Whether your dog is a purebred Samoyed or a Samoyed mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're looking to adopt a Samoyed and want to do a bit of research first — we can help with that.
Samoyeds, also known as Sammies, are named after a population native to northern Arctic Russia called the Samoyedic people. You can recognize these pets by their distinctive smiles and thick, white sled-dog coats.
Loyal, affectionate and protective are a few words that describe Samoyeds. That said, it should come as no surprise they're generally good with young children, Dr. Emily Singler, VMD, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, says.
Clearly, these pups have a lot of incredible qualities, which means there are tons of fun facts to learn about them.
We wouldn't consider this breed to be pint-sized puffballs — Samoyeds are typically between 19 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder. They’re not all airy fluff, either, as they tend to weigh between 35 and 65 pounds.
If you're surprised by their size, you may be confusing the Samoyed with its tiny lookalike: the Japanese Spitz. Although strikingly similar in appearance, the Japanese Spitz doesn’t grow to be more than 15 inches at the shoulder and typically weighs up to 25 pounds.
Their thick double coat — which is usually white-or-cream colored and is made of a soft, short and wool-like undercoat and long, straight outercoat — is meant to keep these pups warm in freezing temperatures, Dr. Singler says.
Samoyeds are friendly, intelligent and energetic dogs that need plenty of exercise and stimulation to stay entertained. These pups can be a little mischievous, and their sled-dog history means they’re prone to escaping for a good run.
“Because Samoyeds are so intelligent and energetic, they have high needs for exercise and mental stimulation,” Dr. Singler explains. “If their needs aren’t met in this regard, or if they don’t have regular contact with and attention from their family, they can develop anxiety and become destructive.”
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Introducing the Fetch Health Forecast.
According to Dr. Singler, Samoyeds are at increased risk for developmental diseases such as elbow and hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. They’re also predisposed to developing various eye diseases that may cause blindness.
“Samoyeds are also predisposed to gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat, which is life-threatening stomach twisting,” Dr. Singler adds. “They’re also at risk of developing skin conditions that can cause hair loss and diabetes.”
The Samoyed-Siberian Husky mix, or Samusky, has risen in popularity. These dogs are bursting with energy (and hair, as they’re heavy shedders) and need plenty of room to run.
Are you interested in adopting a Samoyed, Samoyed mix (like a Samusky) or any pet at all? We think every pet deserves a home and encourage you to check out our shelter partners.
The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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Photo by Lui Peng on Unsplash