Yes, Zen.  That’s the hours of sitting on the floor with your Samoyed, gently combing them as they snooze and you watch television.  Or sitting on the lawn at the park and stroking their coat with the comb as they survey the landscape, squirrels and people.  

Regularly (and effectively) grooming a Samoyed is vital not only so that they’ll look their best but also to keep their skin healthy and to help them feel their best.  Sammies don’t need to be show-ready all the time but it should not be asking too much of any Samoyed owner to comb their pups regularly and keep their coat free of mats, their nails trimmed (walking on hard surfaces like sidewalks helps with that) and their ears clean.  And their teeth will need attention, too.  Once or twice a year, a Samoyed will “blow” their undercoat and that’s when you should step up the combing regimen.

We’re certainly not recognized authorities on dog grooming but between us we have a lot of experience grooming a lot of Samoyeds.  The videos at the link above (red box) are an introduction to some techniques and grooming equipment that work well for us and our Samoyeds.  Our ways are not the end-all, be-all and this is not “show grooming” which would entail some refinements and additional diligence.

There is one bit of grooming advice we offer with 100% confidence:  DO NOT SHAVE YOUR SAMOYED, EVER!

Just get the undercoat out for the warm season.  The “guard hairs” (outercoat) help keep the cool in and protect your Samoyed from the sun.  Samoyeds have fair skin and it will burn if not protected by their hair.  We’ve heard that shaving also changes the coat when it grows back, but we can’t personally attest to that because we never shave our Samoyeds.  We live in and around hot, muggy Washington, D.C. and don’t know anyone who shaves their Samoyeds.  On hot days, we have air conditioning and we walk our pups in the early morning and late evenings when it is less hot.

Samoyeds are not a big deal to groom.  Just keep up on the combing, be especially vigilant with the mat-prone areas (ears, rear, tail, legs).  And bathe on occasion (always thoroughly rinsing and completely drying to avoid skin problems).

We’ll also continue to be on the lookout for other good grooming resources, such as Lisl Dutterer’s excellent “SnowAngels” website.
Equipment & Suppliers

© 2011

Zen and the Art of

Samoyed Maintenance

    Part 1: Equipment
    Part 2: Pre-Bath
    Part 3: The Bath
    Part 4: The Blow-Dry

Produced by three chicks with a cheap camera, no script and Samoyed hair in our contacts.

Grooming DaffyMom’s Way

1/2 hp “sump pump” and 10-feet of hose from Home Depot makes tub bathing exceptionally effective and efficient.

1) fill tub to 1/3, pour shampoo in the water;  2) run hose over entire body, holding close to clean the skin [This combines wetting + shampooing];  3) drain tub;  4) fill to 1/3, add conditioner [This combines rinse + conditioning] 

Mokei is 11-years old and after being neutered at age 10 his coat has become extremely thick, making him look much larger than he is.  These photos span a few hours of bathing, blow drying and trimming (feet, hocks, private parts) during which he was admirably patient.  A Samoyed with a normal coat would take 90 minutes, give or take, for this entire process.

DaffyMom’s grooming sessions finish with trimming hocks and around and on the bottom of paws to tidy up their appearance.  Trimming the hair on the bottom of paws also reduces slippage on floors.  To further reduce slippage on wood or other smooth surfaces, “Paw Wax” is instant grip.   Gidget became accustomed to Paw Wax to keep from slipping on hospital floors during her therapy dog visits with patients.

Done and feeling gooooood!   Mokei’s coat is now huggably soft.  Loose hair is on the lawn or still blowing in the air currents, leaving his skin cooler, feeling better and less prone to matting or problems.

Judicious trimming around Mokei’s privates keeps those areas cleaner.

The Magnificent Mokei

Cherrybrook Pet Supplies
Drs. Foster & Smith
by Debbie Baird of Dynasty Samoyeds
Dryer:  Circuiteer K-9 II  (for sheep & sammies!)
“Cowboy Magic” Greenspot Remover
Exhibitor Labs
Dryer:  Metro Air Force 4HP  2-speed
Grooming Advice
by Lisl Dutterer of SnowAngels Samoyeds
by Jenny Turner & Rosemary Babb - SamSmiles
by Clu Carradine of Alta Samoyeds
Denver Samoyed Club - Grooming Booklet

** Be ever mindful that the submersible sump pump is an electric device and water conducts electricity.  So we very strongly advise taking appropriate precautions, such as using a  "Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter” (GFCI) plug - which is common in modern bathrooms.  Also check the cord before every use to ensure that it is not frayed or otherwise damaged in such a way that could render it unsafe.  And, of course, carefully read the instructions provided by the sump pump manufacturer.