CKC BREED STANDARD
FOR THE SAMOYED
CKC approved September 1992, effective January 1, 1993
One of the oldest domesticated breeds of dogs, the Samoyed was bred and
developed by the nomadic Samoyede tribes in Northeast Siberia north of
the Arctic Circle. Rather than being bred for a specific purpose, they
were bred and are noted for their versatility as a sled, herding, guard
and companion dog. They made a tremendous contribution to the Arctic and
Antarctic expeditions as a strong and dependable sled dog. They were
used by the Samoyede people as a sled and draught animal as well as to
guard and drive reindeer herds from one feeding ground to another. Their
importance to the Samoyede people, who depend largely upon their dogs
for survival, caused them to be regarded as members of the family and
companions, as well as tough, sturdy work animals, which contributed to
the unique Samoyed disposition of today.
The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should present a picture
of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility, dignity and grace. As
their work lies in the cold climate, their coat should be heavy and
weather resistant, and of good quality rather than quantity. The male
carries more of a "ruff" than the female. they should not be
long in the back as a weak back would make them practically useless for
their legitimate work, but at the same time a close-coupled body would
also place them at a great disadvantage as a draught dog. Breeders
should aim for the happy medium, a body not long but muscular, allowing
liberty, with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, strong arched neck,
allowing liberty, with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, strong arched
neck, straight front and especially strong loins. Males should be
masculine in appearance and deportment without unwarranted
aggressiveness; bitches feminine without weakness of structure or
apparent softness of temperament. Bitches may be slightly longer in back
than males. They should both give the appearance of being capable of
great endurance but be free from coarseness. Because of the depth of
chest required, the legs should be moderately long. Hindquarters should
be particularly well developed, stifles well bent and any suggestion of
unsound stifles or cow hocks severely penalized. General appearance
should include movement and general conformation indicating balance and
Intelligent, gentle, loyal, adaptable, alert, full of action, eager to
serve, friendly but conservative, not distrustful or shy. Unprovoked
aggressiveness is to be severely penalized.
a) Height - Dogs - 53 to 60 cm (21 to 23 1/2 inches) at the
withers. Bitches - 48 to 55 cm (19 to 21 1/2 inches) at the withers. An
oversized or undersized Samoyed is to be penalized according to the
extent of the deviation.
b) Weight - in proportion to size.
c) Substance - The bone is heavier than would be expected in a
dog this size but not so massive as to prevent the speed and agility
most desirable in a Samoyed. In all builds, the bone should be in
proportion to body size. The Samoyed should never be so heavy as to
appear clumsy nor so light as to appear racy.
a) Coat - type and texture - The Samoyed is a double-coated
dog. The body should be well covered with an undercoat of soft, short
thick closed wool with longer, harsher hair growing through it to form
the outer coat, which stands straight out from the body and should be
free from curl in the adult dog. The coat should form a ruff around the
neck and shoulders, framing the head (more on the males than on the
females). Quality of coat should be weather resistant and considered
more important than quantity. a droopy coat is undesirable. Length of
coat is unimportant when compared to type of coat and texture. The coat
should glisten with a silver sheen. The female does not usually carry as
long a coat as most males and it may be slightly softer in texture.
b) Colour - They must be white, white and biscuit, white
and cream, cream or all biscuit. All of these colours should be
considered equal. Any other colours disqualify.
c) Faults - Curly, wavy, flat, droopy, soft or silky outer-coat
is extremely undesirable. Excessive coat length should be viewed as an
exaggeration of type and is a fault. Extremely short, smooth coats are
not typical. Lack of undercoat (with seasonal consideration). Coat
parting down back.
a) Skull - The skull is wedge-shaped, broad, flat, not round or
apple-headed, and should form an equilateral triangle on lines between
the inner base of the ears and the center point of the stop. The stop
should not be too abrupt, nevertheless well defined. In profile the top
line of the skull should parallel the top line of the muzzle.
b) Muzzle - Muzzle of medium length and medium width, neither
coarse nor snipey; should taper toward the nose and be in proportion to
the size of the dog and width of skull. Length of muzzle should be
slightly shorter than length of skull. The muzzle must have depth with a
strong under-jaw. Whiskers should not be removed.
c) Nose - Black for preference, but brown, liver or
snow-nose not penalized. Colour of nose sometimes changes with age and
d) Mouth - Lips should be black for preference and
slightly curved up at the corners of the mouth, giving the "Samoyed
Smile". Lip lines should not have the appearance of being coarse
nor should the flews drop predominantly at the corners of the mouth. The
teeth should be strong, well-set, and snugly overlapping in a scissor
bite. Overshot or undershot should be penalized.
e) Eyes - Should be placed well apart and deep-set;
almond shaped rims set with lower lid slanting toward an imaginary point
approximating the outer base of the ear. both eye rims and eye colour
should be dark. Round or protruding eyes penalized. Blue eyes
f) Ears - Strong and thick, erect, triangular and
slightly rounded at the tips; should not be large or pointed, nor should
they be small and "bear-eared". Ears should conform to head
size and the size of the dog. They should be mobile and well covered
inside with hair; hair full and stand-off before the ears. Length of ear
should be the same measurement as the distance from the inner base of
the ear to the outer corner of the eye.
g) Expression - The expression, referred to as "Samoyed
expression," is very important and is indicated by sparkle of the
eyes, animation and lighting up of the face when alert or intent on
anything. Expression is made up of a combination of eyes, ears and
mouth. The ears should be erect when alert; the mouth should be slightly
curved up at the corners to form the "Samoyed smile."
Strong, well muscled, moderately long, well arched; carried proudly when
standing, set on sloping shoulders to carry head with dignity when at
attention. Neck should blend in to shoulders with graceful arch. When
moving at a trot, the neck is extended so that the head is carried
a) Shoulder - Shoulders should be long and sloping, with the
shoulder blade well laid back at an IDEAL angle of 45 degrees to the
ground. In the correctly constructed and balanced front assembly, the
forelimbs are placed well back on the ribcage, with the point of the
sternum (breastbone) well ahead of the front of the shoulder joint
(point of shoulder). The length of the shoulder blade is approximately
1/3 the height at the tip of the withers.
b) Upper Arm - The upper arm (humerus) angles
backwards from point of shoulder to elbow, ideally forming a 90 degree
angle with the shoulder blade, and is never perpendicular to the ground.
The measurement from tip of shoulder blade to point of shoulder should
equal measurement from point of shoulder to elbow.
c) Lower Arm (radius & ulna) - When standing
and viewed from the front, the legs are moderately spaced, parallel and
straight, with elbows close to the body and turned neither in nor out.
The angle at the elbow joint should be approximately 135 degrees.
Because of depth of chest, legs should be moderately long. Length of
lower arm should be 1 to 2 inches longer than length of scapula. Length
of leg from ground to elbow should be approximately 55% of the total
height at the withers.
d) Pasterns - should be strong, sturdy and flexible.
The pastern slopes at approximately 15 degrees from the vertical,
allowing for spring and agility, and should not be more than 1/3 the
length of the shoulder blade.
e) Feet - Large, long, flattish, a hare-foot, slightly
spread but not splayed; toes arched, pads thick and tough, with
protective growth of hair between the toes. In natural stance, feet may
be turned very slightly out - but excessive turn-out, pigeon-toed, round
or cat-footed or splayed are faults.
a) Top line - The withers forms the highest part of the back.
The back should appear level to the loin, medium in length, very
muscular, neither long nor short coupled. The ideal length of the
Samoyed from tip of sternum (breastbone) to end of pelvis is 10% more
than the height at the withers.
b) Chest - Should be deep, with moderate spring of rib
and flattened at the sides to allow proper movement of the shoulders and
freedom for the front legs. Should not be barrel-chested. The deepest
part of the chest should be near the 9th rib. Heart and lung room are
secured more by body depth than width.
c) Loin - The loin is strong and slightly arched.
d) Croup - must be full, slightly sloping and must
continue imperceptibly to the root of the tail. e) Abdomen - The abdomen
should be well shaped and tightly muscled and with the rear of the
thorax, should swing up in a pleasing curve (tuck-up).
a) Hipbone - The pelvis is set at 30 degrees to the horizontal
and the length of the pelvis is equal to the length of the shoulder
b) Upper Thigh - The femur or thigh joins the pelvis at
the hip socket, ideally forming a 90 degree angle. The measurement of
the femur is equal to the length of the pelvis. Muscle attachments must
be very powerful, broad and evenly distributed.
c) Lower Thigh - The lower thigh, comprised of the
tibia and fibula, is ideally set at 90 degrees to the femur or upper
thigh and is approximately 1/3 longer than the pelvis. This length is
very important to the gait.
d) Hocks - Should be well developed, sharply defined
and set at approximately 30% of hip height. The rear pasterns should be
parallel, and perpendicular to the ground in natural stance and forms an
angle of about 120 degrees with the lower thigh or fibula and tibia.
e) Stifle Bend - Stifles are well bent, approximately
45 degrees to the ground.
f) Feet - A hare-foot, same as the front feet, although
may be slightly longer and narrower than the front. If present, rear
dewclaws are to be removed.
The tail should be moderately long with the tail bone terminating
approximately at the hock when down. It should be profusely covered with
long hair and carried forward over the back and draped to either side
when alert but sometimes dropped when at rest. It should not be set high
or low, and should be mobile and loose, not tight over the back. A very
tight, immobile tail or a double hooked tail is a fault. A judge should
see the tail over the back once when judging.
The Samoyed's characteristic gait is smooth and seemingly effortless.
They are quick and light on their feet and when on a loose lead at a
moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in the forequarter and
powerful drive in the hindquarters, allowing them to cover the most
ground with the fewest number of steps, expending the least amount of
energy to perform the job for which they were bred. Side gait is
extremely important in assessing the desired reach and drive in the
Samoyed. When viewed from the front or rear, when moving at a walk or
slow trot, they will not single-track, but as speed increases, the legs
gradually angle inward until the pads are falling on a line directly
under the longitudinal center of the body. As the pad marks converge,
the forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither
elbows nor stifles turned out. The back should remain strong, firm, and
level, with very little lateral or vertical displacement. A choppy or
stilted or restricted gait should be penalized.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Samoyed. Any deviation
from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the
deviation. Since the Samoyed is a working breed any faults of soundness
should be considered serious.
Any colour other than white, biscuit, white and biscuit, white and
Blue eyes, Dewclaws on the rear legs.