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The Samoyed (pronounced Sammy-Ed) is a member of the spitz family of dogs. He is named for the Samoyed peoples, a semi-nomadic peoples with whom they live along the Arctic Circle in Siberia. The dogs were used to pull sleds, herd reindeer and provide companionship. Through centuries of isolation from the rest of mankind, the Samoyed people bred a dog that is the most nearly akin to the primitive dog with no infusion of other breeds. Although famous for their lavish, showy-white coat and "Sammy smile," the breed is renowned for its endurance and hardiness. European explorers have used them on expeditions to both poles. The first Samoyeds reached Britain from Russia in 1889. The Samoyed was first registered in the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1906.
The Samoyed is a lively and intelligent dog. He is even tempered, good natured and friendly to all. He is exceptionally people oriented.
The Samoyed head is wedge-shaped with a broad skull. The muzzle is of medium-length. The eyes are almond shaped and set at an angle. Eye color is brown, the darker the better. The ears are set wide and held erect. The lips are tight without a drop in flews at the corners. Black nose, lip line and eye rim are preferred. The back is muscular with a level topline. The dog should be "just off square" with the length being five percent more than height. The chest is deep, reaching to the elbow, and moderately broad. The legs are straight and well boned but not massive. The Samoyed's natural stride is a trot that should tend toward single track. The feet are hare-shaped and well protected with hair between the toes. The tail is long enough to reach the hock and covered with thick coat. It is carried in a curve over the back of the dog when he is alert but may be carried down when he is resting. The coat is double with a soft, thick undercoat and a straight, weather resistant outer coat that stands away from the body. Longer coat forms a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head. A long droopy coat is undesirable. Coat color is white with silver tips. Markings may include cream and biscuit. Average height is between nineteen and twenty three and one-half inches. Average weight is between forty and sixty pounds.
Name withheld by request of Washington writes:
Definitely need human attention and companionship.
We used to have a large male Samoyed, who came to live with us when he was six years old. Great dog, very patient and friendly ­p; even put up with the antics of a Doberman puppy that loved attacking his plumy tail! HOWEVER, he could not be left alone happily during the day (a problem, as we both worked full time). If he was alone and a window was left open, he'd go through the screen to get outside where he could find people (I learned how to replace window screening that summer). He gnawed and bit at the lower corner of a Cyclone-fence gate, until he bent the fencing away from the frame enough to squeeze through the hole. Whenever he got out, we'd only have to walk up the street to find him. He'd be on the first front porch where he found people, happily being petted. He also needed someone home during bad weather. Thunderstorms particularly bothered him, and he'd snuggle at our feet during them, unwilling to be away from us. After a severe mid-day thunderstorm, we came home to find that he'd dug a hole THROUGH the basement door, apparently to get downstairs and hide. Eventually we gave him to a family where Mom and the kids were home all day, and he worked out great for them.
Name withheld by request of St. Charles, MO writes on 8/11/01:
Bright, intelligent, kind dogs that want to be a family member above all.
Samoyeds are unlike other breeds in their adaptability to understand what their owner projects as their desires. This stems from their close association with the Samoyed (pron: Samma-yed) people, and the fact that they have remained unchanged through history. They are not a good 'outdoor' dog, as some may think, as they LOVE to be with people, and will bark, dig, or chew to get you attention, if made to be away from people. After all, SOME attention is better than NONE! If they can make you laugh, they are at their happiest, or just being clost to people, as is their heritage. Their harsh, stand off coat DOES shed, but beautiful items can be made from the yarn. Their coat DOES mat, so regular grooming is necessary, but the harsh hair repels mud when it dries. (A friend calls them 'Scotchguard dogs'). They are a working breed, so need a fair amount of exercise and mental stimulation, so are unsuitable for apartment dwelling, or where there is no fencing. Invisible fencing is unsuitable for Sams. They are very intelligent (and can be mischevious), and are a delightful breed for the right owner who will invite them into their home as a cherished family member.
Name withheld by request of Lititz, PA writes on 10/12/00:
The happy breed.
Samoyeds are known as the dogs that carry the Spirit of Christmas in their hearts the whole year through. This describes them exactly. I've loved and owned Sams for over 30 years and they never fail to make me laugh. It is impossible to be sad with a Sam around. Their smiling faces just light up a room, but what I love about them the most is that they unwrap each new day like a precious gift. We should all try to do likewise.
email@example.com of New York writes on 5/28/00:
Love the breed, very smart, great with kids and is truly your best friend. Very talkative when he wants something. He always gets his way - he's a big baby. If you are looking for a great companion a Samoyed is your dog!
Vanessa@Norsworthy.com of Orlando, FL writes on 3/25/00:
Outstanding addition to the active, loving family.
Our three Samoyeds are a cherished part of our family. Their loving nature and extremely 'personable' personalities are such a joy. Extremely intelligent but independent, our dogs do need lots of exercise and attention. They thrive on lots of human interaction and play. Because of their playful independence and their size and strength, early and consistent training has been important in keeping their owners - and neighbors - happy. They are very tolerant around children. Ownership is rewarded manyfold!
firstname.lastname@example.org of writes on 1/2/00:
I think this breed is very intelligent and loving. they are very mellow and yet protective. I love my male.
email@example.com of Chicago, IL writes on 10/11/01:
Sweet, loving and stubborn.
My dog is a very sweet Samoyed. She is affectionate, friendly, and loyal. However, she is very independent and will ignore me when she feels like it. Also, she has had numerous accidents in the house though she is not a puppy. Still, I love her since she is so sweet and cute. She sheds quite a bit, so be prepared to brush often. Also, she does not handle heat well, but I leave the central A/C on in the summer and she has her own fan by her bed. All in all, I highly recommend the Samoyed to anybody who wants a loyal, friendly dog who love everybody but has a mind of her own.
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