The Samoyed is one of the ancient breeds of dogs, dating back thousands of years to primitive dogs. Developed by the Samoyed people of Siberia to help herd reindeer, these hard workers also hauled, guarded and provided warmth in family tents. Today, he's one of only four breeds directly descended from wolves.
The Samoyed's temperament makes him a wonderful family member. Being quite friendly and easygoing, he loves everyone. He's playful, so the kids will enjoy spending a little spirited fun time with him. If you want a watchdog, though, the Samoyed isn't your guy. Though he can alert you to intruders, he'll be far too friendly with them to scare them away. He requires exercise and firm, gentle leadership; otherwise he can engage in destructive behavior such as chewing and digging.
The Samoyed is a medium-size dog, usually standing less than 2 feet tall. Males weight between 45 and 65 pounds, females 35 to 50 pounds. If you decide a Samoyed is the pup for you, know that, though most are generally healthy, the breed is prone to hip dysplasia and diabetes, which may require specific care later in life. He's also vulnerable to progressive retinal atrophy. If you go to a breeder for a Samoyed, ask for a health guarantee on your pup. A healthy Samoyed can live about 11 years.
With his beautiful white coat, the Samoyed cuts a dashing figure. If you don't have time for regular grooming -- or to take him to the groomer -- you may want to take a pass on this fellow. The Samoyed sports a thick double coat, consisting of a short, soft undercoat to protect him from the elements and a harsh, longer outer coat. His coat needs brushed at least once a week to remove mats, tangles and dead hair that will eventually make its way to your clothes, furniture and floor. During shedding seasons of spring and fall, he'll need daily brushing.
The Samoyed is a willing jogging or hiking partner; such exercise, daily, will help keep him occupied and burn off his high energy. In some cases, he'll do fine in an apartment, but keep in mind he can be a bit barky -- which might aggravate the neighbors. If home is a hot climate, it'll be tough on the Samoyed, as his heavy coat really makes him unsuited for life in a tropical area. He'll be much happier accompanying his family on a snowshoeing trip in the winter months.
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