Samoyed Dog

The Samoyed dog takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. An alternate name for the breed, especially in Europe, is Bjelkier. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy, white dogs to help with the herding, to pull sleds when they moved.

Samoyed Appearance

The average lifespan for a Samoyed is 12 to 16 years. Being a working breed, they have high stamina.

They share a common resemblance with an American Eskimo dog.

Samoyed Size

Males typically weigh between 20-32.5 kg (55-71 lbs) and stand at a height of 54–60 cm (21–24 in) , while females typically weigh 17–25 kg(40-55 lbs) and stand at a height of 50–56 cm (19–22 in) .

Samoyed Eyes

Samoyed eyes are usually black or brown and are almond in shape. Blue or other color eyes can occur but are not allowed in the show ring.

Samoyed Ears

Samoyed ears are thick and covered with fur, triangular in shape, and erect. They are almost always white but can occasionally have a light brown tint, usually around the tips of ears.

Samoyed Tail

The Samoyed tail is one of the breed's more distinguishing features. Like the Alaskan Malamute, their tail is carried curled over their backs; however, unlike the Malamute, the Samoyed tail is held actually touching the back. It should not be a tight curl or held "flag" like, it should be carried lying over the back and to one side. In cold weather, Samoyeds may sleep with their tails over their noses to provide additional warmth. Almost all Samoyeds will allow their tails to fall when they are relaxed and at ease, as when being stroked or while eating, but will return their tails to a curl when more alert.

NZKC Standard: Tail: Long and profuse, carried over the back when alert; sometimes dropped when at rest.

UK Kennel Club Standard : Tail : Long and Profusely coated, carried over the back and to side when alert, sometimes dropped when at rest.

Samoyed Coat

Samoyeds have a dense, double layer coat. The topcoat contains long, coarse, and straight guard hairs, which appear white but have a hint of silver coloring. This top layer keeps the undercoat relatively clean and free of debris. The under layer, or undercoat, consists of a dense, soft, and short fur that keeps the dog warm. The undercoat is typically shed heavily once or twice a year, and this seasonal process is sometimes referred to as "blowing coat". This does not mean the Samoyed will only shed during that time however; fine hairs (versus the dense clumps shed during seasonal shedding) will be shed all year round, and have a tendency to stick to cloth and float in the air. The standard Samoyed may come in a mixture of biscuit and white coloring, although pure white and all biscuit dogs aren't uncommon. Males typically have larger ruffs than females.

Samoyed Temperament

Samoyeds' friendly disposition makes them poor guard dogs; an aggressive Samoyed is rare. With their tendency to bark, however, they can be diligent watch dogs, barking whenever something approaches their territory. Samoyeds are excellent companions, especially for small children or even other dogs, and they remain playful into old age. When Samoyeds become bored they may begin to dig. With their sled dog heritage, a Samoyed is not averse to pulling things, and an untrained Samoyed has no problem pulling its owner on a leash rather than walking alongside. Samoyeds were also used to herd reindeer. They will instinctively act as herd dogs, and when playing with children, especially, will often attempt to turn and move them in a different direction. The breed is characterized by an alert and happy expression which has earned the nicknames "Sammy smile" and "smiley dog."

Samoyed Activities

Samoyeds can compete in dog agility trials, carting,obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, mushing and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Samoyeds exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.


Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy

Samoyeds can be affected by a genetic disease known as "Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy", a renal disease. The disease is known to be caused by an X-linked dominant faulty allele and therefore the disease is more severe in male Samoyeds. Carrier females do develop mild symptoms after 2–3 months of age, but do not go on to develop renal failure. The disease is caused by a defect in the structure of the type-IV collagen fibrils of the glomerular basement membrane. As a consequence, the collagen fibrils of the glomerular basement membrane are unable to form cross-links, so the structural integrity is weakened and the membrane is more susceptible to "wear-and-tear" damage. As the structure of the basement membrane begins to degenerate, plasma proteins are lost in the urine and symptoms begin to appear. Affected males appear healthy for the first 3 months of life, but then symptoms start to appear and worsen as the disease progresses: the dog becomes lethargic and muscle wastage occurs, as a result of proteinuria. From 3 months of age onwards, a reduced glomerular filtration rate is detected, indicative of progressive renal failure. Death from renal failure usually occurs by 15 months of age.

As yet there is no genetic screening test available for Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy. If a carrier female is mated with a healthy stud dog, the female offspring have a 50% chance of being carriers for the disease, and any male offspring have a 50% chance of being affected by the disease.

Other health concerns

Hip dysplasia is also a concern for Samoyeds as are eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma and other retinal problems. Samoyeds are prone to diabetes and other diseases if their owners are not careful. Life expectancy is about 12–15 years.

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