Let’s Talk Breed Education!
THE ESSENCE OF THE SAMOYED BREED
BY CAROL HJORT, CHAIRPERSON AND SCA JUDGES EDUCATION COMMITTEE
T he year 2 020 was known as the Year of the COVID lockdown. When AKC sent a request to the SCA asking for its participation in the AKC Working Breed Seminars being offered at the AKC/Royal Canin Show in December, our Judges Education Committee (JEC) was ready to take on the chal- lenge! The topic assigned to our Committee was to define the Essence of the Samoyed Breed. I decided to toss the topic out to the SCA Judges Education Committee for discussion, and the entire committee quickly dove into a lively conversation on the topic! “Essence” is a polysemic term used as a designa- tion for the property or set of properties that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity and without which it loses its identity. So then, what makes up the Essence of the Samoyed Breed? Our first most obvious element was the Breed Type, or the physical characteristics of the breed. The Samoyed is an Arctic breed that lived and thrived around the Arctic Circle where tempera- tures could plunge to -50 degrees during the long winter months. So the Samoyed had to be equipped to not only survive in these frigid temperatures, but to also work in these extreme conditions as well. Everything about the Breed Type for the Samoyed is designed for its survival and comfort within the Arctic Circle, where it lived for thousands of years before being discovered by outside explorers. Let’s examine a few of the key features that are an inte- gral part of the Samoyed’s extreme weather gear, or Breed Type. The Head: First and foremost, let me state that the Samoyed is not considered a “Head Breed.” However, the head contains many of the character- istics that enabled this breed to successfully survive and thrive in the extreme weather conditions of the Russian Arctic region, and these characteristics should be preserved, as they are part of the Essence of this Breed.
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THE ESSENCE OF THE SAMOYED BREED
the upturned lipline served a functional purpose in the frigid Arctic region! The Feet: Pasterns should be strong, sturdy, and flexible, with some spring for proper let-down of feet. The pasterns are the “shock absorbers” of the dog when moving, and they contribute to its endur- ance when working. The feet are the dog’s running gear and should be long and slightly flat... a hare foot with two elongated central toes. The foot should be slightly spread, but not splayed, with arched toes, thick and tough pads, and a protective growth of hair between the toes. The hare-shaped foot helped the Samo- yed make quick turns when herding the reindeer on the tundra, much as a rabbit can quickly change directions in times of danger. Faults are feet that turn in or out, round or cat feet, and splayed feet. You can check the thickness of the foot pad when you get to the rear assembly by picking up a rear foot... and while you are there, check the bottom of the foot, which should be well-furred between the pads. The Polar Bear, another mammal of the Arctic, also has feet that are heavily furred around the pads. The heavily furred foot pads provide natural protection for the feet during the frigid Arctic winters, although in warmer climates the fur tends to form ice balls between the pads if left untrimmed. The Coat: The Samoyed is a double- coated breed with a soft thick wool under- coat, which provides warmth for the body, and a longer and harsher hair growing through it to form the outer coat, which is weather-resistant, stands straight out from the body, and should be free of curl. The outer coat protects and shields the under- coat from snow, and with a good shake a Sammy can remove the snow from its body. A droopy coat is undesirable. The quality of the coat should be considered more than the quantity. The silver tips on the coat that causes the coat to glisten with a silver sheen is actually caused by the hair shaft turning clear on the ends of the outer coat, and it enhances the Teflon effect of the outer coat in the snow. The female does not usually carry as long a coat as most males and it is softer in texture. The Samo- yed should be pure white, white and bis- cuit, cream or all biscuit. Any other color is a disqualification. The Tail: The tail should be moder- ately long, with the tail bone terminating approximately at the hock when down. It should be profusely covered with long hair. The tail was important to the dog’s survival on the tundra as the dog would curl up in a ball when sleeping, with the
Eyes: Should be dark for preference; should be placed well apart and deep-set; almond shaped with lower lid slanting toward an imaginary point approximately the base of the ears. Dark eye rims for preference. Round or protruding eyes penalized.
The skull should be broad, but not round, and form an equilateral triangle between the inner base of the ears and the central point of the stop. Eyes should be dark for preference, placed well apart, and almond- shaped, with the lower lid slanting towards the outer corner of the ear. This is a survival characteristic of the breed, and it is inter- esting to note that most creatures living on the tundra, both human and animal, have this almond-shaped eye. Evolution has created this eye shape, as a round eye has been shown to cause snow blindness from the many months of exposure to the sun’s glare on the Arctic snow. Please note that blue eyes are a disqualifying fault in this breed! The muzzle must be of medium length, neither course nor snipy, and must have sufficent underjaw to give depth to the muzzle. This is a survival characteristic, as the muzzle must be of sufficient length and depth to warm the frigid Arctic air before it reaches the lungs. The nose should be black for preference, but a brown, liver or Dudley nose is not to be penalized. The teeth should snugly overlap in a scissors bite. The lips should be black for preference and should curve up at the corners in a “Sammy smile,” even when the mouth is closed. Expression should consist in a “lighting up of the face” when alert or intent on anything. Ears should be erect and alert, eyes should sparkle, and the mouth should form the “Sammy smile!” There should not be droopy flews at the corners of the mouth, as this would cause saliva to accumulate and freeze around the mouth on the Samoyed, causing dis- comfort to the dog while it is working. So, there is an important reason as to why the Samoyed evolved with a smile on its face… Feet: Large, long, flattish – a hare-foot, slightly spread but not splayed; toes arched; pads thick and tough, with protective growth of hair between the toes.
The ears should be thick, well-furred and mobile, which protects the ears from freezing on the tundra. The ears should be in proportion to the size of the head and the dog. If you think the ears look too long or too short, fold the tip of the ear towards the outside corner of the eye... the tip of the ear should end close to this point, if it is the correct size. Ears should be set well apart, but positioned within the border of the outer edge of the head, and be slight- ly rounded at the tips. Think about the exposed vascular areas of the body where a human might get frostbite; the ears, the fingertips, and the nose. Mother Nature, in all her wisdom, rounded the tips of the Samoyed’s ears and made them heavily furred and mobile to protect them from frostbite or freezing. The head should form a wedge... the width of the wedge can vary, depending on breeder preference, and the stop should not be too abrupt, which enhances the aerodynamics of the dog when moving and also enhances the wedge shape of the head.
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M B I S M R B I S M B I S S G C H P G L AC I E R ’ S N R OWDY ’ S C Z A R G E N T T R O U B L E R O M C 02/08/0/-05/10/21
©MARITIME CITY PHOTOGRAPHY
G C H B A R K B A R K ’ S R I D I N G W I T H P R I VAT E M A L O N E
©LISA HENSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
Reba B I S S G C H WH I T E M AG I C ’ S L I T T L E R O C K R O M C
©PHOTO BY KIT
B I S S G C H S S N OWAT E R N B A R K B A R K ’ S N O N O N A N E T T E R O M C
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Blaze B I S B I S S G C H S B A R K B A R K ’ S S E T T I N G T H E WO R L D O N F I R E
©TYLER CRADY PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN
Duper G C H B A R K B A R K N M A R I N O ’ S R O U T E R U N N E R
Austin C H B A R K B A R K ’ S T U G G I N AT M Y H E A R T S T R I N G S
Samoyeds B A R K B A R K W E A R E P R O U D T O H AV E H A D M U LT I P L E B E S T I N S H OW A N D S P E C I A LT Y W I N N I N G D O G S . W E H AV E H A D 3 0 C H A M P I O N S F I N I S H F R O M O U R B R E E D I N G P R O G R A M . J O H N & C L A I R E O ’ N E I L L
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THE ESSENCE OF THE SAMOYED BREED
Color: Pure White, White and Biscuit, Cream, and All Biscuit. Any other colors are disqualified.
heart and lung room for working on the tundra. As breeders, we also like to feel “elbow pockets,” which are slight inden- tions in the rib cage under the elbows that allow more freedom of movement for the front legs without causing the Samoyed to move out at the elbows. The shoulders should be long and slop- ing with a layback of 45 degrees. Also, check the upper arm, which should be approximately the same length as the shoulder blade. The withers separation, which indicates the lay-in of shoulder, should be 1 – 1-1 ⁄ 2 inches wide, or two to three fingertips apart, depending on the width of your fingers. The lay-in of shoul- der tends to influence how the dog will put its front feet on the ground when in motion, and generally a Samoyed whose shoulders are not laid-in towards the spi- nal column will not converge into a single track when moving. The shoulder angles and lay-in of shoulder contribute to the dog’s endurance while working in the large open spaces of the tundra. Next, run your hand down the front of the chest where you should be able to feel the prosternum. The legs should be parallel and straight to the pastern, and approxi- mately 55 percent of the dog’s height at the withers. Length of leg is important when working in the deep tundra snow. You will need to push the hair back on the chest at the elbow to determine the true length of leg, since this is a double-coated
another for survival on the tundra. For this reason, the Breed Standard reflects the original Arctic explorers’ observations of the tribal people with their dogs in respect to Temperament. The third and final element that the JEC felt characterized the Essence of the Breed was Structure. The neck should be of good length, strong, and well-muscled. The neck should BLEND into the shoul- der and topline with a graceful arch, and any other neck should be depreciated. An arched neck is thicker at the base and has stronger neck ligaments, which offers more power for the dog’s shoulder blades and front assembly while the dog is work- ing. A ewe neck, for example, is positioned upright, perpendicular from the shoulder, and lacks any indication of an arch. This type of neck has weaker neck ligaments, and because of that weakness, has less support for the shoulder blades and front leg muscles. While this type of neckline might appear flashy in the show ring, it does not offer optimal functionality for a Working Dog. The chest should be deep, with the ribs well-sprung from the spine and taper- ing at the sides to allow movement of the shoulders and freedom for the front legs. The chest should be heart-shaped and not barrel-shaped. Perfect depth of the chest should be at the point of the elbow, and the deepest part of the chest should be behind the forelegs, which provides more
tail covering its muzzle and nose, helping to warm its breath while asleep. The tail should be carried forward over the back or side when alert, and is sometimes dropped when at rest. The tail should be mobile and loose… not tight over the back. The arch of the tail should balance out the arch of the neck when the dog is alert and stand- ing at attention. A double hook is a fault. A judge should see the tail over the back once when judging. The second breed characteristic that our JEC felt was part of the Essence of the Breed was Temperament. The Samoyed was an Arctic breed that was expected to work off-lead on the vast Russian tundra, herding Reindeer. It had to have sufficient intelligence to make split-second, inde- pendent decisions. For this reason, it was also required to work in harmony with other animals and with man. At night, the dogs sometimes slept in the chooms, or tents, with the tribal people. If a dog was a troublemaker and could not get along with others, it was eliminated, probably ending up in the stew pot or being worn as a fur hat, as nothing was wasted by the tribal people on the tundra. The standard states that the Samoyed should be intel- ligent, gentle, loyal, adaptable, alert, full of action, eager to serve, friendly but con- servative, not distrustful or shy, and not overly aggressive. Unprovoked aggressive- ness is to be severely penalized. The dogs and people were co-dependent on one
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Shanticlaire WHITE MAGIC SAMOYEDS
© FRITZ CLARK
MULTI BISS CHAMPION
WH I T E MAG I C ’ S S H A N T I C L A I R E 45 CHAMPIONS PRODUCED SIRE: BISS CH. NORTHWIND’S RISING STAR DAM: WHITE MAGIC’S WINTER ICE
BREEDER/OWNER/HANDLER: CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER
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Jasper 57 CHAMPIONS PRODUCED SIRE: CH. ALYABEL’S PRIDE OF WHITE MAGIC DAM: CH. WHITE MAGIC’S SHEERA SHERIE BREEDERS: PATRICIA MCCALLUM & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER HANDLERS: CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER & KRISTA NUOVO OWNER: JANET SPINA WH I T E MAG I C ’ S R O C K S TA R BIS BISS CHAMPION Crush WH I T E MAG I C ’ S A I N ’ T GO N ’ AWAY, C H I C PRODUCED 25 AKC CHAMPIONS SIRE: BISS CH. WHITE MAGIC’S ROCK STAR DAM: WHITE MAGIC’S TRYLLERI DECENT BREEDER/OWNER/HANDLER: CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER BBE BIS GRAND CHAMPION A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL THE JUDGES WHO RECOGNIZED THE BEAUTIFUL QUALITY OF WHITE MAGIC SAMOYEDS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
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Shaker C H WH I T E MAG I C ’ S S H A K E YOU R G R OOV E T H I N G , C H I C PRODUCED 18 CHAMPIONS SIRE: CH. WHITE MAGIC’S KING OF THE RING DAM: GRAND CH. WHITE MAGIC’S MY GIRL, CHIC BREEDER/OWNER/HANDLERS: HEATHER SHANNON & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER OH BIS, MULTI BISS GOLD GRAND CHAMPION
THANK YOU TO ALL THE JUDGES WHO HAVE AWARDED SHAKER FOR HIS BEAUTY, MOVEMENT AND SHOWMANSHIP.
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BRONZE GRAND CHAMPION
C H WH I T E MAG I C ’ S G I V E S M E C H I L L S ! , C H I C CHILLER IS THE YOUNGEST SAMOYED
CHAMPION IN THE HISTORY OF THE BREED, FINISHING HIS CHAMPIONSHIP AT 6 MONTHS AND 5 DAYS OF AGE AND THEN TAKING THE BREED OVER MULTIPLE SPECIALS! SIRE: CH. WINTERMIST’S ROCK N ON THIN ICE DAM: GRAND CH. WHITE MAGIC’S KISSED BY A ROSE CHIC
BREEDER/OWNER/HANDLERS: HEATHER SHANNON & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER
THANK YOU TO ALL THE JUDGES WHO HAVE AWARDED CHILLER FOR HIS BEAUTY, MOVEMENT AND SHOWMANSHIP. SAMOYED 242 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2021
WH I T E MAG I C ’ S WE LCOM E TO T H E SWAM P, C H I C
SIRE: CH. WHITE MAGIC’S GONNA SHAKE YOUR UP! “CODY” CHIC DAM: CH. WHITE MAGIC’S KISSED BY A ROSE “MISSIE” CHIC
OWNERS: KEVIN & JANICE SHUKUR
BREEDERS: CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER & HEATHER SHANNON
PROFESSIONALLY HANDLED BY: RYAN DILLMAN
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MULTIPLE BEST OF BREEDS & MULTIPLE GROUP PLACING Bronze Grand Champion
GCHB CH WHITE MAGIC’S WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ TKP, CHIC
GCHG CH WHITE MAGIC’S SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THING x CH WHITE MAGIC’S UPTOWN GIRL
Ozzy owned by: DENNIS & SHARON MI LLER
co-owned by: CARRIE PARMA-COLL IER
bred by: SHARON & DENNIS MI LLER CARRIE PARMA-COLL IER
handled by: DEBBIE STUDWELL
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WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB 2019 AND 2021 Award of Merit Winner
OUR SINCEREST APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE TO ALL JUDGES WHO HAVE AWARDED OUR BOY ’ S fine type and quality
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WH I T E MAG I C ’ S NO B L E D R E AM MULTIPLE BEST OF BREED AND GROUP PLACING OWNER HANDLER NOBLE IS PRODUCING SOUND, HEALTHY AND BEAUTIFUL PUPPIES. LOOK FOR THEM IN A RING NEAR YOU!
BREEDER: CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER & ANGELA DELISLE
OWNERS: DANIELLE MADEIRAS FISHER & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER
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Bear WH I T E MAG I C ’ S B E A R N I T A L L ! BEAR IS A SAMOYED SPECIALTY WINNER, BOB AND GROUP WINNING SPECIAL PROUDLY HANDLED BY DEBBIE STUDWELL SIRE: GRAND CH. WHITE MAGIC’S SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THING “SHAKER” DAM: WHITE MAGIC’S GOTTA CRUSH ON YOU MULTI BISS GRAND CHAMPION
OWNERS: ALICE & MIKE GINISE & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER BREEDERS: CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER & HEATHER SHANNON
WE WOULD LIKE TO WISH EVERYONE GOOD LUCK AT THE AKC NATIONAL DOG SHOW. WE WISH WE COULD BE THERE THIS YEAR AND WILL LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE AT WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW IN NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 2022 WHERE BEAR WILL BE PRESENTED BY DEBBIE STUDWELL.
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Kelti WH I T E MAG I C ’ S L I T T L E W I N G SIRE: GRAND CH. WHITE MAGIC’S BEAR N IT ALL! DAM: GRAND CH. WHITE MAGIC’S DREAM CATCHER KELTI HAS BEEN INVITED TO THE AKC NATIONAL DOG SHOW TO COMPETE IN THE OWNER HANDLER COMPETITION AS SHE QUALIFIED IN THE TOP 10! AKC & UKC EMERALD GRAND CHAMPION MULTI UKC BEST IN SHOW
GOOD LUCK TO EVEYONE ENTERED AND AT WESTMINSTER KC DOG SHOW 2022 KELTI IS NOW THE #2 OVERALL SAMOYED IN UKC AND #2 SAMOYED OVERALL IN NORTHERN GROUP IN UKC
BREEDERS: DARLENE JAMES & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER
HANDLER/OWNERS: DARLENE JAMES
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WH I T E MAG I C ’ S B I G D E A L , C H I C SIRE: CH. WHITE MAGIC’S GONNA SHAKE YOU UP! , CHIC DAM: WHITE MAGIC’S QUEEN OF THE PRIDE WATCH FOR THIS HANDSOME BOY BEING PRESENTED BY RYAN DILLMAN OWNERS: STEVE & KELLY BALEN & HEATHER SHANNON & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER PROFESSIONALLY HANDLED BY: RYAN DILLMAN A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO TRISH AT MALVERN GROOMS FOR KEEPING CASH IN FANTASTIC CONDITION GRAND CHAMPION Cash BREEDERS: HEATHER SHANNON & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER
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OWNERS: PETE & SASKIA ZEZIMA Cloud
WH I T E MAG I C ’ S KA L I N A’ S S NOW C LOU D CG C A , WS X , T H D D , H I T I N LOV I N G M E MO RY SIRE: CH WHITE MAGIC’S TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL DAM: ROSALITA BONITA KALINA!
BREEDERS: MARC & VICTORIA HAMET WORKING SAMOYED EXCELLENT, THERAPY DOG DISTINGUISHED (OVER 1 ,800 THERAPY VISITS) , HERDING INSTINCT TEST AKC ACHIEVER DOG FINALIST AKC AWARD FOR CANINE EXCELLENCE FOR SERVICE TO MANKIND BOOK-SNOW CLOUD-MY LIFE SERVING THE COMMUNITY MOST WEIGHT PULLED BY A VETERAN DOG 2015 SAMOYED NATIONALS FEATURED IN A DVD FROM THE ALZHEIMER’S FOUNDATION OF AMERICA ABOUT ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY 6 TIME AKC MEET THE BREED PARTICIPANT APPEARED ON GOOD MORNING NY TO PROMOTE AKC MEET THE BREEDS AGILITY CPE LEVEL 1 STRATEGY, LEVEL 2 STANDARD, LEVEL 1 HANDLER, LEVEL 1 FUN SUBJECT OF A RESEARCH PAPER WHICH PROVED A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN BEHAVIORAL INCIDENTS AT A THERAPEUTIC SCHOOL ON THE DAYS THAT CLOUD VISITED
GRAND CHAMPION Breeze
G C H WH I T E MAG I C ’ S S H E W I L L B LOW YOU AWAY R N , T K I , T H DX , WS X , CG C , OA P, A J P, AC T 2 , AC T 2 J
SIRE: GCHG CH WHITE MAGIC’S SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THING CHIC DAM: CH. WHITE MAGIC’S UPTOWN GIRL
BREEDERS: SHARON & DENNY MILLER & CARRIE PARMA-COLLIER
OWNERS: PETE & SASKIA ZEZIMA
GRAND CHAMPION RALLY NOVICE
TRICK DOG INTERMEDIATE THERAPY DOG EXCELLENT WORKING SAMOYED EXCELLENT CANINE GOOD CITIZEN OPEN AGILITY PREFERRED EXCELLENT AGILITY JUMPERS AGILITY COURSE TEST 2 AGILITY COURSE TEST 2 JUMPERS AKC ACHIEVER DOG MULTIPLE AKC MEET THE BREEDS PARTICIPANT OVER 300 THERAPY VISITS
© RC IMAGING PHOTOGRAPHY
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THE ESSENCE OF THE SAMOYED BREED
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Carol Hjort and her husband, Andy, have owned Samoyeds for 45 years and established Jubillie Samoyeds in 1978. Avid Samoyed fanciers, Andy and Carol have bred and shown a number of Samoyeds to their Championships, personally handling some to Breed, Group, and All-Breed Best in Show and Best in Specialty Show wins or placements, including two Samoyeds that they imported from Great Britain, and via frozen semen, from Australia. Although Carol’s focus in the sport has primarily been exhibiting in conformation, she has had the honor of judging Samoyed Sweepstakes at eight Regional Specialties around the country, as well as judging the Puppy Futurity at the 2012 SCA National Specialty, the Elements of the Standard at the 2016 SCA National Specialty, and the Carolina Working Group Association Sweepstakes in 2021. She served for a total of ten years intermittently on the SCA Board of Governors and has also served over the years as a Chairperson for various SCA National Specialty Committees. Carol has spent a cumulative total of 16 years on the SCA Judges Education Committee, working under five different Chairs, serving the past two years as Committee Chairperson. Over the years, she has written a number of articles on the Samoyed for various national all-breed publications and she’s covered the Westminster KC Dog Show for 15 years for Hoflin Publishing. It is Carol’s hope that you enjoy this article and are able to take with you an appreciation and better understanding of the essence of this beautiful and very ancient breed... the Samoyed!
Torso: A to B 5% longer than E to C
E to D 45% of height D to C 55% of height
side, then it is not a balanced animal. This affects endurance when working on an open tundra. The Samoyed should also single-track on the down and back. Moving at a slow walk or trot, it will not single-track, but as speed increases, the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are finally falling on a line directly under the longitudinal cen- ter of the body. This results in an efficient gait that can be maintained for hours. If you move a single-tracking dog through snow, it will leave one line of pawprints in the snow, instead of two. So, to summarize, our SCA Judges Education Committee concluded that the Essence of the Samoyed Breed is three- fold: The essence of our breed consists of Type, Temperament, and Structure… all elements originally shaped by the environ- ment and by evolution. Any two of these elements without the third would not con- stitute a good representation of the breed. A good representative of the breed must have all three elements. Like its ances- tors, the Samoyed today is a versatile and diverse breed… if you strive to find the Essence of the Breed in your judging, or breeding program, you will be on the right path towards preserving the integrity of the Samoyed Breed for future generations to enjoy!
breed. Pasterns should be strong, sturdy, and flexible, with some “spring” for proper let-down of feet. The withers form the highest part of the back. Run your hand down the back from the withers to the loin to make sure it is level and not roached or dipped. The loin is the distance between the last rib and the pelvis, and should be strong, slightly arched, and neither long nor short-cou- pled. The croup must be full and slightly sloping to the tail root. Upper thighs should be well-developed. Palpate the upper portion of the thigh behind the stifles to check the muscle mass. Stifles should be well-bent... approximate- ly 45 degrees to the ground. Hocks should be well-developed and set at approximately 30 percent of the hip height. Straight sti- fles are objectionable; double jointed hocks or cowhocks are a fault. Cowhocks should only be determined after a dog has had the opportunity to move. The Samoyed should trot, not pace, and should move with a quick, well-timed side gait! The gait should be free, BAL- ANCED and VIGOROUS, with good reach in the front and equally good driv- ing power in the rear. The back, or topline, should remain strong, firm, and level, without a lot of up-and-down motion. If there is more reach than drive, or more drive than reach when viewed from the
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TERRI GOLD & RACHEL SIGULINSKY WWW.SNOWBRIGHTSAMOYEDS.COM SNOWBRIGHTSAMOYEDS@GMAIL.COM
OVER 40 YEARS BREEDING AND HANDLING QUALITY SAMOYEDS
THANK YOU JUDGES CINDY MEYER, DANA CLINE, RICHARD BLANCHARD & JOHN P. WADE FOR RECOGNIZING MILRED AND SNOWBRIGHT SAMOYEDS
© JUDGES PHOTOS BY K. BOOTH, TURLEY PHOTO & BRYAN MCNABB
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multiple top 10 Samoyeds “...PRESENT A PICTURE OF BEAUTY, ALERTNESS AND STRENGTH, WITH AGILITY, DIGNITY AND GRACE” – SAMOYED BREED STANDARD MU L T I P L E G R O U P P L AC E R S , MU L T I P L E B E S T I N S P E C I A L T Y W I N N E R S
© K. BOOTH
GROUP WINNING BISS GCH CH SNOWBRIGHT’S MILLION DOLLAR BABY
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AND ITS APPLICATIONWHEN JUDGING THE BREED THE SAMOYED The Ev ! u t i o n o f
CAROL HJORT, CHAIRPERSON SCA JUDGES EDUCATION COMMITTEE
T he years around 3000 BC were a time of development for world civilizations. Th e Iceman, Europe’s oldest natural Chal- iolithic mummy, lived during this period; Egypt had its fi rst Pharaoh; the wheel was invented; and the Druids had begun the construction of Stonehenge, which would not be completed for another 1,500 years. Up on the remote Russian tundra, however, a new discovery was unearthed in 2004, dat- ing back to that same time period in history: the remains of the oldest proto-Samoyed! Th e Samoyed was originally thought to be an aboriginal breed that was indigenous to the Russian tundra. It is now thought, due to modern DNA testing, that the earli- est proto-Samoyed may have migrated into Russia from China. USA Today reported in 2004 that researchers had announced sur- prising news regarding which breeds of dog came fi rst. By analyzing genetic data from 85 breeds, researchers discovered that Asian Spitz-type breeds may be the most ancient descendants of its primitive wolf ancestors from 40,000 years ago. It was once thought that all dogs origi- nated in Asia, migrating with nomadic hunters to Africa and the Arctic. It is now thought that dogs originated from civiliza- tions around the world at di ff erent times. A subset of the oldest group that is thought to come from Asia are the three Northern breeds: Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds and Siberian Huskies. All three breeds have the closest genetic relationship to the ancient, now extinct wolf. According to researchers, these three breeds may be “the best living representatives of the ancestral dog gene pool.” Th is is due to thousands of years of isolation in remote arctic locations. Th e theory is that proto-dogs were prob- ably domesticated by accident, when wolves began trailing ancient hunter-gatherers to snack on their garbage. Th e more docile wolves may have been slipped extra food
scraps…so they survived better and passed along their genes. Eventually, those friend- lier wolves evolved into proto-dogs. It is thought (because there were no written records) that the proto-Samoyed most likely followed nomadic hunters migrating from Asia to the Russian tundra. Th ere the hunters found an abundance of reindeer, switched to reindeer herding, and began migrating with the herds around the tundra. Th e proto-Samoyeds continued to follow the humans and the herd. Th is became a lifestyle for these aboriginal peo- ple who later became known as the “Rein- deer People.” Th e region of Russia where the Reindeer lived was in a location where winter began in September and lasted until the end of May. Th e herd would migrate in a 700-800 mile migration pattern in search of food. Th e reindeer were independent creatures, and it required very vigilant and alert dogs to keep the large herd intact! Th e early proto-Samoyed dogs, known as “Laikas,” which is Russian for “barkers,” had to quickly adapt and learn to co-exist closely not only with the humans, but also with the herd in order to survive the brutal arctic conditions. Co-existing allowed these early dogs access to warmth, shelter and food in exchange for the dogs’ protection and assis- tance with keeping the herd together. Man and dog were co-dependent on each other for survival in a frozen land where death seemed easy and survival di ffi cult during the long winter months. Th e average lifes- pan for the “Reindeer People” was around 45 years. Highly intelligent, the Samoyed became an independent, free-thinking breed that worked primarily o ff -lead in wide-open ter- ritories, unlike the other Northern breeds that worked primarily in harness. Th e largest tribe of reindeer herders was the Nenet tribe, who referred to themselves as “Children of the Reindeer” and had a close
“Up on the remote Russian tundra, however,
a new discovery was unearthed in 2004,
dating back to that same time period in history: the remains of the oldest proto-Samoyed!”
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THE EVOLUTION OF THE SAMOYED
“ Th e Samoyed ultimately became a multi-purpose dog that had to fi ll a number of jobs within the family circle.”
its body size. Th e rear angulation and the front angulation should be in harmony with one another. Th e arch of the tail should bal- ance out the arch of the neck. Th e back of the animal should be medium in length and should be in proportion to its height… males should be just o ff -square, with bitches allowed to be slightly longer. Th e length of leg should be approximately 55% of the ani- mal’s height for optimal functionality in the deep tundra snow…if there is any question about the length of leg, then the coat should be pushed back at the elbow to see where the elbow ends…the Samoyed is a double- coated breed, so you must put your hands on the dogs to fi nd what is underneath, as coat can be deceptive. While you are at it, check the texture of the coat….it should be weather resistant, and the quality of the coat should be considered more than quan- tity, as this is a survival characteristic for the Samoyed on the frigid Russian tundra. Th e only acceptable colors for the breed are white (and there are many shades of white,) cream, biscuit or white & biscuit…any other color is a disqualifying fault. Th e coat should glisten with a silver sheen when the light hits it…this is caused by the silvertips on the ends of the coat, which is a beauti- ful and unique characteristic of our breed! Th e silvertips also help to repel and prevent snow from packing into the coat of dogs liv- ing on the tundra. Do not expect this breed to stand in the lineup motionless like a Doberman or a Pointer…it is an active breed and is keenly aware of its surroundings! If a Samoyed hears an unusual noise, it will look to see
relationship with their dogs. Family mem- bers would take the dogs into the tents they lived in, called chooms. Each choom was covered in 100 reindeer hides or in tree bark. Th ere was a fi re pit in the center of the choom for cooking and warmth, and the Nenets allowed the dogs to sleep with them at night to provide extra warmth. Dogs were stationed outside the tents to keep the deer herd away from the chooms, and a second group of dogs was stationed around the circumference of the herd to keep the herd intact, and to “sound the alarm” in the event of approaching danger. Th e Nenets also used the dogs for light freighting, such as to carry them out to the fi shing holes on the ice to retrieve fi sh from the fi shing lines, (the ice was too slippery for deer hooves) and, in addition, the dogs were used to hunt, including hunting the polar bear. Th e Samoyed ultimately became a multi-pur- pose dog that had to fi ll a number of jobs within the family circle. Over thousands of years, the Samoyed was gradually changed by its environment and by evolution into the natural breed that we know today. Now we will fast forward 4,800 years to the late nineteenth century! During the late 1800s, the Samoyed fi rst became known to the outside world due to the exploration of the North and South Poles. Most of the Samoyed strains in the UK and in the United States are related to the veteran sled dogs of these expeditions. When the men returned to their homelands, many brought the dogs with them. It is speculated that there were only twelve dogs that constituted the origi- nal breeding stock outside of Russia!
Th e fi rst Samoyed brought into England in 1889 by Mr. Kilburn Scott was a brown Samoyed male named Sabarka that was put on display at the London Zoo. Sabarka was quite the novelty and drew many visi- tors to the zoo, generating interest in the breed! His wife, Mrs. Clara Kilburn Scott, was very taken with this newly discovered breed, and was very instrumental in estab- lishing the breed in England through her selective breeding of Samoyeds. It was Mrs. Kilburn Scott who decided to breed only for the white, crème and biscuit colored dogs, eliminating the black, brown and spotted colors from the breeding stock. Th e fi rst o ffi cial standard for the breed was adopted in England in 1909, and the fi rst American standard was adopted on May 15, 1923. As breeders, we delight in seeing rem- nants of the Samoyed’s ancient ancestry in our litters, with the biscuit coloring being a throwback to the brown Samoyeds of the past. AKC has stated that judging con- formation should be for the evaluation of breeding stock. Th at being said, the follow- ing is this breeder’s perspective on evaluat- ing the Samoyed, based on preserving its long and ancient heritage. GENERAL APPEARANCE “ Th e Samoyed should present a picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agil- ity, dignity and grace.” As the judge stands back and takes a fi rst look at the lineup, the judge should be looking for a balanced ani- mal. A balanced animal can set itself up four square without having its legs constantly reset. A balanced animal has bone that bal- ances out its frame and is in proportion to
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THE EVOLUTION OF THE SAMOYED
Samoyed Hunters. This sled was for man-hauling. The runners are curved at both ends to facilitate moving in either direction. The basket carries seal or fish.
what it is…sometimes insisting on facing in the opposite direction to get a better view! Th is is the nature of the breed…they are alert, independent dogs that are full of action…genetically programed over thou- sands of years to herd and guard the Nenets’ reindeer on the Russian tundra and to serve as an all-purpose dog and companion for the Nenet people. THE JUDGES EXAM Start the exam with the head. Th e ears should be thick, well-furred and mobile, which protects the ears from freezing on the tundra. Th e ears should be in proportion to the size of the head and the dog. If you think the ears look too long or too short, fold the tip of the ear towards the outside corner of the eye…the tip of the ear should end close to this point if it is the correct size. Ears should be set well apart, but positioned within the border of the outer edge of the head. Th e head should form a wedge…it can be a narrow wedge or a wide wedge, depending on breeder preference, and the stop should not be too abrupt, which enhances the aero- dynamics of the dog when moving, and also enhances the wedge shape of the head. Th e skull should be broad, but not round, and form an equilateral triangle between the inner base of the ears and the central point of the stop. Eyes should be dark for preference, placed well apart, and almond shaped with the lower lid slanting towards the outer corner of the ear. Th is is a survival
characteristic of the breed, and it is inter- esting to note that most creatures living on the tundra, both human and animal, have this almond shaped eye. Evolution has cre- ated this eye shape, as a round eye has been shown to cause snow blindness from the many months of exposure to the sun’s glare on the arctic snow. Please note that blue eyes are a disqualifying fault in this breed! Th e muzzle must be of medium length, neither course nor snipy, and must have su ffi cient underjaw to give depth to the muzzle. Th is is a survival characteristic, as the muzzle must be of su ffi cient length and depth to warm the frigid arctic air before it reaches the lungs. Th e nose should be black for preference, but a brown, liver or Dudley nose is not to be penalized. Th e teeth should snugly overlap in a scissor bite. Please note: Th ere is no disquali fi cation or penalty for missing teeth in this breed, so it is not nec- essary to count teeth or to open the mouth to look at the top and bottom dentition when checking the bite! Th e lips should be black for preference and should curve up at the corners in a Sam- my smile, even when the mouth is closed. Expression should consist in a “lighting up of the face” when alert or intent on any- thing. Ears should be erect and alert, eyes should sparkle and mouth should form the Sammy smile! Th ere should not be droopy fl ews at the corners of the mouth, as this would cause saliva to accumulate and freeze around the mouth on the tundra while the dog is working.
TORSO AND FRONT END From the head, move around to the side of the dog to examine the torso and front end. Th e neck should be of good length, strong and well-muscled. Th e neck should blend into the shoulder and topline with a grace- ful arch, and any other neck should be depreciated. An arched neck is thicker at the base and has stronger neck ligaments, which o ff ers more power for the dog’s shoul- der blades and front assembly while the dog is working. A ewe neck, for example, is positioned upright, perpendicular from the shoulder and lacks any indication of an arch. Th is type of neck has weaker neck ligaments and because of that weakness has less support for the shoulder blades and front leg muscles. While this type of neck- line might appear fl ashy in the showring, it does not o ff er optimal functionality for a Working Dog. Th e chest should be deep, with the ribs well-sprung from the spine and taper- ing at the sides to allow movement of the shoulders and freedom for the front legs. Th e chest should be heart-shaped and not barrel-shaped. Perfect depth of the chest should be at the point of the elbow and the deepest part of the chest should be behind the forelegs, which provides more heart and lung room for working on the tundra. As breeders, we also like to feel “elbow pock- ets,” which are slight indentions in the rib cage under the elbows that allow more freedom of movement for the front legs
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Huxton RBIS BISS GCHS CH POLAR MIST X’S AND O’S FDC DCAT HANDLER RAYGEN BEST OWNER
AJ FLYNN BREEDERS LYNETTE BLUE & CRYSTAL BENSON
© PHOTOS BY LISA HENSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
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THE EVOLUTION OF THE SAMOYED
“Sammies enjoy being part of the family activities! Th ey are up for anything their owners want to do…pack hiking, going for a jog in the park, weight pull, agility, sledding, herding, dock diving, obedience, and even lure coursing!”
trot, it will not single-track, but as speed increases, the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are fi nally falling on a line directly under the longitudinal center of the body. Th is results in an e ffi cient, ground covering gait that can be maintained for hours. If you move a single tracking dog through snow, it will leave one line of paw prints in the snow, instead of two. Th is is not to be confused with crossing over, which is a fault. If you do not come from a breed that single tracks, then you will need to familiarize yourself with this movement so that you can identify it when you see it in your ring. DISPOSITION Intelligent, gentle, loyal, adaptable, alert, full of action, eager to serve, friendly, but conservative, not distrustful or shy, not overly aggressive. Unprovoked aggressive- ness is to be severely penalized. Good tem- perament is imperative in this breed. Herd- ing reindeer on the tundra required that the Samoyed be compatible working alongside other animals as well as alongside humans, and we strive as breeders to maintain this disposition in our breeding stock. It takes a long time to learn to evaluate dogs and to train one’s hands on what to feel and where to fi nd it. Practice going over the dogs in a methodical fashion until you can do this quickly, and develop a routine where you can examine each dog in the same man- ner every time. Develop an eye for balanced and e ffi cient movement so that you can spot correct movement when you see it. Learn to evaluate breeding stock! In conclusion, the Samoyed today is very much a family dog and a house dog, similar to its ancient ancestors that slept in the chooms at night with the Nenets on the Russian tundra. Sammies enjoy being part of the family activities! Th ey are up for anything their owners want to do…pack hiking, going for a jog in the park, weight pull, agility, sledding, herding, dock div- ing, obedience, and even lure coursing! A Sammy is very versatile and family oriented, maintaining its ancient reputation as an all- purpose working and companion dog! We ask that you, as judges, help us protect the integrity of this very ancient and beautiful breed in your judging.
without causing the Samoyed to move out at the elbows. Th e shoulders should be long and sloping with a layback of 45 degrees. Also check the upper arm, which should be approximate- ly the same length as the shoulder blade. Th e withers separation, which indicates the lay-in of shoulder, should be 1–1 ½ inch- es wide, or two to three fi ngertips apart, depending on the width of your fi ngers. Th e lay-in of shoulder tends to in fl uence how the dog will put its front feet on the ground when in motion, and generally a Samoyed whose shoulders are not laid-in towards the spinal column will not converge into a single track when moving. Th e shoulder angles and lay-in of shoulder contribute to the dog’s endurance while working in the large open spaces of the tundra. Next, run your hand down the front chest, where you should be able to feel the prosternum. Th e legs should be parallel and straight to the pastern, and approximately 55 percent of the dog’s height at the withers. Length of leg is important when working in the deep tundra snow. You will need to push the hair back on the chest at the elbow to determine the true length of leg, since this is a double-coated breed. Pasterns should be strong, sturdy and fl exible with some spring for proper let-down of feet. Th e pasterns are the “shock absorbers” of the dog when moving and contribute to its endurance when working. Th e feet are the dog’s running gear and should be long and slightly fl at…a hare foot with two elongated central toes. Th e foot should be slightly spread, but not splayed, with arched toes, thick and tough pads, and a protective growth of hair between the toes. Faults are feet that turn in or out, round or cat feet and splayed feet. You can check the thickness of the foot pad when you get to the rear assembly by picking up a rear foot…and while you are there, check the bone by feeling the circumference of the rear hock. LOIN AND BACK Th e withers form the highest part of the back. Run your hand down the back from the withers to the loin to make sure it is level and not roached or dipped. Th e loin is the distance between the last rib and the pelvis,
and should be strong, slightly arched, and neither long nor short-coupled. Th e croup must be full and slightly sloping to the tail root. Th e tail should be loose and mobile and not tight over the back. Th is is an important survival characteristic on the tundra, as the Samoyed had to be able to curl up and bury its face and muzzle in its tail when asleep to warm its breath and prevent freezing. Th e Samoyed should carry its tail up and over its back or side when alert, and dropped when at rest. Th e tail should be profusely covered with long hair and the tailbone should terminate at approximately the point of the hock. If there is any question about the length of the tail, you can measure it by pulling it down to the hock…but as a cour- tesy to the exhibitor, make sure you put it back over the back when you are done. Th e judge should see the tail over the back once Upper thighs should be well-developed. Palpate the upper portion of the thigh behind the sti fl es to check the muscle mass. Sti fl es should be well bent…approximately 45 degrees to the ground. Hocks should be well-developed and set at approximately 30 percent of the hip height. Straight sti fl es are objectionable; double jointed hocks or cow hocks are a fault. Cow hocks should only be determined after a dog has had the oppor- tunity to move. Once you have examined the dog, it is time to move it to con fi rm what you have felt with your hands! MOVEMENT Th e Samoyed should trot, not pace, and should move with a quick, well-timed side gait! Th e gait should be free, balanced and vigorous with good reach in the front and equally good driving power in the rear. Th e back, or topline, should remain strong, fi rm and level, without a lot of up and down motion. If there is more reach than drive, or more drive than reach when viewed from the side, then it is not a balanced animal. Th is a ff ects endurance when working on an open tundra. during the judging. REAR ASSEMBLY Th e Samoyed should single track on the down and back. Moving at a slow walk or
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JUDGING THE SAMOYED
by JUDY MEARS
S amoyeds are judged by many people for many reasons. A good breeder judges each dog or bitch that is used for breed- ing for health, temperament, pedigree and the qualities in the Samoyed that meet our written standard. A conscientious puppy buyer looks for that breeder who has a puppy with parents that were tested for all the requirements the Samoyed Club of America lists, has the temperament to live in a family situation with children, friends and other pets and whose par- ents exhibit the qualities of our written standard. Hopefully that breeder has raised the puppy in an environment that starts the development of good mental and physical health.
Dog shows were originated to judge each dog against the AKC standard to help select breeding stock. We, as AKC show judges, do not have the ability to spend hours finding just the right dog. We must make our decisions based on a few minutes going over the dog in the ring and watching it move in a limited space. Our stan- dard begins with the statement: “The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should present a picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility”. If you have read the first portion of these articles, you know why and how this essential Samoyed was developed. Proportion is critical to a proper Samoyed to insure strength and agil- ity. To see proper proportion, you must
stand back with the dog in side profile. Many dumpy, short-legged dogs are put up because the judge wants to “save steps” and not move to the center of the ring to see proper proportion. When the dogs walk in the ring, look for that dog that appears long legged with the front legs set well under the withers to support the body and the rear legs set very slightly behind the ischium. A dog that is 5% longer than it is tall will appear almost square. Even on a coated dog, the elbow is visible, use that point to visualize depth of body and length of leg. A dog that is 55% leg length will appear leggy when you are accus- tomed to working dogs that are 50% leg length. A leggy dog has nothing to do with height, but is all about proportion.
“THE SAMOYED, BEING ESSENTIALLY A WORKING DOG, SHOULD PRESENT A PICTURE OF BEAUTY, ALERTNESS AND STRENGTH, WITH AGILITY.”
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The neck should be moder- ately long and set well into sloping shoulders. The dog should be alert and inter- ested in what it happening around it. While moving the dogs around the ring we look for gait that is efficient and ground covering. Legs that fly up in the air or twist are never correct, just as a firm level topline is a sign of efficient, correct move- ment. The Samoyed is a moderate dog, therefore over extension of side gait is not desired Heads come in a range of style from slightly long and narrow to shorter and broad. Either style is okay as long as the essen- tial qualities of type are met: the lip line should be tight and, hopefully, curve up slightly at the corner when the mouth is closed. The eye should be deep set, almond shaped and set slanting up with the outside corner of the eye pointing to the base of the ear. Ears should stand erect
Many years ago, a stu- dent in a judges education seminar made a comment that I feel is one of the most important when judg- ing our breed. “The Samo- yed is a breed to be pre- served, not a breed to be developed and improved.” Please keep this in mind and help us to preserve the wonderful breed that nature developed for us. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Judy Mears purchased her first Samoyed in 1970. She has bred or owned over 55 Champions with a very limited breeding program that is always owner/ handled. Since then, Judy has bred 11 dogs/bitches with multiple group place- ments, always owner/ handled; three Best in Show dogs, owner/han- dled; two Champion/UD bitches; three Champion/ MACH bitches; four dogs that have worked on rac- ing sled teams, including one lead dog; and three
with thick leather and be well covered with fur inside and out. The muzzle should be deep, the stop slightly sloping with the back skull wedge shaped and slightly crowned. When judging a Samoyed, you must get your hands into the coat and feel the bone and muscle. Coat that is scis- sored and over groomed is rampant in the AKC show ring. The coat should be clean and well brushed. It is a double coat with coarse stand off guard hair and a thick wooly undercoat. The coat should not be so long as to hide the shape of the body. Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and most other Northern breeds were developed for the same bit- ter cold climate that formed the Samo- yed. The guard coat must be weather resistant. The dog that gets wet from snow packing into a soft coat will die in arctic winter weather. Samoyeds were developed to spend long days working in a harsh environ- ment. The feet and legs must be strong and straight, elbows must set next to the body. The true test of a correct
dogs exhibited to CD. Judy has been a member of the Sam- oyed Club of America since 1971. She is the past President of SCA and has spent many years on the Board of Governors of SCA. She was the Ad Hoc Committee Secretary and Trophy Chair for the 1984 National, Show Chair for the 1991 National and Tro- phy Chair for the 2001 National. She was the Chief Ring Steward and Judges Hospitality Chair for the 2011 National and the Show Chair for Evergreen Colorado Kennel Club, an all-breed club. Judy has judged at the SCA’s National Specialty on four different occasions and she has been an AKC licensed judge since 1999. A past business owner and associ- ate editor, for the past 20 years Judy has been and continues to work as a fingerprint technician. This includes analyzing fine detail and patterns in ridge skin to identify people for Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado.
Samoyed is in its efficient, clean move- ment. When trotting down and back, the legs must tend to a single track front and rear. There should be no twisting in any of the joints. Wasted motion would be life threatening to a dog that must live on minimum food in a harsh envi- ronment and work all day. The ideal is that light graceful movement that gives the impression the dog could go all day long and come home happy and in good health. We all love the sweet happy face of a baiting Samoyed. They usually look like they are ready for mischief and play. But do not expect a Samoyed to stand and bait for a long time, they should be intel- ligent and interested in what is going on around them. The ears will flick back and forth to get all the “news”. The tail will go up while they are gaiting, but may wag in glee while standing or the dog may be so interested in what is going on around that the tail drops down. As long as the dog does not look spooky, please do not penalize the one that drops its tail while standing in line.
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