Samoyeds: Everything You Need to Know About This Reindeer-Herder

The nickname for the Samoyed is "Sammy" and if you're curious about how to pronounce it (we were!) most people call him a "Sa-MOY-ed," but the correct pronunciation is "Sam-a-YED." Sammy seems easier. tells us a very fun fact about that beautiful coat, 

"You can save your Sammy's hair from when you brush him and have it spun into yarn that can be knitted into a soft, warm cap, socks or scarf."

Doesn't a Sammy scarf sound fabulous?

This breed is gentle and calm but needs daily exercise and barks a lot! So the rule to living with a Samoyed is wrapped around three important elements: groom, train and exercise. You should consider dog sports if you bring home a Samoyed! This breed also has a very exciting history as they were once reindeer herders. tells us,

"Legend says that the Samoyed people, and their dogs, were driven by other tribes far away, north and north and north, until at last they were on the very edge of the world, in a vast land of snow and ice. They lived as nomads, herding reindeer, aided by their able dogs, who also pulled sleds and kept them warm at night."

We probably sound like we're preaching to the choir, keep weight off your Samoyed!

If you're interested in more information about this breed contact the Samoyed Club of America is a great resource

All About Health

Check with a reputable breeder about possible health problems when inquiring about the Samoyed breed. The common health issues include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), heart problems (like aortic stenosis and pulmonic stenosis), diabetes, and hypothyroidism

According to the AKC,

"Samoyeds are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders test their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye and cardiac disorders."

Samoyeds are prone to a long list of serious eye problems including progressive retinal atrophy mentioned above.

Coat Maintenance & Shedding

The Samoyed has a thick double coat that typically is seen in white, white and biscuit, cream, or all biscuit. The thick undercoat protects the Sammy from the elements and the outer coat is made up of harsh longer hair. That white coat is what the breed is best known for.

Short daily grooming sessions often work best. The writers at Wide Open Pets researched what it takes to groom a Samoyed, 

"By just spending fifteen to twenty a minutes a day brushing, you can minimize shedding and keep your dog looking good. If you can only brush your dog every week, you'll need to spend a lot more time brushing to get rid of the excess undercoat and eliminate any mats. If you procrastinate and put it off even longer, you can end up spending hours brushing and have mountains of fur around you."

Look at all this fur!

Training & Exercise

A dog that was originally used to herd reindeer and haul sleds needs a job! This working dog can be very talkative and will share his dislikes with howls.  If his hunting instinct is also strong then consider K-9 nosework with your Sammy.

Experts at recommend agility or thinking exercises like tracking.

Long walks must be part of the daily routine given their high energy level. Take up sledding or skijoring as the Samoyed dog breed is up for any challenge and winter sport.

With all that in mind, Samoyeds are sled dogs, herding dogs and family dogs packaged in one breed.

Do you live with a Samoyed? Please let us know if there are any behavior or health issues we missed!

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