium / high. The city is not your natural environment, but you can adapt as long as you are in close contact with your family and are allowed to exercise.
  • Sociability : medium / High. It is very sociable, both with the family and with other people. Sometimes it causes problems with other animals, which it tries to hunt.
  • Health : Some specimens suffer from hip dysplasia or eye problems.
  • Longevity : Live between 12 and 15 years.
  • Utility : very versatile. It serves as a draft dog, hunting dog, to play canine sports, as a therapy dog ​​and as a companion animal.
  • Use : sled shot and company.

Samoyed characteristics

One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Samoyed is its facial expression. Popularly known as “the smile” for its affable gesture, its expressive eyes and its jet-colored nose, in contrast to a very white fur.

The Samoyed is one of the most peculiar draft dogs that exist, since, in addition to the typical functions of this type of animal, it has also worked as a shepherd dog.

Its very characteristic mantle is of such high quality that it has even been used to weave warm clothes. In addition, the hair of the Samoyed is hypoallergenic , that is, it does not cause allergies .

How is the Samoyed breed physically?

Regarding its body, the Samoyed is a fairly large and solidly built dog. The length of the body is somewhat greater than the height at the withers, which in males is about 57 cm and in females it is around 53 cm. Its back is muscular and straight, longer in females.

The head is large and powerful, and is shaped like a wedge. The skull is the same length as the muzzle, which is wide and deep, ending in a large, black nose.

Its eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown. They are quite far apart and situated slightly obliquely. Its expression is sharp, intelligent, cheerful and friendly.

It has triangular shaped ears , they are small but thick and slightly rounded at the tips. To the touch, it seems as if they were made of velvet. Set high and well separated, the carriage is erect and they are highly mobile.

The feet are oval and well covered with hair. The fingers are long and arched, and not too close together. The foot pads are elastic.

The tail is set high and is covered with abundant long fur. The dog carries it curved forward on its back when it is in motion or in a state of alert.

Their hair is double-coated, the undercoat is short, soft and shaggy, and the outer one has longer and rougher hair. The color is pure white, porcelain, cream, or white and porcelain.

Let’s now see in more detail what the Samoyed dog breed is like and the breed standard:

Samoyed breed standard

  • General appearance: strong and sturdy, it has the appearance of elegance, dignity and flexibility.
  • Size and size: large.
  • Height at the withers: between 54 and 60 cm for males and between 50 and 56 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 20 and 30 kg for males and between 17 and 25 kg for females.
  • Origin: Russia / Nordic Kennel Union (NKU) Patronage.
  • Other names: Samoyed / Samoyede / Samojede / Samoiedska’ía Sabaka.
  • Body: slightly longer than tall, it is robust, broad and muscular as well as flexible, and it has a well marked withers.
  • Head: it is large and powerful.
  • Skull: seen from the front and in profile, it is slightly convex and is wider between the ears. There is a slightly marked groove between the eyes.
  • Muzzle: it is strong and deep, of the same length as the skull, gradually tapering towards the nose. The muzzle is straight.
  • Nose: It is large and black. At certain times of the year the pigment in the nose clears up, giving rise to the so-called “winter nose” or “snow nose”. However, it always has pigment on the edges of the nose.
  • Eyes: well set in the eye socket, almond-shaped, well separated from each other and set slightly obliquely. They are dark brown in color, with black eyelids.
  • Ears: erect, quite small, thick, triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tips. They are mobile and are set high and wide apart.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): well defined, but without being abrupt.
  • Jaws: They are powerful and armed with strong teeth. The bite is scissor, regular and complete.
  • Neck: strong, of moderate length, and carried with a haughty bearing.
  • Chest: it is broad, deep and long, reaching almost to the elbows, and the ribs are well arched.
  • Back: medium length, muscular and straight; in females it is slightly longer than in males.
  • Forelimbs: well composed, are muscular and strong bones. Seen from the front they are straight and parallel. His shoulders are long, firm and oblique. The arms are oblique and close to the body, longer than the forearms. The elbows are close to the body and set low.
  • Hind limbs: seen from behind, they are straight and parallel, and have strong musculature. Regarding his legs , the thighs are of medium length, wide and muscular. His knees are well angulated. The hocks are set somewhat low and well angulated.
  • Feet: oval, with long, flexible and forward-facing toes. These are arched, and are slightly separated and provided with interdigital hair, which serves as protection. The foot pads are elastic.
  • Tail: set high and profusely covered with hair. When the dog is in motion or in a state of alert, it carries it folded on the back or to one side. When it is at rest, it carries it dangling and reaches the hocks.
  • Color: it  can be pure white, cream or white with porcelain color (biscuit).
  • Hair: it is abundant, thick, flexible and shiny. The Samoyed has a double coat of hair: the inner one is short, soft and dense; the outer coat has longer and rougher hair. The fur forms a collar around the neck and shoulders, framing the head (much more evident in males). On the head and front of the limbs, the hair is short and straight. The outer part of the ears is short, smooth and lighter. At the back of the thighs, the hair forms “pants.”
  • Movement: The forelimbs cover a lot of ground during movement, while the hindquarters provide good thrust.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 212 Group 5 – Spitz and primitive type dogs. Section 1 – Nordic Sled Dogs.

Samoyed puppies

If you are looking for information about the Samoyed , it may be because you are considering the adoption or purchase of a Samoyed puppy. In that case, there are a number of aspects that you must take into account before making the big decision.

It is an extraordinary canine pet, but you must be aware that it needs to exercise daily for it to be a completely balanced pet, both mentally and physically.

If you are a sedentary type of person or who does not like activity very much, it is not the right breed for you. It is necessary to take him out for a walk since he can run, jump and play in cold or rain.

The puppies of Samoyed look like fluffy cotton balls, so white and hairy. It is scientifically proven that dogs of this color produce in people a feeling of tranquility and closeness, which is why this breed is often used as a therapy dog; It also establishes a very good relationship with people.

It is important to keep the Samoyed as white as possible to highlight its spectacular natural beauty, although the truth is that it is a very clean dog that rarely gets dirty.


Food of the Samoyed breed

Regarding how to feed a Samoyed, its diet must be rich in nutrients to keep its muscles in shape and provide it with the level of fat and protein necessary for the good health of its skin, hair, eyes, etc.

In their traditional living environment, the Samoyed finds adequate food resources in fish, so it may be interesting to search the market for a product that includes this source of protein and fat in its composition.

And it is important to divide the daily ration into two or three intakes to avoid gastric complications, such as stomach torsion.

In the case of working dogs, one must also be careful not to feed them immediately before or after going out to the field and not to leave water at their free disposal after working, especially in the hottest months. .


Samoyed health and diseases

In general, the Samoyed is a long-lived breed that can easily reach 15 years of age, and is very healthy, but even so there are some diseases that affect them relatively frequently, such as hip dysplasiadiabetes and eye conditions .

Also, as is the case today with most dog breeds, the Samoyed can be prone to obesity , especially in the case of individuals that live exclusively as family dogs.

Finally, skin problems are common , most of the time related to faulty hygiene or living in an inappropriate climate. And, although the breed adapts well to almost all environments, neither excessive heat nor humidity are the best conditions for its good health .

A good procedure to control the health of the Samoyed is to act preventively, regularly going to the veterinarian to complete the relevant annual vaccination and revaccination programs , as well as another for internal and external deworming .

The veterinarian, in addition, should be in charge of checking the state of the animal’s mouth, eyes and skin, as well as its ears , especially since the practice of cutting the ears is less and less common.


Specific care of the Samoyed breed

Regarding how to care for a Samoyed dog and its aesthetic care can also be commissioned by the owner, since this is very simple, since it is enough to brush it two or three times a week with a metal brush, a card and a comb, working the dense undercoat with a rake to avoid knot formation.

All these actions must be intensified during periods of shedding, which is so intense that in the past their hair was even used to weave warm clothes, which also speaks of the extraordinary quality of the coat.

In short, Samoyeds are very docile and easy-going dogs. Friendly and playful, they seem to be permanently smiling.

They adore people and hardly distinguish between their family and strangers, which does not make them the best guard dogs, although they do bark when someone approaches, always with friendly intentions.


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