About the Breed - NTSRI

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About the Breed

About Samoyeds

The Samoyed (SĂM – ē – yĕd), nicknamed “Sammy” or “Sam,” is one of the oldest and purest dog breeds in existence today.  Recent DNA analysis has resulted in the Samoyed being included in a list of the fourteen most ancient dog breeds, and some believe that Samoyeds have been bred and trained for at least 3,000 years.

Samoyeds originated in northern Siberia, where the Samoyede people bred them for herding reindeer, pulling sleds, and as companions.  At the turn of the twentieth century, Arctic and Antarctic explorers utilized Samoyeds as sled dogs in their expeditions.  Survivors of these frontier forays made their way to Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, and their descendants can now be found throughout the world.

Samoyeds are medium-sized dogs. Males typically are 19-23.5 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh, on average, 50-65 pounds.  Females are somewhat smaller, typically weighing 37-55 pounds. They are double-coated dogs, which means they have a harsher outer coat and a softer, finer textured undercoat.  Together, the two layers of fur help insulate the Samoyed from weather conditions, as well as helping to resist dirt and moisture.  Most Samoyeds are pure white, with a silvery gleam to the coat, although many do have a light tan (called “biscuit”) coloring in places, especially prevalent on the tips of the ears (although biscuit can also appear elsewhere).   Their eyes are almost always brown, although blue eyes (a “fault” in the show ring) sometimes occur, and their ears are thick, triangular, and stand erect. The intense black lips, eye rims and noses of the Samoyed are a striking contrast to their snowy white fur. Their long, very bushy tails curl up over their backs when they are alert and engaged (which is most of the time); at rest, they may allow their tails to drop.

As for their personalities, Samoyeds are well known for their smiling expression, often referred to as the “Sammy smile,” which is an outward sign of their happy disposition. They are extremely intelligent, inquisitive, friendly and loyal. Despite the fact that they also can be quite stubborn and vocal, they are highly trainable. Above all, Samoyeds are very human-oriented.  They like nothing better than to be in the company of their owners, and they typically get along well with children and other pets. The Samoyed predilection for barking can make them good guard dogs; although they are not usually aggressive, they will definitely let you know if something is amiss by barking!

As working dogs, Samoyeds are happiest when they are busy!  Some of the many activities they enjoy, and in which they excel, include pack hikes, skijoring, sledding, herding and agility.  They want and need regular exercise. On the "Sammy Fun" page of this website, we have included some of the many activities which Samoyeds enjoy.

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