Illustration of Samoyed

Originating from the Arctic regions of North Eastern Siberia, the Samoyed was a breed developed to help his owners – nomadic tribes of the Samoyede and the Nentsy. They had to be versatile, herding and guarding reindeer, pulling loads and even hunting. Sometimes the dogs were slaughtered and their pelts used for clothing. The early dogs were sometimes parti-coloured, black and white or brown and white. Parti-coloured dogs were used on the first Polar Expedition but now the white, sometimes with cream or biscuit shadings, is the recognised colour of the breed. His double coat provided insulation against the climate and his flat feet, sometimes likened to snow shoes, with thick hair between the pads, prevented the build-up of snowballs on the feet.

One of the dogs used to establish the breed in the UK, Antarctic Buck, was a survivor of Carsten Borchgrevink's expedition and had been discovered in Sydney Zoo and brought to the UK by Mr Kilburn-Scott.

Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
More than 2 hours per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Every day
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Large House
Minimum Garden Size
Over 10 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Pastoral Breed Group

The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.

Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.

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