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Samoyed

 

Samoyeds look like a cloud of marshmallow fluff gained sentience and legs and started running around with a big smile on her face. No, really: this breed is known as the “Smiling Sami” because their facial expressions look so happy.

Samoyed fluff is really no joke, though: these dogs shed so much fur that indigenous Siberian peoples spun the excess into yarn to make warm clothes. (We can't recommend you try this at home, but we can't stop you, either. Who knows? Samoyed-yarn cardigans could be the next “it” thing in Brooklyn.)

These dogs are also distinctive because of their heritage and their voices. Samoyeds have no wolf or fox DNA in their genes; they're some of the closest cousins to the original “primitive” dog. This breed was also along on the first recorded exploratory trip to reach the South Pole.

And they're very vocal dogs. They don't just bark, they sing! That high-pitched howl could give Mariah Carey a run for her money.

Originally from what is now Russia, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 35-65 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeHerding
OriginRussia
Breed groupWorking
Average lifespan10-12 years
SizeExtra large
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking67
FamilyLivestock dog
Date of originAncient times
Original function Herding reindeer
Today's functionSled pulling
Average size of maleHeight: 19-21 Weight: 35-50
Average size of femaleHeight: 19-21 Weight: 35-50

 

Other nameNone
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Not very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangersVery friendly
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance High tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A SAMOYED'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

These dogs often adore children, but they're pretty friendly toward just about anyone on two or four legs. Just be sure they're properly socialized and supervised. Their turned-up lips don't lie: Samoyeds are gentle, friendly, and eager.

WHAT IS SAMOYED BEHAVIOR LIKE?

This is a very active dog with energy and curiosity to burn. If you leave this dog on her own too much, or you don't find a way to channel that energy, she's likely to make her own fun. Samoyed “fun” involves howling, digging, and looking for mischief. Hint: find her something positive to do, or she'll remodel your backyard and your closet. At the very least, plan for a substantial daily walk or romp in a well-fenced area.

They might look like walking hand-warmers, but Samoyeds are not particularly snuggly. These dogs are calm housemates if they've had enough exercise, however.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A SAMOYED?

Samoyeds are smart and learn quickly, but they can be a bit stubborn and independent-minded. Be patient and consistent with this four-legged fluffball. Reward good behaviors with treats and games.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO SAMOYEDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

Samoyeds shed as much as it is possible for a dog to shed and still have fur on her body. If you bring a Samoyed home, banish black from your wardrobe or invest in a serious de-linter. (Did we mention the idea of Samoyed-lined clothing? You may not have a choice.) Their harsh outer coats stick straight out from their bodies; the undercoat is soft and thick. Brush them often to prevent mats and tangles.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO SAMOYEDS HAVE?

As a breed, Samoyeds are generally healthy. Some are prone to pudginess and diabetes, so be mindful about meals, snacks, and weight. Others can be susceptible to cardiac disease, hypothyroidism, bloat, eye ailments, and hip dysplasia.

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