About Samoyed Puppies
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, pricks 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.
The History of the Samoyed
Legend says that the Samoyed people, and their dogs, we’re driven by other tribes far away, north and north and north, until at last they were on the very edge of the world, in a vast land of snow and ice. They lived as nomads, herding reindeer, aided by their able dogs, who also pulled sledges and kept them warm at night.
The Samoyed is one of fourteen breeds identified as ancient through DNA analysis of the canine genome. They give us a good picture of what some of the earliest dogs probably looked like.
In more modern times, Samoyeds took part in Arctic and Antarctic explorations of Nansen, Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen. Britain’s Queen Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII, loved the breed, and many of her dogs appear in the pedigrees of English and American Samoyeds today.
The American Kennel Club recognized the Samoyed in 1906. Today he ranks 72nd among the breeds registered by the AKC.
Sammy’s smile is heartfelt. He is friendly and his greatest joy is being a beloved member of an active family who will include him in everything they do. The Samoyed is gentle with toddlers and with other pets, but he can be an active playmate for an older child.
He is smart and likes to have a job, whether that is bringing in the paper every morning, being a walking, jogging, biking or hiking companion, practising his training every day, or participating in a dog sport such as agility, herding or weight pulling. In snowy regions, he’s the perfect companion (health permitting) if you enjoy snowshoeing, sledging or skijoring (cross-country skiing that involves being pulled by the dog). Whatever his job or activity, he does it with enthusiasm.
Sammy’s alert nature makes him an excellent watchdog, but he’s so people-friendly and trusting that he will welcome a burglar into the home and show him where the silver is. Sammy is not inclined to be shy or aggressive.
Now for the downside. Sammy enjoys chasing things and barking. He needs a securely fenced yard, not an underground electronic fence, to keep him safe, as well as someone to remind him to keep his bark to a low roar.
The Basics of Samoyed Grooming
The Samoyed’s thick double coat in white, white and biscuit, cream, or all biscuit stands out from the body as if surrounding the dog with a halo of hair. The undercoat, which is what protects the Sammy from the elements, is soft, short, thick and woolly. The outer coat is made up of harsh longer hair.
Brush the Samoyed’s coat at least once a week to prevent or remove mats and tangles and remove dead hairs that will otherwise wind up on your floor, furniture, and clothing. Expect to brush it daily during seasonal shedding periods. You’ll need a slicker brush, pin brush and metal Greyhound comb. Bathe the Sammie about every three months.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian. Introduce your Sammy to grooming at an early age so he will learn to accept it willingly.
What You Need To Know About Samoyed Health
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 per cent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Health conditions that have been seen in the Samoyed include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), heart problems (like aortic stenosis and pulmonic stenosis), diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
The Samoyed Club of America, which is the American Kennel Club parent organization for the breed in the United States, participates in the Canine Health Information Center Program. For a Samoyed to achieve CHIC certification, he must have hip evaluations from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the University of Pennsylvania (PennHIP), an OFA cardiac evaluation, an OFA DNA test for PRA, and an eye clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. Breeders must agree to have all test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. You can check CHIC’s website to see if a breeder’s dogs have these certifications.