Canine Breed Menu



Breed Organization
Samoyed Club of America
Native Country
Scandinavian Countries
Other Names
Samoyed, Samoiedskaia Sabaka, Samoyedskaya, Nenetskaya Laika, Smiling Sammy, Sammy
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-14 Years
Litter Size
Average 5-9 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Working
Breed Appearance
The Samoyed is a breed of dog that takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy white dogs to help with the herding, and to pull sleds when they moved.

Breed Description
Head: Strong. Wedge-shaped skull. Straight nose bridge. Strong, deep muzzle tapering toward the nose. Tight, black lips. Lips curve up at the corners producing the "Samoyed smile".
Ears: Set on high, relatively small, triangular, mobile and carried erect.
Eyes: Almond shape, set obliquely in the skull, wide set. Dark brown color. Black rims.
Body: Robust, compact, muscular. Strong neck carried erect. Broad chest is well let down. Belly moderately tucked up. Strong, muscular, slightly sloped croup. Straight, muscular back.
Tail: Carried curved over the back along the midline or to the side. Can be carried down. Richly clad.
Hair: Profuse, heavy, dense, flexible. Forms ruff around the neck and shoulders (particularly prominent in the dog). Shorter on the head and front of the legs. Dense, soft, short, compact undercoat.
Coat: White, cream, or white and biscuit (white background with light biscuit markings).
Size: Dog: approx. 57 cm (22.5 in).Bitch: approx. 53 cm (21 in).
Weight: Dog: 20 to 30 kg (44-66 lb). Bitch: 17 to 25 kg37.5-55 lb).

This Arctic spitz is directly descended from the breed that accompanied Samoyed tribes on their migrations. The Samoyed belongs to one of the oldest Siberian breeds. The Samoyeds used these dogs to guard herds and to hunt bear and walrus. The first Samoyeds arrived in Great Britain around 1890. Robert Scott, an early polar explorer, brought the breed to the attention of the world, demonstrating its ability to pull heavy loads over long distances. At that time, the breed began to spread around the globe.

Samoyeds' friendly disposition makes them poor guard dogs; an aggressive Samoyed is rare. With their tendency to bark, however, they can be diligent watch dogs, barking whenever something approaches their territory. Samoyeds are excellent companions, especially for small children or even other dogs, and they remain playful into old age. When Samoyeds become bored, they may begin to dig. With their sled dog heritage, a Samoyed is not averse to pulling things, and an untrained Samoyed has no problem pulling its owner on a leash rather than walking alongside. Samoyeds were also used to herd reindeer. They will instinctively act as herd dogs, and when playing with children, especially, will often attempt to turn and move them in a different direction. The breed is characterized by an alert and happy expression.

Samoyeds are particularly prone to hip dysplasia and some suffer from diabetes. Also prone to skin allergies. They are prone to PRA (eyes), primarily in male dogs. Samoyeds can be affected by a genetic disease known as "Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy", a renal disease. From 3 months of age onwards, a reduced glomerular filtration rate is detected, indicative of progressive renal failure. Death from renal failure usually occurs by 15 months of age. A genetic test is available for this disease.

The Samoyed must not be closed up indoors. He needs space and room to run. Daily brushing is required. A curry comb is necessary during seasonal shedding.

Hunting Dog (walrus, etc.), Sled Dog, Watch Dog, Pet.

Horse Herd