About the Samoyed Breed
So you're thinking about owning a Samoyed? Here are some important things to consider before adding a new family member to your everday life.
Samoyeds are classified by the AKC as a Working Group dog. For centuries they pulled sleds, among other duties, for the Samoyed people in the rugged environmnent of the Arctic Circle. They lived among their canine pack mates and their human counterparts. The close-knit human-canine relationship was born out of necessity and merely for survival in extreme weather conditions. And the dogs' reliance on man as: food giver, healer of wounds and ailments, and companion has evolved through many generations to modern day.
The Samoyed is a "people person" dog. They want to be where the action is, even if that action is sitting at the computer. They want to be at your feet while you surf the web, or at least within plain sight. They need to be petted, touched and played with. They have amazing powers of persuasion to get their humans to pay attention to them. If they don't melt their hearts with their classic Sammy Smile and a Wooo Woooo Wooo, they will force their muzzle under your hand to pet them. This dog needs TLC. They need to be an integral part of your family life, just like their ancestors were.
The Samoyeds have a very sweet and loving disposition. They are easily excited and throw caution to the wind when they hear "wanna go for a ride." They are like a bull in a china shop! They love everyone they meet so they will not provide good protection against home intruders. They are a family dog and love people of all ages and sizes and most get along well with other dogs and cats
Exercise and Stimulation:
As a Working Group dog, this breed is built for exercise and play. They thrive physically and mentally when they have a "job" to do, especially if it includes their human companion. That job may be running the fence line to protect their domain from the scary UPS truck. Or it could be going for a daily walk with dad, or pulling the kids through the snow on the sled. A good dose of daily and enriching exercise will keep your Samoyed happy and occupied. This is not an indoor only, studio apartment dog!! If this working group dog is not stimulated, it will invent a new game on its own or find something to do--often at the expense of the flower garden, the new sofa pillows, or your prescription glasses. So exercise them to get them tired and then pet them as they lay resting, and content at your feet.
Size and Diet:
The AKC standard states that males should be 21 to 23 1/2 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh between 55 and 70 lbs. The females should be 19 to 21 inches tall and weigh between 35 and 50 lbs. As a medium sized dog of high energy, their dietary needs are different than a sedentary toy dog. For superior nutrition, follow the recommendations of a reputable breeder. They are the best resource for completely understanding the nutritional needs of the breed, especially the litters they have bred. However, many commercial brands provide a complete and balanced diet with adequete nutrition. Typically, the cheaper priced brands are of inferior nutritional quality. Paying a few extra dollars for good quality food may save you hundreds of dollars in veterinary office visits.
Samoyeds have a double-layered coat of fur. They have a soft and fluffy undercoat and a course outercoat of guard hairs. Their coat is for the most part, self cleaning, so little bathing is required. Frequent bathing may dry out the natural oils of their skin and coat. Brushing is recommended at least a few times a week to prevent matting of the dense thick fur. When they are "blowing their coats," daily brushing is a necessity to remove all dead fur and allow the new fur to come in. There is no doubt about it - there will be fur EVERYWHERE! But that only happens once a year for males and twice a year for females, typically near their heat cycles. But the brushing helps to build the bond between you and your beloved Samoyed.
From the Official Breed Standard:
(a) General Appearance - The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should present a picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility, dignity and grace. As his work lies in cold climates, his coat should be heavy and weather-resistant, well groomed, and of good quality rather then quantity. The male carries more of a "ruff" than the female. He should not be long in the back as a weak back would make him practically useless for his legitimate work, but at the same time, a close-coupled body would also place him at a great disadvantage as a draft dog. Breeders should aim for the happy medium, a body not long but muscular, allowing liberty, with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, strong neck, straight front and especially strong loins. Males should be masculine in appearance and deportment without unwarranted aggressiveness; bitches feminine without weakness of structure or apparent softness of temperament. Bitches may be slightly longer in back than males. They should both give the appearance of being capable of great endurance but be free from coarseness. Because of the depth of chest required, the legs should be moderately long. A very short-legged dog is to be deprecated. Hindquarters should be particularly well developed, stifles well bent and any suggestion of unsound stifles or cowhocks severely penalized. General appearance should include movement and general conformation, indicating balance and good substance.