Samoyed Origin / Temperaments
A member of the Spitz family of dogs, and one of the oldest domesticated breeds, the Samoyed was originally bred by the Samoyed tribe of Siberia as an all-purpose dog for sledding, hunting, herding reindeer between feeding grounds, guarding, and as a companion. The Samoyed’s were nomadic people who lived north of the Arctic Circle and relied upon their dogs for their very survival. This led to a special relationship between the people and their dogs. The dogs were seen as valued members of the family not just for their versatility as working dogs but as true companions. Historically, Samoyed made invaluable contributions to the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions as strong and dependable sled dogs. In 1911, one named “Etah” had the distinction of being the first dog to see the South Pole as the leader of Roald Amundsen’s sled dog team. Until the end of the 1800s, Samoyed were never seen outside Russia, their country of origin. In Europe, they are sometimes known as the Bjelkier.
Samoyed’s stand up to 23 1/2 inches (60 cm) tall at the shoulder. They have the features common to all Spitz dogs: prick ears, a foxy face, thick coat, and they carry their tails curled up over their backs. The Samoyed has a straight, thick double coat that forms a ruff around the neck of the dog. It comes in white, white and biscuit, white cream, cream or all biscuit and should glisten with a silver sheen. These heavy, weather-resistant coats make Samoyed’s unsuited for particularly hot climates.
These dogs require weekly brushing. They shed their undercoats heavily in thick tufts of fur twice per year. This process has been referred to as “blowing coat” which will give you an idea of how much these dogs shed! On the plus side, shed Samoyed fur can be used instead of wool for knitting, and has a texture similar to angora. Samoyed fur sweaters have been reported to handle temperatures well below freezing. Their fur is also sometimes used to make flies for fly fishing.
The “Sammie” is known for having very little doggy odor. Be aware that Samoyed’s are known for having a loud bark and being quite vocal. This can become an issue with the neighbors depending on the environment you live in. They will announce the presence of visitors and other strangers but enjoy people too much to be used for guarding purposes.
By nature the Samoyed is not a quarrelsome dog though he will stand his ground for what he feels are his rights. Being an all purpose dog he will easily adapt himself to any circumstances or environment and when brought up with children, they will be his favorites as he excels as a playmate and guardian who will not desert his charges when they are in danger. Despite understood breed traits, it’s important to note that each Samoyed is an individual, and personalities will vary, even within a single litter.