The Samoyed dog breed is a very handsome one, with an almost wolf-like appearance and a fluffy, almost pure white coat. They fall within The Kennel Club’s pastoral grouping which reflects their working history, and while these dogs might look as if they are pampered pooches that spend most of their spare time in the grooming parlour, they’re actually very lively outgoing and active too.
However, as you might expect from a dog breed with a luxurious and bright white coat, keeping a Samoyed’s coat clean and in good condition isn’t something that happens on its own, and taking care of a coat of this type can mean a lot of work.
If you are considering buying a Samoyed dog and are wondering how much effort it takes to keep their coats clean and healthy, this article will tell you everything you need to know. Read on to learn more.
Whilst Samoyeds have white coats, their coats are often actually made up of a couple of different colours combined, being white and cream or white and pale biscuit. The white parts of the coat are usually almost luminous in hue, and very bright and distinctive. However, this also means that they show up the dirt very well too, and are apt to get into a mess quickly!
In terms of the Samoyed coat texture, the topcoat is very soft, plush and fluffy and moderately long, and underneath this is a shorter layer of undercoat that provides insulation and that incorporates some slightly harsher hair, helping to give the dog its rounded, fluffy appearance.
Samoyed coats are straight, and any degree of curling is considered to be a breed fault for showing purposes – and the hair stands proud from the skin, and is very weather resistant, protecting the dog from wind, rain and cold.
As you might expect given the sheer volume of fur that makes up the Samoyed coat, dogs of the breed tend to shed hair heavily, and they do this all year round. Investing in a good hoover is essential when living with a Samoyed, and as well as the year-round shedding, dogs of the breed also moult in earnest a couple of times a year too.
This usually falls around spring an autumn when the weather is changing – usually around the first cold snap of the year and also when we get the first hot days of spring. This is known as blowing the coat, and involves the dog shedding huge amounts of fur very heavily over the course of a couple of weeks as they grow in their new coat for the coming season.
During this time – particularly in the spring – fur will come out of the coat in hanks, and you will be able to pluck it out with your fingers.
It is a good idea to groom your Samoyed for a few minutes every day, to help to remove shed hair and keep it from shedding around the home. This will also help to keep the dog’s skin and coat in good condition, and allow you to work out any knots and tangles. Because of the texture that Samoyed coats have, they aren’t hugely prone to knotting and tangling, but if their coats get wet and dirty, this can dry hard and cause problems removing it later.
Due to the colour of the Samoyed coat, it can soon start to look dingy if it isn’t kept clean, which means that you may want to use grooming wipes to clean any grubby patches as well as brushing and combing the fur.
Samoyeds should also be bathed fairly regularly too, both to help shed hair to come out and to keep the dog clean and looking bright. Many Samoyed owners use a special dog shampoo for white coats for this, to enhance the colour of the coat.
Additionally, you may find it easier to have your Samoyed bathed by a professional dog groomer, as they will have the tools and facilities to thoroughly bathe and dry your dog, which can be a challenge to manage at home.
If you groom your Samoyed for a few minutes each day, it should be relatively easy to keep them clean and looking good. This is not usually hugely onerous either as whilst the coat is thick, it doesn’t have the type of texture that makes it prone to tangling up.
You will need a comb, pin brush and slicker brush, and should work methodically through the whole coat from the skin and undercoat upwards. Grooming the undercoat is vital, rather than just smoothing over the top layer of the fur and calling it a day.
Pay special attention to the belly, armpits and between the back legs, and underneath the tail – these are the areas most likely to get grimy or messy. A coat that is not groomed regularly is apt to be rather uncomfortable for the dog, as the shed hair within it can be itchy or annoying.
Most Samoyeds enjoy the attention that comes with brushing and grooming, and will actively participate happily. Start grooming your Samoyed while they are still young if possible, so that they come to accept daily grooming as part of their regular routine and see it as something that they are used to and happy to take part in.