|Country of origin
|The smiley dog
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 5 Section 1 #212
||Group 6 (Utility)
||Group 3 - Working Dogs
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Samoyed dog
takes its name from an obsolete term for the
Nenets people of
These nomadic reindeer
the fluffy, white, smiling dogs to help with the herding, to pull
sleds when they
moved, and to keep their owners warm at night by sleeping on top of them.
Males typically reach sizes of up to 65 pounds, while females typically
remain less than 55 pounds.
Samoyed eyes should be black or brown, and are almond in shape. Blue or other
color eyes are not allowed in the show ring.
Samoyed ears are thick and well-furred, triangular in shape, and erect.
The Samoyed tail is one of the breed's more distinguishing features. Like
their Siberian Husky cousins, their tail is carried curled over their backs;
however, unlike the Husky, the Samoyed tail is held actually touching the back
in a tight curl. In cold weather, Samoyeds may sleep with their tails over their
noses to provide additional warmth. Some Samoyeds have tails that fall straight
down the backside, like many other breeds, but this prevents them from being
Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds have a dense,
layer coat that is typically
shed twice a year,
although some shed only once a year. The top layer contains long, coarse, and
guard hairs, which appear white but have a hint of silver coloring. This top
layer keeps the undercoat relatively clean and free of debris. The under layer
consists of a dense, soft, and short fur that keeps the dog warm. The standard
Samoyed may come in a mixture of biscuit and white coloring, although pure white
and all biscuit dogs aren't uncommon.
Samoyeds are typically very good about grooming themselves, and upkeep as far
as bathing is minimal. Dirt typically falls from the outer layer of fur with
little work, making the dog deceptively easy to keep very clean looking. Puppy
fur is more porous and will tend to take on the color of grass or mud if the dog
spends a lot of time in appropriate environments.
Samoyeds' friendly disposition makes them poor guard dogs, but excellent
companions, especially for small children or even other dogs, and they remain
playful into old age. Samoyeds are also known to be stubborn at times and
difficult to train, due to unwillingness rather than lack of intelligence; they
must be persuaded to obey commands. With their
heritage, a Samoyed is not averse to pulling things, and an untrained Samoyed
has no problem pulling its owner on a leash rather than walking alongside.
The Samoyed name quickly become obsolete for the Nenets people after the
Russian Revolution (perceived as derogatory; see
Nenets article). However, by then,
explorers (for example,
Fridtjof Nansen and
Roald Amundsen) had brought enough of the dogs back to Europe to keep the
name and to establish the breed both there and in the US.
Fridtjof Nansen believed that the use of sled dogs was the only effective way
to explore the north and used Samoyeds on his polar expeditions. Unfortunately,
his plan was disasterous to the animals, as he planned to feed the weaker dogs
to the stronger ones as they died during the expedition. In the end, he lost
almost all of his dogs due to his plan.
Roald Amundsen used a team of sled dogs led by a Samoyed named
on the first expedition to reach the
Recent DNA analysis of the breed has led to the Samoyed being included
amongst the fourteen most
ancient dog breeds
, along with
Alaskan Malamutes, the
and 10 others of a diverse geographic background.
- The breed is sometimes
"The Smiley Dog" because they usually have a permanent smiling look that
makes them appear pleased to see everyone.
- The dogs are still used to pull sleds, but are seldom used for herding
anymore. Due to the emergence of hybrid sled breeds like the
Alaskan Husky, Samoyeds are generally not used as sled dogs anymore
either as they cannot generally compete with breeds that have been created
specifically for sled pulling.
- Samoyed fur is sometimes used as an alternative to wool in
the lead dogs for
Fridtjof Nansen's North Pole expedition.
Etah, the lead dog for
Roald Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole, the first to reach the
the first living creature launched into
thought to be a Samoyed mixed with a
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