The Samoyed has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Reindeer herder, work dog, guardian, and companion of the nomadic Samoyed peoples of northwestern Siberia, the Samoyed possesses great intelligence and strength. Samoyeds were included in sled teams that explored Antarctica and the South Pole. Although the breed’s primary purpose has changed from reindeer herder to sled puller and companion, the Samoyed has retained its gentle, protective temperament.


Medium; females 19 to 21 inches, 38 to 50 pounds; males 21 to 24 inches, 50 to 65 pounds.


White (can have cream or biscuit-colored spots, especially on the head).


Gentle, amiable, and playful; loves everyone. Intelligent, but bores quickly and may bark and dig. May tend to herd children.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Active family with fenced yard and year-round pile of snow.


Daily vigorous exercise (long walk, jogs, sled pulling, play sessions), coat brushing twice a week (more during shedding), cool climate or air conditioning.

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.