Samoyed Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)19-23in (48-58.5cm)
Weight35-64lbs (16-29kg)
Hair Colour(s)White
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size5-9
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftLow

The Samoyed is a medium sized sturdy and well proportioned spitz-like dog. The body is compact and muscular with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, moderately long legs and a distinctive tail curled tightly across the back. The head has a medium-length muzzle, dark almond-shaped eyes, erect triangular ears and a mouth that tends to form a perpetual smile. The double coat has a dense and soft underneath with a harsh outer coat, and the colouring tends to be white, sometimes with cream or beige shadings.


Samoyeds are friendly and good-natured dogs with peaceful temperaments. These spirited dogs are playful and can often be a little mischievous, but are generally sweet and gentle and very sociable. They are affectionate and make good companions and family pets, although they tend to become devoted to just one person. As a breed they require plenty of attention, and if neglected can become bored, which can lead to destructive behaviour which often involves chewing. They are prone to excessive barking too. These dogs are intelligent and quick to learn, which can make training fairly straightforward, but they can also be very independent and strong minded. For this reason they are more suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training, rather than novices, as owners will need to be both confident and assertive. Samoyeds get along very well with older, more considerate children, as they are too large and boisterous for smaller kids. They also will mostly get along with other pets too. These peaceful dogs also are welcoming to strangers, and therefore are not effective guard dogs, although they will bark to announce the arrival of strangers and so do make reasonable watch dogs.

History & Skills

Samoyeds originate from Russia and are thought to be a cousin of the Siberian Husky. Used as herding and guard dogs, their thick warm coats also saw them employed for pulling Artic sleds and even for keeping tribal huts warm. An indicator of their cold-climate roots is that they often sleep with their tails over their noses to conserve heat. These days they have become increasingly popular as family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Samoyeds tend to live between 12-15 years and are a relatively healthy breed. Some of the health problems that have been noted include hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, PRA, diabetes, skin allergies, cataracts and glaucoma. Care is needed in hot and humid weather as these dogs have thick coats.


Samoyeds are medium shedders that also shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, and so are not suited to those suffering from allergies. Their grooming requirements are pretty moderate, and the coat will need brushing around twice a week and then daily during heavier shedding periods. They can be bathed as required, but mild shampooing should be used so as not to strip the natural oils from the coat.

Exercise & Environment

Samoyeds can live indoors or out and can adapt to small spaces too, if exercised adequately, and so can be suitable for smaller homes such as apartments. They need a fair amount of exercise and will need a daily walk or run, plus preferably access to a yard or garden. These dogs love to chase, and so these areas need to be secure and any walks should be carried out on the leash. These dogs are not suited to hot climates due to their thick coats, and equally should not be over-exercised in hot weather.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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