Does a Samoyed have the personality you are looking for?

From puppies to veterans, the samoyed never grows up. He is a fun loving mischievous ball of white fur who just wants to be with people 24 hours a day. They are not scatty, they are not batty, they are not Stupid. Samoyeds are actually very intelligent, but they do like to have fun!

When you get your samoyed home, you soon learn he is the boss. They have you under their magic spell very quickly, using those big brown eyes and cute features. It make's it absolutely impossible to tell them off, no matter how badly misbehaved they are!

As your pup grows into a terrorising teenager, full of bounce and joy, racing around and shouting to the world he is boss, you will suddenly realise that this small bundle of fluff is getting a bit out of hand. But by then it's a bit difficult to put the brakes on, so what to do?

From day one the word is "FIRM", yet caring. You will never get around a sam by being over heavy. No amount of shouting, screaming or hitting will ever accomplish anything with a samoyed. What does work is a two way interaction of give and take, being firm, yet kind, saying something and meaning it, but not getting into an argument.

This all starts at the very first few days home, when you feed, groom and play with your sam. A pup will happily take food and tidbits, so this is the perfect time to start training. Give a command and praise him for doing it somewhere near right, add a treat. When grooming, give lots of praise when he lays still, but don't get him all excited or he will wiggle around. Just words like "Good Fluffball". The easiest way to teach a sam is to trick them into doing something with food and lots of praises. Not "Command" and "Bad dog" when it all goes wrong.

Lead training can be real fun. You go one way the dog goes he same way faster and stronger, and you end up being taken for a walk. How do you stop a 55 pound dog dragging you down the street? Simple. Back to the old bag of goodies again *Grin*. By the time your pup can go out after his course of injections, you will have already set some ground rules, house trained him, and played games and things. He will be used to a collar on, and hopefully a lead too, which up until now he would have dragged around the house. The one thing you will have noticed by now, is that everytime you rustle a plastic bag, the fluffball comes running looking for food. That should have been doubled with his name, so now when you call his name he thinks "FOOD and TREATS", so comes belting as fast as his little legs carry him.

Ok so out you go into the street. WOW, with all those smells and interesting things, your pup doesn't know where to run to first! Go to a park or somewhere open and stand in the middle of it. Put pup down and hold the lead. Say "HEAL" and walk slowly forward. Lo and behold your pup will go everywhere but where you want him to. Now use lots of encouragement, and don't sound like a wimp calling "itsy bitsy little puppy wuppy" to please come walk along side. Say firmly, do not shout, and do not yell, just say firmly "HEAL", and rusle the bag. Use the dogs name and call him as if it is urgent that you should be heading one way. You will notice your pup looks at you, albeit a split second, then runs on ahead, so... give the command again, BUT at the same time, not before or after, do a right turn and head off in another direction.

Keep repeating until your pup suddenly looks and wonders what you are doing, and wonder of wonders, a lead trained dog! That will take about half an hour as opposed to days and days of being pulled and tugged.

"Whats the difference?" I am often asked. Well, apart from the obvious, the boy has a hell of a lot more coat, and can be a tad more stubborn. They are definately the lion of the family, sitting and surveying their domain. They still love to play and dig and Bark though. They especially love people and will launch themselves into visitors arms, so they need to be taught to stop this from day one.

The girls.......well they have seasons twice a year, they are devoted to kids and people. They love to play and romp, but are a bit quieter than the boys, and gentler. My lot prefer the comforts of the furniture to the floor, and they all jump in together and play as one big family. They are great with other dogs, pets etc.

There's no other way of putting it; They bark, they yap, they yodel, they holler and before you get one, you will be told before hand of their vocal prowess. So why don't people stop them?

You may like a noisy sam, but your neighbors will not! Believe it or not, it can be controlled!! Yep! Honest! Once again it stems from puppyhood. They love the sound of their own voices, but you have to teach them to enjoy life in a less vocal fashion. "HOW?!?!" I hear you scream above the noise! Well, simply by using a squeezie lemon. When they start barking at an early age, say firmly "NO!". When they do it again, squirt some lemon into their face. They shut up! Simple as that, and they learn quickly.

Basically if you are calm and peaceful, your samoyed mimicks you and can be similar. If you have a noisy house, they can be equaly as noisy. Of course this is a very rough guide to samoyed personality. Just remember your sam wants one thing in life: TO BE WITH YOU! When left alone is when the damage starts. That's when the garden is dug up, the furniture chewed, and the neighbors start yelling about the noise.

So when thinking as to whether a samoyed's personality is suitable for you, they are if you can spend the time with them. They are not a dog that can be dominated, they are a dog that wants to live a happy life on equal terms with you. Any responsible breeder is there for you. I am here if you get stuck too. I hope this little guide has helped :)