The Wonderful Smiling Samoyed  

Tris and Corny
Artwork copyright 2005 by Annie Reid

  All About the Samoyed  

     The following information has been put together to begin to introduce you to a breed of dogs we consider one of the best—the Samoyed.

    The Samoyed (Americanized spelling) dog, many considered as one of the “original five breeds,” was bred and raised in remote areas of the tundra region of Siberia from the White Sea to the Yenisei River by different tribes of the Samoyede (pronounced Sammy-yed’) people and is a true and pure breed. This beautiful white dog has been isolated and protected from “outside changes” in appearance and structure since discovered in the 1800s by English fur traders. There is, however, evidence that Samoyeds were not always pure white or biscuit. Occasionally, the original Samoyeds had brown or black markings. Pure white was the preferred color of the European discoverers.

    According to legend, the Samoyede people were one of the original tribes who migrated from Iran through Mongolia and in to the frozen tundra regions of Siberia. As nomadic people, they used their dogs as true working dogs—herding reindeer, pulling sledge, household companion, watch dog and helper. The Samoyed is a true example of the phrase “three dog night;” happy to keep their owners warm on those cold Siberian nights. This companionship has given them an almost uncanny “human” understanding of you—their “pack leader.” Over time they have developed a very unique, almost childlike disposition due to the fact that they were required to guard reindeer from predators while, at the same time, watch over the young Samoyede children. There are no toy or miniature varieties of the Samoyed because no small version could perform the responsibilities they were originally bred for.

    Samoyeds were recognized by European explorers as accomplished sled dogs who took them on expeditions to both the Artic and Antarctic in the late 1800s. Samoyeds were introduced by these explorers in England in l891 (one was presented to the English King and Queen as a gift) and to the United States in 1906.

    Classified by the American Kennel Club under the Working Group; the Samoyed excels in all working activities—including herding, sledding, weight pull, backpacking, skijoring, flyball and therapy dog.

    To us, there is only one breed that is powerful and sturdy yet gentle. One breed that adapts not only to every environment (Samoyeds live comfortably with the proper care in Hawaii or from Texas to Maine and California to Florida) but most family situations (large or small). One breed that can be considered so childlike with a curious and mischievous streak accentuated with even temperedness. One breed that is never vicious but is always ready to “guard” their territory or “pack family” with every ounce of their being. Only one breed is our beloved SAMOYED.


    The Samoyed Club of America founded and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1923 is the main body of breeders, pet owners and rescuers who watch over our breed. These members are the guardians who maintain the integrity of the Samoyed “Standard”, promoters of responsible breeding and organizers of local and national Samoyed events.

    Throughout the country you will also find a wide variety of local Samoyed breed clubs who are the backbone of many Samoyed related events as well as a great place for new Samoyed owners to join in and learn all the tricks about having a Sammie in their house. Along with these groups is also the Organization for the Working Samoyed who promotes all things Sammy Working.

    In the mid-1990s with the urging of the S.C.A. a logical extension of the oath to protect our breed National Samoyed Rescue was founded. Regional Samoyed Rescues who are supported by National Samoyed Rescue work as support groups for owners who have “problems” living with their companions, work with owners to rehome their Sam, if all options have been explored, and work responsibly with humane organizations, shelters and local animal control officers to rehabilitate and find new forever homes for neglected, lost or abandoned Samoyeds.

--Jim Becklund— (reprinted with permission)