Named for the Siberian Samoyed, who used the breed as working dogs, the Samoyed is the No. 1 hard-working, large, spitz-type working dog of the North.
It is an exceptionally handsome dog with its magnificent white coat and pretty inquiring face. The breed was initially used for all work from sleigh pulling to reindeer herding, came to England in 1889, and quickly established itself there and in other countries as a show and house dog.
Samoyed – popular sled dogs
Samoyeds were popular sled dogs on many polar expeditions, although the breed is not as powerful as other dogs bred specifically for this purpose.
This multi-talented working-dog lived (unusually) close to his family and even slept with humans at night, as his warm coat was prized in sub-zero temperatures.
Regarded as one of the oldest dog breeds, tests have shown that today’s Samoyed has changed little in 3,000 years. He was never in excessive demand, so there was no overbreeding. But he always had a firm circle of lovers; his fans also founded one of the first breed clubs in England.
These dogs have some very atypical traits: They don’t smell like dogs, which makes them appealing to smell-sensitive owners.
Like cats, they groom themselves. The coat changes twice a year, only then do they need professional care. Another endearing trait is that the dog “smiles” when relaxed, giving it a very human appearance.
Samoyeds make good and friendly family dogs, good with children, lively and playful although this varies from dog to dog. They don’t make good watchdogs because they’re too friendly and trusting to raise the alarm with strangers. However, the Samoyed is a dog with great demands for exercise; Owners should therefore be young and fit. In cooler regions, he can be an enthusiastic jogging partner.
The agile and muscular body, which is not particularly long, carries a powerful head, which tapers in a wedge shape towards the usually black nose. The almond-shaped, slanting eyes are set rather wide apart and can range in color from hazel to dark brown.
A dense fur covers the upright, side-set ears. The extremely bushy tail is carried over the back. However, if the dog is alert, it will hold you sideways.
A Samoyed should not be brushed too often as this could damage the undercoat. If there is too much loose hair lying around in the house, you can carefully comb out the undercoat with a coarse comb with double-row metal teeth.
The Samoyed is a dog full of contrasts. He is friendly and cheerful, intelligent and relatively obedient but not “slavishly devoted” and at times downright stubborn, soulful and gentle, but also dominant and alert, affectionate but not “pushy”. The Samoyed is very persistent and remains playful into old age. He is characterized by his special friendliness, also towards foreign intruders.
So his appearance does not deceive: the characteristic apparent smile of the Samoyed, caused by the slightly rounded lips at the corners of the mouth, seems to correspond to the true character of this breed. The Samoyed is a calm animal with a good, mostly cheerful character that is naturally attracted to people.
The Samoyed is therefore the ideal friend, but one should not expect them to keep reliable guards.
Training a Samoyed is a lengthy task that should begin when the dog is very young.
The lessons should be varied because constantly recurring commands have the opposite effect on the Samoyed – his stubbornness comes to the fore. Also in early youth, the dogs should be accustomed to cats or other pets if necessary. But then you have a lot of fun with this dog – the characteristic “smile” of the Samoyed demonstrates its friendly nature.
The Samoyed is naturally undemanding, but as a family dog of today it has a few demands: it needs a lot of exercise and activity, would like to take part in sled races and feels much more comfortable outdoors than in a heated apartment. In addition, his magnificent white coat is very maintenance-intensive.
The dogs are gentle and extremely patient with children, but they can sometimes be a bit dominant towards their peers. It is important to remember that a Samoyed is also a hunting dog – it will chase anything that moves. Therefore, socialization with cats and pets is extremely important. The dog is also quite alert.
A Samoyed needs a lot of exercises. He should be hiked a lot and – once he’s fully grown – regularly let him run next to the bike to keep him in good condition. The dogs are strays by nature, so the garden should be well fenced off.
The Samoyed was named after the North Siberian nomadic people of the Samoyed, who bred such hard-working and frugal polar peaks for centuries as reindeer herders and sled dogs. The typical features of the dogs were largely preserved.
Known for their endurance and toughness at work, the dogs took part in the polar expeditions of the first European explorers. Originally there were a variety of different coat colors (black, white, and black, black, and tan), but over time the snow-white color prevailed.
Towards the end of the 19th century, fur traders made a big buck with the wonderfully white coats and brought some specimens of this breed to Europe. Fortunately, these animals met a better fate there.