Samoyed Pros And Cons
Sally the Samoyed (Photo: @scotlandwithfluffywolf)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on May 22, 2019
Fact Checked This article was fact checked by one of our writers on May 21, 2019.

Pros

Family friendly

If you’ve ever encountered a Samoyed, you’ve probably thought ‘what a friendly looking dog’. The good news is their personalities match their appearance. Samoyeds are friendly and loving dogs that quickly become attached to their family members. They do great around children. Samoyeds originate in north western Russia where they were used by the Samoyede people to hunt and herd reindeer. They were very much part of the tribe. As a result, they enjoy human company – and that includes kids. However, you should never leave a child alone unsupervised with a dog no matter how friendly you think the canine might be.

Can live in apartments

Samoyeds are medium sized dogs but the breed can adapt to apartment living. Although it’s preferred that you’ve got a house with a garden or yard to allow these dogs to stretch their legs, they can do well in an apartment setting as long as they’re given the appropriate amount of exercise. If you’re thinking about adopting a Samoyed and you live in an apartment or flat, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got air conditioning and access to fresh water to prevent overheating.

Sociable

Samoyed dogs originate from north western Russia (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Samoyed dogs originate from north western Russia (Photo: Adobe Stock)

While Samoyeds may be one of 14 dogs that are thought to have a genetic footprint that is closely related to Wolves, these dogs are incredibly friendly and welcoming. They enjoy meeting new people and new dogs. Whether you decide to bring your Samoyed to the local bar, the farmer’s market, the park or downtown, the breed will relish the chance to interact with humans. However, Samoyeds don’t make good guard dogs due to their affable nature.

Quick learners

Samoyeds were ranked 44th in the famous Intelligence of Dogs book. According to the author Stanley Coren, they require 15-25 repetitions to learn a new command, while the Spitz dogs will obey a first command 70 per cent of the time. From reading testimonials from Samoyed owners online, it seems these dogs are pretty intelligent and quick learners. So you should be able to teach a Samoyed puppy basic obedience relatively easily. They require firm training from a young age unless you want a Samoyed that can outsmart you!

Smiling Sammies

Samoyeds are often given the nickname ‘Smiling Sammies’. That’s because they always look like their smiling! It’s even part of the breed standard. The American Kennel Club write in the breed standard: “Should be black for preference and slightly curved up at the corners of the mouth, giving the ‘Samoyed smile’.” Lip lines should not have the appearance of being coarse nor should the flews drop predominately at corners of the mouth”. So by very definition, these dogs have to be smiling! It’s a trait that proven a big hit on social media platform Instagram. There are nearly 200,000 submissions for the hashtag #samoyedsmile.

Conversation starters

If you’re as social as your Samoyed, then these dogs will be a good fit for you. You can expect owning a Samoyed to be a real conversation starter when you’re out and about. These dogs get a lot of attenton wherever they go, so be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your Smiling Sammie!

Keep you warm in winter!

Samoyeds have a thick double coat that was served to keep them warm in the unforgiving weather conditions in north western Russia. The Samoyede people would cuddle up next to these dogs in a bid to retain body heat thanks to their canine’s thick and resilient fur. If you’re someone who is always feeling cold or likes to be snug on the couch with your pup in front of the television, Samoyeds will be the perfect breed to keep your warm.

Cons

Heavy shedders

Samoyed originate from north western Russia (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Perhaps the biggest drawback about owning a Samoyed is the shedding. If you decide to adopt one of these wonderful dogs, you’ll need to buy a vacuum that is able to endure the vast amount of fur these pooches will produce. Samoyeds are considered moderate-to-high shedders. They’ve got a straight outer coat and a thick, fluffy undercoat. They’ll blow out their under coat once or twice a year. This usually occurs during the changing of the seasons, so in the spring and autumn. Samoyeds are not hypoallergenic.

Require regular grooming

As you’ll probably have gathered, these big shedders will require quite a bit of grooming. Generally, it’s recommended that you brush your Samoyed two or three times a week. When the Spitz breed is shedding, they’ll need daily brushing to help you keep on top of the problem. It’s important to groom Samoyeds to prevent their hair from becoming matted or tangled. They’ll require a bath multiple times a year, although the frequency will depend on how often your dog finds a puddle or mud.

Need regular exercise

Although Samoyeds were originally bred to herd and hunt reindeer by the Samoyede people, they were later used by British and European explorers to pull sleds on their expeditions in the Arctic and Antartica. So you won’t be surprised to learn that these dogs have high energy levels. They need daily walks to deplete some of their energy. Samoyeds will enjoy a trip to the dog park to exercise or a jog with their owner. If you want to ensure your dog behaves inside the home, plenty of exercise is a must!

Expensive

Samoyeds don’t come cheap. You can expect to pay between $800 and $1500 for a Samoyed puppy. The price could vary from breeder to breeder, while the color of a Samoyed puppy could also push up the cost. These medium sized dogs will cost you at least $60 a month in food. Given their a sizable investment, it’s a good idea to ensure your dog to protect against any unforeseen health problems that could appear further down the line.

Poor recall

Given Samoyeds were used to hunt reindeer, it’s not really a surprise that they’ve got a prey drive. What does this mean? Well, they’re a potential flight risk if you walk these dogs off the leash. Samoyeds could dart after small animals if they’re allowed to roam untempered. The AKC warn that the breed has a strong urge to run away and roam. Indeed, if your Samoyed gets loose, they could travel quite a significant distance.

Celebrities

While Samoyeds are a conversation starter, not all dog owners will want to have to stop and talk about their dog every block. Samoyeds have a friendly appearance that lures in strangers when outside the home. Their appearance is often confused for an Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky or American Eskimo dog. So you’ll need to be prepared to answer lots of questions and have your personal space invaded as people ask to say hello to your smiling Sammie.

Independent thinkers

Sally the Samoyed (Photo: @scotlandwithfluffywolf)

While Samoyeds are intelligent dogs, this can also be a drawback of the breed. They can be quite independent thinkers and like to operate on their own terms. If you forbid your dog from doing something, there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll find a workaround. One Reddit user with a Samoyed gave a fascinating insight into the mindset of the breed: “Basically he knows what he wants and also knows I’m not the only way to get there”. Like we mentioned above, these dogs will need training from a young age to boost your chances of getting them to cooperate. Otherwise, you could have a stubborn Samoyed! If you need help training your Spitz dog, you should look to secure the services of an experienced dog trainer.