About the Breed

The Samoyed

A hardy and eager worker, the Samoyed is known for black lips that curl slightly at the corners into the “Samoyed smile.” Bright and alert, he likes to stay busy and enjoys participating in agility, herding, weight pulling, sledding, pack hiking, conformation shows and more! Their heavy, weather resistant coat is suitable for very cold climates and should be pure white, white and biscuit, cream or biscuit.


Samoyeds are lively, happy dogs who adore people and often have a mischievous sense of humor. They are excellent with children and always have time for a romp in the yard, especially in the snow. Samoyeds will bark to announce a visitor, but they are not guard dogs as once they are done announcing the newcomer, will most likely cozy up to the visitor to solicit a rub down. Samoyeds are great family dogs, though they tend to favor one person above all others – usually the person who is in charge of feeding and exercise. They are excellent companions for people who like the outdoors – Samoyeds are always up for a good hike in the woods, and will be happy to keep you warm overnight on a camping trip. They can be difficult to train, but Sammies are generally well behaved and make a great choice for fist time dog owners.

Activity Requirements

Samoyeds need a moderate amount of vigorous activity in order to maintain health and happiness. The winter time is their favorite time of year, and you can be sure your Sammy will entertain himself for hours in the snow, especially if he has children to play with. Without snow, you’ll want to walk your Smoyed several times a day and allow him to stretch his legs and run several times per week, especially as a puppy. If a Samoyed does not get enough exercise he will let you know by chewing your personal possessions.


Though they love people to pieces, Sammies don’t always like to listen and training can be a challenge. Sessions should be kept short in order to maintain the dog’s interest, and activities should be varied. Shower your Samoyed in treats and praise when he does things correctly in order to reinforce good behavior. Never treat your Samoyed harshly, as this will cause him to avoid you and stop listening to you all together.

Once basic obedience has been mastered, you can move on to advanced obedience or agility. He may not excel at these levels, but he will enjoy the activity and will soak up the extra time spent with someone he loves.

Behavioral Traits

Sammies bark early and often. Their bark is very high-pitched, which can be grating to the nerves. Teaching your Samoyed to obey commands to stop barking can minimize the annoyance, but it is very hard to train this behavior out of a Sammy. Samoyeds were raised to be contributing members of the Samoyede tribes of Siberia. They hunted, hiked, hauled sleds and kept beds warm for their tribespeople. This desire to interact with humans is what makes Sammies such great family dogs today, but it is also their downfall. If a Samoyed is left alone for too long, he will become anxious, which he will exhibit by chewing anything he can get his teeth on. For this reason, Samoyeds are best served by families with a stay at home or work at home parent, for with people who have flexible work schedules.

Is the Samoyed Right for you?

Intelligent, gentle and loyal, Samoyeds enjoy being with their families. Due to their working heritage, they may chase things, run and bark, so it’s best to channel that energy into some kind of job or activity. Otherwise, these independent thinkers may invent ways to keep themselves entertained. At the very least, daily exercise is necessary. The Samoyed coat can also mat and needs to be brushed weekly, more often during shedding season.

  • Ranging in size from 19 to 23½ inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Weighing between 35 – 65 lb.
  • Reindeer herder; Sled dog; Multi-purpose dog.


AKC Samoyed Breed Standard

General Comformation

(a) General Appearance – The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should present a picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility, dignity and grace. As his work lies in cold climates, his coat should be heavy and weather-resistant, well groomed, and of good quality rather then quantity. The male carries more of a “ruff” than the female. He should not be long in the back as a weak back would make him practically useless for his legitimate work, but at the same time, a close-coupled body would also place him at a great disadvantage as a draft dog. Breeders should aim for the happy medium, a body not long but muscular, allowing liberty, with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, strong neck, straight front and especially strong loins. Males should be masculine in appearance and deportment without unwarranted aggressiveness; bitches feminine without weakness of structure or apparent softness of temperament. Bitches may be slightly longer in back than males. They should both give the appearance of being capable of great endurance but be free from coarseness. Because of the depth of chest required, the legs should be moderately long. A very short-legged dog is to be deprecated. Hindquarters should be particularly well developed, stifles well bent and any suggestion of unsound stifles or cowhocks severely penalized. General appearance should include movement and general conformation, indicating balance and good substance.

(b) Substance – Substance is that sufficiency of bone and muscle which rounds out a balance with the frame. The bone is heavier than would be expected in a dog of this size but not so massive as to prevent the speed and agility most desirable in a Samoyed. In all builds, bone should be in proportion to body size. The Samoyed should never be so heavy as to appear clumsy nor so light as to appear racy. The weight should be in proportion to the height.

(c) Height – Males–21 to 23½ inches; females–19 to 21 inches at the withers. An oversized or undersized Samoyed is to be penalized according to the extent of the deviation.

(d) Coat (Texture and Condition) – The Samoyed is a doublecoated dog. The body should be well covered with an undercoat of soft, short, thick, close wool with longer and harsh hair growing through it to form the outer coat, which stands straight out from the body and should be free from curl. The coat should form a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head (more on males than on females). Quality of coat should be weather resistant and considered more than quantity. A droopy coat is undesirable. The coat should glisten with a silver sheen. The female does not usually carry as long a coat as most males and it is softer in texture.

(e) Color – Samoyeds should be pure white, white and biscuit, cream, or all biscuit. Any other colors disqualify.