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Home > Dogs > Is a Samoyed Good for a First-time Dog Owner? What You Need to Know!

Is a Samoyed Good for a First-time Dog Owner? What You Need to Know!

Samoyed dog in the summer forest

The Samoyed is a gorgeous breed. They have great personalities, are brave and loyal, and their coat is the envy of many a show dog. But Samoyeds also have some traits that make them unsuitable for first-time dog owners. Of course, some of these traits make them wonderful pets, but for someone inexperienced in looking after dogs, owning a Samoyed might be biting off more than they can chew. Some first-time owners will rise to this challenge, but a Samoyed is generally not recommended as a first dog.divider-paw

Why Is a Samoyed Not a Good Dog for First-Time Owners?

Samoyeds are lovely dogs, but as stated above, they have some traits that can be harder for first-time dog owners to handle. These traits can lead first-time owners to paint their dogs in a negative light if they don’t know how to deal with them, so it’s best to leave dogs with these unique needs to more seasoned owners. Traits that Samoyeds often have that make them more difficult include:


Samoyeds are known for being hard-headed and stuck in their ways. Their high intelligence means they can be stubborn to a fault, making them difficult to negotiate with for an inexperienced owner! These dogs can be trained to listen, but getting them to do something in the first instance can be a challenge, even for experienced dog owners.

white Samoyed dog in a beautiful forest
Image by: Evgeniia Shikhaleeva, Shutterstock

Exercise needs

Samoyeds are dogs that thrive on physical exercise. They have lots of energy and drive since they were initially bred as sled dogs, so they need a regular outlet. In addition, Samoyeds have an incredible amount of stamina, so owners must exercise them for hours a day to give them what they need.

Long walks and time running around are needed to correctly stimulate and exercise a Samoyed, which potential owners need to commit to before choosing the on-the-go breed.


Alongside stamina and stubbornness, the Samoyed also brings intelligence to the table. Samoyeds need plenty of mental stimulation to keep them engaged and happy, as without this, they can become destructive and display unwanted behavior (like chewing or damaging furniture).

This trait isn’t unique to Samoyeds and applies to any intelligent breed. They need mental stimulation to stop them from becoming depressed or bored, which in turn causes destructive behavior.

Image by: coolcoolleah, Pixabay

Grooming Needs

A Samoyed’s thick, long, white coat is its crowning glory. They are beautiful dogs, but owners must be prepared to frequently groom this mass of fur to prevent pain, matting, and excessive shedding. Samoyeds need daily grooming to keep their coats in check, and the double coat does shed (even if groomed excessively), so there will be some daily home cleanup to catch any wandering fluff.

Being a white dog has its advantages and its drawbacks, one of these being that they get dirty very easily! So bathing may be more of a regular occurrence with a Samoyed.


This trait can be a positive or a negative, depending on your personality type and what you need out of a dog. For most first-time dog owners, the clingy, Velcro-like companionship needs of the Samoyed are too much for them. Samoyed love to be with their owners all the time, not leaving them alone for a second (even if you’re in the bathroom).

However, potential owners should be prepared to take their Samoyed everywhere with them as they don’t do well being left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety.


What Positive Traits Does the Samoyed Have?

With all this talk of negativity, it’s time to showcase just how incredible these dogs can be. Just because the Samoyed has some traits that are more difficult to manage for first-time dog owners, it doesn’t mean they don’t have redeeming qualities that make them excellent companions.

The Samoyed can often be described in the following ways:
  • Incredibly loyal
  • Very loving
  • Great with children
  • Intelligent
  • Shadow dog (can be good, can be bad)
  • Great at tolerating cold climates
Image by: A-r-e-s, Pixabay

Are Samoyeds Difficult to Own?

Some of the traits we mentioned above can make the Samoyed challenging to own. However, that’s where experience in dog ownership comes in, as experienced owners often know how to manage these traits correctly so that only the dog’s good qualities shine through. It also depends on the lifestyle of the people wanting to adopt a Samoyed into their home. If the lifestyle isn’t compatible, problems will often arise.

If a first-time owner is educated on a Samoyed’s needs, is active and willing to put the time into training, is happy to exercise them correctly, is committed to obedience, and can give them attention, they might get along fine with a Samoyed as a first dog and not find it difficult to own one.

However, if a family is more home-oriented and only gets out a little, is living in an apartment, or is not keen on grooming, a partnership with a Samoyed will be complicated for both parties and will do more harm than good. A dog with less intense needs that adapts well in an apartment (such as the Boston Terrier) might be a better fit.

What Are the Ideal Dogs for First-time Dog Owners?

Looking for a dog with an easy-going personality is the best place to begin, alongside looking for one with an even temperament and good trainability. Your relationship and how you “work” as an owner will often change with your first dog, so more adaptable dogs can be helpful.

A dog that takes to training quickly is suitable for first-time owners who may make mistakes, but like anything, you’ll both learn alongside each other. Personal circumstances should also be considered, like the place you live, the hours you’re home, and the time you have to exercise your dog. Thinking about what you’d like from your dog is also important, such as a playmate or a close companion. Some breeds that are often described as excellent for first-time owners include:

Male samoyed
Image by: Sofia Dudova, Shutterstock

What Are Some Breeds Not Suited to First-time Dog Owners?

Some breeds have more “difficult” traits than others, including breeds with lots of energy, large bodies, more grooming needs, or those bred for specific reasons. The breeds often touted as having more complex needs that can make ownership more difficult include:


Final Thoughts

The Samoyed is a lively dog that makes a great family pet, but they have certain needs and traits that make them less than ideal for first-time dog owners. Some owners will get along fine with a Samoyed being their first dog, but because of their need for extensive exercise, frequent grooming, stubbornness, and close companionship, most first-time owners may find the Samoyed too much to handle. Luckily, this breed has a heart of gold and a sweet disposition, so they are popular pets in high demand.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Nik Tsvetkov, Shutterstock

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