How to Care for a Samoyed
It’s easy to fall in love with a Samoyed. These happy, beautiful canines sport a charming personality. The American Kennel Club describes them as “adaptable, friendly and gentle.” As likeable as they are, the Samoyed’s care needs are substantial. He’s not the dog for you if you aren’t fond of white dog hair, don’t like exercise and — perhaps — live in a hot climate.
When you purchase a Samoyed puppy, buy from a responsible breeder. Someone familiar with her dogs and their personalities can help match you with the right puppy.
The Samoyed’s thick white coat requires regular grooming to keep it from matting and to prevent your house from being overwhelmed by dog hair.
Twice a year, each spring and fall, Sammies blow their coats. While a weekly brushing suffices most of the time, you should groom him daily during the semi-annual blowout. Your Samoyed doesn’t require frequent bathing — three times a year should do it, unless he gets very dirty.
Exercise and Training
A Sammie needs a lot of exercise. In addition to daily walks, he should have a large, fenced-in yard in which to play. The Sammie loves kids and makes a fine family dog. Active children can wear themselves and their dog out quite happily.
Take your Samoyed to puppy kindergarten and obedience school. As sweet as he is, your Sammie is likely to have a stubborn streak. Early and positive, consistent training can make him a good citizen. Don’t forget he’s a member of the AKC working dog group. He enjoys having a job. Besides the usual canine sports in which he can shine, such as agility, Flyball and obedience, the two of you can participate in Northern pastimes, including sledding. Reindeer herding, anyone?
Sammies are generally healthy, but like most purebred dogs, they are prone to a few genetic issues. Remember that this is a Northern breed who doesn’t do well in heat and humidity.
In hot weather, keep your Samoyed in an air-conditioned area, and take him for walks or other exercise in the cool of the morning and evening. Skin problems, such as hot spots, plague Sammies. You can avoid some skin issues by keeping your dog on a topical or oral monthly flea and tick preventive.
Hip dysplasia, a congenital hip joint malformation, occurs in the breed. Seriously affected dogs may require surgery. Older Samoyeds may experience diabetes, hypothyroidism — low thyroid hormone production — and heart disease. Progressive retinal atrophy, which eventually causes blindness, usually appears in young adult dogs.