The Samoyed is a breed of dog which was originally bred to pull the sleds of nomadic reindeer herders from Siberia. The breed was developed not only to pull sleds, but also to assist in herding and keep its owners warm at night, acting as their blanket by sleeping on top of them. Following the Russian Revolution, the Samoyed became obsolete for these people, but enough of the dogs had been brought to Europe to establish the breed there. The breed was used in several famed expeditions, such as Fridtjof Nansen’s polar expeditions as well as Roald Amundsen’s expedition to reach the South Pole, the original attempt. The breed is one of the 14 most ancient dog breeds, along with the Chow Chow, Alaskan Malamute, and Siberian Husky.
The Samoyed weighs 37 to 65 pounds. It is a large breed with a dense, double-layered coat. The undercoat of the breed is short and soft, and its outer coat is long, coarse, straight, and a silvery-white to biscuit white color. The eyes of the breed are almond shaped, dark, and alert. The ears of the breed are erect and triangular as well as covered with fur. They may have a slightly brown tint. The tail of the breed is one of its original features; the breed carries its fluffy tail curled over and touching its back.
The breed is hypoallergenic and has virtually no odor or smell. It is generally a relatively low maintenance dog, as far as bathing is concerned. The breed typically grooms itself, but it needs to be brushed extensively weekly. The breed’s fur should not be shaved due to its purpose of insulating and protecting its skin. As with all dogs, a healthy diet is necessary to keep the breed physically healthy and looking ideal.
The Samoyed is not a good guard dog as it is not at all an aggressive breed. It can, however, make an excellent watch dog. The breed tends to bark if anything or anyone enters its territory. The breed is playful but can be stubborn. The breed instinctively herds as well as pulls. It has a great deal of stamina and needs plenty of exercise and attention in order to avoid destructive behaviors.
The breed can generally live from 12 to 16 years. It is relatively healthy but can have several health concerns such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetes. The breed is also prone to “Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy”, which is a renal disease.