Breed Group: Working Group
Shoulder Height: 18-22 in.
Weight: 37-71 lb.
Life Span: 12-13 years
Colors: White, biscuit, cream
- The Samoyed was originally developed as a sled dog and reindeer herder by the Samoyede tribe in Northern Siberia.
- Samoyeds are one of the oldest breeds in the world and are considered to be one of the breeds that are most genetically similar to wolves.
- Their fur has been used to spin yarn which is knitted or woven into fabric. As a sweater, it protects against the cold and is water resistant.
The Samoyed is one of the most beautiful and hardy dog breeds ever produced. With fur that is as soft as it is plentiful, as well as an alert face and even temperament, interest in the breed has increased in recent years as people look towards alternatives to the Siberian Husky, who faces a problem with overbreeding.
Because the breed was developed to live closely with people, Samoyeds are rarely aggressive, but do bark protect their territory, which makes them good guard dogs. They are almost perfect companions and house pets. They get along splendidly with children and other dogs and remain active throughout their whole lives. They love to play games with you and are sturdy enough to take some degree of rough and tumble from little ones. Some of these games involve "herding", which is an inherent part of the breed because of their original purpose.
The breed is not averse to pulling things, their pet parents included. It is important to give them appropriate obedience training, particularly on the leash, as Samoyeds are deceptively strong dogs despite their size. Grooming is also a challenge as they possess a thick double coat, making them a better fit for northern climates. However, they have adapted well to all sorts of weather conditions. Mental exercise is needed to keep the Samoyed from getting bored, which could in turn result in destructive habits.
Samoyeds are very sturdy and powerful dogs. However, there are some unique genetic disorders that fanciers must be aware of.
- Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy is a renal disease that results in gradual deterioration of the kidneys. This genetic disease is more severe in males and symptoms can appear from three months of age. Death normally comes within fifteen months after birth.
- Samoyeds are also susceptible to diabetes mellitus, an inherited form of the disease similar to Type I diabetes found in humans.
- Progressive retinal atrophy and retinal dysplasia can cause vision loss in the breed.
- Hip dysplasia can occur in the Samoyed.
- Samoyeds were the primary sled dogs for expeditions into the Arctic and Antarctic. Both Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, who discovered the North Pole and South Pole respectively, used Samoyeds to lead their sled teams.
- Denis Leary and Helen Hunt both own Samoyeds.
- The breed is also popular in Korea with several K-Pop stars owning Samoyeds, such as Xiah Junsu of JYJ.
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