Information about the Samoyed

The Samoyed dog takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy white dogs to help with the herding, and to pull sleds when they moved. An alternate name for the breed, especially in Europe, is Bjelkier.

Males typically weigh between 23-30 kilograms (51-66 lb), while females typically weigh 17-25 kilograms (37-55 lb).

AKC Standard : 21-23.5 inches (53-60 cm) at the shoulder for males, 19-21 inches (48-53 cm) for females.
UK Kennel Club Standard : 51-56 centimetres (20-22 in) for males, 46-51 centimetres (18-20 in) for females.

Eyes – Samoyed eyes are usually black or brown and are almond in shape. Blue or other color eyes can occur but are not allowed in the show ring.

Ears – Samoyed ears are thick and covered with fur, triangular in shape, and erect. They are almost always white but can often have a light to dark brown tint (known as “biscuit”), usually around the tips of ears.

Tail – The Samoyed tail is one of the breed’s more distinguishing features. Like the Alaskan Malamute, their tail is carried curled over their back; however, unlike the Malamute, the Samoyed tail is held actually touching the back. It should not be a tight curl or held “flag” like, it should be carried lying over the back and to one side. In cold weather, Samoyeds may sleep with their tails over their noses to provide additional warmth. Almost all Samoyeds will allow their tails to fall when they are relaxed and at ease, as when being stroked or while eating, but will return their tails to a curl when more alert.

NZKC Standard: Tail: Long and profuse, carried over the back when alert; sometimes dropped when at rest.

UK Kennel Club Standard : Tail : Long and profusely coated, carried over the back and to side when alert, sometimes dropped when at rest.

Samoyeds have a dense, double layer coat. The topcoat contains long, coarse, and straight guard hairs, which appear white but have a hint of silver coloring. This top layer keeps the undercoat relatively clean and free of debris. The under layer, or undercoat, consists of a dense, soft, and short fur that keeps the dog warm. The undercoat is typically shed heavily once or twice a year, and this seasonal process is sometimes referred to as “blowing coat”. This does not mean the Samoyed will shed only during that time however; fine hairs (versus the dense clumps shed during seasonal shedding) will be shed all year round, and have a tendency to stick to cloth and float in the air. The standard Samoyed may come in a mixture of biscuit and white coloring, although pure white and all biscuit dogs are common. Males typically have larger ruffs than females.

Samoyeds’ friendly disposition makes them poor guard dogs; an aggressive Samoyed is rare. With their tendency to bark, however, they can be diligent watch dogs, barking whenever something approaches their territory. Samoyeds are excellent companions, especially for small children or even other dogs, and they remain playful into old age. When Samoyeds become bored, they may begin to dig. With their sled dog heritage, a Samoyed is not averse to pulling things, and an untrained Samoyed has no problem pulling its owner on a leash rather than walking alongside. Samoyeds were also used to herd reindeer. They will instinctively act as herd dogs, and when playing with children, especially, will often attempt to turn and move them in a different direction. The breed is characterized by an alert and happy expression which has earned the nicknames “Sammy smile” and “smiley dog.”

Samoyeds can compete in dog agility trials, carting, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, mushing and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Samoyeds exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.