Samoyed

...an affectionate ball of fluff!

The Samoyeds were originally bred as herders and sled dogs in Siberia. Their white, fluffy coats are dense and double layered making them perfectly suited to withstanding very cold conditions. Nevertheless, these medium sized, strikingly attractive dogs can and do live happily in the hot Australian climate.

Samoyeds are very affectionate and love to be real members of the family, going where you go and doing what you do. They love children and other pets although they may attempt to herd other animals they encounter. They will bark at anything that is out of the ordinary, but once they have warned you of an intruder they will then happily let the intruder in, so they are not really much good as guard dogs but are great watchdogs.

These dogs are very sensitive to your moods. They may become distressed if you are upset and will be extra affectionate if you seem 'down'. Their friendly disposition makes them ideal as therapy dogs and companions for the elderly, but they do need to know who is boss. Their natural ability to think independently means they will soon step into the 'boss' role if they think you aren't up to it.

Training is the key - and lots of it. These are wilful dogs and although they learn commands easily, they will often decide not to follow them. You need to be patient and consistent. Heeling is particularly difficult to teach them because they instinctively want to pull you like a sled.

Samoyeds need lots of exercise - a good walk and run every day ON LEAD. Off lead they will chase smaller animals and are incredibly hard to catch. Yards should be fully fenced with both height and depth. They are expert diggers and will dig under gates or shallow areas of fencing.

They are also chewers and their chewing extends well beyond the usual puppy phase. Make sure they have appropriate toys they can chew and that you are clear that other chewing is not acceptable. Lonely Samoyeds have been known to chew lumps of hair off their legs and tails so make sure their chewing isn't a result of your frequent absences. These dogs need to be with you as much as possible.

Grooming is a daily requirement. A light brush daily and a lengthier brush once a week will keep their coat in top form and reduce the shedding. They do moult twice a year and during this time more vigorous brushing is needed.

Health problems are few and most Samoyed live to 14 to 15 years. There are some hereditary health issues, so make sure you get your puppy from a reputable breeder.

<ul> <li>Medium sized, long haired dog</li> <li>Very affectionate, loves children</li> <li>Needs a lot of exercise</li> <li>Known diggers and chewers</li> <li>Daily grooming needed</li> </ul>