Bringing home a Samoyed is a big decision. If you have decided this dog is for you, please do your homework.
Where to Shop
There are three ways to get a Samoyed:
- Pet shop
Pet shops are not a good option to find a dog. They are often filled with dogs taken too early from their mothers, have health issues and will be poorly socialized. There is an excellent chance they will be a poor example of the breed in health, looks and temperament.
If you go the rescue route, know that puppies are rare. But it can be a great way to get an older dog and avoid the house-breaking stage.
While a breeder can be an excellent choice, the market is flooded with disreputable breeders who do the breed a disservice.
Choosing a Breeder
When looking for a breeder, consider the following:
- Application: A good breeder will not give a puppy to just anyone. They typically insist on you completing an application, then undergoing a phone screening and then an in-person meeting. While it can seem very thorough, a good breeder wants to ensure the pet will have a forever home.
- Waiting list: Excellent breeders are well-known and highly desired. It’s not uncommon for them to have waiting lists before their dogs are even bred. If a breeder has puppies available upon inquiry, that could be a red flag unless there’s a valid reason.
- Parents: You should be able to see both parents in person. If the breeder used another stud that they do not own, they should be willing to put you into contact with the dog’s owner.
- Health Certifications: Do not get duped by language like “puppy vaccines” and “health-checked”. A good breeder insists on health certifications of the parents, not the puppies. The mother and father should both have their hips checked (ask for the OFA clearance), eyes checked (CERF), and heart tested.
- Working/Showing: To ensure that they are breeding to standard, it’s important that breeders prove their dogs, either through showing or participating in working competitions. The parents should both have accomplishments in the show ring or in mushing, weight-pulling or herding.
- Health Guarantees: Excellent breeders offer comprehensive health guarantees.
- Age: It is illegal for puppies to be sold to new homes before 8 weeks of age; many breeders will not send their dogs to their new family until after 10 weeks. If a breeder offers you pups younger than that, stay away.
- Take-back policy: Reputable breeders never want their dogs to end up abandoned or in a shelter. If for some reason you cannot care for your dog, either because of a family issue or a problem with the dog, good breeders will always take the dog back. Most will insist that you return the dog to them if you cannot care for it in their contracts.
Finding and vetting a good breeder can be a time-consuming process, but a reputable and ethical breeder is well worth the wait. You will get a healthy, well-socialized dog that is beautiful and sweet-natured.