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Is a Samoyed a good family pet?(15 Posts)
We are a family with 3 primary/nursery age children, and some friends from their school have a Samoyed for their family pet. She is such a beautiful and friendly dog, and our girls are now begging for us get one too. We have been planning to get a dog for years, but we want to make sure we make the right decision for our family. I don’t mind taking the dog for walks—we live in an area with lots of wooded trails—but I don’t particularly want one that is mega high maintenance. We have a large house and decent outdoor space but not a particularly large garden. If it helps, we have also considered a Golden Retriever.
My main worries are:
- overheating in summer since we don’t have AC
- ticks in all that fur
- neurotic energy
Are these valid concerns? Does anyone have experience of a Samoyed who could advise? I am a SAHP so would be the one doing most of the care in the daytime, so I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. 😅
Hi, Samoyeds are my favourite breed!
My mum had them before I was born so I grew up with Samoyeds and they were a great dog to have.
They do take a lot of work though, need a lot of daily grooming and exercise. You will probably need to use a groomers too with all that coat which could be expensive. They are a double coated breed so as long as you keep on top of brushing the coat they will be fine in the heat as that's what the coat is designed for to keep the dog cool or warm depending on the climate.
Have you looked at a Spitz breed, either Japanese Spitz or German Spitz, I have had both these breeds although I do prefer the Japanese Spitz!
Hope you find your perfect dog to bring up with your children 😊
@Lilly41 Thanks for this! How are they in terms of barking and general neurotic behaviour? Crate training possible? We love to hike in the mountains (we live in the continent) so would like to be able take the dog with us, but I’ve heard they can be stubborn/difficult to train and can have poor recall off the leash. Have you found that?
Yes they can be very vocal! Which can be a problem especially if you have neighbours. You would need a very large crate if you wanted to use one for an adult dog but for a puppy would be good to start in a crate as soon as you get pup.
Training well as with any dog it takes a lot of hard work and regular training classes and practicing at home. But yes they are stubborn!
They are a wonderful breed and I would recommend them to families.
Just be prepared to put a lot of time and effort in from the start to ensure you don't have any behaviour issues further down the line.
I have a Samoyed and a Samoyed/German Spitz cross.
I would have a Samoyed again and again. He is the sweetest, most gentle dog especially great and patient with children Yes, he barks when he gets excited and plays. He also 'talks' when he wants something although this is more of a comical sound rather than a noise.
Samoyeds are well known for staying playful into old age. My 5 year old Samoyed is far more playful that the 2 year old cross.
Excercise wise, he will take what he is given. He hasn't been having as many walks as normal during the lockdown but he is quite happy to snooze most of the day. Usually he gets an hour or so a day walking in the woods and he is happy with that but he could easily do more.
His recall is OK unless he sees another dog. He will eventually come but it sometimes will take 5+ times me calling for him to break away from his game.
The main hard work is with the fur and grooming. They should be groomed for about an hour a week but realistically we don't do that. It's best to start from an early age with plenty of positive reinforcement. The groomers can be expensive, ranging from £55 - £80 depending on where we go. The fur goes everywhere and prepare to avoid any kind of black clothing!
His fur will protect him from the sun and he feels cool to the touch even in the summer. He will shed a lot in spring and his coat is quite noticeably thinner in the summer compared to the winter.
As far as I know they are not know as neurotic dogs but as super friendly.
We haven't had any problems with ticks until last year. They find it hard to burrow through the fur to the skin. But last year we had to remove 2 from his face on the shorter fur. It's no more of a problem than with other dogs.
As long as you can cope with the grooming and fur all over your clothes they are the perfect companions.
Can I reccommend you also taking a look at Eurasiers as well?
Yes they are a proper pedigree breed (deliberately bred in the 60s to create the 'perfect companion dog')
Basically they were Samoyed crossed with German wolf spitz... big fluffy, family devoted and quiet! Mine barks so rarely that we are shocked if she does! She does 'talk' tho... funny happy noises when we come in from work. Same size as Samoyeds in a range of colours from cream , red and black. Shed a couple of times a year and need mega brushing then but otherwise amazingly non shedding for a double coated ball of fluff!
Utterly devoted to us, funny, soppy, generally great recall except if she's playing with another dog..she's been off lead since she was 13 weeks old. Ours was housetrained in a week, no accidents and has been ridiculously easy (I'm a first time owner)
She loves kids and is very playful, but wasn't nippy even as a small puppy and has never chewed anything she shouldn't.
And a pic of mine just to show her off! (at 11 weeks and now at 11 months!)
Nothing constructive to add really other than the fact that I see the same one every day and she is such a sweetheart. My dog used to be in love with her, but he's moved onto a pomeranian.
The samoyed I know is extremely gentle and lovely, very calm. I only ever hear her barking at the squirrels. She's a bit obsessive about the squirrels! It's very funny.
I have a Japanese Spitz and wouldn't recommend them over a Samoyed because you've still got the long double coated coat to groom and they can be yappy so I see how the breed would be any easier for you.
Thanks all for the responses! Very helpful. As we are waffling between a samoyed and a golden retriever, how would they compare in terms of suitability for a family? I do worry the Sammy coat upkeep will be a nightmare and friends with allergies won’t be able to visit!
The coat will be a lot of upkeep, golden retrievers can be a lot of work as well and they shed like crazy. If you're worried about allergies you may be better off with a non shedding breed. What about a soft coated wheaten terrier? They don't shed.
We had a Samoyed when I was a kid. Beautiful but very stupid and absolutely no recall.
I’ve got a Golden Retriever so I’m totally biased and I have to say the shedding isn’t a huge issue because it’s so easy to pick up/hoover unlike with a shorter haired breed where the hair sticks to/in things. The mud is another matter!
He’s very loving and has incredible empathy but is large and clumsy so your cuddles can be a bit full on. He is a real part of the family but is happy to go and chill by himself and isn’t in your face all the time.
Only breed I’ve ever had and only one I would ever have
I do worry the Sammy coat upkeep will be a nightmare and friends with allergies won’t be able to visit
Samoyed are allegedly lower allergen apparently despite that long coat.
OP, samoyeds are beautiful dogs full of character, but they are a lot of work compared to some others such as retrievers. There's actually a high number of those types of dogs (huskies, malamutes etc) given to shelters because people just weren't prepared for the reality.
They are smart but stubborn so they'll understand commands but choose when to follow them. You need to be very firm and consistent (but loving too of course). If trained and raised properly, they'll be generally well-behaved but don't trust them to have perfect recall when outdoors. They can become destructive if bored/distressed/not exercised enough.
They are good family dogs IF raised well with respect for all family members. If you're too relaxed and inconsistent you'll probably get a lot of disobedience. You shouldn't get aggression etc unless things have gone really wrong.
In terms of barking - I've never known it to be an issue (though it's possible depending on the individual dog, how its raised and things it likes to bark at). They can be vocal though (which is just chatty and not too loud- actually really nice character trait). They can howl if left alone and unhappy about it.
They need a lot of exercise no matter what the weather. Their coats do regulate their temp as a PP said, but they still struggle with heat so you need to make sure you have a shaded outdoor spot and cool area indoors for them. It's not fair to keep them in well-heated rooms with no escape.
The hair is the thing that will shock most people. It's not how quickly it covers your floor (which is expected), it's how much gets on all other surfaces. You will find it in your kitchen cupboards and regularly in your food (the undercoat is very lightweight and the individual hairs float about). This really ramps up when they shed.
They're amazing and if you understand what you're in for and committed, they're wonderful pets. You need to know a thing or two about dog training and be prepared for the maintenance though. If the above is a concern for you, get a retriever - they're not as eye-catching on walks but they are also wonderful, loving pets.
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