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The Samoyed (Russian: Самое́дская соба́ка or Самое́д) (also known as the Bjelkier) is a breed of medium-sized herding dogs with thick, white, double-layer coats. They are related to the laika, a spitz-type dog. It takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy white dogs to help with herding. The Samoyed has been identified as a basal breed that predates the emergence of the modern breeds in the 19th century.[3] It belongs to the spitz or northern dog group, specifically the laikas, a Eurasian dog type used for a variety of purposes, namely hunting, herding, guarding, and sledding. The Samoyed is descended from the Nenets herding laika, a dog that may not only be white, but also a wide variety of colors. Like many breeds, the Samoyed was bred from a small number of founders (in this case, from Siberia). Samoyeds were originally used for hunting, herding reindeer, and hauling sledges for the Samoyede people in Siberia. Samoyeds' friendly and affable disposition makes them poor guard dogs; an aggressive Samoyed is rare. The breed is characterized by an alert and happy expression which has earned the nicknames "Sammie smile" and "smiley dog". With their tendency to bark, however, they can be diligent watch dogs, barking whenever something approaches their territory. Samoyeds are excellent companions, especially for small children or even other dogs, and they remain playful into old age. According to the Samoyed Club of America, when Samoyeds become bored, they may become destructive or start to dig. With their sled dog heritage, a Samoyed is not averse to pulling things, and an untrained Samoyed has no problem pulling its owner on a leash rather than walking alongside.

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