About the Breed
The Samoyed is alert, expressive, intelligent, full of action and affectionate. Joy is shown by the sparkle in his eyes and the mouth curving upward at the corners forming the well known “Sammy Smile.”
The Samoyed’s intelligence can be a challenge to the owner. Man in the past depended upon the Samoyed and it was the latter who made the decisions, worked independently of man for the survival of man. The dog was “on his own” to find the reindeer, gain their confidence, protect them from wolves and herd them back to human environment. They taught their young this independence and responsibility, instilling this great instinct of reasoning so strongly that it rules the minds of the breed today.
Yet we expect this highly intelligent animal to give up his heritage, his independence and bow to our every wish or we call him stubborn, unmanageable, stupid. Why do so many owners have so many problems with their dogs while others have perfect harmony? The answer is in the handling, not by forceful demands, but by an understanding of love and respect between them. The Samoyed a mind of his own; respect it and he will comply with love and patience. He can be the easiest of all breeds to train or the hardest to control, depending on how you handle the situation. Training must be given; a command once given must be obeyed. He will obey and keep his dignity if you have had close companionship and understanding of each other. Keep in mind your command can very well sound stupid to him. At this point while matching wits, meet the challenge, present your point as an enjoyable and intelligent command by expressing delight in sharing it, and praise him highly when done, even though it was not just as you expected.
Being alert and full of action, the Samoyed should respond as a happy worker. His great love of mankind is your control of his independence. He is a jealous dog. He wants your attention. He will please you to get it.
The home life of the past reflects character today. He slept with his masters and the babies; he was part of the family. Tie him, ignore him and you will have a problem dog to handle. Love him, gain his respect, take him with you for rides, let him share your home and life and you will build the character his breed possesses. Character cannot be built without close human relationship, either in a kennel, or at the end of a chain, but as the center of your attention, loved, respected and wanted. Your reward will be respect, protection, performance and love coupled with intelligence beyond belief.
The herding instinct is very strong. He will take off after a rabbit despite your command to stay. He will need a fenced-in yard. If you want a dog who will stay on your porch, who will not stray, this is not your breed. If you are willing to give your time and love, you will receive the greatest treasure a dog lover could own, being owned by a Sammy.