Samoyed Breed Information
|Average height||46-56 cm|
|Average weight||16-29 kg|
|Average lifespan||Over 10 years|
|Minimum exercise (per day)||2 hours|
|Minimum cost (per month)||£80|
Samoyeds are a loving and loyal breed with big personalities to match their fluffy coats. They can be good with older children which is why they are popular as a family pet. They are also loved for their beautiful appearance and upbeat personalities.
Because they are very clever dogs, Samoyeds can be challenging to train. For this reason, they’re better with experienced owners who are willing to put in the time to keep on top of their training and routine. Owners also need to be prepared for how high maintenance their coats are.
Common health problems in Samoyeds
Samoyeds are wonderful dogs, but like any breed they come with potential health problems. Often, Breed Clubs will also be able to provide advice on what tests your breed may need and where to get these done. Make sure the parents of your puppy have had the relevant health screening to reduce the chances of your puppy being affected by these upsetting conditions.
Some of the conditions your Samoyed may develop include:
- Hip dysplasia – a condition where the hip joints don’t fit together properly, which causes pain, swelling and eventually, arthritis. All breeding Samoyeds should have their hips x-rayed through the BVA/Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia Scheme.
- Diabetes – not being able to produce or use insulin, causing a high blood sugar level.
- Certain cancers.
- Eye problems, including cataracts and eye ulcers. There is BVA/KC screening available for eye problems.
Caring for your Samoyed
Samoyeds can be great pets for active households, but be aware that you’ll need to be able to spend a lot of time exercising them. You’ll also need to make sure you have the time every day to maintain their beautiful coats.
Samoyeds and barking
As with any dog, Samoyeds are likely to be quite vocal (and this breed is especially good at howling). They are a breed known to be fairly noisy, so make sure you’re not too close to any neighbours. If you’re having problems with excessive noise or barking, we recommend seeking the advice of an accredited behaviourist.
Training and socialisation
Samoyeds can be very independent when it comes to training, so it’s important to start positive, reward-based training as soon as possible. You’ll need to make sure the whole family sticks to the training rules, too.
Samoyeds are very sensitive which is why you must use positive training techniques. They learn quickly and so do well in canine sports such as agility and flyball. Samoyeds suit very active households where they can get plenty of exercise with their family.
Samoyeds can be vocal if left alone and may be likely to chew. It’s best to keep them company as much as possible and never leave them alone for more than four hours as they can become stressed and anxious. If they are prone to chewing then provide them with some pet-safe chew toys to steer them away from your furniture and your things.
Samoyeds are very active, playful dogs who need a lot of exercise. To stop them getting bored they need plenty to do throughout the day.
We recommend a minimum of two hours exercise every day for your Samoyed. They enjoy longer walks, lots of playtime in the back garden and plenty to keep their brains active.
Make sure your garden is very secure as Samoyeds are very accomplished escape artists. As soon as they find a weakness in your fence, they’ll be gone. Keeping your details on your dog’s microchip up to date is very important for this reason.
Samoyeds are very high maintenance when it comes to grooming because of their thick, fluffy coats. They shed very often, but even when they’re not shedding they’ll need grooming on daily basis. The hair between their paw pads may also need trimming regularly (your vet or vet nurse can advise you on this).
You may want to get your Samoyed groomed by a professional a number of times throughout the year to keep it in good condition. You will still need to groom them daily, but a groomer can help with some of the maintenance of their coat. Their coats shouldn’t be regularly clipped or trimmed as all-over clipping can interfere with their coat's natural insulation.
Samoyeds and children
Samoyeds are such friendly dogs and they often love being in a family environment. With the right socialisation, they are usually great with children and will be very loyal to the whole family – although they may sometimes favour one chosen person. Because of their size and sometimes boisterous nature, it’s best to keep an eye on them with smaller children in case they accidentally knock them over.
Always supervise children and vulnerable people with your Samoyed and make sure you can recognise the signs of unhappiness or anxiety in your dog to help avoid any conflicts.
Samoyeds and other pets
Samoyeds are a very sociable breed and they often love to meet other dogs. As long as they have been properly socialised they should love trips to the local dog park and giving everyone a sniff when you’re out and about.
When they grow up with a cat, Samoyeds and cats they are familiar with can get along perfectly fine, but it’s still a good idea to supervise them together. Be careful on walks though as they have a strong prey drive and if they spot something in the distance you may find yourself being dragged across fields!
Your vet will be able to tell you how much your dog should be eating. You should feed a healthy Samoyed a good quality, commercially available and complete dog food and it’s usually recommended to split their daily allowance into two meals. If you give your dog an occasional treat or use treats for training, remember to take this into account and reduce their daily allowance. Treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their calories or they can unbalance their diet.
You should try to feed your dog at the same time every day to get them into a routine. Remember to leave a gap after eating and before exercising.
The cost of owning a Samoyed
Having a Samoyed will cost a minimum of £80 per month after purchase and set-up costs and up to £13,000 across their lifetime.
Costs you’ll need to think about include:
Adopting an adult dog from a rescue centre may be a more cost-effective option, as well as having the added advantage of offering a home to a pet without one – check if the rehoming centre you’re looking at asks for a donation for rehoming.
If instead you’re buying a Samoyed puppy from a breeder, you’ll need to factor in this cost. Beware unusually cheap puppies as they could come from a puppy farm. If you want to buy a pedigree puppy, we recommend looking for a Kennel Club Assured breeder as they have to do extra health tests and meet high standards.
- Puppy vaccines – if you rescue a dog, reputable centres will often vaccinate them for you. Remember that ongoing booster vaccinations will be needed to continue their immunity.
- Neutering – you should usually arrange for your dog to be neutered at around six months old, though your vet will be able to advise you exactly when is best. Check prices at your local practice as these will depend on your vet and where you live. Some rescue centres will neuter any dogs they rehome, saving you this cost.
- Equipment – including a collar and tags, lead, harness, dog beds, dog bowls, pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrushes, grooming brushes and toys. Keep in mind that all these will need to be replaced with wear or damage or if your dog outgrows or damages them!
- Preventive healthcare – budget for routine vet visits to help stop your dog getting ill and catch any problems early. They need annual check-ups, vaccinations and regular flea and worming treatments. Check if your vet offers a health care plan as this can help spread the cost throughout the year.
- Vet bills* or pet insurance – if you don’t have pet insurance and your dog needs veterinary treatment for an injury or illness, costs can rapidly mount up. Check what’s covered and what isn’t when comparing policies.
- Accessories – including lots of poo bags, replacing worn toys and grooming accessories, buying doggy toothpaste and any other extras they might need.
- Training – basic training is very important and dogs can benefit from formal classes. Some dogs may have, or develop, behavioural problems which might need professional management.
- Boarding – you may also need to budget for boarding or dog sitting costs if you are planning to go away from home on holiday.
- Dog walkers/day-care – you might consider a professional dog walker to keep your dog happy and healthy if you’re unable to get out with your dog enough yourself, or to look after them during the day if you need to be out for more than four hours.
* It’s always better to plan ahead and budget or get pet insurance in case your pet gets injured or unwell. If you are having difficulty with veterinary costs, you can check if you are eligible for treatment at PDSA here.
If you’re considering pet insurance, our PDSA Pet Insurance could be a great option for you and it’s quick and easy to get a quote online.
- Samoyeds are famous for being a ‘smiley’ breed. They always look like they’re grinning.
- The breed originally comes from Siberia where they were working dogs, which is why their coat is so thick.
- Samoyeds are very vocal. They howl more than they bark which has been compared to singing (we’ll let you be the judge of that though).
- Samoyeds are considered ‘odourless’. If their grooming is kept up to a high standard then they shouldn’t smell as strongly as some other breeds do, and only rarely need bathing (unless they roll in something stinky).
Getting a Samoyed
Do plenty of research before you get a Samoyed. They are such an active and quite high-maintenance breed so you need to make sure you can give them enough exercise and attention to stay happy and healthy. You will also need to spend a lot of time grooming them to keep their coats in good condition. We would recommend an experienced owner for this breed, so make sure you’re full committed before taking on the responsibility of these brilliant dogs.
There are plenty of rescue centres across the country where you may find a Samoyed. Breed-specific rescues that specialise in Samoyeds are out there too. You’ll need to ask any rescue centre about the dog’s history to make sure they will be comfortable in your home. Good rescue centres should let you know of any health and behaviour problems.
If you buy a Samoyed puppy from a breeder, make sure your puppy will be well socialised and have all necessary health checks and vaccinations. We recommend looking for a Kennel Club Assured breeder as they meet higher standards. We’ve put together some advice to help you find a good breeder.