two dogs sitting

American Eskimo Vs Samoyed: Which Dog Is Best For You?

7 mins |

So, you’re finally ready to add a furry new member to your family. That’s awesome! But, you’re torn. American Eskimo vs Samoyed: which one is best for me? 

Well, at a glance you might think these two breeds are pretty similar. After all, they both have long, stunning coats and the sweetest smiling faces. But in reality, there are a number of differences that set these dogs apart from one another. And those differences will help determine which of the two breeds is best suited for your lifestyle. 

From differences in size and color to temperament and trainability, we’re going to break down everything you need to know before settling on the right canine companion for you. 

Now, both breeds have an undeniable physical resemblance to one another. So, ultimately, you know you’ll be coming home with one seriously cute dog, no matter which breed you choose.

american eskimo dog

American Eskimo Background

American Eskimo dogs, or Eskies for short, were once known as the German Spitz. The name change is attributed to the anti-German sentiment around the start of World War I. The name American Eskimo originated in a spitz breeding kennel in Ohio and isn’t derived from any Inuit or indigenous groups.

American Eskimos were originally bred as farm dogs. But their high intelligence and agile bodies landed them a starring role in the circus as well. American Eskimos are fast learners. So they had no trouble using farming skills from their past to perform impressive circus acts. 

If you’re looking for a dog that can be trained easily, the American Eskimo is a great choice.

The AKC says American Eskimos rank 122 out of 197 in breed popularity. They make excellent family dogs, but their temperament around strangers makes them suitable guard dogs as well.

Overall, the American Eskimo dog is a playful and intelligent breed.

Samoyed Background

Samoyeds often referred to as Sammies, are a friendly, social, and energetic breed. The dogs are named after the Samoyedic people. 

Samoyeds were bred to work in freezing cold temperatures, herding reindeer, hauling sleds, and keeping their owners warm.

Samoyedic people lived in tents and had to rely on their dogs to stay warm and alive during harsh arctic winters. This human to dog bonding history is a big part of why the Samoyed dog is so trusting of humans today.

In terms of popularity, Samoyeds rank 59 out of 197 breeds.

Clearly, both breeds have distinctly unique backgrounds. But the differences don’t stop there. Let’s explore how else American Eskimo Dogs and Samoyeds vary from each other. 

Visual Differences

Visually, the American Eskimo and the Samoyed are quite similar. Both have shiny white coats, pointed ears, and huge fluffy tails. But, there are some noticeable physical differences that set these dogs apart.

Physical Differences 

Size: One of the most notable physical differences between these two dogs is their size. The American Eskimo comes in three size variants: standard, miniature, and toy. The smallest American Eskimo (toy) typically measures around 9 inches (22.86 cm). While the biggest (standard) can reach up to 19 inches (48.26 cm). Samoyeds, on the other hand, are quite a bit larger. Samoyeds range from 19 inches at their smallest, to around 24 inches (60.96 cm) at their largest.

Fur: Luxurious white fur is something both American Eskimo dogs and Samoyeds share. And it’s a huge part of what makes them so beautiful. Both breeds have a double coat with a longer outer layer. One of the main differences in fur, however, is the presence of oil in American Eskimo dogs. Since the American Eskimos fur has oil, it’s easier to keep clean. Samoyeds’ oilless fur means they’re tougher to keep clean, as everything sticks to their fur. This also means, however, that Samoyeds may be better for people with allergies. 

Facial Features: Both dogs have black lips, eyes, and noses that contrast beautifully against their stark white fur. The main difference in facial features is the Samoyeds permanently upturned mouth corners. This feature serves a purpose. The upturned corners prevent the Samoyed from drooling, thus preventing icicles from forming around their mouth. It also means Samoyeds are wearing a forever smile. And it doesn’t get much cuter than that if you ask us.


When you’re deciding on a breed, the dogs personality is important. As not every breed will be suitable for your lifestyle. If you want to make sure you’re getting the right dog for you, you first need to consider how they will act in your home.


The American Eskimo tends to form a strong bond with its owners. But, they can be wary of strangers. If you’re looking for a guard dog, an Eskie will definitely let you know when a stranger is approaching with excessive barking. But, overall they are a friendly and playful breed who is great with children and families. 

American Eskimos are prone to separation anxiety, though.  And when left alone for too long this breed can become destructive. So they might not be the best fit for someone who’s frequently out of the house.

Samoyeds are highly social dogs. They love attention and need to be stimulated almost constantly. Since Samoyeds are so trusting of humans, they aren’t the best option if you’re looking for a guard dog. If left alone in the yard, Samoyed’s will quickly become miserable and destructive. So you’ll want to make sure you’re spending lots of time engaging with them.

Overall, the breed is curious and gentle. If you’re an active person, you’ll love having a Samoyed who can match (and probably exceed) your energy levels.

dog nail clipping

Caring for your dog

Every breed of dog will have slightly different needs when it comes to caring for them. For instance, a long haired dog will require more effort to groom than a short haired one. Some breeds have common health issues that you need to be aware of as well.

Grooming Needs

As mentioned before, American Eskimos have oil in their skin that helps them stay relatively clean. So they may not need a full bath as often as a Samoyed will. 

In terms of brushing, both of these long-haired beauties will require frequent, if not daily brushings. Luckily, there are tons of grooming tools on the market that make daily grooming a breeze. 

Both breeds shed A LOT. So whichever type of dog you decide on, make sure you have a quality vacuum on hand No products found.. You’re going to need it.

Health And Diet

Both the American Eskimo and the Samoyed do have some common health concerns. Both are prone to hip dysplasia, for example. But responsible breeders will test for issues like this. 

As with all dogs, you should have your American Eskimo or Samoyed’s ears checked regularly to remove any wax or debris. Regular teeth cleanings Vet's Best Dog Toothbrush & Toothpaste Kit - Natural Ingredients Reduce Plaque, Whiten Teeth, Freshen Breath are important for a healthy dog as well.

For dinner time, both breeds should do well on normal high-quality dog food. 

We know that treats are an essential part of training both the American Eskimo dog and the Samoyed. But you should be aware of just how many you’re handing out, to avoid obesity. 


So American Eskimo vs Samoyed, which one is best? Well, that depends on you. Are you someone who’s looking for a furry BFF who will protect your home? Then perhaps the American Eskimo dog is for you.

Or are you an active person with lots of attention and energy to hand out? Then you might be better suited to a Samoyed.
Both breeds have a lot to offer at the end of the day.

If you’re already a proud dog owner, how did you decide on a breed? Let us know in the comments below. And when it comes to American Eskimo vs Samoyed, which is your favorite?