The Samoyeds

The Samoyed is one of the oldest members of the canine family and has given valuable service to man since long before the Christian era.

Are Samoyed good family dogs?

The Samoyed was used first as a sled dog by the nomadic tribes of Siberia and his keen property sense was developed by his owners to protect their food and gear from other nomads and wild animals.

As time went by, they found that the reindeer (their chief source of meat) could be herded and grazed as cattle are handled today.

It was necessary to follow the grasses and other food on which the deer lived and the Samoyed was used much in the same manner as our Cattle Dogs are today.

He would be by far the oldest herding dog in the world and was used for this purpose in addition to hauling personal belongings as the tribes moved from place to place.

Samoyedes developed a very close affinity with man as the centuries went by and, as their owners gradually settled down to cultivating land, they were retained for many purposes.

They were the only means of transporting goods over snow country and are still used to this day for that work.

They are an all-around farm dog in the cold regions and are easily the best-known variety of the Arctic dogs.

Brought to Britain and other more advanced countries, they made an immediate appeal for their outstanding appearance and sagacity.

Much better tempered than other varieties from the cold northern countries, their popularity was assured from the start.

Hardy and Fashionable

“Sammies” became fashionable and quickly gained a good reputation as companions for children. Like all members of their family, they are extremely hardy in the constitution and do not appear to be worried by even a hot summer.

Although cream-colored dogs are quite in order from a show point of view, the vast majority of Samoyeds are pure white in color.

A considerable amount of time is necessary to keep their long, dense coat in first-class order, but when this is done, there is no question that the Samoyed is a thing of beauty indeed.

In judging the breed, temperament is important, and a sour or shy dog is penalized severely.

The dogs should be bright and alert but show marked affection for people at all times.

The outer coat is long, harsh and straight and should stand well away from the body.

The undercoat is thick, close, soft and short.

Strong Body

The dog is essentially a draught dog and should be neither too short nor too long in the body because this would make him unfit for work.

Strength of both neck and loin, deep chest and well-sprung ribs are essential in the breed.

A full-grown dog stands 21 inches at the shoulder and should be fairly long in the leg in order to negotiate snow country.

The hindquarters must be strong, muscular and have well-turned stifles.

The tail is set on high, carried well over the back and profusely covered with long hair.

This “blanket” effect of a tail is necessary in dogs which often have to sleep in snow and is a characteristic of the Spitz family.

One feature which distinguishes the Samoyed from other pure-bred dogs is that his feet should be long, flattish and slightly spread out, and well padded with hair.

The advantages of such feet are obvious for dogs required to travel through snow. They act more or less as snowshoes and give greater resistance to the soft surface.

The head is powerful and wedge-shaped, with a broad, flat skull and reasonably-tapered foreface.

The ears are erect, set well apart and slightly rounded at the tips. They should be well covered inside with hair.

The eyes are dark, set well apart with an alert and intelligent expression.

Black eye rims and noses are preferred by most, although they may be brown or flesh-colored.

The average weight is about 55 pounds and the Samoyed makes a big appeal to those who like a dog of distinctive appearance and reliability of temperament.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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