Buying a Samoyed

Show dog or pet? – It is best to let your breeder know what you are looking for. Although every well-bred healthy puppy will make an excellent pet it is best to remember that for a puppy to be considered suitable for breeding, the skilled eye of a breeder is required to determine the existence of the structural differences that set a show quality dog apart from a pet. Plan ahead and talk to your breeder so that you will be properly assisted in selecting a dog that can stand up to show ring competition.

Male or female? – This is generally a personal choice unless you wish to breed from your puppy. Female Sams are generally smaller and lighter than males. The English Standard is 51-56 cms at shoulder for dogs and 46-Joanne with puppy51 cms for bitches. Weight should be in proportion to size.

Puppy or older dog? – The Samoyed is a breed that bonds easily with humans and for this reason, if you are concerned about going through the puppy problems, an older dog can be just as devoted and just as rewarding.

Is a Samoyed right for you? – The joy of owning a Samoyed rests in the harmony they bring to a home. However, the Samoyed, somewhat typical of all northern breeds, has certain characteristic habits which need to be addressed by owners at an early stage.

  • Barking – The Samoyed is a vocal dog and generally loves the sound of its own voice; revealing both pleasures and dislikes.  Samoyeds will bark at visitors but once they see who it is and receive recognition, they retreat into their usual routine. It is not natural for a Samoyed to endlessly bark.
  • Guarding – Samoyeds are too friendly to use as a guard dog but their barking is an alert.
  • Digging – Samoyeds are powerful diggers nesting well into the snow with tail over nose for protection. Fitting submerged concrete blocks along the fence-line with a good, strong fence of suitable height will stop your Sam escaping. However, be prepared for dog holes in the garden.
  • Heading for the hills when off-lead – The herding instinct is very strong in the Samoyed. When set free and noticing something in the distance, the untrained Samoyed will relish the chase, unmindful of the consequences.
  • Pulling on lead – The Samoyed is born to pull and to avoid neck strain, a good quality harness is essential.
  • An independent streak – The heritage of the Samoyed is steeped in independence and responsibility. In the past, man depended upon the Samoyed to make decisions and work independently of man for their common survival. To get your Sam’s co-operation you will be best served by maintaining a close companionship, avoiding severe punishment and presenting your point as an enjoyable and intelligent command followed by praise when the deed is done, even though it may not have been exactly as you expected.
  • Myth – Samoyeds are not self-cleaning. Depending on their environment, Samoyeds will get dirty and smelly. A wet, soiled Sam will need a wash as much as a dirty wet wool blanket.

Are you right for a Samoyed? – If you are not willing to take on a Samoyed with all his faults and virtues, keeping him through his later years until death, then leave him at the kennel. Be certain that you will forever be worthy of your Sam.

  • Walking - A daily walk keeps the Samoyed’s weight down, helps maintain mobility and provides intellectual stimulation through Walking the dogssmelling.
  • Grooming -Regular grooming of the coat alleviates the risk of hot spots and other skin diseases and helps minimise fluff in the home.
  • Feeding - The Samoyed is not a breed that requires a lot of food. Remember that in his native land, the Samoyed survived on very little. As bloating can occasionally be a problem, smaller, regular feeds assist digestion as well as breaking up the day, giving your Sam something to look forward to. Be prepared to feed your Sam a premium dog food and you will have no need to supplement.
  • Garden - If you are not around during the week, make sure your garden or yard has plenty of shade, plenty of fresh water and is interesting. Store poison safely. If possible, provide your Sam with a companion. When you are home make sure that your Samoyed is part of the family. If pushed outside and left out of family life, the Samoyed becomes noisy and destructive.  

Grooming a Samoyed

Combing a Samoyed requires a strong steel comb. This may be preceded by a brush using a large pin brush. Talcum powder or corn flour allows the undercoat to glide out through the guard hairs more easily. Line combing is done by pushing up a section of coat with one hand and, in a line, combing the hair downwards. Regular combing is essential to maintain a healthy coat. When combing or brushing the tail, work in small sections from the spine of the tail outwards (not downwards).

Dirty dogWashing is not essential on a short term basis. In the absence of any necessity for presentation, only a good bath with the change of season is necessary. Before washing, your Samoyed should be thoroughly combed as the coat must be free of debris and mats which will only get worse once wet.  Also, only use shampoo that is Ph balanced for dogs. 

Drying with a chamois is very useful for soaking up excess water from such a large coat. This can be followed by a specialty forced air dog dryer or, in warmer climates, simply allow the dog to air dry over a day or so.

Clipping is to be avoided as, once clipped, the Samoyed fur never fully regains its former glory. Also, clipping is unnecessary as Samoyeds adapt well to hotter climates. Like all dogs, they use their mouths to cool down and their double coat is an excellent insulation against the sun’s rays.

Skin Check is advisable for the detection of sores, grass seeds and other problems. On a Samoyed this is not an easy task but it can be done while combing or by using a dog blow dryer.

Caring for the older Samoyed

Careful observation of your Samoyed is necessary throughout their lives but as they get older the Samoyed does require special care.

  • Food and Walks. Never over-feed your older Samoyed and never allow him to become fat. Feed a balanced diet with no table scraps. If weight becomes an issue, cut his intake and increase his exercise. Even if he is becoming arthritic, keep up the walking as muscle mass is important for continuing mobility. The human adage for the aged “use it or lose it” is equally relevant to your ageing Sammy.Etah aged 12
  • Coat. Once a Samoyed has been neutered or spayed they will usually get an abundance of coat. Also, the older Sam’s skin may get more tender and sensitive making usual grooming more difficult.  Combing the coat, little and often or using a dryer to force out loose hair may be beneficial for grooming the older Sam.
  • Teeth. Older Samoyeds need to have their teeth regularly checked for tarter, red gums and chipped or broken teeth.

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