Samoyed dog breed characteristics, origin and care

Samoyed breed characteristics

  • Size: Medium
  • Traits: Friendly. Clever. Independent.
  • Maintenance: High maintenance, regular brushing, bathing, and clipping required (can be expensive and time consuming)
  • Best Suited To: Experienced dog owners and families with large fenced yards.

Fun. Fluffy. Fur-ball. The stunning Siberian Samoyed was originally bred for herding reindeer through the snow and has evolved into a wonderful urban pet. With its thick white coat and adorable smiley face, Samoyeds are a show-stopping addition to any active family.

Where I'm From

Samoyeds are one of the world's oldest dog breeds. They are members of Spitz-type breed of dog that originated in the arctic regions of Siberia, where they also derived their name. Thought to be the result of crossbreeding between wild dogs and wolves. Over thousands of years, residents of the region further developed the breed as companion and herding dogs. Bred to herd reindeer instead of hunt, pull sleds through the snow, act as community watchdogs and even bed warmers.

Samoyeds have also been used by intrepid explorers as sled dogs for arctic expeditions to the North and South Poles since the late 1800s.

What I Look Like

Samoyeds are usually a startling white colour but also come in cream varieties. With a very fluffy double coat, they were well-designed for their native, snow-covered Siberian motherland. Dark eyes and a black nose sit starkly against their white fur, which is set between pointy, upstanding ears. Also of note is their cute curly tail.

How I Act

Samoyeds are kind-natured dogs that love and need to be around people and are especially good with children. They love attention and play. However, if they are not sufficiently stimulated they can become bored and destructive.

Very intelligent and independent, they can be challenging to train and require consistent obedience training from a young age. They are especially good at chasing and pulling things, including you when you take them on a walk, so teaching them to walk well on a lead is paramount. Socialisation of this breed is also important so that they are comfortable and not aggressive towards other dogs or people.

Samoyeds are work dogs and love exercise. For these pups exercise isn't just moving their bodies but using their minds. They react well to challenging games and love a good rope-pulling workout with their human master.

Looking After Me

Though generally a healthy and hardy dog, as direct descendants from only a small group of forefathers, Samoyeds can suffer from a number of genetic problems, which include diabetes, progressive blindness and heart issues.

Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy is particularly troublesome, with a sick dog suffering from renal failure and an early death. Hip dysplasia can be another concern. Genetic testing is available for most of these diseases and should be checked before purchasing your Samoyed pup.

Samoyeds typically live for 12-16 years.

They need high-quality dry food twice a day as per packaging recommendations. Though a delicious lean meat treat would never go astray.

With that long, luxurious coat Samoyeds look like they might need some extra attention to stay prettily preened. In reality, Samoyed fur is a natural dirt repellent. Their coat only requires daily brushing when seasonally shedding otherwise a weekly brush will suffice. Bathing every couple of months may be less time consuming if done by professionals.

Though their coat is made for winter, it also provides a good, reflective layer in the summer months to keep cool. Samoyed hair has even been harvested to make weather resistant clothing!

Am I the pet for you?

Families looking for a fluffy, friendly pet that is good with children and likes to be active. Samoyeds require attention and commitment so would not be ideal for first-time pet owners.


  • Very friendly and rarely aggressive Samoyeds make excellent pets for children and have a playful, puppy-like demeanour throughout their lives. Though like all dogs, Samoyeds should be supervised when around children.
  • Samoyeds often have a smiley expression on their faces, which makes them look eternally happy to see you.
  • Samoyeds are not aggressive enough to be guard dogs, but with a loud bark can be good watchdogs, alerting the household when a visitor arrives.


  • Samoyeds can be persistent barkers annoying neighbours and frightening sleeping household members.
  • Samoyeds shed heavily, especially when ridding themselves of their winter coat. Daily vacuuming may be required if you want your house to remain hair free.
  • This pup needs to stay on a leash when outside the home to prevent them chasing whichever small animal happens to catch their eye.
  • As natural herders Samoyeds can attempt to playfully herd children in the direction of their choosing.

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