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The Samoyed

Almost unchanged through the generations The Samoyed came down to us from the Ancient Semi-Nomadic Samoyed Tribe of Siberia and the Arctic Shores of Russia and Nova Zemba.

The Samoyed dog was a necessary part of life for these primitives of the Sayantisi family, described as a race in the "transition stages between the Mongol pure and the Fin." The pure white dogs herded the reindeer of the tribe, were sled dogs and household companions of these people who roamed with their herds and families from the White Sea to the Yenisei River. Here, cut off from all contact with other humans or dogs, The Samoyed dog was bred true, one of the early primitive breeds from which many of our other Spitz-type Northern Breeds descended.

This handsome, snowy-coated dog developed unique character and temperament due to its centuries of association with man. As a protector, a sled dog, a happy worker no matter what the task, if it is within The Samoyed's canine scope. The breed is outstanding. Samoyeds, called the "Reindeer Dog" and the "Smiling Dog", were also used successfully by Arctic explorer and made splendid sled dogs of good temperament and carefree air. The work in this area is an achievement scarcely equaled in the canine world. Like many another breed of the icy wastes of the Northern Frontiers, The Samoyed has no "doggy" odor. Add to this a good natured disposition and even temperament and you will know why the breed is considered a Pet Par Excellence.

The Samoyed's dogs were brought to the attention of the Western World by the early polar explorer Fridtjob Nansen, a Norwegian, who was convinced the safest way to travel the frozen regions was by dog sled. He used 28 Samoyeds (19 males averaging 58.7 pounds each, and nine females averaging 50.5 pounds) on his expedition. Working day after day under conditions of up most hardship, The Samoyeds drew one and a half times their own weight in supplies.

The breed became extremely popular in Russia for Arctic exploration, and its fame spread through accounts of successful expeditions and anthropological studies of the Samoyed People. Each new Arctic expedition led by such explorers as Major Frederick Jackson, the Duc d'Abruzzi, Carsten Borchgrevink, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Captain Robert Scott and, most notably, Roald Amundsen in his successful journey to the South Pole in 1911, added new luster to the breed's history.

Of the first Samoyeds in Britain, only a few came from Western Siberia. Most were the dogs brought back from expeditions. One of the early establishers of the breed was Ernest Kilburn-Scott, who had made an Arctic trip in 1889. He came home with Sabarka, a puppy he'd brought to save it from becoming a native feast. While Sabarka was chocolate brown, he was said to be typical in many Samoyed traits, including head, coat and tail carriage.

Soon after, Kilburn-Scott brought a cream colored female and began producing a line of white dogs. By 1891 he described them in a newspaper ad as, Lovely White Russian (Samoyed) Sledge Dog pups, Like Small Polar Bears, Most Gentle and Affectionate.

Through Kilburn-Scott and other returned explorers, the breed gained a following in Great Britain. The king and Queen, Alexandra and Edward VII, also became arden fancier and descendants of their dogs are still found in many British and American Kennels.

Since The Samoyed was brought to the attention of the Western World by a Nobel Prize winner (Nansen) and a King's cousin (the Duc d'Abruzzi), and was supported in Britain by the Kind and Queen, it is only fitting that Royalty also played a part in bringing the breed to the United States. princess de Montyglyon, a Belgian countess, had the first Samoyed registered in the AKC Stud Book, a Russian champion she's obtained from the Czar's brother. The dog Moustan of Argentau, was registered in the United States in 1906, and his name still appears behind many Samoyed's today.

An extremely attractive breed, The Samoyed has dark,, intelligent eyes and a strong, sturdy, muscular body set on legs that are built for speed. The harsh coat, standing straight out from the body, appears bleached by exposure to the Arctic sun and snow. Each hair looks as if it is tipped with an icy sheen. This is an excellent watchdog, and yet it is gentle and companionable. Samoyeds are never trouble-makers. Although they are naturally independent, they are also extremely loyal and loving to their owners.

In disposition, The Samoyed it truly unique. No other breed can match its joyous character. Many Samoyeds can actually smile, lifting the spirits of everyone around them. In fact, centuries of close contact with humans seem to have given Samoyeds an uncanny understanding of human nature.

The Samoyed Times
Candy Ecker
Indianola, IA  50125

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