The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Samoyed

Information and Pictures

Front view - A thick coated, white Samoyed dog is standing on a concrete surface and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open and its tongue is hanging out. Its coat looks soft and its ears are small, perked up and rounded at the tips.

Toggle the Samoyed at 1 1/2 years old

Other Names
  • Samoiedskaïa Sabaka
  • Samoyedskaya
  • Sami
  • Sammy



The Samoyed has a compact, muscular body. The wedge-shaped head is broad and slightly crowned. The muzzle is in proportion to the size of the dog, tapering to the nose. The stop is well defined but not abrupt. The nose color can be black, brown or liver. The lips are black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The dark, almond-shaped eyes are deep-set, somewhat wide apart, with a slanting lower lid and dark rims. The erect, triangular ears are slightly rounded at the tips. The tail is moderately long, well-covered with hair, carried rolled on the back. The legs are solid and muscular and the feet are flat and covered with hair. The thick, double coat is profuse. The undercoat is soft, short and thick with longer hairs growing out to the outer coat. The outer coat is harsh and stands straight out, not wavy. Males’ coats are more profuse than females’. There is a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head. Coat colors include pure white, biscuit, yellow and cream. Sometimes white with silver tips. Pure white is preferred in the show ring.


The Samoyed is a gentle dog. Very devoted, easygoing, friendly and quite playful, it loves everyone. It will gladly be friendly to all, including intruders. It is too friendly to be of much use as a watchdog, although its bark will alert you to the presence of strangers. It willingly adapts to family life and gets along well with children. It is highly intelligent, and will respond to firm, patient training, which should be started at an early age. Make sure you are this dog’s firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid potential behavior issues such as, but not limited to, obsessive barking. The Sammy is accustomed to working in teams, and shows outstanding qualities. When this dog is given what it needs to be a stable-minded dog, i.e. enough mental and physical exercise, along with clear leadership, it proves itself to be outstanding, good-natured, lively and sociable. It never seeks trouble but can handle an adversary if necessary. These dogs have a reputation of being chewers. If the Sammy is lacking in leadership and/or exercise it can become very destructive if left alone for many hours at a stretch. Samoyeds can get along with non-canine pets when raised with them from puppyhood or when properly trained to do so, however they do have an instinct to hunt and caution should be taken around other small animals. They can get along with a family cat. This breed has an instinct to herd.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 21 - 23½ inches (53 - 60 cm) Females 19 - 21 inches (48 - 53 cm)
Weight: Males 45 - 65 pounds (20½ - 30 kg) Females 35 - 50 pounds (16 - 20½ kg)

Health Problems

Samoyeds are particularly prone to hip dysplasia and some suffer from diabetes. Also prone to skin allergies. They are prone to PRA (eyes), primarily in male dogs.

Living Conditions

The Samoyed will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is very active indoors and a small yard is sufficient. Its heavy coat makes this dogs unsuited to life in very hot climates.


Needs a reasonable amount of exercise, including a daily walk or jog. Take it easy during warm weather because the woolly undercoat inhibits loss of the heat built up during exercise.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

Litter Size

About 4 to 6 puppies


Extensive grooming is needed. They are seasonally heavy shedders. The fluffy double coat needs frequent brushing, but tends to stay white without bathing. Some people with allergies have reported that the coat of the Samoyed did not bother them.


Samoyeds are an ancient working breed. They have lived in Siberia with hunters and fishermen known as Samoyeds, hence where the breed received its name. The Samoyed people used the dogs to pull their sleds, guard their property and for herding reindeer. Its gene pool is closely related to the primitive dog with no wolf or fox mixed in. The dogs slept with the people to keep them warm. Robert Scott, an explorer, brought the dogs to England in 1889. It was in England that the breed was further developed and from there it spread throughout the rest of the world. It was recognized by the AKC in 1906.


Northern, AKC Working

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
The right side of a white Samoyed that is standing at the crest of a hill, it is looking forward, its mouth is open and its tongue is out. Its coat is very thick and its eyes are squinted.

Holly the Samoyed at 3 years old walking in the Lake District in England

The left side of a fluffy white Samoyed puppy that is sitting in grass, it is looking forward and it is panting. Side view - A white Samoyed puppy is laying in a field, it is looking forward and it is panting. Close up - The upper half of a white Samoyed puppy that is chewing on a gree, yellow and orange plush Angry Birds toy.

This adorable little thing is 3-month-old Ani.

Two fluffy thick coated Samoyed dogs are standing on a driveway and they are battling over a plush toy both of their mouths.

"This is a picture of two six-year-old Samoyed females (Miki and Su) playing. They were both spayed a couple of years ago, but are still lively and playful. They love 'tug' toys and squeaky toys, but also make much use of Nylabones. Both are let off the leash daily in areas lacking wildlife and livestock. Squirrels visiting our garden have a hard time. Sammies are very smart—they can open doors, turn on lever-style taps and understand many words (many commands are understood, but not necessarily obeyed!). That coat is a chore in the winter, due to the amount of mud that it can hold, and when shedding, but a daily brush keeps them comfortable. Wouldn't have any other breed, due to their intelligence, gentleness and wise, happy nature."

An Alleyway between two houses and there is thick white dog hair all over the concrete surface.

"The 'shedding' picture is the undercoat removed from one dog in one session!"

A white Samoyed is standing on a carpet and lowering its head to bite a tan teddy bear plush toy that is under it.

"We rescued Lexus from our local Humane Society when she was 8 years old. They didn't know why her owner's had left her, but she's been a joy to us since we got her. She's an adorable purebred Samoyed and despite her old age we couldn't help but fall in love when we saw her. We brought her home and she's been a part of our family since then. However, on that first day we found out she loved stuffed animals! We let her check out our house and found her running around with a teddy bear in her mouth. I snapped a photo of her tearing up the teddy bear underneath a foosball table. After she figured out that not everything was her toy she fit right in. We love Lexus and can't stress enough how great it is to rescue a pet."

Side view of a thick-coated, fluffy perk eared white dog with a black nose, black lips and dark eyes facing the right panting with her tongue sticking out laying down on a brown tiled floor.

Lexus the Samoyed at 8 years old

Front side view of a thick-coated, fluffy perk eared white dog with a black nose, black lips and dark eyes laying down on a tan carpet.

Lexus the Samoyed at 8 years old

Head shot of a thick-coated, fluffy small perk eared white dog with a black nose, black lips and black eyes peering around a rainbow chair.

Lexus the Samoyed at 8 years old

See more examples of the Samoyed