SAMOYED DOGS: A CLASS APART
History of Samoyed Dogs
The Samoyed is a graceful breed of dog that can survive under very low temperatures. The name Samoyed originates from the Samoyedic people of Siberia. It is believed that the Siberian nomadic tribes used Samoyed dogs as shepherds for their reindeers. At times Samoyed dogs worked as sledge pullers, working in teams.
What does a Samoyed look like?
An average male Samoyed stands tall at around 21 to 23 inches. Females are usually 19 to 21 inches tall. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it’s a surprisingly tough breed of dog. Its natural thick white coat means that it can tolerate very low temperatures. An example of this is their ability to thrive in the Siberian town of Oymyakon where temperatures fall as low as minus 60, but the Samoyed can survive even this extreme temperature.
The facial structure of the Samoyed is formed so that it looks as if it has a lovely smile! However, their face is formed in such a way that the upturned corners of their mouth prevents them from drooling, which is a necessary way of preventing ice forming on their face!
If you wish to purchase a dog, make sure it comes from a well-known breeder and carry out due diligence before you make the decision to purchase. A reputable breeder should be able to show you records regarding any issues with your dog and will take pride in showing you records of the parentage and usually the grandparentage, of the dog you wish to buy.
If you take good care of your Samoyed, you will be rewarded with a healthy dog for a longer period of time. However, these are some of the most common health conditions that may affect your Samoyed.
- Atrial Septal
Atrial septal is an inherited defect that involves issues with the structure of a dog’s heart and is one of the most common heart defects. Without becoming too technical, this defect affects the arteries, valves, walls and veins of the heart. The symptoms of this problem can be problems with breathing, unconsciousness, coughing and a general wish to be left alone. If your dog should develop any of these symptoms, then a visit to your vet is essential.
- Aortic Stenosis
Another heart disease, commonly present in dogs is Aortic Stenosis. This disease results in the aortic valve of the heart becoming narrow. This valve is the essential carrier of blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Narrowing of the valve causes the dog’s heart to work overtime to maintain the same blood flow as before, causing it to become over-exerted and damaged. There are no visible signs of this disease. You can only learn about it through medical check-ups. It may not be a serious problem, in which case not even medication will be required. However, in more serious cases, medication could be required to slow down the heart rate and get it back to normal. Beta-blockers are generally used.
- Uveodermatologic Syndrome.
The Uveodermatologic syndrome is a rare but serious disease which really affects the immune system of the dog, messing up the pigment cells in the skin and the back of the eyes. The eyes will be painful and turn red at times, causing blindness in extreme cases.
Symptoms of this disease starts with eye discomfort, followed by redness and sensitivity to bright light.
In the treatment of this disease, drugs are prescribed to restore the dog’s immune system. Eye treatment follows. Since there is a fear of blindness quite aggressive treatment is required at times, reducing the inflammation and risk of vision impairment.
- Hip Dysplasia
Hip Dysplasia is an unfortunate condition which causes a dog’s hip socket to form an abnormal shape and is the most common cause of hip arthritis. Understandably, the dog can become rather lethargic. Symptoms of this disease are pain in the hip and are easily detected as walking will be painful, causing the dog to limp.
Unfortunately, hip dysplasia is an inherited disease so there is no proper cure for it in the initial stages. However, the pain can become so bad that there is no other course than to go for the surgical option and decide on a complete hip replacement.
Animals love attention and if you take proper care of your Samoyed, you will see it grow from a puppy into a fully grown, happy healthy and friendly pet. Here are a few steps you should follow:
Give your dog a good daily walk. Even better if you can manage two!
Comb your pet regularly. Remember that the Samoyed is a winter animal and has a double layer of coat, both layers helping him to keep warm in harsh winter conditions, so your dog will need extra attention to keep its coat from getting matted.
Regularly check for fleas in your dog’s coat. If any fleas are found, take immediate action.
Bath your pet with dog shampoo only, once or twice a year. It is important to use the recommended shampoo for dogs and not your own as it could cause skin problems.
Cut your dog’s nails twice a month.
Brush your dog’s teeth twice a week with dog toothpaste.
Approximate cost to buy a puppy.
A Samoyed puppy could cost anything between $600-$1500. Of course, the price will be on the higher end of the scale if you are looking for an AKC registered dog. On the other hand, you could buy a dog for less if you are not requiring a registered dog. Or maybe you would prefer to buy an older dog, say 2 or more years, then it is perfectly possible to purchase one in the $200-$400 range.
A Samoyed dog is one of the most beautiful dogs on earth. If you plan on getting one, get ready for a wonderful experience!