If suddenly a white fur mountain runs towards you with a big smile, it is not a friendly polar bear, but the beautiful Samoyed.
The comparison with a polar bear is not so far-fetched by the hair, pardon me, by the fur. The Samoyed simply stands out in the canine world with its fluffy white mane. Unless you live in cooler latitudes with a lot of snow, then you have to look for beautiful dogs because of the perfect camouflage there.
When you finally find her, get ready for a huge helping of love. Samoyeds are considered to be extremely gentle, cuddly, and in a good mood.
Find out all the important facts about the Samoyed in our breed portrait, from its appearance and character to the right attitude, upbringing and care.
What does a Samoyed look like?
The smile of the Samoyed
Samoyeds are a very charming breed of dog. And that’s even intentional. According to the FCI breed standard, the appearance of the dog should radiate strength, endurance, dignity, self-confidence, and, above all, charm. The Samoyed clearly do this, mainly because of their friendly and happy facial expression: the “Samoyed smile”.
The impression of a smile is created by the slanting eyes and the slightly upward-curved corners of the lips. The whole thing is crowned with a soft brown eye color and v-shaped ears that can be moved in (almost) all directions. Easy to kiss! Of course, a Samoyed is (probably) no happier than the much gloomier-looking English bulldog or the crumpled pug. But the Samoyeds always spread a good mood with their smiles.
The mini polar bear
Another striking feature of the Samoyed is its plush white fur. The dog breed originally comes from Siberia. Their coat of hair is correspondingly long, thick and dense.
The undercoat is very soft and full and serves as optimal protection against the cold. The long top coat protects the undercoat from moisture and dirt. Shedding occurs twice a year in the Samoyed. With such a thick undercoat, you can imagine what to expect. It is best to leave your vacuum cleaner for pet hair directly connected to the socket. The fur of the Samoyed is considered to be largely self-cleaning and therefore requires little care.
Today’s Samoyed generally has a pure white coat. Even white beige is still allowed according to the breed standard. The pure white color was only developed through breeding. Rather, the original dogs from Siberia had a gray to brown or even black fur coat.
How big is a Samoyed?
The white dogs belong to medium-sized dog breeds. Males reach an average height at the withers of between 54 and 60 cm and females between 50 and 56 cm.
How heavy is a Samoyed?
Although the dogs often look downright “bloated” because of their fur, their physique is rather slim. Males weigh between 20 and 39 kg on average and females between 17 and 25 kg.
How old does a Samoyed get?
Typically for a medium-sized dog breed, the life expectancy of the dogs is between 12 and 14 years. With good health and care, some Samoyeds can also live to be older.
What character or nature does the Samoyed have?
Anyone who smiles so happily must simply be nice. And that’s exactly what Samoyeds are too. Her character is considered gentle, open-minded, alert and lively. The affectionate dogs are very attached to their people and would like to be in their company at all times.
Other characteristics of the Samoyed are friendliness and balance. The dogs show a good portion of self-confidence and pride under the fluffy coat and can sometimes be quite stubborn. Aggression and hustle and bustle are foreign to the dogs.
Their hunting instinct is only slightly developed. The Samoyed is also rather unsuitable as a guard dog, although burglars will probably be quite happy about the mini polar bear, who is smiling broadly and wagging his tail.
The Story of the Samoyed
The origin of the dog breed can be found in cold Siberia. There, the dogs were valued by the indigenous people – the Nenets or Samoyed – as hard-working and intelligent working dogs. They were used by humans to herd reindeer, accompanied their humans on the hunt, and snuggled up in bed with their families as “hot water bottles” on cold polar nights. The dogs were considered full family members by the nomadic peoples and were closely integrated into community life. Where the breed originally came from is no longer known today.
Expeditions to Siberia in the 1880s made the Samoyed popular in the rest of Europe. Along with other dogs such as the husky, the perennial breed was considered a valuable sled dog on various expeditions to the North and South Poles.
The first breed standard for the Samoyed was established in England in 1909, and the breed was officially recognized in 1913. In Germany, the German Club of Nordic Dog Breeds (DCNH) has been responsible for compliance with breeders’ standards since 1968. Today the Samoyed is mainly kept as a house and family dog.
Samoyed: the right attitude and upbringing
If you are just as enthusiastic about the cheerful kissing ball as we are: the Samoyed is not necessarily a beginner’s dog. Although dogs are very loving, friendly, and affectionate, one must not forget their pride and self-confidence. Samoyeds can be quite stubborn and often give their humans a strange look when they try to teach them a new trick. In addition, dogs have a tendency to act independently when they are bored.
Proper training of a Samoyed, therefore, requires a lot of patience, tact, consistency, and of course love. The upbringing must be done with discipline and sufficient motivational incentives. Even if the dog’s hunting instinct is very low, it can still break out spontaneously when running free in the forest. If you would like to take a Samoyed into your family, you should definitely attend dog school with him.
Originally a working dog, the Samoyed requires a great deal of mental and physical exercise. Games, fun, and outdoor sports are compulsory.
Because of the thick fur of the dogs, always make sure that they don’t get too hot. A jogging tour with the dog in midsummer is not a good idea. In winter, on the other hand, the mini polar bears really blossom. Snowshoes, a winter coat, and a hat are therefore essential items of equipment. For you, not for the dog.
What care does the Samoyed need?
As already mentioned, the dense coat of the Samoyed is considered to be largely self-cleaning. For optimal care, it is sufficient if you brush the dog once a week with a suitable brush. You should only bathe your “fur cloud” with dog shampoo in exceptional cases. Make sure you use gentle care products here so that the protective layer of fat on the undercoat is not destroyed. During the change of coat, you should brush and comb the dog more often.
To complement the care of the coat, you should pay attention to a healthy diet with the dogs. Nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and trace elements not only have a positive effect on health but also ensure beautiful, shiny hair. Your breeder or your veterinary practice can certainly give you a lot of useful tips here.
What typical diseases does the Samoyed have?
Breeders in Germany usually pay strict attention to health. They do everything to ensure their puppies are as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, like most dog breeds, the Samoyed has a number of hereditary diseases. These include, among others:
- diabetes mellitus
- Occurs especially in older Samoyeds from the age of seven.
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- This disease leads to a slowly progressive loss of vision up to and including blindness.
- Hereditary nephritis
- Mainly affects puppy dogs.
- hip dysplasia
- Dwarfism associated with eye malformations
- pulmonary stenosis
- This leads to shortness of breath, slackness, abnormal heart rhythms, and an increased risk of heart failure.
How much does a Samoyed cost?
Have you fallen in love with the Samoyed and now you really want to take him into your family? Then you have to dig deep into your pocket. The Samoyed is one of the most expensive dog breeds in the world. The puppies can cost between 4,000 and 11,000 euros from a breeder. The following applies: the whiter the dog, the more expensive it becomes.
If you don’t care about the coat color, you can see if a breeder has puppies with darker coats that no longer meet the breed standard.
Or you look at the animal shelter. But be quick, because the chances of someone else falling in love with Samoyed’s cheerful smile are extremely high!