Samoyeds are well known for their fluffy white fur but how do you keep their fluffy coat looking so great? You don’t have to speak to many Samoyed owners before you find out that it takes a lot of grooming to keep these dogs in good condition.
Do Samoyeds shed? A Samoyeds coat will shed once or twice a year. While this may not sound too bad, they have extremely thick coats so this is heavy shedding that’s going to require a lot of maintenance.
If you’re looking for a low maintenance dog, the Samoyed is likely not the right choice for you. Dealing with these seasonal shedders will include daily brushing and frequently cleaning the loose fur from your home (namely the furniture, carpets and your clothing).
If you have a good grooming routine and are prepared for the shed, it will be far easier to handle. Understanding the breed will also help you decide whether this dog breed is right for your family and home as Samoyeds are very active and, at times, strong willed.
When Does a Samoyed Shed?
You can expect your Samoyed to shed once or twice a year when the warmer weather arrives. Males and spayed females will shed their heavy undercoat once a year during spring, while females who have not been spayed with shed twice a year.
These smiling sledge dogs are perfectly suited to temperatures that are well below freezing, this is no surprise considering they originate from Russia where they were a valuable companion of the Samoyed people who used them for hunting, herding and pulling sleds.
To help them keep warm, they have an extremely thick double coat. A double coat basically means they have two layers of fur to protect them against arctic weather. The coat is so dense in winter that you can hardly see the skin underneath and this is part of the reason the shedding is so heavy when spring comes around.
Samoyed’s shed a huge amount so you’ll likely find their fur all over your clothing and home. It’s likely you won’t be wearing much black anymore due to their light coloured fur being stuck to your clothes. Grooming can make a big difference to the amount of fur you find around your home but if you are considering introducing a Samoyed to your family, be prepared for their fur to be absolutely everywhere. A good vacuum will help you keep on top of this.
Why Do They Shed So Much?
These beautiful dogs need to shed their undercoat to ensure they keep cool during warmer weather. Their thick double coats play a vital role in helping them to stay warm during ice-cold temperatures but when seasons change, they need to get rid of this dense fur to prevent them from overheating. The process of shedding is also referred to as ‘blowing their coat’.
Samoyed’s can be very sensitive to heat, which is important to know when it comes to exercising them during the hotter hours of the day. It is better to exercise them during the colder morning and evening hours and to keep them inside in a cool and shaded room during the midday sun. If you live somewhere hot and humid, your Samoyed may shed more.
Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs
As Samoyed are best suited to colder temperatures, keep a close eye on them during warmer weather. If you notice the following symptoms your dog may be suffering from heatstroke:
- Excessively panting
- Loss of Consciousness
- Reddened Gums
Heatstroke is an emergency, it is essential that you remove your dog from the hot environment and you begin to lower their temperature by hosing your dog down with cool water. Let them drink as much water as they want. Call your vet and they will advise you on what to do next.
How to Keep a Samoyed Groomed & Happy
Maintaining the fluffy fur of a Samoyed can be a daunting prospect, particularly when they are shedding. Below are some of the best ways to keep your pup groomed and feeling great:
- Brush them daily – Their mid-length coat requires regular brushing to prevent mats and knots from forming. When you brush them, you will be removing the dead and loose hair which will help keep on top of the shedding. It is best to use a deshedding brush, a slicker brush, a pin brush or a long-toothed comb when brushing a Samoyed.
- Matted fur is a problem because they will cause your dog pain and will make temperature regulation very difficult. If your Samoyed does have matted fur, a visit to a professional groomer may be necessary.
- Visit professional groomers – many Samoyed owners opt to regularly take their pooches to professional groomers to ensure their coats are properly cared for and they are bathed thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris that’s caught in their fur. Although you can do this at home, it is a long and often messy process.
- Do not shear or clip them – you may be tempted to shear your Sammy to help them keep cool but this is a very harmful thing to do. Their light coat helps to reflect the sun and provides necessary protection so do not shave them. Shaving them can increase their risk of developing a skin infection, reduce their ability to regulate temperature and makes them more likely to overheat.
- Ideally, brush them outside. This will help avoid the loose hair falling inside your home and sticking to the floors, furniture and clothes.
How to Deal with Your Dog’s Shedding
You may be very surprised by how much fur your dog sheds, that is why I recommend daily brushing as it allows you to keep the coat under control in short grooming sessions. If you only groom your dog once a week, you could end up spending hours removing the excess, dead and loose hair.
During the peak of shedding, you could brush out piles of fur (enough to fill a couple of shopping bags!). Don’t skip on grooming, just spending 10 or 15 minutes a day brushing out the loose hair will make a substantial difference.
When it comes to shedding, having a vacuum cleaner and a lint roller on hand will make a big difference in helping you keep your clothing and furniture fur free. You may also want to put a blanket or sheet across the couch before your dog jumps up to minimize the amount of fur on the furniture.
Shedding may be a downside to having a Samoyed but with some time and effort the problem is manageable. The gentle personality and good nature of a Samoyed should make up for the yearly shedding.
Samoyed are wonderful companions but don’t let their cute smile fool you as they can be hard work too. Before bringing a Samoyed into your family, make sure you know about the needs and requirements of the breed so you can be sure they are the right choice for you.
Are Samoyed Hypoallergenic?
A common misconception is that Samoyeds are hypoallergenic. No animal is truly hypoallergenic and if you or a family member has allergies do not get a Samoyed thinking you won’t experience an allergic reaction. Samoyeds produce less dander than most dog breeds but they shed a large amount of hair. It is due to this that a Samoyed may trigger less allergies than other breeds.
Do Samoyed Make Good Pets?
Samoyeds are good natured, energetic and clever. Keep in mind that this breed is used to living in packs and being extremely active so life in an apartment won’t suit them. They tend to bark a lot, shed a lot and can be rowdy or destructive if they aren’t exercised enough. These dogs require a lot of attention and time so are best suited to families with flexible work schedules or scenarios where a family member works from home.
Can Samoyeds Live in Hot Climates?
While Samoyed originate from cold climates (and are best suited to living in cold regions) they can live in hot weather too. It’s likely that they will shed more in order to cope with the warmer temperatures but with ample amounts of fresh water, shade and cool spaces to relax they should be fine.
How Can I Reduce My Dog’s Shedding?
A regular grooming routine will help to reduce the amount your dog sheds and make the situation more manageable. Make sure you use the right brush for your dog’s coat type for effective results. Remember you won’t be able to stop your dog from shedding but you can manage the situation.