The Siberian fishermen and hunters are known as Samoyeds; hence, the dog that helped them and gave them company was also named the same. A working breed from the ancient times, the muscular and compact Samoyed was used as a herder (of reindeer), guard dog (of property) and sled puller. In 1889, explorer Robert Scott brought this breed to England where it was further bred to increase its number. Herder by instinct, you need to curb this habit if you want to keep it as your pet. In 1906, this breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Measuring 21 to 23.5 inches in height (females are about 2 inches shorter) and 45 to 65 pounds in weight (females are about 10 pounds lesser), the crowned and broad head of the Samoyed is wedge-shaped. In proportion to its size, the muzzle tapers to the nose with well-defined stop. It has liver, brown or black nose, and black lips. The set-deep, wide and dark eyes are almond-shaped. The eye rims are dark and the lower lid is slanting. Little rounded at the tip, the erect ears are triangular. Carried rolled over the back, the well-feathered tail is quite long. With muscular and solid legs, the flat feet are very hairy. It has profuse and thick double coat, with thick, short and soft undercoat, and harsh outer coat. Also, the outer coat is not wavy (looks like standing out straight). Framing the head, its shoulders and neck have a ruff around them. The colors of the coat are yellow, biscuit, white, cream, and white with silver tips (this is quite unusual to find). Seasonal heavy shedders, you need to take exceptional grooming care though some owners are of the opinion that the coat is easy to manage and groom. Regular combing and brushing is a must.
Easygoing, playful, barker (only when it smells trouble), extremely friendly (not a good watchdog as it is friendly towards intruders!), highly intelligent, devoted and gentle, the Samoyed loves to chew—it is one of its traits. It is good with children and other pets, more so if raised with them. Otherwise, with its hunting instinct, it will keep chasing your non-canines! From an early stage, you should patiently and firmly train it in socialization and obedience; you need to also teach it to enter or exit any doorway after you. Certain dos and don’ts should be set for the dog to follow. You need to be consistent, firm, stern and authoritative but not behave harshly at any point of time. If it feels you are timid and submissive, it would tend to be very possessive, overprotective, dominating and aggressive. Physical and mental exercises are required on a daily basis; so are walks or jogs to keep it mentally stable. You need to keep it on leash, and make it heel behind or beside you (never ahead of you). If you fail to maintain this routine, it would be nervous, high strung and restless. You can put it off leash in a safe and protected area, and inside your house. Do not leave it alone for long if you do not want to see your house in a total mess! It is its way of telling you not to leave it alone but to take it with you wherever you go!Where food is concerned, give it dog food as small meals thrice a day. Other than the meals, do not try to overfeed it. Also, do not give it one large meal a day. Be careful with what you feed it with as it is quite prone to diabetes.
With a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, the Samoyed is prone to progressive retinal atrophy, skin allergies and hip dysplasia.