Samoyed – Breed Profile

The Samoyed is a medium to large breed of Spitz dog that originates from Siberia. To find out more about the breed, and if it is a good fit for your family, read on below.

Samoyed Breed Profile example - Becky



Samoyed’s are most recognisable for their thick, fluffy coat. This is a double layered coat, with a long, coarse top coat and a short, soft undercoat. This undercoat will shed heavily twice a year, but the breed will typically shed smaller amounts throughout the year. Coat colours are either white or biscuit. They are a compact and muscular medium to large breed, with an expected adult weight of 16 – 20kg for females and 20 – 30kg for males. Samoyeds have a particularly expressive tail. When alert, this curls over the back and lies against it. When relaxed, the tail will often hang. It is not uncommon for the breed to sleep with its tail covering its nose, which would provide extra warmth in their natural environment. They will usually have black or brown almond shaped eyes that stand in beautiful contrast to their light coat colour.


Samoyeds are usually incredibly friendly and playful dogs. In most instances, they thrive in families with children or other dogs. Because of this disposition, they are a poor guard dog, but the tendency to bark can make for a good watch dog. They are an intelligent breed that typically responds well to training, provided that you start at a young age. The breed requires plenty of stimulation, both mental and physical, so are best suited to those with an active lifestyle. They can suffer from separation anxiety and can become destructive when left alone. This typically presents through chewing or digging behaviours. They are well suited to a number of dog sports, including agility, flyball and mushing.


Samoyeds have a life expectancy of around 12 – 13 years. They can be prone to a renal condition called Samoyed hereditary glomerulopathy. This condition only presents with mild symptoms in females but in males will result in renal failure and death, usually by 15 months of age. Genetic testing is available, so make sure to find a breeder willing to test their dogs prior to purchasing a puppy. The breed is also prone to diabetes, progressive retinal atrophy and some skin allergies. As with many larger dog breeds, hip dysplasia can also be a problem.During warm weather, it is advisable to avoid strenuous exercise, as their thick coat can restrict the ability to regulate temperature.


The Samoyed is an ancient breed of working dog. They originate from Siberia, where they were bred by the Samoyedic people from whom they earned their name. These people used the breed for a number of functions, including sled pulling and reindeer herding. The breed was first brought to England by explorer Robert Scott in 1889. A breed standard was then established in 1909. From this point on, they began to spread across the world.

Famous Examples

Samoyeds have featured in a number of North Pole expeditions, including those by Fridtjof Nansen and Ernest Shackleton. They also appeared as sled dogs in the novel ‘Stone Fox’. Samoyed characters have also appeared in two notable manga comics, Soichiro in ‘Maison Ikkoku’ and Punch in ‘Touch’.

The Samoyed in the attached photo is Becky. We recently received a visit from Becky at our Morley surgery.

Yorkshire Vets Heart