It’s sweet summertime now, but the long days, warm temps, and abundant sunshine won’t last forever cold weather coming right after. Before you know it, we’ll have no choice but to bear the freezing days of winter. What about a Samoyed? How they feel staying in the snow?  What’s Samoyed temperature tolerance? As a winter dog, Samoyed could handle much colder weather than you thought.

Samoyeds, which originated in Siberia, can withstand temperatures of -30 to -60 degrees Fahrenheit. While they’re not completely impervious to the cold, it would have to get very frosty (lower than -60 degrees) for them to maybe start shivering.

It’s true then, the Samoyed is a winter dog through and through. If you’re adopting one of these loving pups or you soon will, you may have some questions. How do they get through the unbearably cold winter temperatures? Do Sammies fare as well in the summer? Keep reading, as we’ll discuss all that and more.

How Cold Is Too Cold for a Samoyed?

There’s almost no such thing as “too cold” for the humble Samoyed. As we explained in our last post, Sammies come from Siberia. They even earned their name from the Samoyede people there.

Siberia, a region in Russia, gets downright frigid. Temperatures average out to -13 degrees in January. It takes until April to crawl out of the negatives, in which the high is often 8.1 degrees. Yes, in April.

Once you get to the summertime, things still stay cold. June temperatures are about 24 degrees on average, July 25.7 degrees, and August 22.2 degrees. Then it’s all downhill from there. By the time November comes around, it’s -2.9 degrees on average, so back into the negatives. The year ends in December with teeth-chattering temperatures of -8.9 degrees.

With temps like those, more than likely, you’d dart for the haven of the indoors long before your Sammy ever wants to. Well, unless you’ve lived in Siberia all your life. Then you get used to it, which is what happened to the Samoyed (more on this in the next section).

We would say then, as we did in the intro, it would take temperatures dipping well below -60 degrees before your Samoyed might deem the weather too cold.

What do these negative temperatures feel like, you ask? According to ScienceAlert, even in -30-degree weather, it starts to become painful to stay outside. Your skin can start burning sharply, then ache to the bone. It’s best to get indoors at that point. If the wind chill drops under -19 degrees, humans become susceptible to frostbite. It may take only a half-hour for the condition to set in.

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How Do Samoyeds Survive in the Cold?

All the while, Samoyeds will happily frolic in the cold weather. They seem unaffected even if their human owner is shivering their butts off. How does that work? Let’s explain some of the factors that make Sammies great cold-weather dogs.

Conditioning

We talked above about the average yearly temperatures in Siberia. If the highs in the summer only reached about 26 degrees and it was mostly negative temperatures the rest of the year, do you think you could live like that? Probably not. After all, you likely grew up in a part of the world where winter ends in March and then the temps warm-up for the summer.

What if you didn’t? What if the cold was all you knew? That’s the case for the original Samoyeds of the 19th century. With Siberia as their home, they never had to worry about warm weather, because it doesn’t exist there. They thus adapted and became conditioned to the cold.

Coats

No, Samoyeds don’t wear winter coats, although that’d be pretty cute. Instead, they grow their winter coats on their body.

As we’ve written about on this blog, the coat changes seasonally. When winter approaches, Sammy’s coat begins to grow dense, thick fur. Remember that this breed has an undercoat as well, which grows closer to the body for insulation purposes. This too is quite thick.

If you wear two winter coats, then perhaps you’d stand a chance of surviving a day of Siberia winter. A Samoyed certainly can.

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Sammy “Smile”

Besides their adaptability and thick winter coat, the Samoyed has a face designed for frigid weather. If you remember from our last post, we talked about the much-beloved Samoyed smile. With the way the dog’s lips curl, it looks like they’re happily grinning at you. That’s not often something you get with other dogs.

That lip curl also prevents drool from leaking out onto Samoyed’s face and body. Since any liquid would freeze instantaneously in the cold Siberian air (liquids freeze at 32 degrees, which, in Siberia, feels downright balmy), that goes for drool as well. Frozen drool droplets would make the Samoyed cold and uncomfortable, especially if they can’t stop drooling.

Thus, they have the Samoyed smile to keep their faces dry and let them stay outdoors longer.

How Do Samoyeds Do in the Heat?

Given that Samoyeds work so well in the cold, that may make you wonder, what do they do in the summer? Well, for one thing, before the very hot temps arrive, your Samoyed will molt their heavy winter coat. Some serious shedding occurs, and they’ll grow their cold-weather coat back sometime in the fall. Check out another post talking about Samoyed in the heat weather.

While Samoyeds don’t love summer nearly as much as winter, they can get through the season just the same. Their lighter coat gives their body more breathability. Also, the colour of that coat—white—means the heat deflects from them, not towards them like it would if they had black coats.

That doesn’t mean you should leave your Samoyed sitting outside in the heat all day. You want to give them a shady place to rest if they’re outdoors. When inside, keep the air conditioner on so they stay nice and cool.

Sammies will need lots of fresh water each time they venture outside so they stay hydrated. Speaking of going outside, you want to take your dog out either early in the morning or later in the day. At these times, the summer temperatures are often at their lowest. Walking your dog from noon to 2 p.m. will lead to a miserable experience for them.

On those summer scorchers when the temperatures exceed 100 degrees, be very selective about when you let your Samoyed out. They can become overheated and dehydrated. You can tell by looking out for the following symptoms:

  • Lots of drooling
  • Incredibly thirsty
  • Fast heart rate
  • Bodily weakness
  • Glazed eyes
  • Gum or tongue that looks darker or bright red

You need to bring your dog in immediately and rehydrate them if they exhibit the above symptoms. Most Samoyeds will try to tell you in their own way that they’re ready to go in before they become dehydrated. If your dog paces, pants, whines, or barks, then they’ve had enough.

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Related Questions

Q: Should you shave your Samoyed in the summer?

A: You might think, to do your Samoyed a favour, that you’ll shave them for the summertime. After all, their big, bulky fur must make them warm, right? It can, but Samoyeds know how to adapt to both cold and hot weather. Through shedding, they get their coat down to the right consistency for surviving various temps.

By shaving the dog, you’re removing their layer of protection and insulation. Now their pink skin is exposed. If you take your pup outside in the summer heat after shaving them, they could end up sunburned. Also, your Sammy may have difficulties with controlling their body temperature after a shave.

See details in our post: Should You Shave Your Samoyed or Just Trim and Groom Them?

Q: Can Samoyeds live in Arizona?

A: Sure, they can! Yes, Arizona can get blisteringly hot, with temperatures hitting 95 degrees by May, 104 degrees in June, and up to 106 degrees in July. Still, as we discussed in the prior section, your Samoyed will reduce its coat so he or she’s ready for summer.

You must be conscious of the high temps still and limit how long you keep your Samoyed out in the sunshine. Since it often gets a lot cooler in Arizona at night, try to do your long walks and exercise sessions after the sun goes down. You Samoyed will love you for it.

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Q: Can your Samoyed walk on ice?

A: Let’s talk about winter temperatures again for a moment. What if the weather has gotten so cold that ice has formed on the ground? Can you still take your Samoyed outside? Yes, you can, but we recommend you protect their feet with booties. These will prevent abrasions and cuts on the delicate pads and feet of a Samoyed.

Most of the time, dog booties won’t stay dry if they get soaked in the snow, so keep that in mind. You want to make your walk a quick one, then. These booties may have decent traction, but if your dog has never worn them before, they may feel unsteady on their feet. Putting them in a slippery condition like on ice could lead to a fall. Your Sammy could then end up injured.

In fact, we recommend avoiding walking your dog in icy conditions if at all possible. Sometimes it isn’t, in which case, booties become your best friend.

Related Articles

Should You Shave Your Samoyed or Just Trim and Groom Them?

Should You Shave Your Samoyed or Just Trim and Groom Them?

You should never shave your Samoyed, as you can accidentally destroy their coat. Sammies typically have an undercoat covered by an exterior layer of guard hair. The undercoat sheds when the seasons change, but the guard hair maintains itself. Their undercoat is their means of insulation from the cold. By shaving it, their undercoat cannot serve its primary purpose anymore. It can also take up to three years for the guard hair to grow back. Until it does, your Samoyed’s fur can get very wet and dirty fast since the undercoat isn’t made for much more than insulating. It’s much better to trim or groom the fur instead.