ORIGIN AND HISTORY
The Samoyed dates back to 1000 BCE, and he hasn’t changed much in appearance or temperament in all that time. The breed is named for the Samoyede people, a nomadic tribe that lived on the tundra of northern Russia and Siberia, near the Arctic Circle. The tribe used the dogs they called bjelkiers to herd reindeer, pull sledges, and occasionally hunt bears. These friendly and useful dogs were treated as members of the family, living with them in their primitive dwellings.
European polar explorers discovered these dogs in the mid-1800s. They incorporated the dogs into the expedition parties to the Arctic and Antarctic and brought some home with them, mostly to England. In 1889, British zoologist Ernest Kilburn-Scott spent several months living with the Samoyede people. He brought a male puppy home with him and then imported several more, and it was he who gave the breed its name. The Samoyed became a favorite of the British aristocracy before spreading out all over the world. The first breed standard was written in England in 1909.
Read more about the Samoyed.