Samoyeds are a beautiful Artic breed with a thick white coat. They were originally bred to be working dogs in Siberia where temperatures drop to 60 below zero. That is cold! They are often called the “smiley” dog or the smiling shed dog because the corner of their mouth is turned up as if smiling. This actually serves a very functional purpose. The mouth’s upturned corners keep the Samoyed from drooling and produce icicles on the face. The Samoyed is a powerful, agile individual which appears tireless and totally unaware of cold conditions.
They rarely show any aggression, yet are good watch dogs which bark when something approaches their territory. They are excellent companions for other dogs and especially good with little children. Amazingly, they remain playful until old age. Their love for companionship is a problem only if you don’t have time to spend with them. Samoyeds left alone for long time periods become bored and turn to destructive behavior or digging.
They are pack animals, therefore it is important to establish yourself as the alpha individual, otherwise they will be out of control and difficult to manage. They are sled dogs, accustomed to pulling things. If not properly leash trained, they will drag the owner instead of walking beside the owner.
Samoyeds were bred for hard work in the coldest environments. Their hair coat consists of a double layer with each layer serving a separate purpose. The inner coat is dense and short designed to serve as insulation. The outer layer is the longer layer which is coarse, and less dense. The outer layer is white to reflect the sunlight, thus disallowing it to penetrate to the skin. You should never shave a Samoyed haircoat, as they easily sunburn.
What about warmer climates? Samoyeds can thrive in warmer climates, because the outer layer of the coat reflects the light away from the skin, which in turns keeps them cool. However, it is very important to watch for signs they are becoming overheated. They may easily become dehydrated; excessive panting and uneasiness are primary indictors they may be overheating.
In more severe situations, their tongue and gums may become bright red. It is important that you offer your Samoyed water breaks when out walking. If the temperature is above 86, it is best they stay inside under the air conditioner. Just be certain to offer them plenty of water to avoid this disastrous sequela.
Enjoy your sweet breed and take them to the cooler areas where they can romp like puppies and utilize the benefit of a marvelous, protective hair coat.