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Adopt a Samoyed

Samoyed Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


spitz, Northern (herding)

Area of origin:

Russia (Siberia)

Original function:

herding reindeer, guardian, draft

Average size of male:

Ht: 21-23.5, Wt: 45-65

Average size of female:

Ht: 19-21, Wt: 35-50

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Samoyed Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Samoyed dogs available on Petfinder

Samoyed Dog Temperament

Gentle and playful, the Samoyed makes a good companion for a child or person of any age. She is a closely bonded family dog. She is amiable with strangers, other pets and usually, other dogs. She is calm indoors, but this clever, sometimes mischievous breed needs daily physical and mental exercise. If allowed to become bored, she may dig and bark. She is independent and often stubborn, but is willing to please and is responsive to her family's wishes. She may tend to herd children.

Samoyed Dog Care

The Samoyed is active and needs a good workout every day, either in the form of a long walk or jog or a vigorous play session. She prefers to live indoors with her human family. Her thick coat needs brushing and combing two to three times a week, daily when shedding.

Samoyed Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: gastric torsion
Occasionally seen: PRA
Suggested tests: hip, (eye)
Life span: 10-12 years

Interested in the history of the Samoyed dog breed?

The nomadic Samoyed people, for whom the Samoyed dog is named, came to northwestern Siberia from central Asia. They depended upon herds of reindeer for food and had to keep on the move so that the reindeer could find sufficient food for themselves. They also depended upon strong hardy spitz dogs to herd the reindeer and to guard them against the fierce predators of the Arctic. They occasionally helped to hunt bears and tow boats and sledges. These dogs lived as part of the family in the hide tents of their people, where one of their "jobs" was to keep the children warm in bed. The first Samoyeds came to England in the late 1800s, but not all these early imports were the pure white the breed is known for today. One of these dogs was presented to Queen Alexandria, who did much to promote the breed. Descendants of the queen's dogs can still be found in modern pedigrees. In 1906, the first Samoyed came to America, originally a gift of Russia's Grand Duke Nicholas. Meanwhile, the breed was becoming a popular sled dog because she was more tractable than other sledding breeds. In the early 1900s, Samoyeds formed part of the sled teams on expeditions to Antarctica and shared in the triumph of reaching the South Pole. The breed's exploits, combined with her glistening good looks, soon won the public's attention in America, and her popularity has grown tremendously since the Second World War. Although the once nomadic Samoyed people have long since settled in one place, the breed they created has journeyed around the world.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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