Breeder's Guide: Australian Samoyeds

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Description of the appearance, size, temperament, grooming tips, health concerns, and other important facts about Australian Samoyed dogs.

Samoyeds are strong, active and good-natured dogs.  Their compact muscular bodies indicate the strength these work dogs possess.  Samoyeds have very thick coats that come in white, cream and biscuit colors with silver tips.  They carry their fluffy tails curled up on their backs.  The thick undercoat is used to protect these dogs from frigid temperatures.  Male dogs grow to be 20-22 inches (53-61 cm) tall and typically weigh 45-60 pounds (20-27 kg).  Female dogs grow to be 18-20 inches (48-53 cm) tall and weigh about 45-60 pounds (20-27 kg).  

These dogs are far too friendly to be reliable as watchdogs but they may bark at strangers.  Samoyeds are playful and fun-loving animals that adapt well to family living and they are typically gentle with children who don’t play too rough.  These dogs are very intelligent but are often difficult to train.  Firm, patient training may yield successful results if it begins at an early age.  This breed is most adept at working in teams and has been used for centuries to pull sleds for arctic explorers, hunters and fishermen.  Samoyeds generally form a special bond with their owners and prove themselves to be loyal, loving, and devoted companions.  If left alone for long periods of time, these dogs may become curiously destructive and some dogs have a tendency to bark frequently.  If they become too warm, Samoyeds may try to dig a hole in the ground then lie in it to cool off.  


Samoyeds need a fair amount of activity and exercise but this should be limited during warm weather.  Their thick undercoats are so dense that they inhibit the dogs’ ability to release heat that builds up during physical activity.  There are no special feeding requirements for these dogs but they are usually quite fond of fish.  Some health problems that may plague Samoyeds include hip dysplasia, diabetes, and skin allergies.  These dogs are not recommended to live in warm climates since they tend to overheat easily.  Samoyeds have an estimated life expectancy of 12-15 years.  

It is important to keep Samoyeds well groomed since it is easy for ticks and other insects or parasites to burrow into these dogs’ wooly undercoats.  Owners should brush these dogs at least three times a week but daily brushing will keep their coats looking sharp.  Samoyeds don’t shed their longhaired coats, however, twice a year their dense undercoats will come out in clumps.  Extra grooming is necessary during these periods. Bathing these dogs is truly a chore and most times is unnecessary since their coats tend to shed dirt fairly easily.  Baths should be reserved for times they are really needed.   

Samoyeds are members of the Spitz family of dogs.  Most of them originated throughout Arctic regions including Siberia.  They were developed and used as pack animals and sled dogs by a nomadic tribe of Siberia known as the Samoyeds.  In the late 1880’s Robert Scott, an explorer, brought several of these dogs to England where the Samoyed breed was developed and spread around the world.  In more modern times Samoyeds have been used as family pets, fashionable show dogs, and outstanding companions.