Hello, I have always loved the Samoyed breed but have wondered how they are as pets. I know they're known to be heavy shedders, and some tips on how to deal with that hair would be very much appreciated! I have a Westie right now, but I used to own Spitzes and I'm pretty used to the shedding :)
Heavy shedders indeed! While different Samoyed owners will report different levels of intensity - and it will vary depending on gender, neuter/spay status, and time of year - you’re still definitely looking at heavy shedding. If you aren’t prepared to…
- desensitize your puppy as young as possible to the grooming process
- brush daily during certain times of the year, several times a week the rest of the year
- vacuum a lot
- have hair on your furniture, clothes, eyes, inside of your mouth
- pay a decent amount for an experienced groomer semi-frequently OR do your own set up
…then you should not get a Samoyed.
As with the varying opinions on intensity of shedding, there are also varying suggestions on how frequently you should take your Sammy to the groomer (or bathe them yourselves), but it should be at least twice a year for the puppo’s health. More information here, from the Samoyed Club of America: https://www.samoyedclubofamerica.org/the-samoyed/health-and-care/grooming/
The #1 best way to keep shedding down… is with frequent line combing and brushing. Do not ever shave your Sammy unless it is necessary for medical reasons. Do not ever use a Furminator, please, it will damage his coat. If you want to do your own grooming setup, here are the best videos & resources I’ve found online. These are all done by the Samoyed Moms who consist of some owners and breeders.
- Part 1 of 4 of the grooming YouTube series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIeCOPlENmE (parts 2-4 should show up on the sidebar to your right)
- Written grooming advice, with the perfect title, “Zen and the Art of Samoyed Maintenance” (that’s a play on a book title, I love it): http://samoyedmoms.com/Grooming.html
Anyway, that’s grooming. If you’re more interested in what they are like as pets, then I would turn to YouTube videos and the Samoyed reddit. I would also recommend contacting the SCA and seeing if you can attend some shows, get involved with rescues, or even meet a breeder just to get to know the dogs.
Every Samoyed I’ve ever known has a very relaxed, polite temperament. They are not easily bothered or stirred - they politely and gently remove themselves from the situation instead, if necessary. Important things to know about them as a breed are the following:
- They NEED to be with you and your family. While they are an ancient breed, they are more people-oriented than, say, huskies. Some are cuddle bugs, some are less so because they get hot, but they are still not the type of dog to do well being left alone for long periods of time. If you do that, there is a good chance there will be some destruction as a result of boredom and potentially anxiety.
- They are independent thinkers. Training will be different than other dog breeds. Once they’ve learned a new trick, it’s better to generally move onto something new than to keep repeating something they’ve already learned. It’s boring and they’ll definitely let you know.
- They are, in general, jokesters. Some breed judges prefer Samoyeds that aren’t perfectly behaved in the ring because they feel that better represents the breed as a whole.
In essence, the Samoyede people that the breed is named after bred and raised them to work independently from humans. Typically, they’d have several dogs and one would be the “lead” dog that took some instruction from the humans. That dog would then lead the others to their tasks for the day - herding, pulling, what have you. At the end of the day, though, they returned home to their people, often to snuggle up and help keep everyone warm. Notice how throughout their typical day they are either with other dogs or people, though! They don’t like to be alone.
Finally, if you keep the giant wads of fur you’ve brushed out of your Sammy, you can do as the Samoyede people did and save their fur for spinning and knitting (another trait they bred for was their fur texture!).
Answered by: @phdpaws