Other Breeds

About the Samoyed

Samoyeds, the smiling sledge dogs, were bred for hard work in the world’s coldest locales. In the Siberian town of Oymyakon, for instance, temperatures of minus-60 degrees are common. The Sammy’s famous white coat is thick enough to protect against such brutal conditions.

Powerful, agile, tireless, impervious to cold—Sammies are drop-dead gorgeous but highly functional. Even their most delightful feature, a perpetual smile, has a practical function: The mouth’s upturned corners keep Sammies from drooling, preventing icicles from forming on the face.

Nutrition

The Samoyed should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Grooming

The Samoyed has a profuse double coat, with a longer outer coat of harsh hair and a soft, thick, wooly undercoat. Samoyeds shed quite a bit all the time, even more so during shedding season, which can occur once or twice a year. Daily brushing will help to remove dirt and loose hairs and keep the dog looking his best. Mats or tangles can be worked out with a slicker brush or metal comb. The nails should be trimmed every three to four weeks or as needed.

Exercise

Samoyeds enjoy being with their people and participating in family activities. They need some daily exercise and enjoy play sessions with their owner in a safely fenced yard or long walks on leash. The breed has a strong urge to run away and roam, and if loose a Sammie might travel for miles, putting himself at risk.

Training

The Samoyede people lived in tents and huddled for warmth with their dogs on brutal Arctic nights. This unusual degree of dog-and-master closeness forged a tight bond between Sammies and humankind. A Sammy sentenced to solitary confinement in the backyard is a miserable—and destructive—creature. These are smart, social, mischievous dogs who demand love and attention. Sammies need a firm but loving hand in training.

Health

Samoyeds are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders test their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye and cardiac disorders. The Samoyed’s teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.