The Samoyed is an ancient working breed, thought to have originated in Siberia, where they lived with hunters and fishermen known as Samoyeds, which is where the breed got its name. The Samoyed people used the dogs to pull their sleds, as well as to guard their property and herd reindeer! An explorer named Robert Scott brought the dogs to England in 1889, where the breed was further developed and subsequently spread throughout the world.
Samoyeds have a compact, muscular body. The wedge-shaped head is broad and slightly crowned. The muzzle is in proportion to the size of the dog, tapering to the nose. The stop is well defined but not abrupt. The nose color can be black, brown or liver. The dark, almond-shaped eyes are deep-set, somewhat wide apart, with a slanting lower lid and dark rims. The erect, triangular ears are slightly rounded at the tips. The tail is moderately long, well-covered with hair, carried rolled on the back. The legs are solid and muscular and the feet are flat and covered with hair. The thick, double coat is profuse, with the undercoat soft, short and thick, with longer hairs growing out to the outer coat. The outer coat is harsh and stands straight out, not wavy. Males’ coats are more profuse than females’. There is a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head. Coat colors include pure white, biscuit, yellow and cream and sometimes white with silver tips. Pure white is preferred in the show ring.
Bitches: Height 48-53cm (19-21") Weight 16-20.5kg (35-50 lbs)
Dogs: Height 53-60cm (21-23.5") Weight 20.5-30kg (45-65 lbs)
The Samoyed is a gentle dog. Very devoted, easygoing, friendly and quite playful, Samoyeds love everyone. They will gladly be friendly to all, including intruders. Although its bark will alert you to the presence of strangers, it is too friendly to be of much use as a watchdog. Samis willingly adapt to family life and get along well with children. Highly intelligent, they will respond to firm, patient training, which should be started at an early age. Like most of the arctic breeds, the Samoyed's coat requires considerable grooming and care.
The Sami is accustomed to working in teams, and shows outstanding qualities. When this dog is given what it needs to be a stable-minded dog - that is, sufficient mental and physical exercise, along with clear leadership - it proves itself to be outstanding, good-natured, lively and sociable. If lacking in leadership and exercise, Samoyeds can become very destructive, particularly if left alone for extended periods and exhibit such behaviour issues as obsessive barking and chewing. Caution should be taken when exercising these dogs in warmer temperatures, as their woolly undercoat inhibits loss of the heat built up during exercise. These dogs rarely seek trouble, but can handle an adversary if necessary. Samoyeds can get along with non-canine pets when raised with them from puppyhood or when properly trained to do so, however they do have an instinct to hunt and caution should be taken around other small animals.