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Is a Samoyed a Good Choice for First-Time Dog Owner?

Samoyeds have a lot of appeal to potential dog owners. They are loyal, friendly, and hard-working. It’s no wonder that a lot of people would think about getting a Samoyed when they decide to get a dog. But is getting a Samoyed a good idea for a first-time dog owner? I dug in a little further and here is what I found out.

Samoyed owners and experts do not recommend getting a Samoyed as your first dog. Samoyed, although friendly and affectionate, are very high energy and can be stubborn and strong-willed. New dog owners may struggle with this, which can lead a Samoyed to turn to destructive behaviors.

With that said, it is possible for a new dog owner to be successful with raising a Samoyed? There are a lot of great qualities that a Samoyed has that can make them an excellent dog, but first-time owners need to know what they are getting into before bringing on the challenge of raising this breed. Continue reading to find out if getting a Samoyed as your first dog is right for you!

Why Samoyed May Not be Suitable for First Time Owners

Samoyeds are incredibly smart, affectionate, friendly, and among the most beautiful of dog breeds out there. All Samoyed owners will tell you they are amazing dogs to have!

Taking that into consideration, why wouldn’t they be a good breed to start with? Well, the biggest reason…. sometimes they can be too smart for their own good! They also may have a stubborn streak which makes them more challenging than other dogs to train.

TIP: Dogs, in general, are a lot of work, but certain breeds require more time and attention than others. Samoyeds are one of those breeds. You have to be 110% committed to investing your time into training and exercising throughout its lifetime.

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Samoyeds Require a lot of Exercise

Samoyeds need a minimum of 2 hours a day of exercise. If you lead a very active lifestyle that you can incorporate your Samoyed into then this may not be a problem for you.

But if you rather spend your time chilling in front of the fire reading a good book, don’t get a Samoyed!

Not only do they need a variety of physical exercises to keep them busy they also need a variety of mental tasks to help entertain their curious minds.

They have a desire to learn, and a desire to please. This can be fun as an owner if you have experience in keeping up with mental exercises but can be challenging if you have never had practice with this before.

Chess Dog 300 x 600

If your Samoyed doesn’t get enough exercise they can turn to destructive behaviors as well as whine cry and bark a lot! They have a desire to learn, and a desire to please. This can be fun as an owner if you have experience in keeping up with mental exercises but can be challenging if you have never had practice with this before.

Trying out a fun training program together like this widely popular program Brain Training for Dogs can help unlock your dog’s hidden potential and help them learn how to avoid problem behaviors.

Samoyed are Working Dogs

Samoyeds are working dogs, they need a job to do! They were bred to herd reindeer and pull sleds, and if not given enough exercise and meaningful tasks to do, they can be found herding any living thing around them including, cats, your children, or even you!

You don’t need to live on a sheep farm, but you will need to be prepared with a list of jobs you can train your dog to do. Here is a list of jobs that other owners have given their Samoyed

  • Find the ball
  • Play with herding balls
  • Fetch things (newspaper, slippers, people)
  • Help herd kids to bed
  • Find and put away specific toys
  • Run an agility or obstacle course
  • Puzzle toys
  • Learn to play sports
  • Hiking or Jogging

Samoyeds are workaholics and if not given work to do they will invent it, and believe me the jobs they invent for themselves will not please you. You can expect a bored Samoyed to chew things up, lick excessively, bark excessively, dig, get into and eat things they shouldn’t (see this article I wrote about eating rocks, dirt, and poop), and basically cause destruction.

Samoyeds are Smart

Although not known for being quite as smart as other breeds like Australian Shepherds or Border Collies Samoyed are still pretty high up on the list. Out of 138th breeds evaluated Samoyeds came in at 44. Ranking high in categories such as intelligence and instincts.

Samoyeds are working dogs that can learn from their past experiences and mistakes.

If you aren’t confident in your dog training abilities and able to be an assertive yet loving pack leader in your Samoyed’s life, a smart Samoyed will pick up on that quickly and take advantage of you in a heartbeat.

Having a smart dog isn’t a bad thing, but you have to make sure that you are smarter! First-time dog owners may not have the skill set needed to train a dog like a Samoyed. If you aren’t willing to invest the time and cost into learning how to train and teach your Samoyed, then this isn’t the right breed for you.

Samoyed Demand Time

If you have a lot of other responsibilities or you are gone at work for a significant portion of your day it could be very difficult to find the time you need to keep your Samoyed occupied.

You will need to be prepared to spend a lot of time playing with teaching and coming up with activities for your Samoyed to do. If you are able to keep your Samoyed busy your rewards are a super fun, playful, sensitive, extroverted, and intelligent dog!

The exact amount of time can vary from dog to dog, but you can expect at least 2-3 hrs of quality time spent doing things with your Samoyed, and then another hour or more coming up with things to keep your dog busy when you can’t be constantly engaged with them.

If you don’t have the time needed to keep your Samoyed happy, you will start to see your dog turn to destructive behaviors to keep themselves occupied.

Samoyeds Can’t be Left Alone Long

Samoyeds are very social, friendly, and loyal. They don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time and can turn destructive or develop anxiety and other behavior problems if alone too long. Three to four hours alone is the max recommended amount of time, and never more than 8 hours.

If you work from home or have a flexible job that allows you to spend more time with your Samoyed or maybe even take your samoyed with you then this problem can be overcome.

Here are some solutions that can help you overcome this challenge if you still want to get a Samoyed.

  • Find a reputable doggy daycare that can watch your Samoyed during the day.
  • Get a family member or friend to check on and play with your Samoyed once or twice each day.
  • Hire a dog walker to come and take your dog out for exercise while you are gone.
  • Check on your dog on your lunch break.

Samoyed Need Space

With family homes trending on the smaller side these days many people may not have the proper space a Samoyed needs. If you live in a small apartment, townhome, or house without a lot of yard space Samoyed can feel really cooped up and have nowhere to focus releasing their excessive energy. Samoyeds are best for people with large yards, or lots of property where they can run freely and explore.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to have a well-behaved Samoyed as an apartment dog. If you are out exercising and leading an active lifestyle more than you are sitting at home, and you can come up with sufficient activities to keep them occupied then a Samoyed could be great for you.

Samoyeds are Escape Artists

Because Samoyeds are so smart they can sometimes turn into little Houdinis, figuring out how to escape any type of containment you may try to enforce on them. Just watch the video below, to see how this Samoyed figures out how to open the door.
Escaping Samoyed – YouTube

They’re so smart, they’ll figure out how to unlock and open doors, dig under or even jump over fences! If you think their area is secure, think again, because it’s probably not.

If your Samoyed is well-occupied and has had plenty of time to exercise before you put them in their crate, or other confined area then you shouldn’t have a problem.

If you neglect to give your Samoyed the proper space, exercise, and stimulation that they need, they will seek it in destructive ways. This will be shown as excessive barking, chewing on things, trying to show dominance, and having a lot of neurotic undesirable behaviors that will be hard to correct.

Samoyed Can be Difficult to Train

Because they are so smart, Samoyed can be highly reactive and sensitive. When training them they may respond to every little movement you make trying to out-think you and respond ahead of your next move. This can be very frustrating for new dog owners who are just learning how to train a dog.

They can also be easily overstimulated. When taking a Samoyed puppy to puppy obedience classes some owners can get frustrated because their Sammie gets easily distracted and overly excitable.

Doing a more gradual training program with low amounts of stimuli at first can help a Samoyed puppy ease into their training.

On the other hand, Samoyed can also get bored of doing the same repetitive tasks and training. This can make it seem like they aren’t catching on when in reality they just aren’t interested in doing the same old thing over and over again.

A Samoyed owner will also need to know how to give proper cues and instructions to their dog as Sammies can sometimes get easily confused or misinterpret cues that are not clear.

Their sensitivity also requires specific attention to socializing them when they are young. They need to be taught to have good associations with other people and animals.

If you don’t take the time to properly socialize your Samoyed while they are young, they can become very shy, standoffish, and possibly reactive.

Samoyeds Require More Grooming than other Breeds

A Samoyeds thick white fluffy coat is beautiful to be sure, but it can be challenging to care for. Samoyeds have two layers of fur the thick outer coat helps to shield and protect them from the weather as well as dirt and debris. This soft undercoat helps to insulate them and control their body temperature.

While they aren’t the highest shedding breed they do blow their coat (shed profusely) twice a year. This can mostly be managed through proper care and grooming, but if you prefer not to have dog hair all over your stuff then you prefer not to get a Samoyed.

Samoyeds should be brushed at least once a week and bathed every 6 -12 weeks.

What would make a Samoyed a good first-time dog for you?

  • You are a highly active person who loves to exercise with your dog
  • You have a lot of space
  • You have a lot of time to invest in learning how to train and care for your dog
  • You have a lot of patience
  • You can be creative in coming up with jobs for your dog
  • You have a desire to teach your dog a lot of cool things
  • You want a loyal, loving, and affectionate companion

So a Samoyed is the right breed for you if you are a very active person who is outdoors a lot jogging, hiking, or generally going on adventures. If you are also very patient and willing to learn how to train a strong-willed dog.

If you are willing to invest a lot of time learning about the breed, how to keep it properly stimulated, and take classes on how to train and care for your Samoyed then they can be a great dog for you.

Samoyed will take a significant amount of time and energy, but the investment you make in time and energy will be greatly rewarded in a loving and loyal dog!

Samoyeds can be great family dogs for active children and families. They are friendly and for the most part very docile with children.

Samoyed owners agree that they would never choose another breed. Their loving and affectionate nature is well worth putting up with the stubborn streak they sometimes have.

With some dedication and thought on your part you can have a well-adjusted, well-behaved, super loyal four-legged best friend. Samoyed can thrive in a lot of situations if given the right guidance, but they can also turn into complete disasters if neglected even a little.

Other Samoyed articles to explore

Samoyed Tail Complete Guide (Position, Docking, Meaning)

Samoyed Ears (Your Complete Guide)

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