It is interesting to note that the Samoyed is one of the old 14 dog breeds that share a genetic resemblance to the wolf. Samoyeds are famed for their remarkable intelligence, loyalty, social aptitude, and yes, its vocal nature. It is easy to fall in love with this dog breed, especially its distinct lips that seem eternally curved upwards into a lovely smile.
Samoyeds are not renowned for their service capacities. They were majorly bred for herding purposes. Only recently have we seen deployments of Samoyeds as service dogs. Samoyeds have yet enjoyed fair successes as service dogs due to their intelligence, curiosity for learning, working nature. Notably, Samoyeds are increasingly applied as emotional therapy dogs. Indeed, Samoyeds are remarkably gentle with seniors and children equally.
Given the relative rareness of Samoyeds being used as service dogs, you may be curious about how well they would excel at service duties. You should be asking what service needs they can attend to and what characteristics qualify them as service dogs. How about we learn all these?
Samoyeds as Service Dogs
As said, the Samoyed is not as much an excellent dog breed as the Golden Retriever or the German shepherd. This doesn’t mean they can’t perform service duties at all.
Given the Samoyed’s incredible learning capacities, the Samoyed can pick up new skills and can be specifically trained for service duties with patient application.
First, we have to put into cognizance the emotional and loving nature of the Samoyed. This is a loyal dog, disposed to pleasing its owners and going the length for them.
They have a keen aptness for helping disadvantaged seniors. Their smartness and their emotional nature (keen for human company) explain why they wouldn’t be a burden to train to take on assistance duties for seniors or physically challenged people.
More also, the Samoyed is a hardworking dog breed. It has famously shone in herding responsibilities as well as pulling sleds. The agility and high energy levels of the Samoyed contribute to its readiness to ease the workload or discomfort of its handler if properly trained.
Service Needs Samoyeds Can Meet
There are some core service functions that Samoyed can be trained to perform. This is because of their inherent capacity for these responsibilities can be further enhanced with further specialized obedience training.
Samoyeds can be of great help for people suffering from hearing impairments. Given the alert and agile nature of the Samoyed, this dog can be trained to inform their handlers to noise signals like doorbells, alarms, and even crying babies.
When your Samoyed hears these sounds, they could nudge its owner. Of course, you can’t expect your Samoyed to perform as excellently at hearing duties as specialized hearing dog breeds like poodles or Labradors.
Psychiatric Service Dogs
If you are suffering from psychological challenges like anxiety, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Samoyeds can be great companions for you.
In such cases where certain conditions or environments can trigger your trauma, for example, entering a room, floodlights, or opening the door, you can train your Samoyed to take on such duties.
Your Samoyed can learn to always enter a house before you to reduce unhealthy hyper-vigilance from you. Also, your Samoyed can learn to turn on lights via a foot pedal mechanism.
If you are among those who get agitated in public places (people coming close to you), your Samoyed can be trained to create a physical barrier between you and others. This gives you more space to yourself, even in crowded public areas.
Service Traits of Samoyeds
Some predominant traits in the Samoyed qualify this dog for service duties. Let us look at some of these service traits.
Samoyeds are Intelligent
Not all dogs can be easily trained. For successful integration of techniques and routines, your dog must be innately intelligent. Smart dogs are better learners.
This means that they wouldn’t need to try endlessly to catch a new trick or duty. Interestingly, smartness is not enough. Your dog must have that relentless drive to learn new things.
The good news is that the Samoyed has that inherent intelligence in addition to having an appetite for learning new things.
Samoyeds Have an Impressive Ability to Adopt Obedience Training
It is uncommon that a dog will, from birth, stand out at service commands. All these are added to its repertoire of skills across time by obedience training.
Not all dogs excel at obedience training. It is interesting to note that the Samoyed is good at obedience training. Your Samoyed would quickly pick up basic commands like drop, come, stay, or leave.
Samoyeds Have Good Socialization Skills if Trained Early Enough
A service dog must behave itself and comport itself well in public. It should not be hyperactive or unsettled by crowds in public. Indeed, your service dog wouldn’t be aggressive to strangers or pets. Unruly dogs are known to flop when deployed to service duties.
This emphasizes the socialization skills of service dogs. You will be interested to learn that the Samoyed has remarkable socialization skills. This is so long you start taking your Samoyed out early enough at its tender age to mix with people.
Over time with sustained socialization, your Samoyed would learn to be calm around people, relaxed and yet alert. This would suppress its innate herding instincts or aggression to strangers.
Despite some of these stated characteristics of Samoyeds, which qualifies them for service responsibilities, a Samoyed that is not socialized and trained early enough could struggle at service roles.
In such scenarios, you could see your Samoyed sniffing invasively on merchandise and people. Your Samoyed could also lunge at animals – especially smaller ones it perceives as prey due to its herding impulses.
A hyperactive Samoyed can create an ugly scene outdoors by barking unnecessarily at people and other animals.
Samoyeds as Emotional/Therapy Support Animals
Samoyeds are top performers when it comes to emotional support or therapy duties. Samoyeds are beautiful and empathetic dog companions to have around you that generally prop up the positive vibes of the place due to their enthusiasm and life-giving energy.
A good therapy dog must love people and thrive in their company. The Samoyed doesn’t disappoint as regards this.
Your Samoyed can perform at incredible levels when used as an emotional support or therapy dog if you socialize it early enough.
Make sure that from an early age, you get your Samoyed accustomed to mixing with strangers, loud and abrupt noises, children, and being lifted.
The appearance of your Samoyed can be further enhanced for such specific therapy support duties with exciting seasonal costumes like a funny hat and customized sweatshirts. They make them happier and more fun beings.
Samoyeds as Service Dogs Are Not for Everyone
Remember that we stated from the start that Samoyeds are not naturally designated for service duties. It hasn’t been too long when Samoyed started being deployed as service dogs.
Understandably, there are sects of challenged persons that Samoyeds can’t help much. If you need extremely specialized service needs, you may want to consider better breeds than the Samoyed.
Let us look at some of these service needs where your Samoyed may struggle.
Samoyeds may not excel as diabetic alert dogs
Diabetic alert dogs are great sources of security and self-dependence for diabetic patients. These dogs are excellent performers at detecting spikes in blood sugar and alerting the designated person or medical authority.
These dogs are trained to identify changes in scents from chemical changes in your bloodstream. These dogs can pick out the scents that escort hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic in people suffering from diabetes. Usually, a human can’t pick up these scents on his own.
When your specialized diabetic alert dog sniffs these chemical changes, it could warn you to such alarming fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.
Some of these specialized dogs could go as far as nudging other members of the family or acquaintance, even setting an alarm system that can be picked up by a health practitioner. You will agree that such timely detection of such spiking glucose changes can turn out life-saving.
When promptly alerted, the diabetic could get a blood test. Should it come out as the dog signified, the sufferer can quickly take in a dose of glucose (or insulin depending on whether it is low blood or high blood sugar).
Your Samoyed is not assured of performing excellently when deployed as a diabetic dog.
Your Samoyed is not a good mobility assistance dog
Your Samoyed may not be the best service companion for you if you are battling mobility-related challenges. Typically, your mobility assistance dog can help you with roles like pulling a wheelchair, serving as brace assistance, bringing objects to you, and even pressing buttons on automatic doors.
It is not basically because your Samoyed lacks the intelligence or aptitude to learn these skills. However, a crucial feature of mobility assistance dogs is their prominent and bulky built.
These duties are better suited to bigger dogs that can support their handlers. You will agree that a breed like the Samoyed may not shine at such specific duties.
It is also worth noting that Samoyeds may not perform excellently when deployed as seizure alert and support dogs, autism support drugs or for detecting early substance abuse in kids and teens.
The Samoyed is a high-energy dog. Its enormous energy levels are characteristic of medium-big working breeds. Given its high energy levels, it is unsurprising that the Samoyed is very active and not prone to quick tiring.
The implication is that this is a dog that gets bored too easily. It needs an enormous amount of stimulation – both mentally and physically. The Samoyed regularly needs outlets for channeling these energies.
If you don’t have an active lifestyle, you may struggle with a high-energy dog breed like the Samoyed. Take note that if not sufficiently engaged or exercise, the Samoyed can get stuck on destructive habits.