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Image by Sveta Golovina


A kind, loyal and caring breed, with bountiful amount of character, who love to test your patience at times.

Samoyeds, the “smiling” sleigh dogs, were bred for heavier loads and shorter distances in some of the world's coldest areas. Being working dogs they do need mentally stimulating activities to keep them occupied. We call it brain draining by training. They relish tasks and enjoy training being smart, social, sometimes mischievous dogs who thrive off love and attention. Make sure to give adequate rest in between, over-training leads to an over-stimulated dog, being ignored is also part of training a well rounded dog. This allows them to learn how to entertain themselves (without tearing the house apart), or to put themselves to rest.


Samoyeds are known to be a communicative breed, insert grin here, some are more than others. Again, if you do good training and you teach your dog/s to speak, bark, awoo and sing this won’t become an issue for your neighbours. They sometimes can have a little separation anxiety causing more vocal episodes, build this up slowly and also using the method of ignoring it, patience and a bottle of wine for your neighbours goes a long way.


Samoyeds need a very firm, but loving hand with positive training methods. Due to their stubborn nature from an early age on, this concept must be vehemently delivered, “YOU ALWAYS WIN” once a Samoyed knows they can get what they want, you will be their slave always.


Samoyeds can be heavy shedding dogs once to twice a year depending on hormones. Then it’s like candy floss, you learn how to live with it and manage it, a damp wet cloth usually works best and for furniture a marigold cleaning glove. A rake comb goes a long way on carpets too. Their double coat allowed them to survive in sub-zero temperatures, but also in substantial warmth (30°c), thus a thick and warm coat for protection during Winters, and a double-fur coat with guard hairs to help cool them during Summers. NEVER shave or clip them close (unless for medical reasoning). This can cause heat strokes, cardiac arrest or other debilitating health conditions. Even trimming the guard hairs prevents the coat from catching the wind to aerate underneath.


When it comes to grooming and you decide to use a groomer, always ask what their process is. If they start with “first they will wash and dry” turn tail quickly, they will matt up your dog. A Samoyed should always be blown out first, and then casually line brushed to get rid of any dead or blowing coat before showering and shampooing. The best way (and most bonding), is for you to get accustomed early on with your pup to make it an enjoyable experience with line brushing for them and for you. Always have an aim of “making the coat look airy and light” by teasing the coat out-away from the skin, and not brushing it down-along the skin. One personal thing I will share is that everywhere recommends daily brushing. Yes it is important in the beginning but constant brushing, stimulates the hair follicles to grow more. This is why it becomes an endless task, so from our own perspective, once you have trained your dog to enjoy the process, give space and time between brushing sessions to once a week or two, perhaps even longer. Always pull out thistles and grasses from their fur, a technique of holding the plant and pulling the hair from underneath it is the easiest way to get the nasty out. Otherwise a slicker brush is your friend!


Are they hypoallergenic? Some say yes, the research is inconclusive though. All we can say is that we have several friends who are highly allergic to dogs, but can managed in our house without reacting and they can even stroke and cuddle our dogs. Go figure.


Sterilisation, spaying, castration, call it how you want, but consider everything when it comes to Samoyeds. Do your research, but we strongly recommend to not do this with the Samoyed breed. It negatively affects them, their coat’s blow up and the grooming requirement increases, because it is regulated by their hormones. Take their hormone glands away and naturally they do not regulate as they normally should. Modern research also suggests that early sterilisation allows cancers at a younger age which are more aggressive than if they are caught at a later age.


Ultimately Samoyeds are a kind, loyal, and caring breed, with a bountiful amount of character who love to test your patience at times. They are a loving breed of dog who are always happy to be with you and socialise where possible for attention purposes (and snacks hiding in your pocket). They are devoted dogs who always know where you are, but they will walk off doing their thing.


For an in-depth knowledge we recommend reading either ‘The Samoyed’ book, or in Dutch ‘The Sam Gid’ in our useful links section. Otherwise here is an insightful excerpt I found from a link provided below:-


The years around 3000 BC were a time of development for world civilizations. The Iceman, Europe’s oldest natural Chaliolithic mummy, lived during this period; Egypt had its first Pharaoh; the wheel was invented; and the Druids had begun the construction of Stonehenge, which would not be completed for another 1,500 years. Up on the remote Russian tundra, however, a new discovery was unearthed in 2004, dating back to that same time period in history: the remains of the oldest proto-Samoyed!

The Samoyed was originally thought to be an aboriginal breed that was indigenous to the Russian tundra. It is now thought, due to modern DNA testing, that the earliest proto-Samoyed may have migrated into Russia from China. USA Today reported in 2004 that researchers had announced surprising news regarding which breeds of dog came first. By analyzing genetic data from 85 breeds, researchers discovered that Asian Spitz-type breeds may be the most ancient descendants of its primitive wolf ancestors from 40,000 years ago.

It was once thought that all dogs originated in Asia, migrating with nomadic hunters to Africa and the Arctic. It is now thought that dogs originated from civilizations around the world at different times. A subset of the oldest group that is thought to come from Asia are the three Northern breeds: Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds and Siberian Huskies. All three breeds have the closest genetic relationship to the ancient, now extinct wolf. According to researchers, these three breeds may be “the best living representatives of the ancestral dog gene pool.” This is due to thousands of years of isolation in remote arctic locations.

The theory is that proto-dogs were probably domesticated by accident, when wolves began trailing ancient hunter-gatherers to snack on their garbage. The more docile wolves may have been slipped extra food scraps… so they survived better and passed along their genes. Eventually, those friendlier wolves evolved into proto-dogs.

It is thought (because there were no written records) that the proto-Samoyed most likely followed nomadic hunters migrating from Asia to the Russian tundra. There the hunters found an abundance of reindeer, switched to reindeer herding, and began migrating with the herds around the tundra. The proto-Samoyeds continued to follow the humans and the herd. This became a lifestyle for these aboriginal people who later became known as the “Reindeer People.” The region of Russia where the Reindeer lived was in a location where winter began in September and lasted until the end of May.

The herd would migrate in a 700-800 mile migration pattern in search of food. The reindeer were independent creatures, and it required very vigilant and alert dogs to keep the large herd intact! The early proto-Samoyed dogs, known as “Laikas,” which is Russian for “barkers,” had to quickly adapt and learn to co-exist closely not only with the humans, but also with the herd in order to survive the brutal arctic conditions. Co-existing allowed these early dogs access to warmth, shelter and food in exchange for the dogs’ protection and assistance with keeping the herd together. Man and dog were co-dependent on each other for survival in a frozen land where death seemed easy and survival difficult during the long winter months. The average lifespan for the “Reindeer People” was around 45 years.

Highly intelligent, the Samoyed became an independent, free-thinking breed that worked primarily off-lead in wide-open territories, unlike the other Northern breeds that worked primarily in harness. The largest tribe of reindeer herders was the Nenet tribe, who referred to themselves as “Children of the Reindeer” and had a close relationship with their dogs. Family members would take the dogs into the tents they lived in, called chooms. Each choom was covered in 100 reindeer hides or in tree bark. There was a fire pit in the center of the choom for cooking and warmth, and the Nenets allowed the dogs to sleep with them at night to provide extra warmth. Dogs were stationed outside the tents to keep the deer herd away from the chooms, and a second group of dogs was stationed around the circumference of the herd to keep the herd intact, and to “sound the alarm” in the event of approaching danger. The Nenets also used the dogs for light freighting, such as to carry them out to the fishing holes on the ice to retrieve fish from the fishing lines, (the ice was too slippery for deer hooves) and, in addition, the dogs were used to hunt, including hunting the polar bear. The Samoyed ultimately became a multi-purpose dog that had to fill a number of jobs within the family circle. Over thousands of years, the Samoyed was gradually changed by its environment and by evolution into the natural breed that we know today.

Now we will fast forward 4,800 years to the late nineteenth century! During the late 1800s, the Samoyed first became known to the outside world due to the exploration of the North and South Poles. Most of the Samoyed strains in the UK and in the United States are related to the veteran sled dogs of these expeditions. When the men returned to their homelands, many brought the dogs with them. It is speculated that there were only twelve dogs that constituted the original breeding stock outside of Russia!

The first Samoyed brought into England in 1889 by Mr. Kilburn Scott was a brown Samoyed male named Sabarka that was put on display at the London Zoo. Sabarka was quite the novelty and drew many visitors to the zoo, generating interest in the breed! His wife, Mrs. Clara Kilburn Scott, was very taken with this newly discovered breed, and was very instrumental in establishing the breed in England through her selective breeding of Samoyeds. It was Mrs. Kilburn Scott who decided to breed only for the white, crème and biscuit colored dogs, eliminating the black, brown and spotted colors from the breeding stock. The first official standard for the breed was adopted in England in 1909, and the first American standard was adopted on May 15, 1923.

As breeders, we delight in seeing remnants of the Samoyed’s ancient ancestry in our litters, with the biscuit coloring being a throwback to the brown Samoyeds of the past. AKC has stated that judging conformation should be for the evaluation of breeding stock. That being said, the following is this breeder’s perspective on evaluating the Samoyed, based on preserving its long and ancient heritage.

The Federation Cynologique Internationale breed standard reprinted with kind permission from the FCI 13 Place Albert I, B6530 THUIN, Belgium 

Nordic countries, Siberia.

The Samoyed is a 'just outside the square' Arctic Spitz. Elegant in appearance, it conveys an image of strength, grace, agility, dignity and self-confidence.  

Strong, with wedge-shaped, slightly crowned skull. Well defined stop.  Muzzle strong and deep, about the same length as the skull and tapering evenly towards the nose. Bridge of the nose straight. Lips tight on the cheeks and somewhat 'fleshy'. Well developed nose. The mouth should be slightly curved up at the corners to form the 'Samoyed smile'.  

Scissor bite, a pincer bite is tolerated, but undesirable.  

Dark brown, set deeply with alert intelligent expression. Set well apart, slightly oblique, slanting, and almond shaped. 

High and set well apart, relatively small, triangular, erect, mobile slightly rounded at the tips.  

Strong, moderately long and carried upright.  

The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers, deep and compact, but agile. Back of medium length, muscular and straight. Rich collar. Females can be a little longer behind than males, very strong loin and moderately tucked up. Seen from the front, the chest is broad and deep, but not barrel-shaped.  Well sprung ribs. Croup full, strong, muscular and slightly sloping.  


Well positioned and muscular with markedly strong bone. Shoulders long, firm and sloping. Seen from the front, the forelegs are straight and the elbows close to the body. Wrists strong but flexible. Hind legs viewed from behind should be straight and parallel with very strong muscles. Knees and hocks well angulated and hocks set low. Dew claws should be removed when puppies are 3-4 days old.  


Oval and springy, with slightly arched and slightly splayed toes.  


The Samoyed is a trotter. The gait should be free and powerful with good reach in the forequarters and good drive in the hindquarters.  

When alert and in motion, the tail is carried forward over the back or side, but can be lowered at rest and then reach the hocks.  

Well coated, heavy, flexible and dense. The Samoyed is a double coated dog, with a short, soft, dense and dense undercoat and longer, straight and hard hair that continues to grow to form the outer coat. The coat should form a collar around the neck and shoulders, framing the head, especially in males. On the outside of the ears and on the head, as well as on the front of the legs, the hair is short and smooth. The inside of the ears should be well coated and there should be protective hair growth between the toes. The tail should be richly covered with hair. The fur of the female is often shorter and softer in texture than that of the male.  


White, cream or white and biscuit. The base color should be white with light biscuit markings and should never appear to be light brown. Nose, lips, and eye rims are black. The nose is sometimes liver (snow-nose), with some pigment loss.  

Ideal for males is 57 cm + or - 3, and for bitches 53 cm + or - 3. 

The bite includes not only teeth, but also jaws that must be well developed. The dental formula is: 2 x 3142 upper jaw) = 42 teeth 2 x 3143 lower jaw).

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.  

Any deviation from the Standard is an error and must be judged in relation to the dog's merits, general impression and constitution. Variations that are atypical to the breed and abnormalities are disqualifying.  

Yellow eyes, lop-eared, low build, light bones. Bad crowbar. Wavy fur or long soft hanging fur, males that are not male and females that are not female. Double hook tail, reserved disposition.  

Eyes blue or of different colors.  Overshot or undershot. Coat color other than allowed in Default. Shy or aggressive character.

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