Samoyeds are extremely adorable double-coated white dogs with a friendly disposition. With a history going back to over 5000 years, Samoyeds are among those 14 ancient breeds which are genetically similar to wolves. Their lineage has not been modified by selective breeding ever since. In the early twentieth century, Sammies were brought to America, and their popularity expanded to other countries.
Dog-lovers prefer Sammies due to their playful nature and charming appearance. The weather tolerant and energetic characteristics of these dogs owe to their original breeders. While the breed belongs to cold regions, they fare well in all kinds of seasons. Similarly, their excellent chasing instincts make them a perfect companion for hikers and joggers.
Is there a Miniature Samoyed?
Miniature Samoyeds do exist but are outnumbered by their bigger counterparts. The breed of mini Sammies gained popularity during the time of Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen. Mini Samoyeds were often taken for northern explorations and polar voyages. Yet, sometimes Nansen fed the small dogs to the larger ones, which led to a reduction in the number of miniature Samoyeds. Akin to the typical Samoyed breed, the mini Samoyeds are pure-bred. But there is no known existence of toy Samoyeds.
Also referred to as ‘teacup Samoyed’, a mini Samoyed looks like the American Eskimo dog, both being Spitz breeds, but the mini Samoyed has thicker coats compared to the Esky. Besides, unlike an Esky, a Sammy’s body is built for long hours of work.
A miniature Sammy is much smaller but more lovable than the regular Samoyed. Further, an adult mini Sammy carries the same appearance as a typical Samoyed puppy except that the mini Samoyed doesn’t grow beyond his size.
Mini Samoyed Size & Appearance
As for their physical characteristics, small Samoyeds are sure to win your heart at first sight. Like the regular Sammies, the mini Samoyeds have an evenly round built, upright ears, curled tail, and fluffy coat. They have a soft undercoat but slightly rough outer coat. Their hairs are short but dense and smooth to touch. Because of the small size, the teacup Samoyeds look like teddy bears. Their upturned mouth lends an always-smiling expression to their face. The ruffs of male Sammies are denser than those of female Sammies.
Their feet are well-cushioned, flat, and spread out. It makes their movement flexible and agile.
Mini Samoyed Weight & Height:
Miniature Sammy males weigh around 28-35 pounds (13-17 kg) and stand at 12-16 inches (30-40cm). Similarly, the female teacup Sammies have a height of 11-14 inches (27-35cm) and eight of 25-30 pounds (12-14kg). Their health and age determine their exact height and weight.
Samoyeds are mostly white, but some are biscuit or cream-colored. Despite their light-shaded coat, their eyes, nose, and lips are prominently marked by dark pigmentation. They possess almond-shaped eyes of brown or black color.
Pay attention to:
There are a few physical characteristics that a healthy and well-bred mini Samoyed would never possess. It is better to avoid buying a mini Sammy if he shows the following features:
- Long foreface
- Very light-colored or blue eyes
- Ears with scanty hair, drooping or narrowly-spaced ears
- Disproportionately long body
- Bull neck
- Seemingly limp tail carriage(unless the dog is resting)
- Round feet
- Absence of undercoat
- Dark spots on the coat
Mini Samoyed Nutritional Requirements
Small Samoyeds require a well-balanced good quality food for holistic development. They grow at a steady and gradual pace with an appropriate amount of protein and fat diet.
It is advised to get a diet schedule from a veterinarian or breeder before you start feeding your Sammy. Nutrition plays a very critical role in nurturing a puppy into a strong dog. Miniature Samoyed puppies need to be fed three times per day until 8-10 weeks of age.
When your Sammy gets six months old, you may start giving him two meals a day. While he requires adequate food to maintain his active temperament, the excessive feed can make him obese. Generally, a mini Samoyed is not a big eater like most other dogs. Yet, he may become habituated if you overfeed him.
The total quantity of food varies as per his age, training level, and weight. The recommended amount for an adult miniature Sammy is 0.5-1.5 cups of dry food daily. Besides, his body demands sufficient consumption of water, especially in hot weather.
An average teacup Sammy should be given 20-25% protein and 11-15% fat in every feed. If you wish to present him with occasional treats, make sure it doesn’t account for more than 10% of total calories. Also, if any dietary changes need to be made, do them in steps to prevent him from digestive upsets. Check out our post on food products the Samoyeds can and cannot eat.
Samoyeds are among the genetically healthiest and most active dog breeds. They are quite adjustable to various sorts of environments. An average mini Sammy has a life span of 10-13 years. But like any dog breed, miniature Samoyeds are prone to a particular set of health problems. Most breeders suggest that a newly purchased dog should be taken for medical examination and necessary immunizations within 48 hours of adoption. Given below are some of the major diseases teacup Sammies might face:
- Eye Diseases
Miniature Samoyeds are vulnerable to developing cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. These issues may be mild or severe. In some cases, a Samoyed mother can just be a carrier of acute eye disease while she herself may not be affected. These eye problems impact young Sammies at an age ranging from 6 months to 3 years. Eye diseases occur in mini Samoyeds, either due to poor nutrition or hereditary factors. While a few eye issues can be resolved, some others like retinal dysplasia or atrophy have no solution. So, when you get a teacup Sammy pup, it’s always good to take him to a veterinary ophthalmologist for screening.
- Orthopedic Conditions
While hip dysplasia is more common in typical medium-sized or large Samoyeds, the mini Sammies may develop elbow dysplasia and similar issues. These problems, in turn, impede their growth as well as the joints mobility. Orthopedic diseases in Samoyeds may be genetic or caused by obesity, excessive exercise, and nutritional deficiencies.
- Metabolic Issues
Mini Samoyeds are prone to diabetes and hypothyroidism. In such cases, they experience sudden weight change, extreme appetite, fatigue, and other behavioral alterations. The metabolic health issues in Sammies are tackled with nutritional supplements, injections, and dietary modifications.
- Skin Problems
Teacup Sammies are generally not prone to skin diseases unless their hygiene is not maintained correctly. But they may display allergy to certain types of shampoos, medications, pollens, etc. While their fluffy coat reflects some allergens, other kinds of sticky stuff may cause a serious problem. A mini Sammy may not be able to feel the problem until it becomes acute. In a grave scenario, you will notice him chewing or licking himself, scratching too much, or facing breathing issues. Avoid giving your mini Samoyed any medications without consulting a vet. This is because they may be allergic to certain types of drugs, especially the ones containing sulpha.
Do mini Samoyed dogs shed?
Generally, the medium and large-sized Samoyeds shed a lot due to their dense fur. But this is not the case with the miniature Sammy. A teacup Samoyed sheds less compared to the standard-sized dogs. While he does shed a little bit hair all the year-round, the shedding will be prominent only once or twice a year. He will usually shed his inner layer of coat in the spring and autumn seasons.
Further, a Sammy sheds relatively more when he is in growing years or has reached old age. The overall proportion of shedding also depends on his nutrition.
Most of the Samoyed breeds are hypoallergenic, making them a great option for people prone to allergies. Alternatively, you may spend a little time with the pup before a complete adoption.
Reasons to buy a Miniature Sammy
Besides an eye-catching appearance, there are various other reasons to buy a mini Samoyed. Sammies have stayed in close association with people. This makes them easily acclimatize to any human habitat. No doubt, a Samoyed has high maintenance and grooming needs yet he can be the best choice you ever made. Your dog’s habits greatly rely on the training and care you provide.
Check out the following points to know why people prefer a teacup Sammy:
You can rarely see an aggressive Samoyed. Although Sammy’s amicable nature doesn’t make him an excellent guard dog, yet he can be your perfect family pet. Besides, he is active, cheerful, smart, and a good learner. Your Sammy can be your best friend, but he may not be able to cope with loneliness. Simply put, he shouldn’t be left alone for more than a few hours. He desires the company and affection of people around him. A teacup Samoyed is not the quiet kind of dog but the extroverted one who loves being the center of attention.
In case you need to leave him for long hours, let him stay occupied with some kind of fun activity. If you tie him outside in a solitary state, he will bark to the levels of creating a significant nuisance. An unsocialized Sammy pup usually grows up to be a fearful and unhealthy dog.
A mini Samoyed gets bored easily if you continue giving him the same kind of activities. If he feels isolated or idle, he may put up destructive behavior.
Since Sammies have an independent and freedom-loving inclination, they can put up a stubborn attitude if you deflect from their natural likings. In other words, you can say that the gentle-looking Sammy is also conscious of your actions.
The personality and temperament of dogs are immensely shaped by how their owners treat them. Given below is the review of some key traits of a miniature Sammy you would adore:
- Robust and spirited
- Warm and affectionate with everyone
- A great playfellow and guardian
- Devoted companion
- Sweet and funny
- An absolute talker
- Quick-witted and brilliant
- Mischievous and inquisitive
Mini Samoyed Training
It can be slightly challenging to train a miniature Samoyed because of his cleverness. Whether you train your Sammy yourself or get him trained by a professional, you will need to be patient. With proper training, you can direct a Samoyed’s intelligence and alertness into making him the most obedient pet as well as the best jogging partner.
Sammies are fully responsive to positive and reward-based training techniques. Moreover, they require plenty of exercises to channelize their high energy level. Keep the following ten things in mind while training your teacup Sammy:
- Young Sammies are usually more adaptive and flexible than adult Sammies. So, it’s best to start training your Samoyed at an early age. You can begin training him once he is 7-8 weeks old. Opt for an off-leash or leash training or both, as per your suitability.
- The first type of training should definitely be house training. It sets the foundation of your Sammy’s basic conduct and etiquette. It will make him familiar with your home, family members, and his feed timings and outings. Later on, gradually initiate the exercise training sessions. For instance, you may train him once or twice a week and then keep on increasing the frequency and intensity. But don’t make him do vigorous exercises or run on hard surfaces at a very young age. It is advised to avoid strenuous training until a Samoyed is two years old.
- Adult miniature Sammies need to exercise for at least one hour daily. This may include walks, hikes, and agility sports. Also, you should refrain from taking him out during the hotter part of the day or walking him under direct sunlight. Besides, remember to add variety in a Samoyed’s training to keep his boredom at bay.
- While it’s good to reward your Sammy with a treat but do not overdo it. Else he will respond only if he is assured of getting a treat later.
- Don’t take your mini Sammy out without a leash until you have trained him accordingly. Samoyeds tend to escape because of their curious and wanderlust proclivity.
- If you plan to train your Sammy yourself, it’s better to start it in a secure courtyard rather than an outdoor arena. Once he has learned to respond to you well, then only take him to a nearby dog park or similar permitted area. It is also crucial to show your Sammy that you are the leader or the one in charge of the pack.
- Keep an eye on your teacup Sammy when you are on a road walk or hike with him. Samoyeds are not only easily tempted to sniff new things but also tend to engage with stray or unguarded animals. If you let him on his own, he may consume harmful stuff or get attacked by another animal.
- Pay attention if he shows signs of tiredness or hunger while on training. Unless your Sammy exhibits a good attitude towards training, he is probably overworking or facing some health issues.
- If you have hired a trainer for your Samoyed, ensure that you and your family participate in the training. This kind of involvement is necessary to build a bond with your pet. Eventually, it is you and your family to whom the Sammy is required to respond. Also, you will learn and understand the typical traits and habits of your pet.
- While you keep your Sammy on regular exercise, don’t forget to fulfill his dietary requirements. A proper diet is an essential factor in his performance in training. Also, because of his double-coated fur, a Samoyed needs plenty of water to cool down, especially in summers.
Things to Avoid:
Considering a mini Samoyed’s nature, you should avoid the following behaviors while training him:
· Forcing your Sammy to do an activity by dragging him by his leash.
· Punishing him harshly for bad performance or disobedience.
Negative reinforcement never works with a miniature Samoyed. Ultimately, the training lessons should be a positive experience for him to evolve into a happy dog.
Everyday Activities with a mini Samoyed
You can indulge your mini Sammy in a variety of tasks to keep him happy and healthy. Some of the activities for a miniature Samoyed are:
- Walking, Jogging & Hiking
A miniature Sammy will joyfully accompany you on a daily walk, jog or hike. Initially, start with a normal walk of 10-15 minutes, and then increase it to 30-45 minutes per day. Similarly, prepare your Samoyed for jogging and hiking sessions in a progressive manner. A mini Sammy prefers a consistent jogging pace to running sprints.
- Mental Stimulation Tasks
Samoyeds rejoice in taking up challenging tasks. Let your mini Sammy engage with some puzzle toys, sniffing games, and related tricky activities.
- Playing with Other Dogs
Dogs love the company of each other. Playing with other dogs will encourage social nourishment and enhance the skills of your Sammy.
- Miscellaneous Activities
Apart from the above-listed activities, mini Samoyeds require some strengthening exercises like weight pulling, fetching, digging, obstacle courses, stair hops, etc.
Teacup Samoyed Care & Grooming
Mini Samoyeds have special grooming needs due to their thick fur coats. At the same time, their coats keep them insulated and hence, protect them from harsh weather conditions. It is vital to brush and shower your Sammy appropriately, to retain the natural shine of his white-shaded fur and prevent him from skin diseases. If cared and groomed well, he is bound to woo your neighbors with his royal looks. Grooming essentials include a few types of combs, brushes, dryer, nail clipper, dog-specific cleansers, etc. Go through the following 10 tips to learn about the grooming needs of a miniature Samoyed:
- Brush your Sammy at least once a week to remove dead hairs, dirt, mites, and other unwanted stuff from his coat. An efficient way to start the brushing process is to use a dryer to remove the superficial dust before actually brushing his hair. A Samoyed’s fur demands more frequent brushing in shedding season. The higher is the frequency of brushing, the less the amount of shedding is. If you brush your Sammy daily, it will not take more than 15-20 minutes to untangle and clean his fur.
- You may trim his fur in warm seasons but never shave him. If a Sammy is shedding more than usual, it probably indicates lack of effective brushing or grooming.
- Always use special dog shampoos and conditioners for bathing your little Sammy. Never forget to brush him before bathing. Mini Sammies need to be bathed once every three months. An older Samoyed is generally bathed more frequently than a younger one. Further, it takes quite a sufficient time to dry his dense fur. After wiping him with a towel, either use a dryer or let your Sammy in a slightly warm environment. In humid weather, it may take 1-2 days for him to dry without a blow dryer.
- If your Sammy frequently jumps around mud and soil, you may choose to wash his feet only. Alternatively, you can wipe his coat with a wet towel instead of giving him a complete bath. This is because showering him often will cause more harm than good. Repetitive bathing would involve excessive use of shampoos, which removes the natural protective oils from a dog’s skin.
- While bathing or brushing, always examine your Sammy’s coat for the accumulation of ticks, worms, and other unclean material.
- Do trim your Samoyed’s nails once in 1-3 weeks with a blunt nail scissors/clipper. Don’t cut his nails too far else he may bleed and become uncooperative with you later. Further, a mini Sammy puppy has sensitive paws, so remember to handle them delicately.
- Check your Sammy’s ears regularly. You may clean his ears with a vet-recommended ear cleaner solution. If you smell any bad odor from his ears, get him evaluated from a medical professional.
- To prevent mouth odor and oral infections, it is advised that you brush your Sammy’s teeth twice or thrice per week. Besides, he needs to have a few chew toys to aid the complete development of his dental structure.
- Examine mini Samoyed’s eyes on a regular basis. If you notice any redness or unusual discharge in his eyes, you may need to take him to a vet.
- Samoyeds generally do not stink or smell like other dogs. So, if you detect any strong or foul odor coming from him, it signals improper hygiene or the onset of a health problem. A weekly careful examination of your Sammy’s coat and other parts is essential to keep him healthy. If you find difficulty in grooming him in the initial times, get help from a professional groomer. Besides, because of the great quality of a Samoyed’s hair, it is sometimes used for spinning yarns to make beautiful white apparel.
Space for a Mini Samoyed
Miniature Samoyeds don’t take up much space because of their small size. But they also don’t feel too comfortable in compact apartments. This is because of their need to stay active, romp, and play. If a bigger apartment is not possible, you can keep your Sammy happy with several kinds of dog toys, and physical activities that require less space to perform. Samoyeds are fond of interactive play sessions and puzzling adventures.
In another case, if you have a medium-to-large courtyard or backyard, make sure it is secured with a sturdy fence. Outside attractions easily divert young untrained mini Sammies. Alternatively, you can get a crate to keep him while you are away from home. Ensure that his crate is big enough to accommodate a variety of toys, food bowls, and other essentials.
Even though a mini Sammy is tolerant of every type of weather, it is better to keep him in a cool or shady place.