Samoyed sămˈəyĕd [key], breed of hardy, muscular working dog developed in N Siberia many centuries ago. It stands from 19 to 23.5 in. (48.3–59.7 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 35 to 65 lb (15.9–29.5 kg). The weather-resistant double coat is composed of dense, woolly underhairs and a long, harsh, curl-free outer coat that stands straight out from the body. It may be pure white, white and biscuit, pure biscuit, or cream in color. Raised by the Samoyed people near the White Sea thousands of years before the Christian era, this hardy arctic dog was used to herd reindeer and haul sledges, at the same time being welcomed into the home as a family companion. Today the Samoyed is popular principally as a show dog and pet. See dog.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Dogs