This page focuses on Samoyed dogs and why you might want to have them. There are a lot of web sites that can give you lots of details about Samoyed dogs. My goal is to just cover the main points of why I live with Samoyeds.

Samoyeds are a sled dog that originates in the central Russian arctic. They have long white fur which consists of an outer coat (heavy long hair) and an inner coat (light fluffy hair). Samoyeds were used for exploration of the arctic and antarctic. (The smart explorers learned how to use dogs, the dumb ones died.)

The Good

Samoyeds are generally a mellow friendly dog. A lot depends on training, but all the Samoyeds I have encountered have been trainable. All I have met seem to be really friendly to people. All the ones I have worked with extensively have been trained to be dog friendly. It also helps that Samoyeds look friendly. I visit places with my dogs and lots of people want to pet them and ask about them.

Samoyeds are adaptable generalists. They can herd and pull and are friendly. They can pull you on your bike, skis or sled. They can meet and greet people as therapy dogs. They can hike outside in rough weather. You can probably find a breed that does one of these tasks better, but with samoyeds you get it with one dog you can take almost anywhere.

Samoyeds have a particular greeting howl called a woo-woo. It is fun to get greeted when you come home with an enthusiastic woo woo. It is quite fun to watch other people howling in order to get a woo-woo. We have had groups of ladies in assisted living facilities howling to get my dogs to woo-woo when they do therapy dog visits.

The Bad

Samoyeds like to dig. Some dig to escape, others just dig to make holes or dust wallows.

Unless trained otherwise Samoyeds bark a lot. Their bark is high pitched and irritating. Some people de-bark their dogs, but then you loose some or all of the Woo-Woo as well. I prefer to train for quiet. A citronella spray collar can help if the dog is really insistent about barking. Most dogs I've had respond well to simple training with treats for woo-woo and stopping and redirecting from barking.

Samoyeds, like many arctic breeds shed their fur in a period of a couple of weeks (usually in the spring or summer). This is called blowing coat. There is white hair everywhere. You can mitigate this by using a dog blower in your back yard to get the hair out quickly.

Most Samoyeds don't fetch and don't like to swim. In short, they aren't bird dogs.

The Beautiful

Hey, Samoyeds look great.

Where to Learn More

The Samoyed Club of America is a good place to start.