Did you know?
A Samoyed named “Etah” was the lead dog for Roald Amundsen’s famous expedition to the South Pole, the first to reach the pole.
Among God’s creatures two, the dog and the guitar, have taken all the sizes and all the shapes, in order not to be separated from the man.
– Andrés Segovia
A member of the Spitz family of dogs, and one of the oldest domesticated breeds, the Samoyed was originally bred by the Samoyede tribe of Siberia as an all-purpose dog for sledding, herding reindeer between feeding grounds, guarding, and as a companion.
The Samoyedes 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.
Photos displayed courtesy of Pat Cummins, Sancha Perm Reg’d, British Columbia
Until the end of the 1800s, Samoyeds were never seen outside their country. More recently, Samoyeds have been used as sled dogs in polar expeditions. In 1911, one had the distinction of being the first dog to see the South Pole as the leader of Roald Amundsen’s sled dog team.
Samoyeds have a straight, thick double coat that comes in white, white and biscuit, white cream, cream or all biscuit. It requires weekly brushing. They shed their undercoats in thick tufts twice per year. These heavy, weather-resistant coats make them unsuited for particularly hot climates.
Samoyeds stand up to 23 1/2 inches (60 cm) tall at the shoulder and, like all Spitz dogs, carry their tails curled up over their backs. The “Sammie” is also known for having very little doggy odor.
Renowned as the dog with “Christmas in his face”, the Samoyed is a beautiful animal with a grin that splits his face from ear to ear. This has earned him the nickname “the Smiling Sammie”.
He is good-natured and especially fond of children. He is intelligent, alert, affectionate, and mischievous. Firm, consistent training should begin early. Samoyeds can become willful and intractable if bored or treated harshly. Training may require extra patience and repetition.
As a working breed, Samoyeds require a healthy amount of exercise and interaction with their people. They may be kept in a kennel environment if they have regular people contact. They should have daily walks, free exercise in a yard, or some working activity to keep them healthy and happy.