Samoyeds are members of the Working Group of dogs. Some of the other dogs in this group are Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Mastiffs, and Akitas. Working dogs were originally bred for specific jobs. In the Samoyed’s case, the breed was used by the Samoyede tribe in Siberia for herding reindeer and pulling sleds and sledges.
His working heritage means that a Samoyed is happiest when he is busy. Exercise is vital to all dogs’ wellbeing, and the Samoyed especially appreciates it! However, it is more than a case of keeping his body in shape; it’s also a matter of keeping him mentally challenged!
There are lots of activities in which you can participate with your Samoyed. They run the gamut from agility, to obedience, to sledding and skijoring, with a plethora of other fun things in between. The American Kennel Club (AKC), as well as other groups such as the United Kennel Club (UKC), International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA), and International Weight Pull Association (IWPA), among others, hold events in which your dog can compete and win titles. The AKC offers a Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) registration that allows owners of rescued Samoyeds to compete in agility, herding, junior showmanship, obedience, rally trials, and tracking tests. You might also want to check out the website of The Organization For The Working Samoyed for more information on various working dog activities for both competition and just plain fun.
If you are not an athlete yourself, there are other activities in which to participate with your Samoyed that require less physical exertion on the part of the owner. For example, you may want to train your Samoyed, to become a Certified Therapy Dog, enabling you to visit nursing homes and hospitals with your Sammy, bringing joy and comfort to residents and patients.
What Samoyeds crave above all is being with their humans! All of the activities we have described on these pages require a bond between dog and human and a spirit of teamwork. That bond is infinitely more precious than any title or prize your dog may one day earn! And it’s the potential for forming a close and loving bond that we look for when we interview prospective adopters of our rescued Samoyeds.