If you’re looking for an affectionate and beautiful companion who will gladly keep your feet warm at night, the Samoyed may be the perfect pooch for you. Famous for their smiling expression and happy-go-lucky attitude, Samoyeds are fun dogs who make great family pets.
While there are a few rescue organizations dedicated to the breed (more on this later), you’ll usually need to purchase a Samoyed from a breeder if you want to add one to your pack.
Samoyeds aren’t exactly cheap, although they are relatively reasonably priced by purebred standards. Most Samoyeds cost between $600 and $1500. However, some – especially those from award-winning bloodlines – may cost $3,000 or more.
Below, we’ll talk about the things that influence this price range, some of the other costs you’ll need to account for, and the best way to find a good Samoyed breeder. We’ll also talk about the things you need to know before you add a Samoyed to your family, and we’ll provide some links to a few of the bigger Samoyed rescue groups too.
The price of Samoyeds varies quite a bit – some are more than twice the price of others. This variation in pricing (which is pretty common for most dog breeds) occurs for a variety of reasons, including:
Some breeders will go to the trouble of having their dogs registered by the AKC (or another breed registry group, such as the United Kennel Club). Doing so will cost the breeder time and money, which he or she will pass along to the customer.
If you just want a pet Samoyed, you needn’t acquire one with “papers,” but if you intend on breeding or showing your new pooch, you’ll likely want to select a registered pup.
Most people interested in adding a new pet to their family want a young puppy between 8 and 12 weeks of age. Accordingly, Samoyeds at this age are typically valued at the high end of the price range, and breeders try to maximize their profits by selling as many offspring during this window as possible.
But occasionally, pups fail to sell during this time period, leading breeders to discount these pups in an effort to get them into new homes. This price difference can become quite significant for dogs who reach 1 year of age, so those with tight budgets may want to look for an older, more affordable, Samoyed.
First of all, as far as I’m concerned, every dog on the planet is a good pup who deserves love, copious belly scratches, and long walks with his or her people on a daily basis. All dogs are “high quality” in this sense.
That said, dogs do differ from pup to pup, and some are simply a bit smarter, prettier, or blessed with better genes than others are. Some may even be the offspring of award-winning parents or grandparents. These factors will all influence the price of a given puppy.
Most people are familiar with white Samoyeds, but they actually come in three other color combinations, including cream, biscuit, and white & biscuit.
Cream Samoyeds look just like you’d expect, as they’re uniformly clad in cream-colored hair, while biscuit Samoyeds are light orangish-brown. White & biscuit Samoyeds are typically mostly white, with biscuit-colored accents on the ears and body. Because most Samoyeds are white, those with differently colored coats may cost a bit more.
Even if you purchase your new Samoyed puppy over the internet, the location of the breeder will influence the price, as the cost of living (and doing business) varies from place to place.
For example, a breeder living in Southern California will usually have to pay more for housing, veterinary services, and supplies than a breeder living in Montana. These expenses will typically be passed on to the buyer.
Different businesses – including dog breeders — have different pricing models. Some try to keep their prices low and sell puppies as quickly as possible, while others price their puppies at the high end of the scale.
Neither approach is inherently better or worse than the other (provided that all the dogs are treated well), so you’ll just need to shop around and find the breeder and price tag that seems appropriate to you.
Not only will you need to plop down a pile of cash to bring home a new Samoyed, but there are a number of other costs you’ll have to prepare for too.
Some of the most notable costs you’ll incur over your pup’s life include:
Food – Samoyeds are medium-sized dogs, so their food needs are not trivial. An exact estimate is difficult to establish as even dogs of the same size can exhibit drastically different food requirements, but, you’ll probably need about 15 to 30 pounds of food per month (give or take) for an adult Samoyed. This will cost you about $20 to $60 a month for the next 12 to 14 years.
Veterinary Care – Your Samoyed puppy will require several rounds of shots, you’ll likely want to have him neutered (or spayed, if you select a female pup), and he’ll also need check-ups and sick visits from time to time. It is very difficult to predict these costs, and vet service prices vary wildly, but you could easily end up spending several hundred dollars a year at your vet.
Grooming – Samoyeds can be difficult to bathe given their long, thick hair, so many owners opt to have them professionally groomed. Figure that you’ll take your Samoyed in for a bath and basic grooming package about five or six times a year, at a cost of $40 to $100 per visit.
In addition to these major expenses, you’ll also need to purchase your Samoyed things like a good dog bed, a leash, a harness, and plenty of chew toys. However, these items are typically one-time purchases, which aren’t terribly expensive (although you can certainly spend a good chunk of money on a good orthopedic bed).
Samoyeds are awesome animals, who often make fantastic family pets. But, they aren’t right for everybody and it is important to know what to expect when you welcome a Samoyed into your home.
Samoyeds were initially developed in the Taimyr Peninsula of northern Siberia by the Samoyedic people. Like most other breeds, they were bred to do typical dog stuff, like helping their people hunt, guarding against predators, and hauling stuff from place to place.
Samoyeds also had one other important job: Helping their people survive the long, cold nights of the region. Their thick, fluffy coats and snuggly nature made them perfect for the job, and this helped make the breed as affectionate and touchy-feely as they now are.
But the Samoyed’s coat isn’t the breed’s only adaptation to the cold.
For example, Samoyeds are famous for bearing a permanent smile – a byproduct of their upturned mouth corners. While this certainly makes them fun to look at, it actually serves a purpose: It prevents them from drooling. This is an important adaptation, as their drool could freeze during the frigid Siberian nights, creating – if you’ll pardon the phrase – spitcicles.
Additionally, the Samoyed’s long, fluffy tail serves as a scarf that they can use to keep their face or paws warm. Because of these adaptations, Samoyeds will thrive in most cold-weather locations, but they’ll often be miserable in warm climates. They can even get very sick if forced to spend time outdoors in hot weather.
Early in their history, Samoyeds traveled far and wide with their people, and this had a serious impact on their personalities. They have very high energy levels and require plenty of exercise. They’re not well-suited to apartment life, as they need plenty of room to explore and play.
This doesn’t mean you can just banish your Samoyed to the backyard – they require far too much attention from their people to live in isolation like this. Instead, you’ll need to accept that your new Samoyed will expect to become a bona fide member of the family and will want the opportunity to accompany their people on plenty of adventures (even if these adventures are simply trips to the dog park).
Fortunately, Samoyeds are pretty smart dogs, and although they aren’t especially easy to train, they aren’t as resistant to training attempts as some other breeds are. Just be sure to start training your new pet while he is young, and solicit the help of a certified trainer if you have any difficulties.
If you’ve decided that a Samoyed is likely to be a good fit for your family, you’ll need to start looking for a good breeder. Don’t just buy from the first person you find with available puppies – you’ll want to make sure that you select a high-quality breeder, who likely produces high-quality puppies.
You can check out our definitive guide to finding a good dog breeder, but a few of the most important criteria to seek in a breeder include:
Also, don’t forget to listen to your Spidey Sense intuition. If a breeder doesn’t give you the right vibe, politely look elsewhere.
Most dogs at rescue organizations are already grown, so this may not be a viable option for owners with their hearts set on a puppy. But, you should at least consider rescue organizations when adding a new pet to your family.
Dogs are often available from rescue organizations for free, but others will charge a nominal fee to help offset the organization’s investment in the pooch. Charging a small (but not insignificant) fee also helps discourage people from impulsively adopting a dog.
Be sure to look for Samoyed rescues in your area, but here are a few places to start:
There’s a lot to like about Samoyeds, so their popularity is quite understandable. Just make sure that you have the budget to provide your new pet with everything he needs before you make your purchase. Also, be sure that you work with a good breeder to have the best chance of acquiring a great pup.
Do you have a Samoyed? We’d love to hear all about him! And if you are so inclined, we’d love to learn how much you paid for your pet.
Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.