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Why is My Samoyed so Small? (Is it Normal?)

As dog owners, we are always concerned about our dog’s health and overall well-being. With there being so many different breed standards, oftentimes dog owners become concerned when their dog doesn’t match the usual looks, actions, etc. for their breed according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards.

It is important to remember that even if your dog doesn’t meet its breed standard, it can still be just as great, even if its looks and behaviors are slightly different!

In this article we will talk about the Samoyed breed and why some of these dogs are oftentimes smaller than their normal breed standard.

There can be many reasons why a Samoyed is small, some reasons include their health, genetics & DNA, and even simply that they are a miniature Samoyed breed!

If you are curious to learn more about why your Samoyed is smaller than others, keep reading!

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Samoyed puppy in back seat of a car
Thank you, Lauren O., for use of your photo!

How Big is a Standard Samoyed?

If you are worried that your Samoyed is small, but you are unfamiliar with the standard sizes of the Samoyed breed, it is best that you know the basics so that you can tell whether or not your dog is actually small.

The standard Samoyed typically ranges between 19–24 inches in height and weighs between 35–65 pounds (averaging about 50 pounds).

Of course, whether or not the dog is male or female, can cause its size to vary. Not only do their height and weight make them larger dogs, but all of their fluffy fur adds even more to their size too!

Chess Dog 300 x 600

While Samoyeds are normally some of the biggest dog breeds around, there are Samoyed owners who have become worried because their dog is so small; they wonder, is this normal?

The answer is, yes! Chances are, your Samoyed is actually a Miniature-Samoyed breed, and you just haven’t known! If this is the case, there is nothing to worry about, Mini-Samoyeds are great dogs to have; although, they are very rare.

Because Mini-Samoyeds are so rare, some Samoyed owners won’t know whether they have a Mini-Samoyed or if their standard Samoyed is just very small.

It is also important to remember that all dogs will grow at different rates; don’t worry if your Samoyed puppy isn’t growing super-fast, it normally takes months or even years for them to reach their full size.

NOTE: Samoyeds typically reach their full height and weight at around 12–18 months of age!

Samoyed in a field of red flowers

What is a Tea Cup / Mini-Samoyed?

Anyone who is familiar with dogs has likely heard of the different miniature breeds out there. There are ones such as the Mini Australian Shepherd (Mini-Aussie), Teacup Poodle (Mini-Poodle), or the Teacup Chihuahua (Mini-Chihuahua), but what is a Mini-Samoyed?

The Mini-Samoyed is just that, a smaller version of the standard size Samoyed (sometimes called “Teacup Samoyed”). This type of Samoyed is very rare, if you notice your Samoyed is unusually small, you might have a mini breed and not even know it!

Thankfully, these Mini-Samoyeds act the same as standard Samoyeds. This is great news for some dog owners who worry about temperament and behavior.

The Mini-Samoyed is just as friendly, lively, playful, and sociable as a larger Samoyed while being smaller; they are even AKC registered!

If you are interested in adding a Samoyed to your family, check out these articles about adding a Samoyed to your family + Samoyeds for first time dog owners!

The Mini Samoyed became officially AKC registered in 1906 and they have a lot of the same features as the larger Samoyed (including their upright ears, curled tails, fluffy fur, etc.!)

This dog will usually weigh between 25–35 pounds and stand about 11–16 inches in height. Height plays a large role in determining how big your Samoyed will get, this is why standard Samoyeds are usually so large.

NOTE: Male Samoyeds tend to be larger than females in both the standard and miniature breeds.

The biggest difference between the standard and Mini-Samoyed is their fur. While they are still fluffy, Mini-Samoyeds can have more colors than just the standard white. They oftentimes appear more cream-colored or have patches of differently colored fur.

If you are concerned about your Samoyeds size and know that they are not a Mini-Samoyed, it is best to visit the vet to get them looked at, there could be other issues that are causing their small size.

Remember, like all other miniature breeds, it is important to notice characteristics that make a Mini-Samoyed well-bred. Some things to be wary of include an abnormally long body, very droopy ears, limp tail cartilage, and any other characteristics that may indicate poor breeding.

Samoyed puppy in grassy field
Thank you, Lauren O., for use of your photo!

What Causes a Samoyed to be Very Small?

If your Samoyed is not a mini breed, there are several other reasons why your they may appear smaller than a standard Samoyed.

There are a few reasons why your Samoyed may be smaller than others of the same breed, the two most common are that your dog is underweight, or they have a health issue.

Thankfully, there are many things that can be done if weight is what is causing your Samoyed to appear so small.

Usually, a simple diet change can make your Samoyed gain weight and reach the healthiest weight for their height/breed.

There are some common foods that dog owners will give to their pups who need to gain weight, here are the most popular:

  • Pre-made dog foods (wet or dry) — These are high in protein and fat which can cause a dog to gain weight quickly.
  • Sweet potatoes — These are high in carbohydrates which can help your dog gain weight.
  • Pumpkin — Not only will pumpkin help a dog gain weight, but it is also great for digestion!
  • Eggs — Just like premade dog food, eggs are rich in protein and fat (a lot of premade dog foods will have eggs in the ingredients!)
  • Salmon & Tuna — Both of these types of fish are very good for dogs and can help them put on pounds, they will also love the taste!
Samoyed with puppy mixed breed
Samoyed with samoyed mix breed puppy

It is also important to ensure that your dog has a healthy digestive system, especially if they are trying to gain weight, ask your vet about giving your dog probiotics; these are great for getting a dog’s digestive health on track!

NOTE: There are also medications, vitamins, etc. that a vet can prescribe to a dog who needs to gain weight.

Health Issues are the most common reason why Samoyeds will be very small. Their stunt in growth will usually occur at birth or when they are a puppy.

NOTE: You will probably notice early on if your puppy isn’t growing at a normal rate.

Here are the most common health issues that cause Samoyeds to be very small:

  • Head trauma — If your dog is small and you know that they have experienced head trauma in the past, this is likely the cause for its stunted growth. The brain is so involved in the process of a dog’s growth if they experience trauma to it, it is likely that they will have stunted growth.
  • Antibiotics — Antibiotics can affect things such as digestion, appetite, etc. in dogs, so it is no surprise that they will sometimes not grow as large as they should, especially if they are on a high-dose, or a lot of antibiotics from early on in their life.
  • Thiamine deficiency —This health issue can cause dogs to lose significant amounts of weight because of the usual symptoms of vomiting and lack of appetite.
  • Stroke —Strokes will affect areas of the brain that are responsible for growth. If your Samoyed has a stroke as a puppy, you may notice that they don’t grow as big.
  • Liver disease —Stunted growth is one of the most common symptoms of liver disease in dogs, if you notice your Samoyed is not growing at a normal rate, it would be best to get their liver checked.
  • Lyme disease —This disease can cause many issues, but one common symptom in dogs is stiff walking and arched back, if they develop this early on, their growth may be affected over time.
  • Brain disease —Oftentimes caused by inflammation of the brain, this can affect certain areas of the brain that are responsible for physical growth.
  • Worms — This is one common issue that causes stunted growth specifically in puppies, if your Samoyed had worms early on in life and you notice they are smaller than other dogs in the present, worms may be the cause.

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