The Samoyed

A complete breed guide

LAST UPDATED 13 December 2021

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Michelle Wong BVSc

Best known for their signature 'Sammy smile', these dogs are happy and good-natured. Originally a working dog, the Samoyed needs plenty of exercise and activities for a healthy lifestyle.


At a glance
Best Toys for a Samoyed
Common Health Problems

At a glance


Place of origin:


Life expectancy:

12-14 years

Breed size:


Energy level:


Tendency to bark:


Height range:

Male: 21-23 inches

Female: 19-21 inches

Coat type:

Medium length

Social needs:

Love getting attention

Weight range:

Males: 23-30kg

Females: 17-25kg

Shedding factor:


Overall grooming needs:


Coat colours:

White and biscuit, cream, or pure white



This breed originated from Siberia and were used by the Samoyede tribe to pull sleds and herd reindeer. The reindeer they herded were under the Samoyed’s protection. The dogs also hunted game and protected the tribe from predators. They lived closely with the tribe and slept in their tents, developing a love of family life.

At the end of the 19th century, these dogs were brought out of Siberia to pull sledges on Artic and Antarctic expeditions. Only the strongest and fittest dogs could survive such terrible hardship on man's quest for the pole.

From living with the peaceful nomads, the Samoyed developed a love and trust of humans, making them not only intelligent, powerful working dogs but also devoted and loving family dogs.

Personality and Characteristics

Samoyeds are outgoing, friendly, and loyal dogs to their family and will protect their homes. They are good with children and love to be included in all family activities.

This breed has strong chase instinct and will often take off after small animals such as cats or wildlife. It is important to have a securely fenced yard and to keep him on a leash at all times outside for his own safety. If you have small household pets, you must properly socialise the Samoyed puppy.

As they were originally working dogs, the Samoyeds are active and intelligent. They can be stubborn and wilful at times. If not provided with the right training and exercise, the Samoyed can be destructive and excessively vocal. They will need consistent leadership and early obedience training using techniques such as positive behavioural training.

Early socialisation is important, as for every puppy. Exposure to many different experiences, people and other animals while they are young will ensure your Samoyed to grow into a well-rounded adult. Puppy school is always a good start. You can invite friends and family over to visit, bring him out to busy parks or stroll outside to greet the neighbours - these will all help to make him a well socialised dog.


Best Toys for a Samoyed

IFetch Ball Launcher

Award-winning, high-quality ball launcher for medium and large dogs.

Pawise Frisbee

Good quality products that are very affordable. Pet parents love Pawise fun dog toys!

Chuckit Ball Thrower

Chuckit Ball Launchers are popular ball throwers designed to lob your dog’s ball further than ever before!

Tasty Bone Dental Trio in PeppermintTasty Bone Dental Trio in Peppermint

Tasty Bone's unique nubs help to scrape tartar off the tooth as they chew, which helps keep your dogs teeth and gums healthy.


Samoyeds are often a family pet in Australia, rather than a working dog, and they receive less than 1-2 hours of exercise per day. They can be fed a premium pet food designed for 'medium' or 'all breeds'. Always be sure to seek a high quality diet, as this can help keep your Samoyed's coat soft, healthy, and shiny. Premium, high quality diet recommendations include Royal Canin, Advance, or Hills Science Diet.

Puppies will need the right balance of energy, protein, fat and other nutrients for growth and development of the skeleton and immune system. Be sure to feed an age appropriate puppy diet for optimal health and development. See our Puppy Food Guide for more information.

When should you transition a Samoyed from puppy to adult food? Samoyeds can be transitioned from a 'puppy' food to an 'adult' food at around 12 months of age.


Top food recommendations for Adult Samoyeds

Royal Canin Medium Adult

Royal Canin is made from high quality, highly digestible proteins and has a balanced fibre content to support healthy digestion and keep your adult medium breed dog in peak condition.

Advance Medium Chicken with Rice

ADVANCE Adult Dog contains controlled levels of minerals and is highly digestible to help reduce the risk of urinary tract disease. It is also designed to help reduce dental tartar and promote oral health.

Hills Science Diet

Hills Science Diet is formulated using high quality ingredients to ensure easy digestion and contains a clinically proven antioxidant complex to support a healthy immune system.

Black Hawk

Black Hawk is a high quality, Australian made, holistic diet for adult dogs. It contains functional ingredients with known beneficial properties like blueberries, dandelion and rosemary.

Top food recommendations for Samoyed Puppies

Royal Canin Medium Puppy

Very high quality diet tailored for the needs of medium breed puppies. High in fish oil which is a natural source of omega fatty acids to support healthy skin, a shiny coat and optimal brain development.

Advance Medium Puppy

Australian made, high quality puppy food designed to support healthy growth and development.

Eukanuba Puppy Medium Breed

A complete and balanced puppy food suitable for all breeds which is rich in nutrients to promote healthy digestion, skin and coat health as well as brain development.

Open Farm

At Open Farm, every product is proudly produced with a focus on transparent sourcing and traceability, humane production animal welfare standards, ethically sourced ingredients, and sustainable fishing practices in line with Ocean Wise Standards.

Common Health Problems

Hip Dysplasia

Inheritable condition where there is abnormal conformation of the hip joint. This can cause pain in the young dog due to the instability, and eventually lead to osteoarthritis development in the hip joint.


Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that may be either primary (inherited) or secondary (acquired). Primary glaucoma is where abnormal drainage inside the eye leads to sudden increase of pressure in the eye and may cause blindness. Glaucoma is a painful condition and must be treated immediately.

Samoyed hereditary glomerulopathy

An inherited kidney disease which leads to kidney failure and 2-month-old puppies may begin to lose protein in urine. Male Samoyeds are more severely affected and with rapidly worsening kidney function, death often occurs by 15 months.


Samoyeds are at a high risk for diabetes mellitus. Dogs will show signs of increased thirst and urination, weight loss, when their body cannot regulate blood sugar levels. This condition can be treated with insulin.


The Samoyed has a thick double coat – a longer outer coat with harsh hair and a soft undercoat. These dogs will require regular brushing to maintain.

Top Recommended Grooming Products

Ivory Coat Glossy Coat Shampoo

Australian made, cruelty free product. Ivory Coat Glossy Coat Shampoo is an all-natural shampoo that contains Australian macadamia oil with nettle and papaya extracts to replenish and rejuvenate dry and dull coats.

Furminator Deshedding Tool

The most popular deshedding brush is the Furminator. These brushes work by using a bristle-blade combination that selectively de-sheds the undercoat and loose hair without cutting or damaging the top coat on double-coated breeds.

Dermcare Natural Shampoo

Dermcare-Vet was founded by specialist veterinary dermatologist in 1981. Dermcare Natural Shampoo is a gentle, hypoallergenic cleanser designed especially for pets with normal and sensitive skin.

Open Farm

JW Pet products use hands on product research and development to develop intelligent product designs that make the lives of pets and pet parents easier.

Further Reading

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