Variations in the Breed


The Samoyeds in the show ring and shown on products like greeting cards and such seem to pretty much all look alike. However, there are lots of variations within the breed and contrary to public opinion, not all purebred Samoyeds look alike.

To most people, those deep, brown and intuitive eyes and fluffy white coat define this breed, but even something as basic as eyes or coat can have many differences … There are multiple varieties of coat quality, ear size, tail set, and structure. When some of these dogs are picked up as strays, many shelters will label them as “Samoyed mixes”, or even “Chow mixes” (black on the tongue), or “Husky mixes” (blue eyes), when they might be purebred Samoyeds. Despite the variation in looks, in most cases, the overwhelming good temperament of the Samoyed is intact, which is after all, the most important quality of all in determining what makes a good family member!

To show how different Samoyeds can be and in an attempt to help shelters and others identify Samoyeds when they see one, here are some variations of the breed. All of the dogs shown on the following pages are purebred Samoyeds.

Eye Variations

Blue eyes are a fault in the show ring, but they do happen, as do the occasional green or amber eyes.

Blue Eyes

Green Eyes

Amber Eyes

One of Each

Ear Variations

Flop Ears

Flop Ears

One up, one down. Sometimes caused by an ear infection.

Half up, half down

Tail Anomalies

Shaved Sammies

A Samoyed should NOT be shaved — their fur is their protection not only from the cold, but also from the heat and sun. However, sometimes, as you can see, they do get shaved & when that happens, it may be hard to recognize that they are in fact Samoyeds.  NOTE: Samoyeds who have been shaved must be protected from the sun as they are so susceptible to both sunburn and heat problems!!

Size Differences

Black on Tongue


Coat Variations

Samoyeds have 3 acceptable colors according to the standard: white, cream, and biscuit. Most people recognize white and cream Samoyeds, but think incorrectly that a dog with biscuit coloring must be a mix.

Once in a while, even a black spot shows up.

From Ugly Duckling to Swan

They’re All Different