Samoyed Breed Standard
(a) General Appearance – The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should presenta picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility, dignity and grace. As his work lies in cold climates, his coat should be heavy and weather-resistant, well groomed, and of good quality rather then quantity. The male carries more of a “ruff” than the female. He should not be long in the back as a weak back would make him practically useless for his legitimate work, but at the same time, a close-coupled body would also place him at a great disadvantage as a draft dog. Breeders should aim for the happy medium, a bodynot long but muscular, allowing liberty, with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, strong neck, straight front and especially strong loins. Males should be masculine in appearance and deportment without unwarranted aggressiveness; bitches femininewithout weakness of structure or apparent softness of temperament. Bitches may be slightly longer in back than males. They should both give the appearance of being capable of great endurance but be free from coarseness. Because of the depth of chest required, the legs should be moderately long. A very short-legged dog is to be deprecated. Hindquarters should be particularly well developed, stifles well bent and any suggestion of unsound stifles or cow hocks severely penalized. General appearance should include movement and general conformation, indicating balance and good
(b) Substance – Substance is that sufficiency of bone and muscle which rounds out a balance with the frame. The bone is heavier than would be expected in a dog of this size but not so massive as to prevent the speed and agility most desirable in a Samoyed. In all builds, bone should be in proportion to body size. The Samoyed should never be so heavy as to appear clumsy nor so light as to appear racy. The weight should be in proportion to the height.
(c) Height – Males–21 to 23½ inches; females–19 to 21 inches at the withers. An oversized or undersized Samoyed is to be penalized
according to the extent of the deviation.
(d) Coat (Texture and Condition) – The Samoyed is a doublecoated dog. The body should be well covered with an undercoat of soft, short, thick, close wool with longer and harsh hair growing through it to form the outer coat, which stands straight out from the body and should be free from curl. The coat should form a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head (more on males than on females). Quality of coat should be weather resistant and considered more than quantity. A droopy coat is undesirable. The coat should glisten with a silver sheen. The female does not usually carry as long a coat as most males and it is softer in texture.
(e) Color – Samoyeds should be pure white, white and biscuit, cream, or all biscuit. Any other colors disqualify.
(a) Gait – The Samoyed should trot, not pace. He should move with a quick agile stride that is well timed. The gait should be free, balanced and vigorous, with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hind quarters. When trotting, there should be a strong rear action drive. Moving at a slow walk or trot, they will not single-track, but as speed increases the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are finally falling on a line directly under the longitudinal c
enter of the body. As the pad marks converge the forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward in traveling, the stifles not turned in nor out. The back should remain strong, firm and level. A choppy orstilted gait should be penalized.
(b) Rear End – Upper thighs should be well developed. Stifles well bent-approximately 45 degrees to the ground. Hocks should be well developed, sharply defined and set at approximately 30 percent of hip height. The hind legs should be parallel when viewed from the rear in a natural stance, strong, well developed, turning neither in nor out. Straight stifles are objectionable. Double-jointedness or cowhocks are a fault. Cowhocks should only be determined if the dog has had an opportunity to move properly.
(c) Front End – Legs should be parallel and straight to the pasterns. The pasterns should be strong, sturdy and straight, but flexible
with some spring for proper let-downof feet. Because of depth of chest, legs should be moderately long. Length of leg from
the ground to the elbow should be approximately 55 percent of the total height at the withers-a very short-legged dog is to be deprecated. Shoulders should be long and sloping, with a layback of 45 degrees and be firmly set. Out at the shoulders or out atthe elbows should be penalized. The withers separation should be approximately 1-1½inches.
(d) Feet – Large, long, flattish-a hare-foot, slightly spread but not splayed; toes arched; pads thick and tough, with protective growth of hair between the toes. Feet should turn either in nor out in a natural stance but may turn in slightly in the act of pulling. Turning out, pigeon-toed, round or cat-footed or splayed are faults. Feathers on feet arenot too essential but are more profuse on females than on males.
(a) Conformation – Skull is wedge-shaped, broad, slightly crowned, not round or apple-headed, and should form an equilateral triangle on
lines between the inner base of the ears and the central point of the stop.
Muzzle –Muzzle of medium length and medium width, neither coarse nor snipy; should taper toward the nose and be in proportion to
the size of the dog and the width of skull. The muzzle must have depth. Whiskers arenot to be removed.
Stop –Not too abrupt, nevertheless well defined.
Lips –Should be black for preference and slightly curved up at the corners of the mouth, giving the “Samoyed smile.” Lip lines should not have the appearance of being coarse nor should the flews drop predominately at corners of the mouth.
Ears –Strong and thick, erect, triangular and slightly rounded at the tips; shouldnot be large or pointed, nor should they be small and “bear-eared.” Ears should conform to head size and the size of the dog; they should be set well apart but be within the border of the outer edge of the head; they should be mobile and well covered inside with hair; hair full and stand-off before the ears. Length of ear should be the same measurement as the distance from inner base of ear to outer corner of eye.
Eyes –Should be dark for preference; should be placed well apart and deep-set; almond shaped with lower lid slanting toward an
imaginary point approximately the base of ears. Dark eye rims for preference. Round or protruding eyes penalized. Blue eyes disqualifying.
Nose –Black for preference but brown, liver, or Dudley nose not penalized. Color of nose sometimes changes with ageand weather.
Jaws and Teeth –Strong, well-set teeth, snugly overlapping with scissorsbite. Undershot or overshot should be penalized.
(b) Expression – The expression, referred to as “Samoyed expression,” is very important and is indicated by sparkle of the eyes, animation
and lighting up of the face when alert or intent on anything. Expression is made up of a combination of eyes, ears and mouth. The ears should be erect when alert; the mouth should be slightly curved up at thecorners to form the “Samoyed smile.”
(a) Neck – Strong, well muscled, carried proudly erect, set on sloping shoulders to carryhead with dignity when at attention. Neck should blend into shoulders with a graceful arch.
(b) Chest – Should be deep, with ribs well sprung out from the spine and flattened at the sides to allow proper movement of the shoulders and freedom for the front legs. Should not be barrel-chested. Perfect depth of chest approximates the point of elbows, and the deepest part of the chest should be back of the forelegs-near the ninth rib. Heart and lung room are secured more by body depth than width.
(c) Loin and Back – The withers forms the highest part of the back. Loins strong andslightly arched. The back should be straight to the
loin, medium in length, very muscular and neither long nor short-coupled. The dog should be “just off square”–the length
being approximately 5 per cent more than the height. Females allowed to be slightly longer than males. The belly should be well shaped
and tightly muscled and, with the rear of the thorax, should swing up in a pleasing curve (tuck-up). Croup must be full, slightly sloping, and must continue imperceptibly to the tail root.
(e) Tail – The tail should be moderately long with the tail bone terminating approximately at the hock when down. It should be profusely covered with long hair and carried forward over the back or side when alert, but sometimes dropped when at rest. It should not be high or low set and should be mobile and loose — not tight over the back. A double hook is a fault. A judge should see the tail over the back once when judging.
Intelligent, gentle, loyal, adaptable, alert, full of action, eager to serve, friendly but conservative, not distrustful or shy, not overly aggressive. Unprovoked aggressiveness is to be severely penalized.
Any color other than pure white, cream, biscuit, or white and biscuit. Blue eyes.
TEMPERAMENT and QUALITIES
Samoyeds are gentle dogs. Peaceable and dignified. Very devoted, they tend not to favor one person, but love everyone. They are easy-going, friendly and quite playful. It will gladly be friendly to all, including intruders. They are too friendly to be of much use as a watchdog, although its bark will alert you to the presence of strangers. It willingly adapts to family life and gets along well with children.
They are highly intelligent, and will respond to firm, patient training, which should be started at an early age. Make sure you are this dogs firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid potential behavior issues such as, but not limited to, obsessive barking.
The Sammy is accustomed to working in teams, and shows outstanding qualities. When this dog is given what he needs to be a stable minded dog, i.e. enough mental and physical exercise, along with clear leadership, it proves itself to be outstanding, good-natured, lively, and sociable. It never seeks trouble but can handle an adversary if necessary.
They have a reputation of being chewers. Because of his social nature, he should not be expected to endure long periods of isolation without complaint. A lonely Samoyed can be a noisy and destructive Samoyed.
Samoyeds should not be trusted with small non-canine pets, however there are plenty of them that live and get along with family cats.
This beautiful dog is of medium size, white in color, or creamy white with various shadings of what is called biscuit, or a combination of white, biscuit and cream color, all are acceptable shades. The Samoyed is a double coated dog, the undercoat is of short soft thick close wool, the outer coat is longer and harsher in texture and to be stand off, weather resistant quality. The tail is carried over the back, ears are erect, with the males caring more of a ruff around the shoulders. They have dark eyes, eye rims, lips and noses, ranging from brown, liver, or dudley shadings. The nose can change color with age and season of the year.
The standard height for a male is 21 to 231/2 inches at the withers, the average weight is 50 to 65 pounds. For females the standard height is 19 to 21 inches at the withers and an average weight is 35 to 50 pounds.
They are strongly built, light and agile on their feet with more substance of bone than other dogs of comparable size. The disposition is
intelligent, gentle, loyal, alert and adaptable, friendly but conservative, (though you won’t find too many very conservative, they love people and especially children) in most cases.
The Samoyed adapts poorly to city life. Grooming requirements are not onerous, but they are regular and must be thorough to retain both the dogs comfort and beauty. Shedding of the undercoat is seasonal, and part of life when one owns a Samoyed.
POTENTIAL HEALTH CONCERNS
Bloat, Hip Dysplasia, cardiac problems, eye problems, skin allergies
Visit the Samoyed Club of America Education and Research Foundation website fordetailed information on Samoyed Health.