A samoyed breed of dog has two layers of coat: a short, fine undercoat to keep it warm, and longer, coarser hair to protect it from weather conditions. Because of its color and coat density, a samoyed requires regular brushing. However, it tends to keep itself clean, so it usually only needs a bath every two or three months.
A samoyed needs at least weekly brushing. Run a steel comb or rake through the dog's hair while using a hair dryer to blow the dirt out of the coat. The areas with silkier hair can generally mat without weekly brushing. When mats form, simply comb through them or cut them off. The coat does not require trimming, except for the fur between its paw pads. The coat also does not require shaving, except when severe mats form. Excessive removal of fur could hamper the dog's ability to regulate its body temperature. The samoyed sometimes sheds its undercoat in big clumps, causing bald spots in some cases. Comb these areas thoroughly using a metal comb to assist the shedding process and promote new hair growth.
A samoyed has one dew claw, which is like a human's thumb nail, on each paw. If the dew claw grows freely, it will grow around and form a circle. This painful condition requires surgical remedies to correct. Check a samoyed's nails every two weeks to determine whether the nails are too sharp and whether they need trimming. Use a heavy-duty dog nail clipper that looks like a pair of pliers to trim a samoyed's nails. Remove only the tips and avoid cutting the dog's quick, which is the pink part of the nail. Cutting the quick leads to pain and bleeding. If you don't feel comfortable about using a nail clipper, use a dog nail file instead. However, filing takes longer than clipping.
A samoyed keeps itself relatively clean and only needs a bath every couple of months. The bathing session could take some time because its semi-weatherproof coat takes longer to become sufficiently wet. Brush the coat before bathing to prevent excessive knots from forming during bathing. You can also apply a protein coat conditioner and a de-tangling solution to the coat while brushing to make the coat easier to work with. Denver Samoyed Rescue recommends using a whitening shampoo to keep the coat looking clean. After a bath immediately dry the coat with cool, forced air to prevent water from becoming trapped in its dense undercoat. Dampness could lead to mats, mildews, odor and even infections. If hair sheds while drying, pull out loose hair or use a pin brush to remove loose hair.
- samoyed image by Nickolay Bolshakov from Fotolia.com