Samoyed Dog Breed Information And Characteristics

The Samoyed or Bjelkier, as they often call him in Europe, is a fluffy Spitz type dog originating from Siberia, Russia. The breed was developed by Samoyedic reindeer herding tribes, hence such name. Some experts believe that the breed was approximately 400 years old while others are of the opinion that the date of its origin was back in antiquity. This is up for debate, but they are certain this dog is probably the closest possible relative to the actual primitive Spitz dog. There are no traces of wolf or fox DNA in his strain. Back in the day, these dogs were primarily used for sled pulling, hunting (seal and walrus), and reindeer herding, while today they’re more often used as family companions and rarely as sled dogs. Samoyed, together with the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, and Greenland Dog, is a member of the Nordic Sledge Dogs group in the class of primitive dogs.

About Samoyed Dog Breed

The Samoyed is a beautiful working dog, who enjoys all sorts of activities – from jogging and hiking to weight pulling or herding. With the look of some soft and gentle plush toy, people often misjudge him as some lazy, cuddly dog. Yeah, this is a good-natured dog, who likes company, and enjoy playing a lot, but trust me, he is so much more than that! Sami is a strong, resourceful, and hardy dog, bred to endure and overcome any hurdle. On top of that, he is graceful, lively, and has a tendency to please his master. Main Samoyed dog characteristics are intelligence, stubbornness, independence, cheerfulness, playfulness, agility, speed, strength, dignity, endurance, loyalty, and alertness. This dog likes to roam and explore the surroundings, so it’s advisable to have a high wall or fence around your yard. Also, he can be dangerous for small pets and cats because of strong hunting instincts.

Samoyed is a beautiful working dog of many qualities

Is this a plush toy :)

The life expectancy of the Samoyed is approximately 12 to 15 years. Like all other Nordic sled dogs, these are highly energetic and athletic dogs, which demand a lot of exercise. You will have to take your Bjelkier for a long walk or jog as often as you can. This is very important for the dog’s physical and mental health. Also, this way your dog won’t get bored, so you won’t have to deal with excessive barking, digging or something even nastier :) Well, any way possible, this dog will try to get your attention because he just likes to be the main star of the show :) People call this dog the Smiling Sammy because when excited his lips actually upturn at the back of the mouth and form a grin, so he looks like smiling. Plus, Sammy can produce weird vocalizations, which often sound like some sort of dog talking or singing. I am sure, you will have a lot of fun with this buddy! He is just lovely :)

The Samoyed is friendly, gentle, and affectionate with humans, but can be a good watchdog since he is prone to barking. This habit of his can be very annoying sometimes, so you’ll have to teach your dog some commands to correct this. He is not an aggressive dog and he’ll just warn you whenever somebody approaches your property. But, with proper training, he can be a good guarding dog too. When it comes to training, like all other Spitz dogs, Sammy won’t readily accept obedience training. He is independent and stubborn, plus he’s a pack-oriented dog, so he demands a dominant and mindful leader. However, when properly invested in the training sessions through adequate approach, Samoyed can easily learn all commands, no matter how demanding they are. This is very intelligent, clever and devoted dog, who will relatively easily become obedient in the hands of an experienced owner.

Samoyedskaya Breed Physical Characteristics

The Samoyed is a large medium-sized dog with a square shape. He is approximately long as tall at the withers. This dog has the compact and powerful body covered with the lush and long double coat. The underlying coat, which serves as thermal isolation, is short, dense, and soft while the dirt-protective outer coat is long, harsh, and straight. It is interesting to note that males have longer and more luxurious coats than females. Anyway, they are seasonal shedders and they shed a lot! You will have to groom your dog regularly, every day if possible, even when he’s not shedding. This is mandatory because Samoyeds are prone to skin allergies. Also, they’re not used to warm climates, so it is necessary to keep your Sammy in some cool and shaded space during summer days. The only allowed Samoyed dog colors are the solid white, solid cream, and the mix of white and biscuit.

The Samoyed has a broad, wedge-shaped head framed with a mane that covers his short neck and shoulders. The muzzle with black lips and strong bite is slightly tapered. The nose is often dark brown or black. His eyes are dark and deep-set with black eye-rims. They contrast nicely with his bright coat. Blue eyes are not allowed! The small triangular ears are well-furred, erect, and set wide. The long tail is very hairy and curled atop his straight and firm back. The chest is broad and deep and fits perfectly with the gracious stance this dog’s maintaining. The front legs are straight and solid, and the hind legs, as usual for all sled dogs, are muscular and extremely strong. The well-furred paws are large and flat. With such physical characteristics, it is no wonder this dog is a real embodiment of beauty, strength, agility, power, and endurance.

Hereditary Glomerulopathy

Unfortunately, everything’s not that nice and fine with the Samoyed. This dog is prone to Hereditary Glomerulopathy, which is a form of genetic kidney disease. This disease leads to a complete renal failure and death of mostly male dogs at approximately 15 months of age. Scientists believe that this genetic disorder, caused by an X-linked dominant inheritance of the alternative forms of the same genetic locus, was actually a consequence of reduced genetic diversity in these dogs. In other words, their initial isolation in Siberia and a small number of original breeders led to this problem. The first symptoms of Hereditary Glomerulopathy (lethargy, muscular wastage, weakness) occur in females at 2 to 3 months of age. However, they usually don’t suffer renal failure, they are the actual carriers, who transmit this mutation to their male puppies. As of yet, there is no cure for this fatal disease.

Samoyed Dog Size And Weight

– Height between 20 and 23,5 inches (51-60 cm)
– Weight between 44 and 70,5 pounds (20–32 kg)
– Height between 18 and 21 inches (46-53 cm)
– Weight between 37,5 and 55 pounds (17–25 kg)

People call this dog the Smiling Sammy for a reason - he is actually smiling :)

Smiling sheep :)

Excellent Family Dog

When you take into account Samoyed’s friendly, pack-oriented nature, it is more than obvious that this is a wonderful dog for every family. He is very loyal to its master, and he enjoys being in the company all the time. In fact, if you often leave your Sammy alone, he may become sad or even angry! Keep that in mind and have as much fun as you can with your dog. This also applies to other members of your household. You are his pack and he will love you all equally! Also, he is always nice and tolerant with kids – they will definitely have a lot of fun together. With proper socialization, this dog can live in harmony with other pets and dogs too. Samoyeds are clean dogs with no doggy odour, so you can easily keep them indoors, although they prefer large yards or open spaces. If you wish to keep your Sammy indoors, buy some squeaking toys to be sure he won’t destroy something out of pure joy :)

Smart And Versatile Worker

For centuries, Samoyeds have been known as valuable dogs for herding, hunting, and sled pulling. They were actually developed for these tasks, especially, but they’ve been used for all kinds of other jobs, and sports too, such as guarding and watching, tracking, weight hauling, mushing, dog agility and obedience trials, etc. Plus, these dogs have often been participants in various Polar expeditions and other tremendous feats. Quite astonishing, right? Well, when you take a look at their incredible qualities, such as high intelligence, perseverance, strength, endurance, resourcefulness, agility, it is not at all that surprising. These are simply incredible dogs with many virtues. Many people all around the world love and respect this breed for a reason – Samoyed is a perfect all around pet.


One thought on “Samoyed Dog Breed Information And Characteristics

  1. Katie R

    Just some comments:
    – Samoyeds were never used as sled dogs by the Nenets people. They were and are reindeer herders.
    – I’ve never heard about them being hunting dogs, but I don’t know enough about the Nenets’ diet to say if it’s true or not.
    – Their double coat insulates them in warm weather, though yeah, living in a super-hot climate wouldn’t be good for them and they should at least have access to ice.
    – They aren’t noted for being bad with small animals, being a herding dog.
    – It’s often said that Samoyeds kept their owners warm, but any first-hand accounts I’ve seen say that they were left outside. The body heat inside a choom is more than enough to keep everyone warm. I’ve seen that puppies went into chooms, though, but not to keep their owners warm.
    – You could add that Samoyeds who aren’t plain white/white and biscuit are called Nenets Reindeer Herding Laika if you think it’s relevant. They’re usually white with black or brown patches, though they can be totally black or brown as well.


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