Samoyed.jpg
Breed Group Group 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds
Sub-group 2-D: Nordic Sled Dogs
Origin Country Russia/Siberia
Weight Males: 0-0 pounds. Females: 0-0 pounds.
Height Males: 0-0 inches. Females: 0-0 inches.
Other Name(s) Bjelkier, SamoiedsKaia Sabaka, Samoyedskaya
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD
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Samoyed

Breed Group Group 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds
Sub-group 2-D: Nordic Sled Dogs
Origin Country Russia/Siberia
Weight Males: 0-0 pounds. Females: 0-0 pounds.
Height Males: 0-0 inches. Females: 0-0 inches.
Other Name(s) Bjelkier, SamoiedsKaia Sabaka, Samoyedskaya
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Breed Spotlight

Origins

The very existence of the Samoyede people of northwestern Siberia was based on the reindeer that they herded and the dogs that helped them with that daunting task. Their dogs had to be hardy and resilient in the extreme climate in which they lived and able to move with the reindeer as the seasons changed. Many jobs fell to these dogs, including pulling sledges (large sleds), hunting, and, most importantly, herding.

The Samoyedes’ dogs were also their companions, and because the dogs needed to be protected from the elements, they slept inside with the family. Children were kept warm by curling up next to the thick warm fur of their dogs. For this reason, the dogs had to be friendly and good natured, and it is thought that the process of artificial selection came into play at this point, whereby the more aggressive dogs were not protected from the freezing temperatures as much as the friendlier dogs. This occurrence would have helped to instill the well-known good temperament into the breed.

One of the most brilliant minds of North Pole explorations, Nansen Fridtjof, chose this superior Nordic breed to lead him on his treacherous journeys. The Samoyed breed proved to be an excellent choice, guiding Fridtjof further north than any other explorer had ventured.

Roald Amundsen, one of the many polar explorers who followed Nansen, was the first to successfully reach the South Pole with his team of Samoyeds in 1911. The grueling trip took 99 days to complete, but it served to put Amundsen and the Samoyed dog in the limelight. These dogs were acknowledged for having the strength, intelligence, and ability to withstand the long excursion.

The dogs that made it back from the expeditions were taken to the homelands of the explorers, with most of them hailing from England and a few from Norway. Consequently, most of today’s Samoyeds have ancestry that can be traced back to those dogs who braved the stark climate of the arctic wasteland.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, with its widest point being at the ears. When viewed from the front or in profile, the skull is just slightly arched. A slight median furrow may be evident, starting at the stop and fading toward the occiput. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, obliquely set, sparkling, and dark in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Somewhat small in size, firmly erect, and triangular in shape, with slightly rounded tips. Set high on the skull, yet well apart. They should be visibly mobile and alert. The ears are never large, long, or broken.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. The muzzle tapers from the broad base toward the nose, giving the head a distinct, wedged shape.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, with “snow” (or, “winter”) nose permissible so long as the original black pigmentation is evident. Self-colored noses are permitted in nonstandard varieties.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage, it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows or just above the point of the elbows.
Body: Compact, deep, and of good substance. It should denote both power and suppleness. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set fairly high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. When moving, the tail is usually carried over the back to one side or the other. The tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.
Movement: Energetic, effortless, and efficient, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: Social by nature, the gentle Samoyed is great with children and other dogs, making him an ideal family companion. They are well-known for being fun-loving and merry. His training can be rather difficult, as the Samoyed was bred for years to think for himself, and consequently can be reluctant to do things their owner’s way. However, his love of companionship considered, he can be won over with plenty of praise, consistency, and, above all, patience. Because of his social and accepting nature, he is not recommended as a guard dog. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds

Proportions: Somewhat off-square with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal length-to-height ratio is between approximately 10:9, or with the body being 5 percent greater in length than the height at the withers. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, with its widest point being at the ears. When viewed from the front or in profile, the skull is just slightly arched. A slight median furrow may be evident, starting at the stop and fading toward the occiput. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: The expression of the Samoyed is unique to the breed, having what is known as the Samoyed smile. This is the culmination of sparkling eyes, alert ears, and mouth corners drawn just slightly up. The expression is lively, merry, and approachable.
Stop: The stop is definite, but not severe.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is approximately 1:1 to 5:4, with the topskull being equal to, or just slightly greater than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is slightly convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. The muzzle tapers from the broad base toward the nose, giving the head a distinct, wedged shape.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean, well-pigmented, and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, with “snow” (or, “winter”) nose permissible so long as the original black pigmentation is evident. Self-colored noses are permitted in nonstandard varieties.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smoothly muscled and never appear chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level or scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, obliquely set, sparkling, and dark in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Somewhat small in size, firmly erect, and triangular in shape, with slightly rounded tips. Set high on the skull, yet well apart. They should be visibly mobile and alert. The ears are never large, long, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, deep, and of good substance. It should denote both power and suppleness. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage, it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows or just above the point of the elbows.
Topline: Level from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is short, taut, and level. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Broad and gently sloped.
Underline: Moderately tucked-up. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set fairly high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. When moving, the tail is usually carried over the back to one side or the other. The tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The distance from the withers to the brisket may be equal to, or just less than the distance from the elbows to the ground. The distance from the ground to the elbow should be no more than 55% of the body height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Dense double-coat. The coat is short on the face, forehead, and front of the forelimbs and hindlimbs. The outer coat is longer on the neck, and shoulders, forming a ruff and mane, and on the rear of the forelimbs and hindlimbs, forming well-developed fringe and trousers, and a well-plumed tail. Hair between the toes protects the feet. Undercoat is dense, soft, and short. The coat of the male is more profuse and slightly harsher to the touch, while the coat of the female is somewhat shorter and softer. The coat should never be abundantly thick, abundantly long, or silky. Proper coats have a glisten or sheen to them.
Coat Color or Pattern: Solid white, cream, ivory, or white with biscuit markings.

Movement

Energetic, effortless, and efficient, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

Social by nature, the gentle Samoyed is great with children and other dogs, making him an ideal family companion. They are well-known for being fun-loving and merry. His training can be rather difficult, as the Samoyed was bred for years to think for himself, and consequently can be reluctant to do things their owner’s way. However, his love of companionship considered, he can be won over with plenty of praise, consistency, and, above all, patience. Because of his social and accepting nature, he is not recommended as a guard dog. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.