Originally intended to be a working dog, the Samoyed, exhibits those qualities of alertness and strength but also happens to be an incredibly beautiful dog. They do not typically have long backs as this is counter productive for their work responsibilities though the females are believed to have longer backs than the males. They are well muscled and sturdier than they may appear. These dogs are incredibly agile with very powerful front legs.
The Samoyed are known to have a double coat. The outer coat is long and course and made up of hairs that serve to protect the undercoat and keep it clean. The undercoat is made up of fur that is short and dense for the purpose of providing warmth. These coats are weather resistant. The Samoyed typically blows a coat or sheds twice a year. The coloring of the Samoyed coat is either white or biscuit in shade or a mixture of the two. The white overcoat does have a tendency to bear some silver coloring in the mix.
Siberia is one of the harshest environments known to man. There is a native tribe to ancient Siberia that are known as the Samoyedes. They were nomadic tribes of hunters and fisherman by nature and had a dog that worked for them by pulling sleds, herding reindeer, hunting animals for the purpose of providing food and clothing for the tribe. These amazing dogs that were known to hunt prey as powerful as polar bears were names the Samoyed.
Today the Samoyed is largely used as a companion dog though maintains many of the important breed traits that made it such a wonderful working dog and companion for the Samoyeds.
This particular breed is an excellent companion dog because it loves being around people. They enjoy a great deal of attention and affection and are good with children. They do not thrive, however, in atmospheres where they are left alone for a good portion of the time.
The Samoyeds suffer greatly from separation anxiety and are known to act out as a result of being away from their family for long periods of time. In other words these are not the ideal choice for families that work full time outside of the home. Common methods of acting out for the Samoyed include chewing in a destructive manner and incessant barking. The bark is high pitched, which makes it more annoying than some barks and can be problematic with the neighbors. The chewing can be problematic with horror stories that include Samoyeds chewing the stuffing out of sofas while in the throws of separation anxiety and only having been left alone for a few hours.
Families with small children may need to watch carefully as the herding instincts of nipping at the heels may extend to the children. You should also note that they are likely to chase cats, deer, and livestock if given the opportunity to do so. This is the type of activity they were bred for and isn’t something that they can be trained not to do.
While the Samoyed is a very intelligent dog it can prove difficult to train. Consistency is the key and must be practiced by every member of the household in order to provide a unified front. There must be consequences for bad behavior so that your Samoyed will want to behave better. These are dogs that generally want to please people so approval is important to them.
Among the health conditions that are known to affect the Samoyeds are the following: Hip Dysplasia, Cataracts, Glaucoma, and Diabetes. Hip Dysplasia is a condition that affects the hips and can range in severity from moderate to severe pain. Cataracts may lead to blindness if left untreated, as may Glaucoma and Diabetes. Diabetes is often known to reduce the lifespan of the Samoyed.
The Samoyed, when it comes to proper grooming is a very high maintenance animal. One reason for this is that your Samoyed is likely to want to use this opportunity for play rather than personal care. It is up to you to take the upper hand in this situation because proper grooming is important. It is a good idea to break the grooming up into segments of grooming and playing in order have better results and a more pleasant experience all around.
You should divide the hair into sections combing first, then brushing in order to achieve the best results. The combing identifies problem spots and the brushing is better at removing hair that combing misses and can cause problems with matting if left lose in the coat. In addition to grooming at home it is a good idea to have professional grooming sessions scheduled fairly frequently for other personal care issues that combing and brushing won’t cover.
The Samoyed is a working dog by nature and history. It is very important to insure that your Samoyed gets plenty of exercise. Not only does this help them stay healthy and happy but also works to relieve some of the pent up energy these dogs have, which will in turn lessen the impact, in some cases, of separation anxiety, and some of the destructive forces that is unleashed by having too much energy and no outlet. These dogs are quite strong and have been known to pull sleds and take down Polar bears. You don’t want that type of bored energy and strength unleashed on your home.
While it is possible to train a Samoyed it is not an easy path to follow. The key to successful training with this particular breed is consistency. The one thing that is working well in your favor is that these dogs are eager to please. Though it takes a firm hand to train them and they do need consequences for their actions, it is a wise plan to use positive reinforcement and praise as part of the training process as well. Make sure you keep the upper hand at all times during the training process. You want your position at the top of the food chain understood and unchallenged. Dogs are happiest when they know their position in the order; particularly pack dogs such as the Samoyeds.