(AKC Working Group)

The Samoyed is a lively, powerful Arctic dog with a broad wedge-shaped head. The body is just slightly longer than tall, with a typical Spitz build. The long fluffy tail is carried in the characteristic Spitz curl over the back. Built for endurance, this dog’s the chest is deep and the hindquarters well muscled. The eyes and nose are dark, and the erect ears are triangular with a rounded tip. The dark lips should curve upward in a characteristic smile. The large feet are covered with hair for protection from the Arctic's extreme temperatures. The very thick double coat is white, with pure white preferred, though cream and biscuit colors are accepted. The coat has a lovely silvery sheen. The fur is so weather resistant that Samoyed people made clothes out of it.


The Samoyed is named for the Samoyedes, a nomadic Siberian tribe that raised the breed for centuries. The tribe used the dogs for herding, hunting, and bed warming. The breed was not used as a sled dog until the late 1800s and is therefore not bred for sledding as much as the Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute. The Samoyed was first brought to England by fur traders in the late 1800s and later used on polar expeditions, including Amundsen's successful South Pole attempt. At that time, the breed came in several colors. Today, the Samoyed is a popular companion, therapy dog, and show dog.

Key Facts:



A gentle dog, peaceable, and dignified. Very devoted. Tends to favor one person, but loves everyone. Easygoing, friendly, and quite playful. Highly intelligent but often willfully resistant to formal obedience training. Eventually responds to firm, patient training.