Buying or Adopting a Samoyed
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Is a DOG really the right pet for you?
I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.
Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?
Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:
Is a Samoyed the right breed for you?
Are YOU right for a Samoyed?
Can you provide what this breed needs?
- Someone home most of the day
- Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
- No cats in the household (maybe....some Samoyeds are fine with cats, some are dedicated chasers)
- Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
- Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Samoyed stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
- "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, herding, sledding); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
- Brushing – moderate to a lot, depending on length and thickness of coat
- Trimming – every few months
- An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
- A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
- An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Samoyeds are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
- An owner who is okay with heavy shedding
- Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Samoyed to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
- Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Samoyed, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say
Should you get a male or female Samoyed?
Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?
Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?
Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Samoyed be?
Where can you buy or adopt a Samoyed?
Samoyeds are fairly common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Samoyeds rank 65th.
Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Samoyeds are available from Dog Rescue groups. Samoyeds may be turned over to Rescue because they need too much grooming or exercise, or because they shed too much. Owners may give up their Samoyed due to over-exuberance, or dominance issues, or incessant barking. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.
Other Samoyeds are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.
Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Samoyeds are occasionally found here, although shelter personnel might mislable any white medium-sized spitz-type dog as a Samoyed, even when it's not. Samoyed rescue groups do keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country, and if a Samoyed turns up at a shelter, the rescue group does try to move the dog into their rescue network.
Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Samoyed from a show breeder, who breeds Samoyeds to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy a Samoyed from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.
Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Samoyed puppy should have:
- a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
- a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
- a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or a report from a veterinary cardiologist – dated within the past year – certifying that the dog has had an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a normal heart
Also, at least ONE PARENT of a Samoyed puppy should have:
- a DNA test proving they are Normal/Clear of a severe hereditary eye disease called X-L PRA.
If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Samoyed ends up blind and crippled, with heart disease.
Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Samoyeds are sometimes found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!
How To Choose a Good Samoyed Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Samoyed puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.
AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Samoyed puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?
To help you train and care for your dog
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.