If you have a multi-pet household or a new baby in the family, then maybe you’re not sure about bringing a dog into the mix. Will you all be one big, happy family? Admittedly, it absolutely depends on the breed you pick. What about a Samoyed? Are they nice, family-friendly dogs?
Samoyeds have a gentle demeanor, kind temperament, and loving personality. They make a wonderful addition to almost any familial unit for those reasons. They can get along with cats (often with a bit of training), lead a group of dogs, and keep up with rambunctious children with energy to spare.
Although you wouldn’t think so since the Sammy is a bigger dog, they’re just big sweeties. In this article, we’ll delve more into the temperament of this breed. We’ll also talk about how you can initiate a good bond between your Samoyed and other dogs, cats, other pets, and even babies and children.
What Is a Samoyed’s Temperament?
We already established in the intro that a Samoyed would mesh with most families pretty much effortlessly. The reason why all comes down to their gentle personalities.
Now, before we explain more on the temperament of these dogs, we do want to take a moment to note that each Sammy is different. While, for the most part, these dogs are sweet, kind, and loving, that’s not always true for every Samoyed. If you have a Sammy that’s a little rough around the edges, make sure you read to the end of this article. We’ll talk about training your dog to behave better in the family.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get back to a Samoyed’s general temperament.
Since the recorded history of these dogs, they’ve been associated with humans. In those early days in Siberia, Samoyeds would help pull sleighs and even boats. They also kept wolves away from their human’s food supply and could herd reindeer and other large animals.
Modern Sammies have a playful side that the early dogs of yore didn’t get to exhibit as much. They had quite serious duties, after all. This breed is also very loving, especially to their favorite people. They have no qualms about displaying affection, and they possess a soft side that belies their large size.
While Samoyeds once worked as guard dogs, most dog experts say they’re better as watchdogs today. They can spot a problem, but since they’re so sweet, they’re not as good as protecting from danger.
Will My Samoyed Get Along with…
You’re happy to hear a Sammy has such a sunny outlook, especially because you’re considering adding one to your family. Still, you have some reservations. Will your Samoyed acclimate in a home with other animals? What about babies or young children?
Other Dogs in the family?
As we mentioned in the last section, Samoyeds have a background of herding, enough so that some still people rely on the dog to do the task today. With that experience, Sammies are very capable of coexisting with other dogs. That said, sometimes they get overexcited and might nip or chase another canine companion. In that instance, reprimand your Samoyed and the behavior should hopefully soon stop.
Cats in the family?
What if you don’t have another dog, but a cat instead? How will the two animals get along? If you do want your Samoyed to get comfortable with a cat and vice-versa, it’s best to bring your feline friend into your Sammy’s life when the dog is young. Older Samoyeds and cats might have issues with one another.
Since Samoyeds will outsize almost all cat breeds, you should always keep an eye on the two animals if they get boisterous. Your Sammy doesn’t know its own strength and might overpower the cat accidentally. Again, training and behavioral commands will work here to curb this unwanted behavior.
Other Pets in the family?
Maybe you don’t own a cat or a dog in your family, but a more uncommon pet like a lizard, hamster, turtle, rabbit, gerbil, snake, fish, or bird. Since these animals spend most of their time in cages or enclosures, there should exist no trouble between the pet and your Sammy. That said, when you take your pet out for some fresh air or cleaning, make sure you keep your Samoyed away from the scene.
If a Sammy can outmuscle a cat, then your little pet wouldn’t stand much of a chance. Some animals, like birds with their pointed beaks and snakes with their razor-sharp teeth, could cause some serious damage to your dog if the two tussled.
Babies in the family?
You just had a baby and brought them home. Should you adopt a Samoyed at this time? Sure! Like you wouldn’t leave a small animal alone with a Samoyed, though, we don’t recommend having them spend alone time with a newborn or a baby, either. You don’t want any incidents no matter how unintentional.
Children in the family?
Even if you have children, there’s no reason to worry about the Samoyed. With their liveliness, patient nature, and boatloads of energy, a Sammy can easily keep up with any child. A kid could have friends over and the same would apply. Your Samoyed will often enjoy making new friends.
What If Your Other Animal Doesn’t Like Your Samoyed?
We should mention that acclimating two animals isn’t always as easy as it seems. If you’ve owned one pet for a long time and now you have two, then the first pet, cat or dog, might not like your Samoyed.
Putting the two animals together in a family and going out for an afternoon is a recipe for disaster. Instead, you must slowly acclimate both pets. Start by keeping them in the same room for five or 10 minutes, then 15, then 30. Work your way up to an hour, then several hours. All along, you must supervise the entire exchange. This way, if there’s any unsavory interactions, you can rectify them before they become habits or lead to injuries.
Can Training Improve a Samoyed’s Demeanor?
Perhaps you’re having the opposite problem. Your Samoyed, while they’re supposed to be nice, has a bit of a mean streak. What can you do to change this?
First, we do recommend you sit in and watch closely how your Sammy interacts with your other pet, such as a cat or dog. Perhaps the other pet antagonizes your dog and they bite to protect themselves. As we mentioned in the last section, this does happen.
If that’s the situation you’re currently dealing with, then we recommend separating the animals for the time being. Let them spend gradually more and more time with one another.
What if it’s your Sammy that’s the troublemaker? While this breed has a sweet, kind demeanor, not all Samoyeds are little angels. If your Sammy is under-stimulated, they could chase the other animals around for a bit of entertainment and exercise. This may seem annoying or threatening to a cat or dog, who might bite and scratch to defend themselves.
You must give your Samoyed regular exercise and mental stimulation. Perhaps you buy your pup a challenging new toy. Whatever you decide on, it should keep your Sammy from chasing the animals.
You might also want to double down on training, teaching your dog not to nip, push, or agitate other pets. Alternately, you can take your Samoyed to a doggy training class or camp. Doing so should improve your Samoyed’s temperament and help them realize their potential as gentle, loving dogs.
Q: How much do Samoyeds bark?
A: It depends on your particular dog. Some Sammies might bark their heads off and others will remain mostly quiet except in special circumstances.
Most dogs of this breed get excited when someone comes over. They want to greet them, and to do so, your Samoyed might jump up and bark a bit. This shouldn’t last for too long, pretty much once the excitement of the new visitor wears off.
Certain Samoyeds have a lower bark, but not all. The rest might make a more high-pitched sound that you wouldn’t expect out of a bigger dog.
If your Sammy barks too much for your liking, you can always train them to stay quiet. This will take work, but eventually, your Samoyed won’t make so much of a big deal out of every little stimuli. They’ll save their barking for big deals only.
Q: Can your Samoyed be your only pet?
A: Throughout this article, we’ve discussed owning other pets and getting a Samoyed on top of that. What if you only have one pet, a Sammy? That’s okay, but make sure you don’t plan extensive day trips without your dog. If they go all day and into the night without human interaction, they’ll get upset.
Your dog could begin barking and making a ruckus until you get home. They might also look for things to chew and gnaw on like household furniture and whatever else they can find. Like owning any dog, having a Samoyed is a major commitment. You must dedicate yourself to spending time each day exercising them and not leaving them alone for too long.