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The Samoyed is a devoted family companion. With the nickname “smiling Sammie,” the Samoyed is a gentle, cheerful, and outgoing dog. This lively mid-sized dog belongs to the pastoral breed group. The adorable smile of this breed endears it to people the world over.
Although Samoyed dogs may look like a calm dog, they are quite vocal. Their barking tendencies make them great watchdogs for the family.
Are you thinking about welcoming a Samoyed home? Before getting a Samoyed puppy or adopt from a shelter or rescue, here is a brief background on this fascinating dog breed.
The Samoyed is one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world. It descended from a Siberian spitz-type dog–the Nenets herding Laika–bred to pull sleds and guard and herd reindeers.
The breed is called Bjelkier in native Siberia but is referred to as Samoyed today after the Samoyede people, who were Asiatic nomadic tribes.
It is believed that the Samoyed was mainly utilised as a sled dog for polar expeditions. The Samoyed was first noticed by Russian explorers when they passed through Siberia during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Through this, the magnificence of the breed was then recognised. Not long after, the Czar of Russia took particular interest in the dog breed. He even awarded the dog a royal status and offered the Bjelkiers to European nobles as gifts.
In 1911, the Bjelkiers found their way to England. It was made possible by the explorer Roald Amundsen. He used the breed on his South Pole expedition. Amundsen also offered some of the adult dogs to other South Pole explorers from England.
In 1909, the first Samoyed Club was established. This paved the way for the creation of the breed club called Samoyed Club of America in 1923. By 1912, the Samoyed was given its own class status and recognised by The Kennel Club.
The Samoyed weighs 23 to 30 kilos and stands 48 to 60 centimetres. It takes the breed between 9 months to1 1/2 years to reach maturity. It is a strong, alert, and lithe dog breed that always carries itself with dignity and elegance.
The Samoyed has a wedge-shaped head, a moderately long muzzle that tapers toward the nose, and black lips that curve upward, giving the appearance of a smile.
The Samoyed dog’s nose can be black, brown, or flesh-coloured, while its almond-shaped eyes can be medium to dark brown. The ears are triangular-shaped set apart on the Samoyed’s head.
The breed’s muscular body is built to withstand harsh weather. It wears a double coat comprised of an undercoat that is thick and woolly and a topcoat made of harsh longer hair.
The Samoyed’s breed standard allows coat colours of pure white, cream, white, and biscuit or all biscuit colours.
The Samoyed sheds throughout the year. It also sheds its entire undercoat twice every year, also known as seasonal “coat blow”, to grow a new summer and winter coat. The breed is not the best choice for dog owners who are particular about keeping their home fur-free.
On the other hand, despite the Samoyed’s heavy shedding, it is considered a hypoallergenic breed. That’s because it produces less dander than most breeds. However, keep in mind that hypoallergenic doesn’t translate to allergy-free. It just means it is less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
As for grooming, the Samoyed is a high maintenance breed as its white coat is quite difficult to groom. The coat needs to be brushed daily when it’s heavily shedding and once or twice a week when it’s not.
It is not advised to shave the Samoyed as this can disrupt its coat’s body temperature regulation. It puts the dog at risk of easily overheating and getting sunburnt. Moreover, the coat may not grow back correctly after being shaved.
Since the breed has extensive grooming needs, some owners hire professional groomers to carry out the grooming routine. Checking its coat for ticks and fleas should be done, especially during hotter months. Due to the breed’s thick coat, it may not do well in hot climates unless provided with proper air conditioning.
As part of basic dog grooming, check the Samoyed’s ears on a weekly basis and watch out for signs of infection or wax build-up. Use a veterinarian-approved cleanser to clean the ears.
The teeth must be brushed at least once a week to minimise tartar and prevent gum disease. Trim the nails once a month, if the dog does not wear them down naturally or when you start to hear clicking sounds when the dog is walking.
Samoyeds are lively, cheery, and fun-loving dogs that love to be around people. They are playful dogs with a great sense of humour. These dogs are excellent family companions, although they often favour one person over other family members.
The Samoyed’s alert nature makes it a good watchdog. This vocal dog never fails to bark to announce if someone is about. However, it should not be mistaken for a guard dog since it is quick to cosy up to strangers, demanding a belly rub.
The Sammie is suitable for apartment living provided that his daily exercise needs are met. However, dog owners should also take into consideration the dog’s barking tendencies as it can be disturbing to neighbours.
The Samoyed breed is friendly and fun-loving, but it is far from docile and obedient. In fact, the Samoyed has a bit of a stubborn streak that makes it a little difficult to train, though it is generally well-behaved.
When training the breed, be firm but patient. Avoid inflicting harsh punishments or incorporating tough training methods. These will only lead your Sammie to lose its trust in you and develop destructive habits. Use positive reinforcement instead to keep it interested and motivated.
Samoyed puppies are also known to be a bit difficult to house train. Thus, consistent crate training is necessary. Do not forget to prepare puppy pads and a mop in case of potty accidents.
Since Samoyeds are friendly dogs, they are naturally great with children. However, it is best always to supervise any interaction in case things become a bit rowdy, so a child doesn’t get hurt.
Samoyeds get on well with other dogs including cats they grow up with. Keeping a close eye on Samoyeds is still necessary though, as they will happily chase any small animals.
A typical serving for an adult Samoyed is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of dry dog food daily. Balanced nutrition is important for a dog to be healthy.
Here are the daily calorie needs of an adult Samoyed weighing 23 kilos:
When buying dog food, the dog’s activity level plays an important role in determining caloric intake, so make sure to consider that as well.
The Samoyed is considered a healthy dog breed with only a few health problems. The average life expectancy of the Samoyed is 12 – 14 years. The most common health conditions to watch out for in the breed include:
It is one of the most common causes of hair loss in Samoyed. It is caused by excessive production of sex hormones by the adrenal glands. Detecting other symptoms of this condition can be tricky.
Thus, diagnosis is necessary, which usually comes in the forms of blood tests and skin biopsies. Treatment for alopecia x can be drugs used for other adrenal problems.
The Samoyed is prone to several heart conditions including atrial septal defect, aortic stenosis or sub-aortic stenosis, and pulmonic stenosis.
Be sure to ask the breeder if the parents of the litter have undergone cardiac exams. This will ensure that their offspring has a low probability of developing these heart problems.
It is one of the most common diseases of the breed. Sammies between the ages of 4 and 10 are often diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. This condition is caused by low levels of insulin and causes a sudden spike in blood glucose levels.
Symptoms of diabetes include lack of energy, urinary infections, weight loss, and excessive drinking. Samoyeds with the disease require diet management and regular administration of insulin injections for treatment.
The breed is highly susceptible to several ocular diseases, specifically cataracts, distichiasis, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy.
Responsible Samoyed breeders often present certification that signifies their breeding dog is tested for X-Linked Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Retinal Dysplasia/OSD.
It is a common health condition in Samoyed puppies. This occurs between 5 and 14 months of age and is caused by many factors, including genetics, nutrition, and environment. Screening of breeding animals for this disease is crucial, and they should have the proper documentation from the OFA.
Feeding Samoyed puppies with a balanced and age-appropriate diet and keeping them from exercising excessively help lessen the chances of hip dysplasia.
This disease is commonly seen in purebred dogs, including Samoyeds, Huskies, and Malamutes. Hypothyroidism stems from inadequate levels of the thyroid hormone.
It causes hair loss, lethargy, and excessive weight gain in dogs. Trustworthy Samoyed breeders need their breeding stock to get tested annually for hypothyroidism.
Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy
SHG is an inherited and incurable disease of the kidneys. It damages the organ’s filtration system and making it unable to filter toxins.
This condition can lead to renal failure. Male Samoyeds are more affected than their female counterparts. Most of them rarely live through one year of age.
Sulphonamides, also known as sulfa-drugs, are commonly used as antibiotics. Studies show that around 40 dog breeds are known to be hypersensitive to these drugs.
The Samoyed is one of the most often affected. Negative reactions to sulphonamides can vary, and these often include skin eruptions, dry eye, and haemolytic anaemia.
The Samoyed is a high-energy dog that requires plenty of daily exercises (at least 2 hours) and mental stimulation to be truly happy and non-destructive.
Since it is an active dog, it likes nothing more than to romp and roam around the back garden to let off steam. It also loves outdoor activities, such as hiking, running, and snowshoeing. The breed can also handle extreme sports including dog-assisted cross-country skiing, sledding, and skijoring,
The Samoyed is not particularly fond of water. It is believed that this is because the breed is unaccustomed to water. Some think that it might be due to its thick coat, which weighs down once it gets wet.
However, this doesn’t mean that the Samoyed can’t learn to love water. A gradual and gentle introduction to swimming will make your dog eventually accustomed to the water.
Digging is a natural habit in Samoyeds due to their Arctic dog lineage. Their ancestors used to dredge snow to make shelters. Provide your dog with activities that cater to its digging habits.
Take your Samoyed to the woods, beach, or parks where he can burrow the earth without getting into trouble. Giving your dog its own digging spot in your backyard is also a good idea.
The Samoyed is a master escapist and will try to find a weakness in the fence, so make sure it is completely secure.
Oft-times if the Samoyed doesn’t have a solid recall. It may chase down small animals or track a scent than returning on command. For this reason, it should be kept on a lead when taken out for walks.
If you are set on raising a Samoyed puppy, you need to prepare £1,200-£3,000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy from a kennel club assured breeder. Providing him with high-quality dog food and treats can set you back £80-£100 a month.
Health care including vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters may total over £1000 for the first year. Exclude the costs for castration and initial boosters for the following years.
If you choose to get pet insurance, it will cost approximately £21 for a time-limited cover up to £50 for a lifetime one.
These prices vary depending on your dog’s health, age, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.
Are you sure the Samoyed is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Are you ready to take home a cheerful Samoyed? If you prefer a dog that matches your personality, complete our Pet Finder to find other suggested dog breeds.
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By definition, husky refers to well-built dogs with thick coats that allowed them to adapt well in Arctic regions. These dogs used to pull sleds either for transportation or racing. In general, huskies are considered as the sled-type of dogs.