A Samoyed sitting outside.

Where Does The Name Samoyed Come From?

2 mins |

With such a range of dog breeds, we as pet parents find it especially interesting to find out where our pets originated from long ago. So, where did the name “Samoyed” come from?

The name “Samoyed” originates from the Samoyede people who used to live in Russia and Siberia. They used these dogs for hunting, herding, and transport.


Samoyeds’ beautiful thick fur means they adapted well to survive in cold climates.

For this reason, people living in cold climates used Samoyeds to help gather food and perform other tasks. From pulling sledges, catching reindeer, and hunting, Samoyeds were very important for the people living in Siberia.

 Even their upturned ‘Smiling Sammie’ nose has a function, it helps stop the formation of icicles.

Cultural Importance

Within history, Samoyeds were part of important events and daily life.

Although they helped find food, people didn’t forget Samoyeds after they did their part. Since Samoyeds were social, friendly, and loyal, they usually lived inside the family unit with their carers.

Interestingly, their adaptations for the cold meant they were selected to pull sledges during the exploration of Antarctica and the Arctic.

Modern-Day Samoyeds

A Samoyed standing on a rock outside.

Modern-day Samoyeds are much-loved members of families all over the world. Their social and playful nature means they are a good choice for families. Sammies are also very intelligent and enjoy training.

If you’re thinking about getting a Samoyed, it’s good to know that they don’t like being left alone for long periods and need frequent exercise. They particularly enjoy having a range of activities to stimulate them. These include training classes, playing with other dogs, and long walks.

Conclusion: Where Does The Name Samoyed Come From?

It’s no surprise that these beautiful dogs have a history that lies within colder climates. However, their great character and beautiful appearance mean that they have a different but equally important role in modern-day families.

So, were you surprised by where the name, Samoyed, came from? Let us know in the comments below!

Charlotte Stiles
Charlotte Stiles
Charlotte is a final-year veterinary medicine student at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She has been a volunteer at her university's clinic for 4 years, and completed internships in Spain, Belgium, and Austria. She is also an editor of her university's scientific journal, and dog mum to 13-year-old Chiki, who she rescued from a shelter.