Samoyed Overview

Dog Breed:
Breed Group:
Working Group
Agile, gentle, social, friendly and inquisitive.
19-23.5 inches
35-65 pounds
Life Span:
12-14 years
Coat Colors:
White, biscuit, and cream
Area of Origin:
Best For:
Families who love the outdoor life/Large fenced garden or exercise area/Able to provide company during the day
Adult Food:
Best Dog Food for Samoyeds
Puppy Food:
Best Puppy Food for Samoyeds

Samoyed Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Samoyed

  • Bred for a range of tasks within the cold of Siberia

  • High energy breeds

  • Very people orientated


The Samoyed is a substantial but graceful breed.  They have a stunning appearance with their trademark all-white coat and their perpetual smile.  The Samoyed or Sammy as they are known by their fans are highly functional dogs initially bred for a range of tasks within the cold of Siberia. 

Now they are a popular choice as a pet and this people orientated breed adores the opportunity to be with their family. These are however high energy dogs, so they need owners who can commit to daily walks year-round and who can also ensure that their thick double coats are kept in perfect condition.

Samoyed Breed History

  • Bred to hunt, herd and pull sleds

  • Pulled sleds for artic and Antarctic expeditions

  • 1906 saw the first AKC registered Samoyed

The Samoyed was initially bred by the Samoyede people who live in the northwestern areas of Siberia. Here, they are known as the Bjelkiers, where they gained popularity for their ability to always breed white puppies. The Samoyed was a multipurpose dog who could hunt, herd reindeer, and pull sleds. As peaceful nomads, the Samoyede treated their dogs as members of their family, resulting in the Samoyeds’ immense trust and loyalty towards people. 

It was the late 19th century before Samoyeds were brought out of Siberia, and this was to pull sleds for Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. Sadly, many of the dogs died needlessly through the explorers’ lack of understanding of the dogs’ anatomy and needs. Most of the Samoyed lines, which now live in Europe and the United States, are descendants of those veteran expedition sled dogs. 

1906 saw the first Samoyed being registered with the AKC, and this was a dog that was imported from Russia.

Samoyed Size & Weight

  • Medium sized breed

  • Males 21-23.5 inches and 45-65 pounds

  • Females 19-21 inches and 35-50 pounds


The Samoyed is a substantial and medium-sized breed with males measuring between 21-23.5 inches and females between 19-21 inches. Males should weigh between 45-65 pounds and females 35-50 pounds.

As a breed that is full of life, care will be needed to ensure that young children are not knocked over through Sammy’s enthusiastic greetings. 

Samoyed Personality & Temperament

  • Mischievous and inquisitive

  • Excellent choice for family life

  • Do not do well when left alone


The Samoyed is well known for their fun-loving nature. Mischievous and inquisitive, they do need to be kept busy, or they will likely find their own version of fun! They love to be with their family and to be by your side at all times. This does then mean that if they’re left by themselves for long periods, then you may come home to a dug-up yard and noise complaints from the neighbors about their barking. 

Samoyeds are an excellent choice for families with children. Their stable temperaments mean that they’re not going to be worried about children running around the home and the noise from boisterous games. As with any breed, supervision is always needed when dogs and young children are together. 

Aggression in the Sammy is very rare, but if looking for a pup, do remember to meet their parents to ensure that they do have the typical happy and friendly Samoyed personality.

While some Samoyeds like to live in outside accommodation, the majority would much prefer to be indoors with their family. Bad weather is no problem for this breed, who will enjoy walks in all weather. Despite their heritage, the Samoyed can adapt well to the warmer climates, although they will appreciate the cool breeze of the air con in the summer. 

Samoyed Health & Grooming

  • Generally, a healthy breed

  • Daily grooming needed

  • Shed hair all year round


Samoyeds are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders ensure that testing is carried out for genetic health conditions before breeding. These are some of the test results that you should be shown before committing to a pup joining your family:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This inherited condition is caused by the thighbone failing to fit snugly into the hip joint. This can cause pain and lameness and is also likely to lead to arthritis as the dog grows older.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): Caused by the gradual deterioration of the retina, dogs who are affected by PRA firstly become night-blind and then lose all sight as the disease progresses. 
  • Hypothyroidism: A disorder of the thyroid gland, it can be responsible for a range of conditions including epilepsy, hair loss, lethargy, and skin conditions. 

The Samoyeds trademark appearance comes from their stunning double coat. They outer coat is longer and harsh whilst the undercoat is thick and wooly. Samoyeds do shed their coat all year round and this will become even more noticeable during their annual shedding season.

A quick brush every day after a walk will remove any debris that has become stuck to their coat. Then once a week, you will need to comb out their coat, ensuring that you groom all the way down to their skin. Elbows, hocks, and ears seem to be the places that get matted quickly, so these need special attention. 

Samoyed Training

  • Independent nature

  • Strong prey drive

  • Can be vocal


The Samoyed is a highly intelligent breed, but they do have an independent nature going back to their sledding days. Patience will be needed, but with persistence, you’ll be able to train all the basic behaviors that most dogs need to be great family members. 

Many Sammys’ have a strong instinctual prey drive. So, investing time in training a great recall cue will ensure that you have a much higher chance of being able to call your Samoyed back to you if something does catch their eye. 

This is a vocal breed, and care is needed not to encourage barking or howling when they’re a puppy if it may cause problems with the neighbors later on.

Samoyed Exercise Requirements

  • Independent nature

  • Strong prey drive

  • Can be vocal


For your Samoyed to be settled in the home, they’re going to need a good walk at least once a day. The opportunity to run free will provide them with the chance to burn off some energy, so access to a large yard or a securely fenced area is important.

Sammy’s will love being involved in family games, but they can get bored quite quickly, so they’re not likely to be the type of dog who will enjoy long games of retrieving toys or playing tug. 

Samoyed Diet & Feeding

  • Chat with vet for individual feeding guidance

  • Select the right food for the age and exercise level of the dog

  • Avoid foods with unnecessary additives and colorings


We recommend speaking to your veterinarian or pet nutritionist for expert advice on your dog’s individual feeding needs. However, as a general rule, most dogs will do well on puppy food until they are around 6 months of age when they then progress onto diets designed for adult dogs.

With so many choices available at the pet store, do check the list of ingredients to ensure that there is a good source of protein and that there are no unnecessary additives and colorings.

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Samoyed Rescue Groups

Sadly, the attractive features of the Samoyed can mean that they are taken on by families without a full understanding of the lifetime commitment they’re entering into. This then results in many Samoyeds finding themselves in the care of a rescue organization looking for a new family. 

If you’re interested in rehoming a Samoyed, you’ll find rescue organizations across every state in the US including:

Samoyed Rescue of Southern

Samoyed Rescue of

Samoyed Rescue of Utah

For more information on this breed take a look at the website of the Samoyed Club of America –