A Samoyed is a smart, friendly and loving dog that may spend more than 12 years with its family. Choosing a Samoyed puppy is a long-term commitment, and though it is rewarding, it should not be taken lightly. Decide why the dog is joining the family. Will it be a show dog, breeding stock or pet? The answer will help determine the correct places to look for a Samoyed.
Check dog rescues and animal shelters for Samoyeds that have been put up for adoption. Purebred dogs that are surrendered to shelters desperately need homes and can prove to be just as loving a pet as a dog bought from a breeder. Keep in mind, however, that purebred shelter dogs usually do not have official registration papers, so if you plan to breed or show the dog, obtain a puppy from a reputable breeder.2
Visit several breeders who are affiliated with the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club and/or a local Samoyed club. Ask for references, a health guarantee and documentation from the AKC or UKC to prove the puppies for sale are purebred.
Ask about the parent dogs' health. Samoyeds are prone to eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts. Ask the breeder for a return contingency pending veterinary eye exams.3
Choose a puppy devoid of typical signs of illness. These signs can include the presence of fleas and ticks, colored eye discharge or a dingy coat. A Samoyed's coat should be soft, thick and glistening.
According to the American Kennel Club breed standards, a Samoyed should move with a quick, agile trot rather than pacing back and forth. Its feet should point forward while standing. Toes pointing inward or outward is considered a breed flaw.4
Clap hands or make an attention-seeking, but non-threatening noise from behind a puppy and wait to see if the dog startles or reacts in any way. This is one way to test for signs of deafness. Choose a Samoyed that comes willingly to you, and is neither too shy nor too aggressive.5
Observe the Samoyed's personality. Samoyeds should be adaptable, friendly and alert, never aggressive.