Dog Breed Group: Sled Dogs
Life Span: 12-14 years
Weight: Male: 16-25, Female: 15-23
Height: Male: 21-23, Female: 19-21
Origin of Name: The Samoyed is a breed of medium-sized herding dogs with thick, white, double-layer coats.
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The name Samoyed comes from the Samoदिकidic people (Samodic people), a semi-nomadic people of Asia who migrated to Siberia a thousand years ago, of the family of Sayantasi. They worked hard to raise dogs in the coldest habitable places on earth. (In the Siberian city of Oyamakon, for example, minus -60 degree temperatures are common.) Samoans lived in tents and roamed for warmth with their dog packs during Arctic nights. This kind of human-dog collaboration for mutual survival created a tight bond between Samoan dogs and people. While not carrying heavy loads in the vast expanse of Siberia, Samoyed dogs earned their feed as watchdogs and hunters. The Samoids relied on reindeer as an important source of food, fur, and leather. At first, they used their dogs to hunt reindeer. But over time, the Samoid culture moved from deer hunting to grazing. Bold white Hunting Dogs and riders got a new role as stock dogs, roaming and protecting herds.
At the end of the 18th century, Arctic explorers returning to England introduced the Samoids to British dog lovers. Queen Alexandra was a fan who did much to promote the breed as a companion and to show the dog. In the US, a shiny white dog named Mouston of Argentina made history in 1906 as the first of the breed registered by the AKC (known as the Samoyed). American and European mushers of the early 20th century knew the Samoyed as an enthusiastic carrier of supply, capable of sledging one and a half times its weight. Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen are some of the most famous explorers of the era who rode past Sammies through the frozen expanse.