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Living with a Samoyed

Every breed website that you will visit will tell you that a certain breed is not for everyone.  There will be no exception here.  In order to have a wonderful relationship with a Samoyed, there are certain things one must know, expect, accept, and plan for. 


Samoyeds are medium sized dogs.  On average, a male will be 21-24 inches tall at the shoulder and a female will be 19-22 inches tall.  Males will weight 50-65 lbs and females will weigh 35-50 lbs.  Samoyeds have a thick double coat that must be combed regularly.  The double coat is made up of “harsh” guard hairs that help the dog shed snow and ice.  The downy undercoat is for warmth.  A Samoyed will shed its undercoat at least once a year, probably more.  This shed is commonly known as “blowing coat” and is rather remarkable.  Cotton candy-like tufts will start to release.  To aid with the removal of the dead fur, the owner should comb his Samoyed often during this time.  A seasoned groomer using a high speed blow dryer, preferably outside, will cause it to “snow.”  You will need a good vacuum. 


Samoyeds are pack animals.  That doesn’t mean they are waiting to carry your books, but rather that they thrive in group environments.  They are a social dog who wants to be with YOU, not stuck in the backyard.  When living with the tribe for whom the breed is named, the dogs slept in the tents with their family, sharing the warmth and companionship.  Separation from his family will cause a Samoyed to become noisy and destructive.


Speaking of noisy, Samoyeds are talkers.  They bark, yodel, and howl when they are happy, when they want something, when they are lonely, and when they feel like it.


Samoyeds are diggers.  This is a natural instinct.  Ancestors of these dogs needed to get out of the cold wind, so they would dig into the snow to create a den.  These days, digging is not limited to snow.  It includes dirt, grass, flower beds, and any other available material.


Training a Samoyed can be a challenge.  Not in that they cannot be trained, but that they need special motivation to do it.  If you can find the proper motivation, training will be a breeze.  Motivation can be yummy treats, lots of praise, or a special toy.  No matter the motivation, a Samoyed must be trained!  Basic obedience classes can be the difference between a companionable walk through the woods or a dog that has to stay home because she won’t behave.


Keeping your Samoyed active will ensure both of you are happy.  Fun activities include pack hiking, agility, pulling a sled (or wheeled rig in climates where there is no snow), herding, or simply a long walk.


Tired of all the bad things about Samoyeds?  Here’s a list of their good qualities:

  • A Samoyed is very friendly.  (And makes a terrible watch dog!)

  • Samoyeds are gentle and affectionate. 

  • A well groomed Samoyed is a beautiful sight to behold.

  • Although loyal, Samoyeds adapt to change well.

  • Samoyeds are intelligent dogs who will astound you with their ability to problem-solve.

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