Most dog lovers don’t know that Samoyeds are one of the fourteen ancient breeds almost genetically comparable to wolves. Most people know them for their stunning white coat that shines with a dash of silver.
If you are a regular guest on canine forums online, you may have already seen hundreds of threads focusing on Samoyed colors. Most Sammy enthusiasts believe that there is only one true coloration for the breed, but experienced breeders and dog owners argue that this is not the case.
Of course, as pet lovers who aim to educate others, we had to make this guide featuring all of the breed’s coat colors. All of the information included in this guide is based on kennel club data and from our immense experience in the sphere of dogdom.
In this article, you will get to know the Samoyed breed a little bit better. We will go over their background, characteristics, and, most importantly, their awesome colors. So, whenever you are ready, let’s get into it!
Originally bred for hauling sledges, herding, and hunting wild animals, these working dogs proved a valuable asset for northwestern Siberia’s Samoyede people. Among this breed’s duties were tracking, pack hiking, and warming their owners by sleeping with them at night.
As working dogs, Samoyeds can be strong-willed at times, but beyond that, they remain gentle, friendly, and devoted family dogs. They are loving towards almost everyone, so long as new people don’t mind some lumps of fur and stray hairs on their clothes.
Also known as the “Sammy Smile,” the slight but discernible, upturned corners of their mouths make them quite remarkable in the dog world. Named after the Samoyedic people, these pups are happy, good-natured canines with a glass always full attitude toward life and their humans.
European explorers quickly realized the value of these hardy, friendly dogs and brought them to England in the late 1800s. The Czar of Russia and Queen Alexandra are some of the famous people known to have favored this breed. Samoyeds also joined many popular expeditions. The most notable one, “Etah,” led Roald Amundsen’s first sledding trip to the South Pole.
These doggies sport a double coat with a straight outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat, also referred to as wool. This dense double coat was crucial for this breed to live and work in harsh Arctic environments.
The Samoyed colors can be pure white, white and biscuit, biscuit, or cream, but more on that later on. Males’ coats are more profuse than females, and they have a ruff around their necks framing the head.
One thing to know about these dogs is that they shed heavily. Maintaining their coat can be a daunting task. Daily brushing is necessary during the blow-out periods of the year when the coat sheds non-stop and once or twice a week during the rest of the year.
Many Samoyed owners opt to hire professional groomers for their dogs. Though costly, it does help to take some burden off the owner. However, whether you choose to take your pup to a groomer or not, you still have to brush it regularly.
Even though these dogs are known as quite the shedders in the dog world, they are considered hypoallergenic to some extent. This is because their bodies produce very low dander levels, which is one of the main reasons for pet allergies. Still, if you or someone in your family has mild or severe allergic reactions, it is best to avoid this breed entirely.
Samoyed dog colors: are all Samoyeds white?
It is generally believed that all purebred Samoyeds are pure white. But, aside from this basic color, there are actually three more that exist, and they are all accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC). This includes the colors we briefly mentioned above: cream, biscuit, and white and biscuit.
If you wish to own a samoyed of a specific color, your best bet is to ask the breeder regarding the puppy’s parents and study how coat color genetics work. In case the breeder you find claims that they can accurately predict the dog’s coat color or identify it right after the puppy is born, please ask what psychic ball they are using and let us know.
It’s not that Samoyed colors are hard to predict, but it can be quite difficult. This is because these pups’ coats may still develop and change as they grow older and exhibit patches, spots, and other color patterns.
Samoyed different colors: which ones are recognized?
We came to the conclusion that the best way to make you believe the Samoyed color facts we are presenting is through the standard set by top kennel clubs across the globe. So, here is a detailed list of acceptable colors according to each kennel club:
• American Kennel Club (AKC): Pure White, White & Biscuit, Cream, Biscuit
• United Kennel Club (UKC): Pure White, White & Biscuit, Cream, and All Biscuit
• Canadian Kennel Club (CKC): White, White & Biscuit, White Cream, Cream, and All Biscuit
• Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI): Pure White, White & Biscuit, and Cream
Samoyed coat colors: white
White dogs of this breed are the most common. They have an all-white coat, which was selectively bred by their very first breeders so that they could blend in with the surrounding snow and serve as better guard dogs, watchdogs, and companion dogs.
Unfortunately, no one can predict for sure if a Samoyed born with a white coat will remain the same color as it grows. These pups may develop biscuit spots or completely switch into a biscuit coat when they reach adulthood.
Samoyed colors: biscuit
Photo from: @snowystarsamoyeds
The biscuit coat color is exclusively used to describe only two breeds of dog: Samoyeds and Pekingese. Biscuit Samoyeds combine brown and yellow with medium brilliance and saturation.
Some Samoyed puppies are born with a completely white coat but eventually turn into a full biscuit, which makes some people weirded out by this shade. Likewise, some puppies with biscuit coats lighten as they age and can turn completely white.
If biscuit is your preferred color in this breed, we recommend that you search for bloodlines that were able to produce biscuit pups consistently. If, however, this is not possible, try to pick the darkest puppy from the litter to increase your chances of owning a biscuit-colored pup.
Samoyed colors: cream
Photo from: @aventurasdeasterix
A cream-colored representative of this breed has a low saturated coat that appears almost yellow. More often than not, these pups only have a bit more color than the whites.
Because of this, they are always mistaken for the same variety. However, there is a clear distinction to a trained eye.
Samoyed dog colors: white & biscuit
A white and biscuit Samoyed can be distinguished by a white base coat and medium saturated spots that are a brownish-yellow color.
Just like their white and all-biscuit Samoyed cousins, it can be quite the challenge to immediately identify the color of their coat because the biscuit spots may lighten over time and turn them into pure whites.
Are there black Samoyeds?
Well, if you let your white, white & biscuit, cream, or any other samoyed roll around in the mud long enough, eventually, you will end up with a black Samoyed. It might even trick some novice dog owners into thinking that black Samoyeds actually exist.
However, black-colored pups of this breed are actually nonexistent since these pups are genetically wired to be white and light-colored. Therefore, try not to fall into schemes of profit-hungry unethical breeders because they aren’t miracle workers who can produce black puppies out of cream, white, and biscuit dogs.
What are the rarest and most common colors in the Samoyed breed?
As you might have figured out yourself, the most common of all Samoyed colors is white. This is the main reason why most people think this is the only color that exists.
On the other hand, the rarest Samoyed you can come across is the biscuit variety. Some owners get all thrilled thinking that they own one, but in a matter of a few months, their pups turn into a combination of biscuit and white or all white.
Given that the biscuit-colored Samoyed is the rarest of the bunch, it is also the most expensive.
Can Samoyeds be different colors: color genetics
Unlike other coat colors, which are mostly figured out, the genetics of cream and white dogs has puzzled many dog owners since the beginning of time (or at least since Samoyed and similar breeds came to be).
However, Samoyed breeders are also quick to state that their coat color is not accidental by any means but rather intended by the semi-nomadic Asian tribes who migrated to Siberia, so they could easily blend into the surrounding snowy landscape.
In a study published in the journal Oxford Academic that focused on the cream and white coat in canines, including Sammies, it has been discovered that there is an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance with dogs that have an e/e MC1R genotype.
However, despite this fascinating discovery, the researchers concluded that this is not the only cause of the cream and white coloration in canines. Some other gene is believed to interact with the said e/e genotype, which causes these dogs to be light-colored.
When it comes to the biscuit coat, breeders state that it is a combination of recessive genes and dilution. The exact coat genetics of this variety is yet to be determined, but we are sure canine scholars are working on it as we speak.
The color of a Samoyed’s coat does not have any impact on its behavior. Likewise, there aren’t any documented health issues tied to their coats. Sammies are generally healthy, but like all other dog breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions.
Keep in mind that not all Samoyeds will get any or all of these health problems, but it is vital to be aware of them if you are considering this breed. The life expectancy of these pups is between twelve and fourteen years. This means their lifespan, on average, is around thirteen years, provided they get the proper care they need throughout their lives.
If you are looking to buy a puppy, try to find a reputable breeder who will show you health certificates for both of your pup’s parents. Health clearances and certificates prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular health problem.
Here are some of the most common health issues that affect this breed:
• Hip dysplasia: HD is an inherited ailment in which the dog’s thighbone doesn’t fit into the hip joint as it should. Some canines show pain and lameness on one or both hind legs, but others don’t display any signs of this condition. In both cases, arthritis can develop as the dog grows older. Dogs with HD should not be bred, so if you are purchasing a puppy, be sure to ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested and cleared for hip dysplasia and are free of hip problems.
• Hereditary glomerulopathy: This is a genetic condition of the kidneys. Hereditary glomerulopathy (HG) is more severe in males who appear completely fine for the first three months of life until symptoms appear. Death from renal failure usually comes at fifteen months of age. Female pups develop mild symptoms at two to three months of age but do not suffer renal failure. There is still no genetic screening test available for the Sammy’s hereditary glomerulopathy, but studies are ongoing.
• Hypothyroidism: This is the abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is believed to be responsible for conditions such as lethargy, alopecia (hair loss), epilepsy, obesity, pyoderma, hyperpigmentation, and other skin conditions. Luckily, it can be treated with medication and diet.
• Diabetes mellitus (DM): This is a health condition in which the body cannot properly regulate blood sugar levels. A diabetic canine will show a healthy appetite but lose weight because the food is not being absorbed efficiently. Symptoms of this ailment are excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Diabetes mellitus can be controlled by proper diet and the administration of insulin.
• Subvalvular aortic stenosis: This is a heart condition caused by a narrow connection between the aorta and the left ventricle. It can lead to fainting and even sudden death. Consult your vet about early detection and prescribing the proper treatment.
• Cancer: Symptoms of cancer in pups include abnormal swelling of a bump or sore, sores that don’t heal, bleeding from body openings, and difficulty with elimination or breathing. Treatments for cancer include surgery, medications, and chemotherapy.
• Patellar luxation: Also known as slipped stifles, patellar luxation is a common problem for small dog breeds but can affect large ones as well. The patella is the kneecap, and luxation means the dislocation of an anatomical part. So, patellar luxation occurs when the knee joint slides in and out of place, causing excruciating pain. Even though this can be crippling, some canines with patellar luxation lead completely normal lives.
Samoyed eye problems
Apart from the health issues we listed in the previous sections, these pups are prone to some eye problems as well, such as:
• Glaucoma: This condition is defined by increased pressure in a dog’s eye and can be found in two forms: primary, which is inherited, and secondary, which is usually caused by decreased fluid in the eyeballs due to other eye diseases. Symptoms include pain and vision loss. Treatment and prognosis vary depending on which of the two types affects the pup. Glaucoma is treated surgically or with eye drops.
• Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): PRA refers to a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. In the early stages of the disease, affected pups become night-blind. As the disease progresses, the dogs lose sight during the day. Most dogs are adaptable to their lost or limited vision, as long as their surroundings don’t change.
Do Samoyeds change color as they grow?
As we mentioned earlier, Samoyeds are famous for their unpredictability in coat color, and that is something we are not really fans of. These pups tend to go through several bodily changes as they hit the double-digit age, and they involve having their coat lighten or exhibiting biscuit spots.
There are also numerous cases where a complete biscuit Samoyed puppy turns fully white or white and biscuit when it reaches two years of age.
So, if you are a dog owner who has a particular taste for your pup’s coat color, the Samoyed breed is probably not the best choice for you. This is because there is no guarantee that they will remain the same color as when you bought them when they were just a few weeks old because that is just not how they are bred.
How to keep Samoyed fur white
Even though you cannot prevent your white Sammy’s coat from developing biscuit spots on its body, you can keep them royal-looking by ensuring that you give its coat the proper care.
Here are the best ways to take care of a Samoyed’s white coat:
• Avoid too much sun exposure at all costs. Too much sunlight can change any canine color, especially white, so make sure your Samoyed has access to shade in the backyard.
• You can use whitening shampoo to brighten the yellow-brownish tinge on its coat.
• In addition to whitening shampoos, you can use baking soda to enhance the effect.
• Apply tear stain remover to remove brown marks or spots around its eyes.
• Make sure to feed it high-quality dog food so that they grow healthy stain-resistant coats.
Eye and nose colors: can Samoyeds have blue eyes?
Photo from: @galdamezpuppies
Let’s first take a look at the Samoyed’s recognized eye colors according to the breed standard of various kennel organizations:
• American Kennel Club (AKC): Dark rims and irises are preferred, while blue eyes are considered a fault.
• United Kennel Club (UKC): Dark brown eyes are preferred, while blue eyes are faulty.
• Canadian Kennel Club (CKC): Eye rims and eye colors are supposed to be dark, whereas blue eyes are unacceptable.
• Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI): Eyes of this breed should be dark brown, and the rims should be black. Blue eyes are considered a fault.
It seems as though most of these organizations have something against the gorgeous blue eyes this breed can have, and why is that?
Well, this is because even though blue eye color can occur in this breed, it isn’t allowed in the show ring. Samoyeds mostly come with black or brown almond-shaped eyes, which are the most common in their family, the Spitz.
Now, let’s take a look at the nose colors that are accepted:
• American Kennel Club (AKC): Black nose color is preferred. Brown, liver, and Dudley may exist, but they are not penalized.
• United Kennel Club (UKC): Black color is preferred. Dudley, liver, and brown colors may exist, but they are not penalized.
• Canadian Kennel Club (CKC): Black nose color is preferred. But, liver, brown, and snow-nosed dogs exist, and they are also acceptable.
• Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI): While dark color is preferred during the winter, it may fade into a lighter winter nose.
Caring for your Samoyed
According to the Samoyed Club of America, this breed is not well-suited to apartment or condo life. Homes with large, fenced-in yards are the best go-to homes for these dogs.
Due to its working-dog legacy, these pups need lots of room to romp and play. Make sure you keep them mentally challenged with ongoing training and dog spots.
If you allow them to become bored, they are likely to escape, dig, or chew to entertain themselves. Bear in mind that this breed should always be kept on a leash in public as they seldom can resist the lure of small, scurrying animals.
You will need to take special care of your Samoyed puppy, especially during the age of four and seven months when many large breed dogs grow rapidly, making them susceptible to injury and bone disorders. Sammies do well on high-quality, low-calorie dog food that keeps them from growing too fast.
Male vs. female Samoyed
If you don’t have any preferences towards a specific gender, such as getting a female for breeding purposes, then the gender of your Samoyed shouldn’t really matter. The Samoyed colors we mentioned above can be found in both male and female dogs of this breed.
A pup’s sex is only one of the things to take into account when deciding to purchase or adopt one. There are plenty of other factors that will have a greater influence on your pet’s overall health, behavior, and temperament once it grows up.
With that said, males and females of the Samoyed breed differ in size, weight, temperament, and friendliness. Both sexes are easy to train, and you can expect both of them to bark often. But, at the end of the day, it all depends on your pup’s heredity and how much training and socialization you provide it.
Are Samoyeds aggressive?
These dogs are not aggressive by nature, but there are some situations where they may act out aggressively. Before we go any further, it is important to understand that any breed of dog can become aggressive.
Certain things could set them off, such as protecting their food from another dog, reacting to a perceived threat towards their humans, or even lack of daily exercise.
Many owners also mistake aggressive behavior for something else. Being playful, when they are with other littermates or pups, Samoyeds entice them to play by nipping, biting, or jumping on them. When they do this to humans, we often think they are being mean, when all they really want is a vigorous workout.
How much do Samoyeds cost?
The cost of a Samoyed depends on several factors, including the bloodline, the breeder’s reputation, and the local supply and demand of these pups. If you choose a dog with a championship bloodline from a reputable breeder and the demand for this breed is high in your area, you can expect to pay $3,000 or more.
The other option is to adopt a Samoyed. Compared to buying from a breeder, the initial cost of these dogs is quite low: adoption fees usually range between $200 and $500, which is quite the bargain.
Samoyed colors: summary
When it comes to Samoyed colors, one doesn’t have many options. However, do we really need another color when all of their four recognized coats are already stunning?
Whichever of the four shades you choose, make sure you maintain them properly because they may acquire stains that will be hard to remove if you aren’t careful.
Another thing to keep in mind is to not go full-crazy like some other owners do when their Samoyed changes coat color. That is just the way these pups are, and if you are a true fan of the breed, it shouldn’t really matter after all.
So, if you are up for the challenge, the only thing left to do is figure out the name for your new furry friend, and you are good to go!