Breed Group: Working
Height: 19 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 50 to 60 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 14 years
Nicknamed the “Smiling Sammie,” the gentle and outgoing Samoyed loves his family, including cats if he’s raised with them. This reindeer herder is a tad stubborn, and positive reinforcement training works best with him. His beautiful white coat must be groomed two or three times a week and sheds heavily.
Did You Know the Samoyed is Not the Right Breed for Everyone?
You can save your Sammy’s hair from when you brush him and have it spun into yarn that can be knitted into a soft, warm cap, socks or scarf.
The smiling Samoyed, nicknamed the Sammie, is one of the world’s most beautiful dogs. He stands out for his white fluffiness, wedge-shaped head, prick ears and plumed tail, gently wagging over his back. Behind that Arctic-pure appearance lurks a smart, fun-loving, energetic dog. The Sammie has many excellent qualities, but he’s not the right breed for everyone.
First, the positives: the Samoyed is gentle and calm. He bonds deeply to his people and can be a good choice for families with children. He tends to be friendly toward strangers and generally gets along well with other animals, especially if he is raised with them.
Now for the bad news: the Samoyed is not a stuffed dog. He’s active and requires daily exercise. He barks a lot and must be taught when it’s okay to exercise his lungs and when it’s not. If he’s bored, he may decide to re-landscape your yard with some nicely placed holes. He’s an independent thinker and can be stubborn when it comes to training. That stunning white coat? It sheds and requires frequent brushing to keep loose hair under control.
Fortunately, all of that can be overcome if you are willing to spend the time it takes to train, exercise and groom the Sammie. Train the Samoyed with firmness and consistency to overcome his tendency to be stubborn. For best results, use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards. Plan to give him daily exercise in the form of a long walk or active play in the yard. He’s also a super competitor in dog sports such as agility, herding, obedience and rally. Health permitting, you might even want to take up dog-sledding or skijoring. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet before starting a new exercise program with your dog.
Last but not least, it should go without saying that a people-loving dog like the Samoyed needs to live in the house. It’s an unhappy Sammie who is relegated to the backyard with little or no human companionship.
Other Quick Facts About the Samoyed
The Samoyed is a strong, beautiful working dog with a muscular body, a heavy, weather-resistant white coat tipped with silver, and a plumed tail that curves over his back. His wedge-shaped head is surrounded by a ruff, more prominent on males than females. He has dark-brown almond-shaped eyes, a black or sometimes brown or flesh-colored nose, and erect ears. The mouth curves up at the corners, giving him a smiling expression.
The Samoyed’s name can be tricky to pronounce. Most people call him a “Sa-MOY-ed,” but the correct pronunciation is “Sammy-ED.” If that doesn’t trip lightly off your tongue, just call him a Sammy. Everyone else does.