The club has two major goals for offering working titles:
- To encourage Samoyed owners to work with their dogs in order to preserve the working abilities of the breed.
- To provide recognition for those Samoyed owners who work with their dogs.
The Samoyed Club offers the following titles:
- Working Samoyed (WS)
- Working Samoyed Excellent (WSX)
- Master Working Samoyed (WSXM)
In order to earn these titles, the owners and dogs have a number of choices and possibilities, as befits a versatile breed.
- Working Samoyed (WS) title: The dog must have earned at least 1000 points in any one or a combination of the recognized working categories; sled and cart racing, excursion sledding or carting, weight pull, packing, skijoring, therapy, herding, recreational canicross and competitive canicross. In addition, owners may request points for special applications.
- Working Samoyed Excellent (WSX) title: The dog must have earned at least 2000 points in any one or a combination of the above recognized working categories. In addition, owners may request points for special applications.
- Master Working Samoyed (WSXM) title: The dog must have earned at least 5000 points in at least four of the recognized working categories; sled and cart racing, excursion sledding or carting, weight pull, packing, skijoring, therapy, herding, recreational canicross and competitive canicross. The dog must have earned a minimum of 200 points in each of the four categories chosen.
The entire set of requirements is published annually in the SCA’s “At Your Service.” Following is a brief overview.
- Competitive sledding/carting: A Samoyed must compete in races under International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA) rules. A form must be signed by a race official. The formula to compute points for each dog on the team for competitive snow and dryland is found in your AYS.
- Excursion Sledding and carting: A Samoyed must participate as a member of a team that pulls a sled for a minimum of 10 miles (5 miles if the team consists of only two dogs or if the dogs are pulling a cart rather than a sled.) Points earned are 15 times the total miles traveled and leaders can earn additional points by multiplying total points by 1.25.
- Weight Pull: A Samoyed will earn points pulling at wheeled or snow pulls. For wheel pulls dogs earn 6 points for each body percentage pulled (pounds pulled divided by weight of dog multiplied by 6). For snow pulls 12 points for each body percentage pulled is earned (pounds pulled divided by weight of dog multiplied by 12). Pulls accepted are sanctioned under SCA, IWPA, UKC, AMCA and other organizations with criteria similar to these groups.
- Packing: A Samoyed must carry a minimum of 25% of its own body weight for a minimum of 5 miles. Each mile counts 10 points.
- Skijoring: This is part of excursion.
- Therapy: A Samoyed may earn 250 points with certification from a recognized therapy organization AND completing 15 hours of verified therapy work. Each therapy hour is worth 10 points.
- Herding Instinct: A Samoyed may earn up to 200 points for its Herding Capability Test, and can also receive points for actual farm or ranch work. Please read the entire rules in your AYS.
- Canicross is defined as a sport in which dog and person run as a team, with the dog in front and the runner behind, directing the dog with verbal commands. As the concept is that the dog pulls the person forward when the person’s feet are off the ground, the dog should not be running beside, behind, or at an angle to the person. Slack in the line/dog next to runner is allowed briefly for safety in certain circumstances, ie. loose downhill footing. Please see rules for more information for recreational and competitive canicross.
- Special Application: Owners can apply for special application points for work their dogs do that is not covered by the above categories. The SCA Working Samoyed Program committee determines the points allowed, case by case.
Many dogs have earned special application points through service work, search and rescue, hauling logs and brush for trail clearing, hauling equipment to an airplane crash site, and a variety of other such activities.
Points are not given for herding, obedience or agility competition because the AKC already acknowledges these activities with their own certification program. The SCA Working titles are not intended to duplicate other programs, but to honor the work Samoyeds do that has no other showcase.
Each application for a degree must be accompanied by rather meticulous documentation. Many Samoyed owners have produced wonderful books with their verification forms, pictures, and journal-type comments on their working activities. These documents are returned to the owners two years after submission. The documentation portfolios have become marvelous keepsakes of the time owners and dogs spend with each other.
As the years have gone on we are finding that the Samoyed community is paying much more attention to the dogs’ working activities and abilities. The national specialty now regularly includes at least four to five performance (working) events, and some SCA members now attend the specialty particularly for these events.
Working with your dog is a wonderful way to get to know your dog better, and keep yourself in shape, as well! People interested in pursuing the working degrees can apply to the SCA for a workbook that includes a brief article on how to become involved in each of the activities, the forms necessary to document the dog’s work, and useful information such as a selection of outfitters for equipment, and addresses of organizations such as ISDDRA and IWPA.
For more information about the Working Samoyed Certification Program, or for copies of the workbook, contact: