Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dog Breed Profile: the Loyal and Loving Samoyed

By Suzanne Alicie

When it comes to choosing a dog, most animal lovers have a list of characteristics that they are looking for in a pet. Loyal, healthy, even tempered, playful, protective, and good with children are some of the most common. The Samoyed breed meets all the requirements listed above, as well as many others.

I may have a personal bias since I have – and love – a dog of this breed, but over the years our Samoyed has proven to be an excellent pet. Originally, these dogs were bred by a nomad tribe called Samoyede in Central Asia and Siberia. While the dogs were considered working dogs with jobs such as hunting, hauling and herding, they were also considered part of the tribe’s families. The loving treatment that the tribe gave to their hardworking companions has led to the loving and loyal pets that Samoyeds are today.

Although they are an Arctic breed, the Samoyed has adapted to the warmer climates of North America, yet they still love to play in the snow. Samoyed dogs are able to live fully outdoors, even on the coldest of days, but their loving nature makes them a welcome addition indoors.

Samoyeds enjoy attention and will do whatever the need to in order to get the attention of everyone in the house, all the way down to the smallest of children. They are gentle, curious, and very energetic. The Samoyed is not a solitary dog, and will let you know that he is tired of being left alone and is bored and frustrated by destructing some of your favorite possessions. Our dog is named Chaos because she is truly a huge white ball of destruction when she is unhappy. I’ve lost books, shoes, belts and socks whenever she is displeased with me.

The AKC standards for Samoyeds indicate that males stand between 21 to 23 1/2 inches at the withers, with the female coming in between 19 and 21 inches. The average weight of a full grown male Samoyed is between 45 and 65 pounds, and the female between 35 and 50 pounds.

Purebred Samoyeds are white, cream or biscuit colored with a thick two layer coat. The dense wooly undercoat sheds out once a year, while the overcoat sheds twice yearly. Anyone who owns a Samoyed knows that they are willing to wear white hair covered clothing for a few months out of the year just to see that sweet “Samoyed smile.” If you haven’t seen a Samoyed smile, you don’t know what you are missing.

YouTube has many great entertaining videos featuring Samoyeds. These vocal pets have a distinctive plaintive howl when they want to get your attention, and a whining type growl that they use to communicate. Samoyeds “talk” and even “sing” using this growling language. You can spend hours laughing with your family at a Samoyed’s antics and personality.

Like most other large breeds, the Samoyed can develop hip problems and arthritis which can slow them down a bit. However, with proper care, immunizations and love the Samoyed can live a long and full life. Our Samoyed Chaos is nearly 12 years old and still loves to run and play, even though she has some stiffness and moves a little more slowly these days.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

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