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35-50 lbs
Russia (Siberia)
Samoiedskaia Sabaka, Samoyedskaya, Sami, Sammy

The Samoyed is a gentle, intelligent and loyal dog who loves nothing more than being with his family. They are kind and affectionate with children and enjoy being part of the household activities. With their typical ‘Sammy smile’ and their fondness for human company, they make an affectionate dog who has loads of personality. Their attractive coat does take some (okay, a lot) of maintenance, especially when they shed. You can expect to find hair everywhere at this time, from in the house, on your clothes, on the bed and so on. While their nature is loveable, they were bred to hunt, and the instinct is still strong within them. Any small furry visitor such as the neighbor’s cat will be chased. If you have a cat, they need to be bonded while young, and even then, supervision is advisable. When out walking, these lovely dogs need to be on a leash as their urge is to chase, and the hunting instincts are still very strong. They can be talkative, being prone to voice their opinion in howls, barks or grumblings. They respond best to a variety of training – boredom with repetitive things will find them challenging to train. They need to ‘solve’ a problem; activities like agility and tracking are perfect for them. The Samoyed is an active dog who is always ready for fun. They need room to romp and play in and are not good in small apartments. While this breed is not what I would class as easy to maintain, their lovely nature goes a long way to making up for the constant brushing.

herding reindeer, guarding, hauling sleds
Date of Origin
ancient times

Samoyed Health

Average Size
Height: 21-23 inches Weight: 45-65 lbs
Height: 19-21 inches Weight: 35-50 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Allergies
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Allergy Tests

Samoyed Breed History

The Samoyed is an ancient breed and is nearly akin to the primitive dog. The gene pool has no wolf or fox mixed in. They were a working dog, living in Siberia with hunters and fishermen, who were known as Samoyeds, hence the dog’s name. The dog was used to pull their sleds, or to guard their property and were great at herding the reindeer. They have strong herding instincts and can even herd your children gently to where they want them. Because of their thick fur and close relationship to people, the dogs even slept with the people to keep them warm. The thick double coat, with its soft inner coat, provided a warm, comfortable companion.  In 1889 the explorer Robert Scott brought the dogs to England. It is possible that fur traders traveling to Siberia for sable may have first introduced the breed to the west, but it is not documented. It was in England that the breed developed further, and from there it spread throughout the world. Only twelve dogs are cited as the foundation of the Samoyed breed today. The AKC recognised the breed in 1906.

Samoyed Breed Appearance

This breed is drop-dead gorgeous but is a highly practical dog, trained as working dogs originally. The Sammy’s thick protective double coat can sustain it in the most brutal of conditions and renders them impervious to the cold. They have a compact, muscular body and a wedge-shaped head which is broad and slightly crowned. The muzzle is in perfect proportion to the dog’s size and has a tapering nose. The nose color can be black, brown or liver and the lips are black. The Sammy’s have a perpetual smile which has a practical function in that the upturned corners of the mouth keep them from drooling and preventing icicles forming on their face in cold climates. It gives the dog a friendly endearing appearance. With dark almond shaped eyes that are deep set, they have slanting dark eye rims. The Samoyed has erect triangular ears, and a moderately long, well covered with hair tail carried rolled onto their back. Their legs are solid and muscular with flat feet, covered with short, thick hair. Combine all of the above in their signature thick double coat, and they are a beautiful looking dog. Their colors come in pure white, biscuit, yellow and cream and to top it all off; they have a ruff around the neck and shoulders that frame their head. 

Samoyed Breed Maintenance

There is no getting away from the fact that their beautiful thick coat brings with it extensive grooming needs. They shed heavily seasonally, but the thick coat needs frequent brushing to keep it from matting, or from getting debris trapped in the dense coat. In warmer climates, their dense coats need to be checked for ticks or fleas, as these dogs are not complainers and will not let you know if they have a health problem. This hiding of their illness probably stems from the fact that if they were shown to be ill, they might get attacked from the rest of their pack. The coat tends to stay white without bathing, and they only need a bath if they have rolled in the mud or in something that smells unpleasant. They are energetic dogs and love to run around, so they will need daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically healthy. Good maintenance practice would include ear and eye checks to ensure good health, and nail clipping if the nails grow too long. This breed is unsuited to life in a very hot climate.

Samoyed Breed Activity Requirements