We get a lot of people asking us about our puppy. Whenever we take her out somewhere, she is met with hordes of kids wanting to pat her, and adults treating her like she is a new-born baby. Given, she is fucking adorable, and has the most lovely nature ever. But, there is a lot to owning a Samoyed, as i have come to learn. If you are thinking about getting a Samoyed, please do lots of research. I hope you find this post useful too, but please i cant stress enough that these dogs are a lot of work, and you need to understand that. Very rewarding for the right family though. 🙂
My partner and i have always been animal lovers. In a strange and unfortunate turn of events, she became allergic to cats and dogs after having our little boy. News to me, i didn’t even know that could happen, apparently it can.
Anyway, we spent months looking online at various dog breeds that are good for allergies. Little fucking yippy dogs and hairless Montgomery Burns looking things, all of them. My apologies to any of you who like these dogs. But, they are not for us. I grew up with a Rottweiler and a Rhodesian Ridgeback, both large dogs, and she grew up with a Rotty and a Red Cattle Dog. Suffice to say, a little yipper was out.
Then we came across the Samoyed. These dogs are fucking beautiful in my opinion, just look at them. All majestic looking and shit, and a medium-sized dog. Ok, let’s do some research shall we. They also produce a surprisingly low amount of dander, which is the allergen in dogs/cats. We also sourced a local person in town with a Samoyed for my partner to meet and play with, just to be sure. Well, all good.
Looking online, there is always a few things that come up consistently about the Sammy:
3. People Loving
Yes, there are a few other, more specific things you need to look into such as hip dysplasia, and a genetic disease they are prone to called, Samoyed hereditary glomerulopathy, which kills them after about a year old. However, these can be mitigated and avoided by going to a good breeder.
1 / 4 / 5. Grooming
Ok, i will start with the grooming. As you can see, these beasts are very, very fluffy. They have a double coat of fur which insulates them from the cold of Siberia, where they originate, and also the heat. If you live in a hot climate like us however, make sure you give them plenty of shade and water as overheating can happen.
Anyway, like i said, double coat, grooming and such. Our pup is now about six months old. She is not fully grown just yet. At the moment, i spend around half an hour each night giving her a brush. Not so bad right?
Actually, every other night (about three times a week), she also gets a good going over with a steel toothed comb. This session generally takes about an hour. We the Samoyed is shedding its undercoat, like has just happened with Zelda, the combing can take about two hours. That’s right, two hours, three times a week, a brush every other day. AND SHE LIVES INSIDE MOST OF THE TIME!
Now, aside from that, there is the bath. Oh the bath and how she hates it. As Zelda lives inside, we get away with a bath once a month. Luckily, the Samoyed does not really have that ‘dog’ smell. True, no shit. Anyway, a bath is quite an ordeal, not only for me, but for her too. I will cover it in the below steps for you:
i) Brush and comb. Yep, you know that two hour comb, you need to do it now
ii) Bath. I throw her into our bathtub with some warm water and wool wash liquid mixed in. Then use a bucket and some doggy shampoo. To actually get down into her fur you really need to scrub. Who needs a gym?
iii) Blow dry. For fucks sake, you are kidding right? Nope. Sadly, not. She then NEEDS to be blow dried. If not, the fur will mat up and she will be sporting dread locks for life
iv) Brush. I should really comb her too, but fuck it. A brush will do
That’s the bath. It usually takes the best part of a weekend morning to do it. On a good note, you would be surprised to know that the white fur does not get ‘dirty’ as such. It repels dirt and will remain mostly white for a month or so, which is good.
The Samoyed is well-known for its vocal range. No shit, they make all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds! 🙂 But, the downside is they can become nuisance barkers. This needs to be tackled very early on as part of training. Our approach was to train her to ‘speak’ on command. She will still make her sounds and all that, which we love, but it is not an issue. Be warned, you MUST KEEP AN EYE ON THIS.
3. People Loving
Dear god, these dogs love people. This was one of the deciding factors for us, seeing YouTube clips of kids pulling at them and crawling over them, most dogs would hate it. But the Sammy loves it, welcomes it even. We can very comfortably leave Zelda and our little guy alone to play with no concern for either of their well-being. She is just a lovely thing, will not ever hurt him. He has punched, kicked, pulled her hair, tail, ears, and even wrapped an elastic band around her snout to stop her from barking. This was met with nothing but love from Zelda. Of course, we had to scold the toddler though..
There is a downside though. Samoyeds are prone to separation anxiety. They can get very lonely and destructive if left alone consistently, and for long periods of time. If you can’t be around them much, the Sammy is not for you. That said, with some training, you can leave them be for hours at a time with little to no issue.
If you want a guard dog, forget it. These things love everybody, i mean everybody.
We read a lot online about the importance of formal puppy obedience training. So much so as we booked her in, but as fate would have it, that afternoon we couldn’t go as we had other more pressing issues to attend to. We have still not sent her, and won’t now.
Given, we are dog people, and know how to train a dog. This is not easy with a Sammy though. They are very intelligent dogs, and will try to excerpt their dominance over you while young. You need to make sure they understand where they sit in the pack, and who the leader/s are. Your training also needs to be modified. They need to be constantly challenged, or they will lose interest quickly after picking something up. We had this issue with ‘lay down’, had to change approach, too much to tell. Send me a message if you want the details.
With patience and time, they will become very loyal and obedient dogs. Zelda is lovely, one word commands, all the time. She does have the attitude of a pre-teen girl though, and will ‘grumble’ at you if she does not want to do something. Very cute and funny i think, good to have some personality. 🙂