Samoyeds are good pets
For the nomadic people of the Nenets (Samoyed), the pretty Spitz dogs were much more than just working dogs - they were full members of the family who slept in tents with their people and in the cold Siberian nights for cozy warmth in the beds of their owners worried. Her people-related nature, her open-minded nature and her affectionate character still bear witness to this past today. The Samoyed loves society and is always looking for closeness to his family - keeping in a kennel would atrophy his sensitive soul.
Sociable sports buddy and friendly playmate
His lively temperament and his pronounced drive for movement and activity make him an ideal partner for active people who want to experience something together with their dog. Thanks to his cheerful and gentle manner, he is also a good playmate for children, whom he loves very much. Shyness or aggressiveness are absolutely alien to the friendly Samoyed. As a watchdog, he is therefore only of limited use today - although he still barks when someone enters his territory, he usually only does so in order to greet the stranger with a curious tail wagging afterwards.
Is the Samoyed difficult to train?
Nonetheless, the Samoyed also has a very proud and confident side. Blind obedience and submission cannot be expected of him. Despite his close ties to his family, the intelligent four-legged friend also likes to go his own way - especially when the sense of an exercise does not make sense to him. This sometimes leads to some people finding him stubborn, stubborn or difficult to educate. But with a little sure instinct, loving consistency and positive motivational incentives, he is quite ready to follow his master. Even his slight hunting instinct, which, contrary to the requirements of the breed standard, still occasionally shows up in the wild, can be well controlled with the right upbringing.
You buy its friendly and open-minded character from this pedigree dog immediately, because it matches the typical "smile" of the Samoyed, which is created by the oblique approach of the eyes and the slightly upward-pointing corner of the lips. Another distinctive feature that makes this sled dog so popular with many people is its luscious, white coat. It forms a kind of mane on the neck and shoulders (especially in males) and the so-called trousers on the back of the thighs. The high-set tail, which in the resting position reaches to the hocks, but is usually carried over the back or bent to the side, has bushy feathers.
Ideal protective cover in the polar climate
On the head and on the front of the legs, the hair is rather short and straight. The short hair sticks out behind the small, upright triangular ears. Compared to other sled dogs, such as the husky, the coat of the Samoyed is rather long overall. In combination with the short, soft undercoat, the longer, harsh and smooth outer hair offered perfect protection in the cold polar climate of his homeland. It almost goes without saying that the Samoyed with this lush, thick “coat” prefers to be in the fresh air. Nevertheless, it is astonishingly adaptable to climatic changes. There is even a small Samoyed kennel in Zimbabwe, whose dogs get along well with the African climate. Nonetheless, you should provide enough shade in summer and avoid temperatures that are too hot.
Color, size and weight
Even if the original Samoyed had a brown or black coat color, today's breed standard only provides for a pure white coat, which may be tinted white-beige (with a few biscuit-colored markings) or cream-colored at the most. With a height at the withers of 57 cm in males and 53 cm in bitches, the white dogs belong to the medium-sized breeds. Depending on the height, the weight should be between 20 and 30 kg.
As already mentioned, the Samoyed were originally held by the tribe of the Nenets (Samoyed), after which they were also named. The nomads have always valued them as versatile and extremely valuable working dogs in the harsh climate of Siberia. They tended the reindeer herds, courageously defended them against wolves and bears, helped with the hunt and pulled the sleds. At night their people cuddled up to their warm fur and enjoyed the cozy warmth of the dogs on the cold nights.
Expedition companion to the North and South Poles
The Nordic dogs first became known in Europe through the British zoologist Ernest Kilburn Scott, who brought the first specimens to England in 1889 after a three-month stay with the Samoyed tribes. In the reports of the Norwegian researcher Fridtjof Nansen about his failed North Pole expedition in 1894, the persevering and frugal sled dogs are mentioned positively. As a result, European and American scientists repeatedly used the dogs as companions on expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. In 1911, the Samoyed and Roald Amundsen were the first farm animals to reach the South Pole.
From sled to family dog
The first breed standard was established in England in 1909. The first copies arrived in America around the same time. In 1913, the Samoyed were officially recognized as a breed of dog. In the USA, the first breeding club was founded in the early 1920s with the "Samoyed Club of America". However, the dogs only became intensively bred and popular in the post-war years, from the 50s of the 20th century. Today, in addition to breeding centers in the United States and England, there are also breeders in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Spain and even in Australia and New Zealand. The Nordic Spitz are mainly bred as domestic and family dogs and as show dogs. As sled dogs in sled dog races, however, they are less used today, here faster and stronger huskies or malamutes have taken their place.
Breeding and buying a Samoyed
Anyone who is interested in a Samoyed as a family dog today should nevertheless be aware that this breed still has a pronounced need for movement and activity. As original working dogs, the dogs need plenty of exercise in the open air and a meaningful task that challenges them not only physically but also mentally. You need a close family connection and lots of contact with other dogs and people. These requirements should already be taken into account by the breeder. A breeder who raises his dogs in a bare, dirty kennel and who primarily cares about his own profit instead of upbringing, socialization and utilization is certainly the wrong contact when it comes to buying a healthy and well socialized puppy.
What criteria should the breeder meet?
You don't buy a puppy like a pair of shoes that you can simply give away or exchange. And so the breeder from whom you want to buy your Samoyed should be well chosen. But how do you recognize a good kennel? There are a few points that indicate the seriousness of a breeder:
- The breeder invites you to his home and willingly shows you the kennel and the mother. (Puppies are often not shown at the first meeting, either because they have not yet been born, because they are still too small, or because the breeder would like to save you from making a hasty purchase decision at the sight of the sweet balls of wool.)
- The dogs are friendly and open-minded when you visit. Samoyeds who appear aggressive, shy, or apathetic are unlikely to be treated well by the breeder. Do not buy such dogs out of pity - because that would only confirm the "breeder" in continuing with his criminal behavior.
- The breeder should belong to a breed association and have extensive knowledge and experience with the Nordic Samoyed breed.
- The breeding animals are adequately examined before they are used and puppies are handed in with all the necessary papers, proof of parentage and pedigree. Information about the controlled rearing of the dogs is also provided by an FCI kennel protection card, a litter acceptance report and a kennel acceptance report.
- Before the puppies were taken with them, they were examined for health, vaccinated and chipped. The suitability of the parents as breeding animals is also officially documented.
- The breeder asks about your circumstances in order to find out whether you are a suitable owner of one of his puppies - after all, responsible breeders are also interested in the well-being of their dogs after the sale.
- The breeder demands a reasonable price for his puppies (from 1,300 euros) and does not promise you any dubious "bargains".
Health and Diseases typical of the breed
Of course, it doesn't have to be a purebred dog, but in terms of health, a purebred puppy from a reputable breed often has an advantage. Strict breeding approvals and comprehensive health checks ensure that the spread of diseases typical of the breed is controlled and stopped. Nevertheless, Samoyed are occasionally associated with the following breed-specific hereditary diseases:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Hip Dysplasia (HD)
- Hereditary inflammation of the kidneys
- Dwarfism (associated with malformations of the eyes)
- Pulmonary stenosis (shortness of breath / irregular heartbeat)
A balanced diet plays a crucial role in keeping your dog healthy. In order to go through life actively and with a splendidly shiny coat, the Samoyed needs a sufficient supply of nutrients with minerals, trace elements and vitamins. Your veterinarian or your breeder can give you valuable tips in this regard and inform you about the exact needs of your dog. Basically, the Samoyed should get a lot of (fresh) meat or fish and vegetables. Cereals are actually not on the menu of a carnivore and should only be fed in small quantities. You should therefore take a close look at the ingredients, especially when buying ready-made feed.
In addition to healthy food, proper care also has an impact on the quality of your Samoyed's coat. The motto is: “Less is more!” Shampoo and soap destroy the dog's own and extremely important wool fat and should only be used in an emergency - if the fur is very dirty. As a rule, it is sufficient to brush your dog once or twice a week, because the coat mostly cleans itself. Only when the coat changes does the care increase to daily brushing. During this time the Samoyed loses tufts of hair, which are either removed with a comb or later vacuumed from carpets and couches with a vacuum cleaner.
What else is part of the care program?
- Regularly trim your dog's nails. At the latest when the toenails click on the parquet, they should be shortened. With a little practice, you can do this yourself or ask your veterinarian for help.
- Check your dog's ears regularly and clean them if necessary (about once a week). Red ears or other changes may indicate an infection.
- Regularly clean your dog's teeth and check the oral cavity (about two to three times a week)
To make a Samoyed happy, of course, it takes more than just good food and caring attention. As a Nordic working dog, he loves being outdoors - regardless of whether it is raining, storming or snowing. A private garden, in which - in addition to the long walks together - he can let off steam from time to time, is certainly recommended. Of course, a Samoyed can also be kept in a smaller apartment with little of its own green space - but in this case it requires a lot of effort and weather resistance on the part of the owner. Because the smaller the apartment, the greater the time spent together in the fresh air should be.
A Samoyed demands a lot of exercise, but also time for attention
In addition, the Siberian outdoorsman is offered training to become a rescue dog or dog sport, such as agility or draft dog sport. In addition to the daily exercise and activity program, you should also plan to rest together, because the sociable and affectionate Samoyed not only needs action, but also attention from its owner. Physically and mentally busy, he will present himself balanced, calm and gentle in the house and fully enjoy the "sofa hours" with his people. Of course, he is by no means a dog for inexperienced “couch potatoes”.
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