Although the Samoyed may look like an overgrown stuffed toy, this is a rugged working dog. The breed originated in Siberia, in one of the harshest lands on earth. The Samoyed was used to herd, hunt, keep their masters warm at night and pull sleds. As well, the combings from their warm, dense coat were converted into human clothing. Best known as the dog with “Christmas on its face” the Samoyed presents a picture of beauty, grace, strength, dignity, agility, and alertness.
If you think the beautiful and friendly Samoyed is the perfect pet for everyone, think again. Yes, the Samoyed is a wonderful and beautiful presence around the house but the care and upkeep requires dedication and time. This is something that must be considered when deciding to rescue a Samoyed. The Samoyed’s beautiful coat requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free of mats, parasites and overgrowth.
The Samoyed has a major shed once a year, usually in the spring, lasting approximately one month, with less shedding during the rest of the year when brushed regularly. The Samoyed can be a very vocal breed. Some will whimper and whine, bark and “talk” to convey a message to their people. If their large vocabulary doesn’t catch your attention, they have been known to resort to paw-language.
The Sammy comes into your home with a set of demands that need to be met to make him happy. They require fresh food and water, vaccinations, regular grooming, exercise, and most importantly, total family membership.
The Samoyed insists on being at the heart of the action in any family activity. If you feel that a dog belongs outside, or in the basement at night, then the Samoyed is not for you. They enjoy a lot of in-house time and may prefer to sleep on your bed, but will resign to sleeping on a rug beside the bed if you insist.
As with all breeds, the Samoyed can be a challenge to obedience train. His attitude is “if it’s not fun, I’m not doing it!”. You must be persistent, patient, insistent and make the experience fun when training your Samoyed. If you would like a dog who jumps at your every whim, at all times, then a Samoyed may not be for you.
The Samoyed will eventually do your bidding when properly trained, but don’t expect a speedy response if he doesn’t deem the command to be fun or given with enthusiasm. Given this information there are many Samoyeds happily sporting their obedience title with pride! The Samoyed needs daily exercise. If you ignore this aspect, you could end up with a bored, destructive, vocal, and overweight dog. The Samoyed needs physical activity and should be exercised, even in the rain and the snow.
Now that you have some facts about living with a Samoyed, you are better prepared to make the final decisions to adopt. When you decide that the Samoyed would be the perfect dog to let into your home, be prepared to feel the love, joy and total dedication this breed invokes upon everyone who lets them into their hearts! Many find that one is never enough!
Reprinted from The Canadian Samoyed Rescue.
FEEDING AND EXERCISE
There are likely as many opinions on how to feed Samoyeds as there are breeders, owners and pet food manufacturers. A good rule of thumb is to find out why SRSC recommends what it recommends and, if it makes sense, continue with SRSC’s program, graduating from puppy food to adult food at about one year of age. If SRSC cannot explain why it feeds as it does in a way that makes sense, further resolution of this issue should be made prior to food purchase. Soliciting information from veterinarians and breeders should help in this important decision. There are many premium dog food manufacturers that expend considerable research into the development of their products for nutritional balance, palatability, digestibility, and formulation. Many dog foods are tested using AAFCO procedures to certify their ability to provide complete and balanced nutrition. Look for such testing certification when purchasing your dog’s food. If the dog food is balanced, anything added to the food will throw the balance. Check with your veterinarian before adding supplements, table scraps, or “extras”. It is important to remember that dogs, like people, can have allergies to certain foods or ingredients. Recent nutritional research suggests that dog foods based on lamb and rice, chicken or poultry carry the least probabilities of food allergies. Also, the absence of chemical preservatives is highly recommended.
Exercise also is a source of debate. It is generally agreed that, as fast-growing youngsters, Samoyeds can be susceptible to overexertion which puts stress and strain on joints and growing bones. When a puppy’s muscle is strained, it may not support him as it would otherwise, causing excess wear and tear on other body parts. At the same time, it is important that a pup’s muscles be exercised.
It is generally accepted that environmental factors, including nutrition, influence a pup’s development. Sliding repeatedly on a slippery wood or vinyl floor may bring about disastrous results for an active puppy, as can too much standing on the rear legs. These situations should be carefully avoided. Some puppies demonstrate tremendous athletic abilities and want to leap upon and off everything in sight. Avoid allowing this.
It is recommended that puppies attend a puppy kindergarten/socialization class where owners are taught how to establish a working relationship with their dogs, and puppies receive important socialization with people and other dogs. Samoyeds and their owners benefit from obedience classes at least through the pup’s first year of life. Samoyeds generally want to please a fair and consistent owner and generally are very trainable with voice commands.
Samoyeds can be very vocal, in part due to their unusual intelligence. They should be taught the meaning of “Quiet” and “Settle”, for their owners’ and neighbors’ benefit. To find obedience instructors, ask SRSC or a local veterinarian. Many local kennel clubs offer public classes. Another source of instructors is the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors which routinely advertises in dog publications.