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Breed History

The Samoyed dog takes its name from the Samoyed people, a nomadic tribe found in northwestern Siberia. The Samoyed people herded reindeer and used the dogs to help herd the animals, as well as to protect them against the various Arctic predators. The dogs also occasionally helped in hunting bear or pulling sledges. These dogs lived as part of the family within the family tent where one of their additional jobs was to keep the children warm at night.

In the late 1800s, the first Samoyeds were brought to England. Unlike the pure white dogs we think of today, these dogs came in different colors/color combinations. One of these dogs was presented to Queen Alexandria, who did much to promote the breed. Many modern Samoyed pedigrees can be traced back to the queen's dogs.

In 1906, the first Samoyed came to America, as a gift from Russia's Grand Duke Nicholas. At about the same time, the breed was gaining in popularity as a sled dog because it was better mannered and more biddable than some of the other breeds that were being used. Many of the Antarctic expeditions, including the race for the South Pole included Samoyeds as part of their sled teams. These accomplishments, along with their good looks and gentle temperament led to increased attention in the US. The popularity of the Samoyed has grown tememdously in America since World War II, leading to the breed we know and love today.