Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Samoyeds: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Samoyed temperament, personality, and behavior.

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Samoyed dog breed

Samoyed Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Samoyed Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2016

The Samoyed is gentle and dependable in heart and mind -- robust and spirited in body.

This playful dog enjoys vigorous outdoor exercise, especially in cold weather. Without such outlets for his energy, and without sufficient companionship to satisfy his sociable nature, he can be boisterous and destructive.

The Samoyed's attitude toward strangers varies from "Hi there! Come on in!" (often accompanied by enthusiastic jumping) to more conservative, yet sensible and polite. Most will bark to announce visitors, but that's the extent of their guarding inclination.

Samoyeds are usually good with other animals, but with strong chasing and herding instincts, they may take off after trespassing cats or wildlife. A securely fenced yard is a must.

One of the brightest and most sensitive of the spitz (northern or sled dog) breeds, yet still demanding and independent, Sammies need consistent leadership and early obedience training. They have a jolly "sense of humor" and often exhibit it when disobeying.

The Samoyed barks a LOT, and some individuals have high-pitched, extremely piercing voices.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is medium to large and "spitz-like": prick ears, foxy face, thick coat, and curled tail
  • Is robust and spirited and thrives on vigorous exercise and athletic activities, especially in cold weather
  • Is usually good-natured with everyone
  • Is one of the brightest and most responsive of the spitz breeds

A Samoyed may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing a goodly amount of exercise
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
  • Destructiveness when left alone too much
  • Stubbornness (mind of his own)
  • Heavy shedding
  • Excessive barking

A Samoyed may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

More traits and characteristics of the Samoyed

If I was considering a Samoyed, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough exercise. Samoyeds MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by non-stop barking and destructive chewing. Bored Samoyeds are famous for chewing through drywall, ripping the stuffing out of sofas, and turning your yard into a moonscape of giant craters.

  2. Providing enough companionship. Samoyeds are very people-oriented. If you leave them alone too much, they tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking.

  3. Chasing instincts. Some Samoyeds have strong instincts to chase (and sometimes grab!) cats and other fleeing creatures, including deer and livestock.

  4. Mind of his own. Samoyeds are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and can be manipulative. Some are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Samoyed to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Samoyed Training Page discusses the program you need.

  5. Grooming. To keep their long thick coat free of mats, Samoyeds require a good deal of brushing and combing.

  6. Heavy shedding. Samoyeds shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, carpeting, under your furniture, on your countertops -- even in your food. Frequent vacuuming will become a way of life. Make sure you're REALLY up for this.

  7. Barking. Samoyeds should never be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. Many Samoyeds have intense, high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge, and your neighbors will end up calling the cops to report the nuisance -- or quietly letting your Samoyed out of his yard so he'll wander away.

book cover To learn more about training Samoyeds to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Samoyed the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Samoyed. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.

If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Samoyed might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.

book cover Once you have your Samoyed home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

Please consider adopting an ADULT Samoyed...

When you're acquiring a Samoyed PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Samoyeds who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter