Right breed for me?
If you are thinking about adding a Samoyed to your family this page might help you decide if this breed is right for you. If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to get in touch with us.
Samoyeds are beautiful, intelligent and fun-loving dogs so it’s no wonder they are growing in popularity! However they are certainly not the right breed for everyone so we highly recommend doing extensive research into their temperament, energy level and grooming needs before getting a puppy. Below I will answer some of the most common questions people who are thinking of getting a Samoyed ask.
Q. Are Samoyeds hypoallergenic?
A. Yes and no. There are no breeds that are truly hypoallergenic however most people who have dog allergies are allergic to their dander, Samoyeds produce very little dander so they are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction. If you have a dog allergy and are considering getting a Samoyed I would highly recommend spending some time at a home where Samoyeds are the only pets to see if you get an allergic reaction to them before comitting to a puppy.
Q. Do Samoyeds shed a lot?
A. YES! Samoyeds are a double coated breed with a long, harsh outer coat and a dense, soft undercoat, even with regular brushing and a high quality diet I would probably rank their shedding as a 3 out of 5. Get ready to vacuum your floors every other day if you want to keep them clean!
Once or twice a year (depending on the dog) they blow most of their undercoat. This is a time of severe shedding when your dog will need to be brushed out daily until he is done with the shedding and even with daily brushing you will still have plenty of hair around your house. Here is a video of a Samoyed who is blowing coat being brushed (credit goes to: Doubletake Samoyeds).
Q. Are they difficult to groom and keep clean?
A. I have a detailed section on grooming here, so please take a look!
Q. What are their exercise needs?
A. Samoyeds are a working breed, they were developed in Siberia by the Samoyed people to be draft and herding dogs so needless to say they have a lot of energy! These dogs need daily exercise to stay fit and happy. Hiking, playing fetch or playing with other friendly dogs are all great exercise activities for them.
Having a fenced yard where your dog can safely play is certainly helpful, if you don’t have a fenced yard then regular walks are a must. A bored Samoyed with a lot of pent up energy can be very destructive so exercise them regularly, especially as puppies.
Q. How trainable are they?
A. Samoyeds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds but also one of the most stubborn. They are often the first ones to learn a new trick but the last ones to do it again because “been there done that, boring!”.
When training a Samoyed it is very important to keep it fun and engaging for them, don’t do the same trick over and over and over or your Sam will think training is boring and refuse to do it. When I work with mine they always let me know when they are starting to get bored by howling/barking instead of doing what I ask and getting fidgety – that’s when I know it’s time to take a break.
Be firm with your Samoyed, they are very intelligent and if you aren’t consistent with them about something they will quickly figure out that they can get away with doing it.
Q. Are Samoyeds a good family dog?
A. In general, yes. They are very affectionate, sweet and playful dogs. However if you have young children there are a couple of things to consider. Samoyeds are large and very energetic dogs so take care with them around small children as they might accidentally knock them down when playing, training your dog how to behave around children is essential. Never leave a young child unattended with any dog. Make sure you have sufficient time for the dog, Samoyeds love attention and affection and might not be the best dog for a family with a busy lifestyle.
Q. I work full time, is Samoyed a right breed for me?
A. Samoyeds are very attached to their people so I would not recommend getting one if he or she will be left home alone for most of the day. Puppies in particular require a lot of time and attention. An ideal home for a Samoyed is a home where one of the owners either works from home, works part-time, has the opportunity to take the dog to work with them or has family who could look after the dog while they are gone. A neglected Samoyed will become depressed and likely destructive.
Q. Do they get along well with other pets?
A. Generally Samoyeds are dog friendly, however they are very playful and energetic dogs so they can be very annoying to a dog with a lower energy level or a dog who doesn’t like to play so if you already have a dog consider if your current dog would be ok with an annoying, high-energy little brother or sister 🙂
Samoyeds are herding dogs so they have a type of prey drive which may be a problem if you have a cat. Early training and socialization will be vital and never leave your Samoyed uncrated with a cat in the house when you aren’t watching them.
Q. Do I have to crate train my Samoyed?
A. I would strongly recommend crate training for a Samoyed because they are very mischievous dogs and a crate provides a safe space for them to relax and not get in trouble when you aren’t watching them. It also really helps with house training them because most dogs will not pee/poop where they sleep so it teaches them to hold it in until you take them outside.
Q. What do you feed your dogs?
A. I rotate between several different high quality grain free brands – Acana, Taste of the Wild and PetKind. I also add fish oil (I use Grizzly Pollock Oil), pure canned pumpkin and Solid Gold Seameal to their meals once a day. Twice a week they get a 200 UI natural vitamin E capsules.
If you know what you are doing with raw feeding it can also be a great alternative to kibble for Samoyeds.
Remember that Samoyeds are very efficient with their calories so they need much less food than you may think – certainly less than the suggested amounts on most kibble packages! Being overweight can have serious health implications for your dog so always make sure they are a healthy weight by feeling their ribs regularly – the ribs shouldn’t stick out but you should be able to feel them easily.
An easy way to gage your dog’s weight is by using your hand for reference. First open up the palm of your hand and feel the bones right under your fingers, if your dog’s ribs feel like that your dog is overweight. Now put your hand in a fist and feel your knuckles – if your dog’s ribs feel like that your dog is underweight. Now open up your fist and feel the knuckles again – this is what a healthy weight dog’s ribs should feel like.
Q. What age should I neuter/spay my Samoyed?
A. I recommend neutering/spaying your pet Samoyed around 18 months old as spaying and neutering them too young has some scientifically proven negative side effects for your dog’s health. Read about it in one of the latest studies here.
In our pet contract neutering or spaying your Samoyed before the age of 14 months will void the health guarantee I provide because it greatly increases the dog’s chances of developing hip dysplasia, CCL disease, heart problems and certain types of cancers.