There are some dog breeds that need very specific types of homes to be happy and healthy.
Then there are other dog breeds that can live happily in any size space as long as their daily needs are met in creative ways.
Which one is the Samoyed dog? This article gives you all the information you need to know if you live in an apartment and want a Samoyed.
Are Samoyed Good Apartment Dogs?
The Samoyed dog breed may be an active and ancient sled dog breed, but this does not mean these dogs can’t live happily even in a small apartment. In fact, it doesn’t matter what size space your dog lives in as long as your Samoyed gets enough daily activity and exercise.
Learn From a Samoyed Owner About These Dogs’ Needs
In this helpful YouTube video, a Samoyed owner talks you through the basic pros and cons of this dog breed.
As you will notice, the owner lives in an apartment with her Samoyed and she specifically points out that her Samoyed can actually be quite lazy if properly exercised.
What Size Home Is Ideal for the Samoyed Dog?
In order to understand the ideal home for a Samoyed dog, you really need to learn about this unique and ancient dog breed’s history.
As the American Kennel Club (AKC) points out, the Samoyed is one of the most ancient and primitive dog breeds.
Even in modern times, the Samoyed breed can be traced back more than 1,000 years to a nomadic community in what is now Siberia (Russia, Asia). The tribe’s name was Samoyede, and this is where the Samoyed dog gets its breed name.
The Samoyed dog breed was not even seen outside of Russia until the 18th century when dogs were exported to Britain, where Queen Alexandria promptly fell in love with them.
But these sled dogs were never bred to simply be companions to people. The Samoyede people relied on their dogs for transportation, help with hauling and hunting, and, later, with herding as well.
These dogs have been deliberately bred for their stamina and endurance. They are able to run for hundreds of miles in very cold climate conditions, working for many hours straight without a break.
This gives you a very good idea of how much activity a Samoyed dog needs each day to be happy and healthy as a pet.
It doesn’t matter what size home or yard you have – your Samoyed will need more than what simply hanging out on the patio or in the backyard can provide.
So it really doesn’t matter how big or small your home is or even whether you have a backyard. What matters is whether you have the time, energy, and interest in filling your Samoyed’s days with fulfilling and enriching activities.
How Much Exercise Does a Samoyed Dog Need Daily?
As you’ve probably already figured out, just because a Samoyed can live happily in an apartment does not mean that they will.
As Dz Legendary Samoyeds breeder explains, the Samoyed is a true working dog that has been bred for thousands of years to run and jump and hunt and herd and haul and stay busy and active all day, every day.
So while your Samoyed dog has the capacity to be happy in a small size home environment, this is only accurate if your dog is too tired out to care what size their home base maybe!
The right question then becomes: how much daily exercise and activity does a Samoyed dog require?
Samoyed puppy exercise needs
The answer to this question depends on the age of your Samoyed dog. Samoyeds are medium-sized dogs. Most Samoyeds won’t weigh more than 65 pounds fully grown.
And in most cases, a Samoyed puppy will be fully grown by the age of one year.
This is very important to know because as the Samoyed Club of America explains, you can’t run with your dog or provide intense exercise until your Samoyed is done growing.
If you exercise your puppy too intensely while the bones are still soft and the growth plates are still open, there is a risk of causing lifelong joint malformation and other health issues.
Your canine veterinarian can X-ray your Samoyed after their first birthday to verify that your dog is done growing and that the growth plates have closed and the bones have hardened.
Once you get the okay from your dog’s veterinarian, you and your Samoyed can run and play and jump and stay active to your heart’s content.
Samoyed adult dog exercise needs
As this Samoyed owner Reddit thread illustrates, 40 minutes to one hour of vigorous exercise each day typically suffices for an adult Samoyed.
However, as the owners on the thread point out, the long-lived Samoyed can be slow to mature and you may find that you need to give your dog more daily exercise so they will calm down enough to relax when you are at home together.
It can help if you have multiple family members so you can share the daily exercise tasks – for example, you could exercise your Samoyed in the morning and another family member could take your dog for their evening run.
No matter how you split it up, you can count on getting tired before your dog does!
Great Ideas for Samoyed Activities
Now that you know your Samoyed dog will be happy in any size home space as long as they get enough exercise and enrichment outside the home, the question shifts to what types of athletics your dog might like best.
What is the best activity for a Samoyed dog?
On some level, the right answer is “any activity” because these dogs are consummate canine athletes. Once they are fully grown, it can seem like the Samoyed has never met a sport they don’t like.
Barkercise provides a helpful list of fun ideas for exercise and athletic activities you and your dog can enjoy together.
Hiking, jogging, skating, biking, agility, rally, mushing, hauling, nose work (scent work), and other canine athletics can all make use of the Samoyed’s incredible endurance and stamina for running, jumping and athletic ability.
You might also enjoy getting involved in professional or competitive canine athletics with your Samoyed.
Samoyed Dogs Also Need Mental Enrichment and Exercise
While physical exertion will be a key to providing an enriching daily life for a working dog like the Samoyed, these dogs need more than just physically tiring activities to stay healthy and happy.
Samoyeds are very intelligent and they also need mental and sensory stimulation each day.
There is more than a little evidence that a bored Samoyed will even chew their own hair off just to have a job to do!
So you definitely want to make sure your Samoyed never has to resort to gnawing the fur off their legs to stay busy.
Snuffle mats, treat balls, puzzle toys, interactive games (like fetch or frisbee), socialization with other dogs and similar activities will keep your Samoyed dog’s mind active and happy as well.
You will know you are providing sufficient physical and mental activity and enrichment for your Samoyed when your dog happily naps and lounges when you are at home together.
The Two Things You Never Want to Do With a Samoyed
Whether you live in a tiny apartment or an enormous mansion, there are two key mistakes you never ever want to make when you have a Samoyed dog.
Never leave your Samoyed alone for long periods of time
The Samoyed dog breed is a dog that is meant to live with people. Traditionally, these dogs would spend their days with other dogs in a sled team or hunting pack.
Then they would spend their evenings inside the tents of their people, huddling close together to stay warm.
So if you leave your Samoyed alone in the home or yard, you can expect to return home to a disruptive, destructive dog.
It is very stressful and unhealthy for a Samoyed dog to be left alone for more than very short periods of time daily.
Never let your Samoyed off the leash in an un-fenced area
Because the Samoyed is a sled dog to their core, these dogs have an insatiable genetic need to run and run and run.
These dogs don’t see running as a means of “escape.” They are simply born to run and so programmed to do so that some Samoyed can never be let off the leash safely unless there is a secure fence around them.
So if you don’t want to lose your dog forever, don’t ever let your Samoyed off the leash in an un-fenced area.
When you fully understand the Samoyed’s exercise needs, you will no longer see living in an apartment as an obstacle to owning these wonderful dogs.