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Samoyed Temperament: Loyal fluff balls with a lot of smiles

The "Smiling Sammy" has all characteristics of a happy and cheerful dog with their white coloured coat and their Spitz expression. They have built a loyal following of fans who love their friendly and playful temperaments. Their little faces show open, keen and alert interest, and they always seem to be up to something.

If you have never owned a dog before, it is essential to do research to ensure that this breed fits into your lifestyle. This guide will help answer your questions about living with a Samoyed, their temperament, and whether this dog breed would be right for you!

White snow in background with a white Samoyed running happily in the snow.
A running Samoyed in the snow is an awesome sight

Samoyed history

Samoyeds were bred in Siberia, Russia and Scandinavia for their intelligence, strength, and friendly personalities. They're part of the Spitz group of dogs.

"Samoyed" comes from the Russian word "samoied", meaning "self-sufficient." They lived with a nomadic tribe from northern Asia, the Samoyeds, where they helped herding reindeer and pull sledges when they moved. That makes them one of the most ancient breeds genetically similar to the wolf.

Historically, Samoyeds carried different colours ranging from black to shades of brown. However, the colouring has been bred out to keep them as white as possible, blending in with the snow.

Samoyed's reliability in pulling a sledge made them very popular for explorers who went on to discover more of Siberia and the North Pole. The first dog to go over the South Pole was a Samoyed in 1911. In general, their temperament was easier to deal with than the Husky.

By 1912 the Samoyed was recognised by the UK Kennel Club and gained recognition status.

Samoyeds are medium-sized dog breeds that typically weigh between 40 and 60 pounds. They have a thick double coat of fur that can come in cream, white, white & biscuit. White is the most common as it gives the Samoyed a genuinely majestic appearance.

However, the most distinguishing feature of the Samoyed is their smile! Their black lips curl up to reveal bright white teeth, giving them a happy and friendly expression.

Purebred Samoyeds are an uncommon sight in the UK.

99 Samoyeds have been registered with the UK Kennel Club in Q2 2022. New registrations are relatively constant, which shows the enduring love for this breed.

Q1 2021

Q2 2021

Q3 2021

Q4 2021

2021 Total

Q1 2022

Q2 2022








Source: October 2022

What is it like to live with a Samoyed?

Samoyeds are active dogs and need around 1-2 hours of exercise daily. They make excellent jogging partners and love playing in the snow! Samoyeds and the snow go together like fish & chips. (If you live in the UK). They typically love it. But don't think your Samoyed is broken if they don't like the snow. We have all our own traits, and so do dogs.

A white Samoyed lying on a white tiled floor. In the background logs can be seen and a fireplace.
Samoyeds prefer cold tile floors to carpets and dog beds. They will generally always look for the coolest place to rest.

Exercising a Samoyed is essential to build their muscles and keep their content. In addition, running releases serotonin, which makes sure that they feel happy.

One of the most important things to consider when owning any dog is its grooming needs. Samoyeds require regular brushing, especially in the summer when they shed more than usual. They also need their fur brushed to prevent mats from forming on their long coat.

Trimming, clipping, or shaving the Samoyed shouldn't be done unless for medical reasons. As described, the Samoyed has a double coat which insulates them from heat and cold. Interfering with it will destroy this ability over time. If in doubt, let an expert perform the grooming. If you don't have the financials, energy or time to devote to the grooming procedure, the Samoyed might not be the one for you. Always be honest and self-critical with yourself.

If you decide to own a Samoyed, use the vacuum cleaner daily.

Samoyeds tend to bark a lot, so getting a dog behaviourist involved is vital if it becomes problematic. They're very excitable dogs who love to communicate with you. It's their child-like nature that makes for the allure of the breed.

If you're considering getting a new pet for your family, one of the most important factors is their temperament. The Samoyed breed has a happy and friendly personality that they carry long into adulthood. However, even older Samoyeds are still easily excitable and never seem to run out of energy. Unfortunately, that also means that a bored Samoyed can be a mischievousness Samoyed. Their clever nature will make them test their boundaries if you haven't set them, and they will check if they can get away with nonsense.

They are also quite intelligent, which makes them easy to train if the correct training techniques are displayed. However, Samoyeds have an independent streak and can display pack behaviours. In addition, they do well with guidance and a strong leadership style as they look up to a pack leader. Therefore, they're generally not recommended to novice dog owners without experience with strong-willed dogs.

Remember that you need to socialise with your dog early, so they do not become strange around unknown people. Samoyeds are friendly and love being around children or older citizens. They will show their affection openly and are not aloof with strangers. Samoyeds make excellent family pets for those with the time to devote to them.

Samoyeds have a strong prey drive. Once they see a small animal in the distance, they usually go after it. Due to their stubborn nature, they might display selective hearing in those situations. Many dog owners typically don't let Samoyed off the lead.

Let's look at some common Samoyed questions.

Can Samoyed's swim?

Yes, Samoyeds can swim. Their canine instinct will make them doggie paddle. That said, most Samoyeds are not fond of water. Their fur is non-buoyant and weighs them down. However, Samoyeds can discover a love for the water with the right incentives, patience and training.

When do Samoyed's ears stand up?

All Samoyeds are born with floppy ears. In general, their ears should stand up by the age of 6 months. But same as us humans, not all Samoyeds are the same. Cartilages that develop and grow stronger as your dog matures make the ears stand up. Over-petting and a diet with insufficient calcium can be why your white fluff has floppy ears at a later age. Genetics can also play a role. Ensure your puppy doesn't play too rough at a younger age to not damage the cartilages. If cartilages are injured in the growing process, you might end up with a Samoyed with one droopy ear. Not that this would be a bad thing. They are still cute!

Can Samoyed live in hot weather?

Samoyeds are an arctic spitz breed. They generally don't do well in hot weather but can live in hotter climates. Samoyeds can quickly become overheated, resulting in low energy and excessive panting. However, you can do a few things to alleviate the problem and help your dog.

1. Brush their fur to keep it free of knots (knots trap body heat)

2. Always have a full water bowl

3. Have aircon and tiles. Samoyeds will rarely sleep in a dog bed and prefer cool tiles.

4. Don't over-exercise and walk them either early morning or after sundown

5. Give them snacks from the fridge like cucumbers or watermelons with a high-water content

6. Put damp towels on them or on the floor

White Samoyed staring into the camera. Their muzzle is open and the tongue visible. The background is a wooden plank floor. The Samoyed looks attentive.
The smiley Samoyed face is a distinguishable feature and they always seem to be up to something.

Samoyed characteristics in a nutshell

  • Affectionate, loving and loyal

  • Remain puppy-like for long and are easily excitable

  • Love the outside and outdoor adventures

  • Can be pretty strong-willed, so need early training and an alpha person

  • Grooming is extensive, and they bark a lot. Not for the houseproud person

Potential diseases in the Samoyed breed

The Samoyed is mainly considered a genetically healthy breed. However, there are a few health issues to be aware of. Some health problems in Samoyeds include hip dysplasia and diabetes. Therefore, it is essential to ask your veterinarian about the health of the Samoyed before you make your final decision.

Many of these conditions can be treated if caught early, but it's essential to work with a reliable veterinarian familiar with this breed to ensure your dog receives proper care.

Most diseases are inherited in a recessive manner. It means the puppy must inherit both parents' genes to become affected. The puppy becomes a carrier if the mutation is only present in one parent. Hence, choosing a reputable breeder who has done genetic testing on their litters is essential.

The more aware you are of these diseases, the higher the chances you can prolong your dog's life if problems arise. Like your child, be mindful of all required vaccinations and risks outside your home. This blog post, for example, outlines all toxic spring plants that can harm your dog.

Many dog owners are unaware of the danger in some pet toys and accessories that can worsen health issues when they innocently buy cheap products from the Far East. For example, avoid synthetic rubber play things like chew bones or tug o' war ropes from polyester; polyester collars could cause skin irritation and fur matting while nylon toxins absorb into your pup's skin over time! Instead, swap those harmful materials with our eco-friendly pet products from plant-based materials here at Hooman's Friend.

What else?

Another thing to be aware of is Samoyeds and hot weather. Since they have an undercoat that keeps them warm in the winter, it is essential to take extra precautions during the summer months. They should never be left outside for extended periods since their thick fur can attract heat easily. If you are bringing your Samoyed on a road trip or even going out while running errands, then make sure to bring a cold water bottle and keep them in plenty of shady areas! As with all dog breeds, leaving them in a car is a no-go.

Samoyed Fun facts Samoyeds are great "singers". It is thought that due to their similarity with wolves, they can howl quite melodically. Their yodels can sound like singing anyway. Just play some music on an instrument and see what happens. Samoyed dogs love to harmonise.


Be sure to brush up on Samoyed's temperament and what to expect when living with one of these beautiful dogs. As the saying goes, "Dogs are not just for Christmas". So make sure you ask yourself all relevant questions before buying a dog so you don't need to re-home them later in life.

Samoyeds have a lot of energy and will likely find something to steal or destroy if you don't stimulate them enough. They don't require constant attention as they have an independent streak but can not be left alone for longer than 3 hours a day.

This is one of the dogs that require enough time dedicated to them so they can thrive with you. Put the time in, and you will have a loyal best friend who will love you back tenfold.

To learn more about other dog breeds, check related articles or sign up for our newsletter here. This will also trigger a code for 15% off your first order of our eco-friendly pet products. We are working hard to add all dog breeds as soon as possible to have a whole extensive library!

Owners voices about Samoyeds

"I first met a Samoyed when I was 11. From then until now I constantly reupped my knowledge on the breed, watched every video I could, read every article I found, talked to every Samoyed owner I came across, petted all of the Samoyeds too of course!
I knew from the moment I met my first one that they were my perfect dog! When I looked into their temperament and characteristics, I knew it was something I could handle and be willing to put the effort in to keep them well groomed.
The things I underestimated were not things I was thinking about because I wanted a male originally, and was preparing for a boisterous lovebug, but ended up with the sweetest female I could ever dream of
She’s very independent and doesn't like being cuddled for long, she loves to have her own space but at times will also become my shadow.
Things I expected but was surprised by was her temperament with other animals. I always thought Samoyeds would have a very high prey drive, (granted some do and it will depend on the lineage of your breeder) but my girl is so gentle and I let her interact with my rabbits free range in the house she just follows them and makes sure they are safe, sniffing them as they run past.
My biggest surprise was she rarely barks, which for a Samoyed is not the most common! But I’m not complaining"