The Samoyed is a breed particularly suited to living as a family pet. It takes its name from nomadic tribes of western Siberia who used the dogs to herd reindeer, to warn of the approach of bears and wolves and, occasionally, to pull sledges. The breed was very highly regarded by these people – now called the Nenets – and it was said the head male of a family group valued his dog more than his wife! Certainly the dogs were allowed to live inside the family home, often sleeping with the children as a canine version of the hot water bottle!
To-day the breed still loves to be involved in family life. One of the most endearing features of the Samoyed is its great love for people. Many seem to be able to sense their owners’ moods and adapt their behaviour accordingly. They are particularly good with children who are usually drawn to this breed with the smiling expression.
We make the proviso that for the USA show ring leg featherings are trimmed, but this is not the case in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many countries in Europe and elsewhere. A few minutes daily brushing and a thorough comb to the skin each week is all that is normally necessary to keep them looking presentable. They do not seem to have the ‘doggy’ smell that most others have, particularly when wet. The Samoyed does shed its coat, the frequency varies depending on its sex and environment and may be once or twice each year, but with extra grooming the moult should not last long. The gleaming white coat seems to resist most dirt and thorough brushing when dry will get rid of most mud and loose dirt.
Like all breeds of dog the Samoyed needs consistent, firm training when young to grow into a well adapted adult. It is important that a young puppy learns to respect its owner’s rules for the daily life of the home. Although they are full of life and can be noisy if not corrected, most of all they like to be with their human companions. Because of this they should not be left on their own for many hours at a time; if they are they tend to make up their own fun by calling into play their natural tendencies – usually digging and chewing! Some are RobertsTasha01very agile and have been known to jump fences and even climb chain link! So it is very important that the puppy starts off in a home with a well fenced garden.
Always keen for a walk, Samoyeds need moderate exercise when adult, preferably with some free running off the lead for which access to a safe open space is necessary. They love snow, thoroughly enjoying a romp in it with children and family. In such conditions even the cleanest Samoyed looks ‘off-white’! In fact white-and-biscuit and cream coats are just as acceptable as ‘ pure’ white. Coats with some biscuit shading tend to have better weather resistance and most develop some biscuit colouring with age. Samoyeds also tolerate heat quite well though, as mentioned earlier, their soft undercoat is shed in warm conditions.
Given affection and correct handling this breed can make an ideal family pet.