Do you know any Samoyed facts? They aren't the most popular breed of dog, but you'd certainly remember if you saw one with its majestic all-white coat, black nose, and upturned black mouth. The Samoyed is a medium-sized herding dog that was bred to be comfortable in snowy lands of Siberia and Russia.
These adorable white fluffs can weigh anywhere from 35 to 66 pounds and can be between 19 and 24 inches tall - not too big and not too small, that's for sure. Samoyeds are a breed that has been around since before the emergence and tracking of modern breeds in the 19th century. Samoyeds are an old breed, with an incredibly interesting history and background.
If you're considering getting a Samoyed, or are just interested in the breed in general, we've gathered 10 Samoyed facts to help you learn more.
1. Samoyeds are from Siberia
Samoyeds belong to the Spitz dog group, more specifically the Laikas, which were dogs bred in the Eurasia area used mostly for sledding, herding, hunting, and guarding. Samoyeds are descended from the Nenets Herding Laika, also known as the Reindeer Herding Laika (which aren't all white). Samoyeds were bred from a small number of them in Siberia, and were used for hunting, herding reindeer, and sledding to help the Samoyed people of Siberia get around.
2. Samoyeds smile for a reason
The Samoyed smile is iconic: their black gums stark against their white fur, turned up in a happy little grin 24-7. But Samoyeds don't smile because it's cute - they do it because of evolution. They upturned mouth prevents the Samoyeds from drooling out of the corner of their mouths, which ultimately prevents drool icicles from forming in the frigid temperatures of their homeland.
4. Samoyeds are very comfortable in the cold
If you think where you are is cold, spare a thought for the Siberian town of Oymyakon where temperatures of minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit are quite common. Samoyed dogs are specifically good at dealing with the cold; their thick, white coat is so dense it helps protect them against the elements. Sometimes in cold weather, they can be spotted sleeping with their fluffy tails over their noses to help keep that bare bit warm.
4. Samoyeds have been to the Poles
During the 1800s, explorers like Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen and Englishmen Robert Scott brought Samoyeds on expeditions to both the North and South Poles. Sadly, however, the misunderstanding of the breed often led to explorers bobbing their tails, which Samoyeds usually use to help keep their noses warm. Because of this, in many cases, Samoyeds died on these expeditions - an incredibly sad example of what happens when you don't know enough about a dog breed and being a dog owner.
5. Samoyeds have a double-layer coat
That coat that's so good at keeping Samoyeds warm is a double-layer coat. The topcoat, or the one you see most of, contains white, long, and coarse guard hairs that actually look a bit silvery up close. This guard coat helps keep dirt and debris from getting to the Samoyed's second coat, the undercoat, which has short, dense, and soft fur designed to keep them warm. This means that once or twice a year the Samoyed will "blow their coat" or shed a ton of their undercoat to help cope with the seasons. Samoyeds shed a lot in general, so keep that in mind, though they are considered a hypoallergenic dog breed.
6. You can knit with their fur
Samoyeds sure do shed a lot - but you can use their discarded fur to knit things. Samoyed fur is sometimes used as an alternative to wool in knitting, as many say it has a similar texture to angora wool. Their fur is sometimes woven to create artificial flies used in fly fishing. Talk about a double coat having a double purpose!
7. Samoyeds don't have an odor
Because of their unique double coats, Samoyeds don't have a lot of dander. The low amount of dander in their cat means that they don't have the traditional doggy odor. Yup, Samoyeds don't really smell, which could be a selling point for anyone sensitive to puppy smells. Their double coat and low dander counts also mean they are less likely to cause allergies, another sell for potential owners.
8. They’re pack dogs
Samoyeds were bred to hunt, herd, and guard, so they are considered pack dogs. They can get along with other dogs and people very well, as they consider you part of their pack. However, they must learn early on who the "alpha" is in the family, so they'll need a firm but loving hand in training - and consistency. These dogs are incredibly smart and affectionate, but they can be a bit stubborn and mischievous - so make sure you get them the proper training early on in puppyhood.
9. Samoyeds can sing (sort of!)
Samoyeds are genetically pretty close to wolves, so it's no surprise that they can howl with the best of them. Samoyed owners take to social media to show off their dogs' vocal chops, like Teddy up here, who liked to sing along to specific songs - including pizza commercials. Teddy passed away in 2016, but we're sure he's singing to us from the Rainbow Bridge. If you own a Samoyed, howling or playing music could get them to sing along with you - but be prepared for them to keep the habit (and consider buying ear plugs).
10. One famous Samoyed does ASMR
Maya the Samoyed, also known as Maya Polar Bear, is an Instagram and YouTube sensation. Maya (and her mother) are also a big fan of video game Genshin Impact, a free-to-play action RPG that launched last year. Maya and her mom do ASMR videos on YouTube, which are popular calming videos people watch to help them sleep. These videos feature Maya chowing down in different kinds of food right in front of a mic, so there's tons of crunchy sounds and adorable faces.
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