A Samoyed is a white, mid-sized dog originating in Russia.
The Samoyed has a compact, muscular body. The wedge-shaped head is broad and slightly crowned. The muzzle is in proportion to the size of the dog, tapering to the nose. The stop is well defined but
not abrupt. The nose color can be black, brown or liver. The lips are black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The dark, almond-shaped eyes are deep-set, somewhat wide apart, with a slanting lower lid and dark rims. The erect, triangular ears are slightly rounded at the tips. The tail is moderately long, well-covered with hair, carried rolled on the back. The legs are solid and muscular and the feet are flat and covered with hair. The thick, double coat is profuse. The undercoat is soft, short and thick with longer hairs growing out to the outer coat. The outer coat is harsh and stands straight out, not wavy. Males’ coats are more profuse than females’. There is a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head. Coat colors include pure white, biscuit, yellow and cream. Sometimes white with silver tips. Pure white is preferred in the show ring.
Samoyeds originated in Russia and takes its name from the ancient Samoyede people of Siberia, a nomadic race of hunters and fishermen who have used this dog for hundreds of years to pull sleds and herd reindeer. It was thought to be introduced in Britain in 1889 by the Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Scott, who was one of the explorers to use this dog in polar explorations.
Samoyeds can suffer from many illnesses that include:
- Diabetes mellitus similar but not identical to human Type I (insulin deficiency): The disease occurs in middle-aged Samoyeds, the mean age at diagnosis is seven years. The cause is a chronic inflammation of the pancreas and / or autoimmune destruction of beta cells ofislets of Langerhans. Moreover, in affected dogs autoantibodies were found to insulin. Currently, several genetic markers are discussed as possible causes.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) caused by a frameshift mutation in the RPRG locus of the X chromosome. The disease leads to a slowly progressive loss of vision, which eventually leads to blindness. The first symptoms appear between two and five years of age. The disease corresponds to the X-linked PRA type 3 in humans.
- Short legs in conjunction with eye abnormalities: Due to a genetic defect at the COL2A1 locus occurs on disproportionate dwarfism with short limbs in connection with cataracts, malformations of the retina and / or retinal detachment, liquefaction of the vitreous and a persistent hyaloid artery. The malformations of the retina are dominant (i.e. before coming in heterozygous dogs); the other symptoms are recessive, so they only come to expression in homozygous affected dogs. A connection with Opticin is not.
- Pulmonary stenosis occurs more frequently in Samoyeds in comparison with other breeds. The disease can cause shortness of breath, cardiac arrhythmias and tiring on motion and increases the risk of congestive heart failure.
- Hip dysplasia is also a concern for Samoyeds.
- The breed can also be affected by Sebaceous adenitis, an uncommon idiopathic autoimmune skin disease.
Life expectancy is about 12–13 years.