Samoyed dogs are historically documented as one of the oldest dogs known to man. Find out what you need to know before choosing this companion for your dog.

Centuries ago, the Samoyede people of Siberia were in search of the ideal working dog; one that could meet the many challenges of the Russian cold country. These nomadic, reindeer hunters also wanted a dog that would make a good companion and one willing to share their body heat for family slumber.

They found the perfect pet dog in the Samoyed. This primitive breed was chosen for its tenacity, its strong desire to please and ultimately the dog’s companionability.


Even the most knowledgeable dog enthusiasts tend to mispronounce the name of this dog, mostly because it does not sound like it is spelled. Mispronunciations vary but most people want to call him a “sa-moy-ed. The proper pronunciation is actually “sam-a-yed”, with equal emphasis on each syllable.

The Samoyed’s origins are indistinct, but they have been documented as one of the first fifteen domesticated dogs. The Samoyede people used this dog for hunting, sledding, herding, and as a watch dog. With regional temperatures dipping well below zero, keeping warm was a serious consideration, and these dogs were frequently called upon to help keep the family warm while sleeping.

Today these dogs excel as family dogs and are still considered one of the most active breeds. Sammies, as they are affectionately known, are extremely versatile and thrive when challenged both mentally and physically. Modern day Samoyeds can be seen participating in almost every canine sport available including; agility, herding, hunting, back packing, conformation, skijoring, sledding, weight pulls and they flourish while doing therapy work.

Tips for Living With a Samoyed

One thing to remember when keeping a Samoyed; they are very efficient escape artists and can get out of even the most secured enclosures. Their strong instinctual drive for freedom, coupled with an abundant desire to be with their people, pushes them to scale fences, dig trenches and do whatever is necessary to achieve their goal. Suffice to say, this is not a dog that should be left alone for long periods of time.

Many Samoyed owners, especially in warmer climates, want to eliminate some of the dog’s massive coat for fear that they may over-heat. On the surface their thick double coat would seem to be a detriment in the summer heat, but their double coat actually traps the cooler air close to the skin, acting like a built in air conditioner.

These dogs should never be shaved and according to Lynette Blue, longtime Samoyed enthusiast and breeder of champion Samoyeds in Oregon, “If they are shaved too closely, it damages hair follicles and the coat may never grow back properly.

Exercise is extremely important for these dogs and they should have structured and supervised activity every day. Samoyeds suffer greatly and will act out mischievously if not challenged and exercised on a daily basis. Whether a lengthy walk, or a ball tossing session in the back yard, they should have human interaction and physical stimulation daily.

The Samoyed – A Noble Breed

  • they should be brushed and groomed regularly, but never shaved
  • they are a very active dog that thrives with human companionship
  • Samoyeds are recognized by the AKC and are in the ‘working dogs’ group
  • these dogs are always white, cream or biscuit colored, but may come in any combination of the three
  • Sammies live to be 12-16 years old, stand roughly 20-24 inches and their ideal weight is right around 30-50 pounds, females weighing in on the lower end.
  • these dogs are good with children and other pets when socialized early

For more information about the Samoyed visit the Samoyed Club of America, and the best way to find a Samoyed in need of a good home is through the National Samoyed Rescue.

Many Samoyed owners say it’s their captivating smile, affectionate nature and striking appearance that first draws you in, but whatever the reason, owners of this dog breed readily rave about what an excellent pet they are.