The German Shepherd has been a well-loved breed even before it was recognized by the AKC…
The German Shepherd’s superior intelligence combined with their solid build makes them a remarkable breed. And, with proper training and socialization, they are even-tempered with pleasing personalities.
Given these traits, it’s no wonder why they’re popular both as purebreds as well as crosses for many other breeds. But what about the Samoyed? Is a Samoyed German Shepherd mix a good dog to have?
About the German Shepherd Breed
As the name of the breed suggests, German Shepherds originated in Germany and are descended from herding dogs. These dogs were not only athletic and agile but also confident and courageous.
Additionally, they displayed remarkable intelligence that continues to be seen in the GSDs of today.
Although their history is deeply rooted in herding, the German Shepherd is now known as a multi-purpose worker. Their physical and mental abilities combined with their drive and temperament enable them to excel in varied roles including as police, protection, and service dogs.
Although best known for their work ethic, German Shepherds are also excellent household pets. In the United States, they consistently rank within the top 3 most popular dog breeds.
About the Samoyed Breed
Samoyedic people, a semi-nomadic race that traveled from Mongolia, first bred Samoyeds in Siberia. These dogs were developed to have the body and fur to thrive in Siberia’s icy-cold weather.
Among their most charming features is their irresistible smile. Although this is part of what makes them incredibly cute, it actually served an important purpose.
This smile keeps them from drooling, which, in harshly cold temperatures, could freeze into icicles hanging from their faces.
Today, Samoyeds are best known for their appearance as well as their excellent demeanor as family pets. However, they were actually bred as working dogs who lived closely with their humans as sled dogs, hunters, and watchdogs.
They hunted reindeer, which was a vital source of meat and clothing. Later on, Samoyeds shifted from hunting to herding and protecting livestock.
Why Cross a Samoyed With a German Shepherd?
Crossing a German Shepherd with a Samoyed is often about developing dogs with the strong drive and work ethic of both breeds combined with the confidence of the German Shepherd and the friendliness of the Samoyed.
Crossing these two breeds also results in beautiful dogs with lush fur that help them adapt more easily to very cold climates. If you’re lucky, these crosses might also have the characteristic Samoyed smile.
General Characteristics of a Samoyed German Shepherd Mix
Samoyeds and German Shepherds have just as many differences as they do similarities. Because of this, it is difficult to predict what their offspring might be like.
Nevertheless, here are a few characteristics you should expect from a German Shepherd-Samoyed cross:
Both the German Shepherd and the Samoyed are large dogs. However, GSDs are more solidly built, which is why they are considerably heavier despite their comparable heights.
Here’s how they compare in terms of height and weight:
|Breed||Height (in.)||Weight (lbs.)|
|German Shepherd Dog||24 – 26||22 – 24||65 – 90||50 - 70|
|Samoyed||21 – 23.5||19 – 21||45 – 65||35 - 50|
Considering the size of its parents, GSD-Samoyed crosses are expected to be approximately 22.5 inches tall and about 61 pounds.
The coat of a German Shepherd Samoyed mix will depend on which parent it takes after.
GSDs have dense undercoats with coarse medium-to-long hair that lay close to the body. Samoyeds also have dense undercoats but their outer coats stand straight out from the body, giving them a fluffier appearance.
As for color, GSD-Samoyeds can take on the coat color of the Samoyed parent. This could be biscuit, cream, white, or a combination of white and biscuit.
On the other hand, crosses that take after the GSD parent can don the usual black & tan coat or any of the other German Shepherd colors, including bi-color, solid black, and sable.
Because of the lush hair and dense undercoats that they will inherit from both parents, you can expect the German Shepherd-Samoyed mix to shed substantially.
They will shed throughout the year and more profusely for 2-3 weeks during the spring and fall. To manage shedding, they will need a minimum of once-a-week brushing, but 2-3 times a week would be ideal.
Other grooming needs would be the same as any other large dog. They need to bathe once every 6 to 8 weeks and have their nails trimmed regularly unless they are worn down by their regular activities.
They also need frequent tooth brushing and ear cleaning.
Keep in mind that Samoyeds initially worked as sled dogs hauling objects and people across brutal weather. On the other hand, German Shepherds are muscular with incredible bite strength.
Given that both parents are strong working dogs, you can expect GSD-Samoyeds to have considerable strength.
Although German Shepherd-Samoyed crosses are expected to be good family dogs, it is important to be careful when they’re in the presence of small children and the elderly.
This is because they typically don’t understand their own size and strength, and so they could easily knock someone over with their large, powerful bodies.
As herders and protectors of livestock, both German Shepherds and Samoyeds were bred not only with awesome agility but also incredible speeds.
Given the speed at which both parents can run, GSD-Samoyed crosses are expected to reach running speeds of approximately 30 miles per hour.
German Shepherds are more energetic than Samoyeds, but not much more so. Combining these two breeds would undoubtedly result in high-energy dogs that need as much mental stimulation as physical activity.
They thrive best with two 30-minute walks per day or at least 30 minutes of strenuous exercise plus additional off-leash playtime.
Mental stimulation keeps them from getting bored and diverting their energy and intelligence to less desirable activities.
According to a dog intelligence study led by a canine psychologist named Stanley Coren, German Shepherds are among the top tier of working dogs when it comes to intellect.
It takes GSDs no more than five repetitions to pick up a new command. Additionally, they’re obedient enough to obey these commands at least 95% of the time.
Although Samoyeds rank at the third tier, they are still considered to have above-average intelligence.
It will take them anywhere from 15 to 20 repetitions to learn a new command. And, once mastered, they will obey that command at least 70% of the time.
Although the two breeds vary in the rankings, GSD-Samoyed crosses are expected to have at least above-average intelligence.
Combined with the work drive and eagerness to please of both breeds, this mix will be a highly trainable dog.
Samoyed-German Shepherd mixes are affectionate with as well as protective of their family. Additionally, they are more likely to be friendly to strangers than their GSD parent.
With proper socialization and careful introduction, they could also be good with young children and other pets.
Samoyed-GSD crosses are not only energetic but also playful. Although they are known to be adaptable, they will thrive best when they have access to large spaces where they can play, explore, and burn off their excess energy.
It is also important to note that these are vocal dogs that might develop a habit of barking excessively.
German Shepherds and Samoyeds are generally healthy dogs. However, the overall health of their offspring will largely depend on the genetics of both parents.
Before being allowed to mate, it is recommended for GSDs to undergo hip and elbow evaluations to rule out the possibility of producing puppies at risk of hip and elbow dysplasia.
Samoyeds from responsible breeders are also tested for hip dysplasia. Additionally, it is advised for these dogs to undergo extensive retinal and cardiovascular evaluations.
As long as both parents are from responsible breeders, a Samoyed-German Shepherd mix should live long and healthy lives.
German Shepherd-Samoyed mixes can live anywhere from 7 to 14 years old.
Many factors will contribute to their lifespan. Apart from the genes they inherit from their parents, it helps to give them high-quality dog food and ample opportunities to exercise.
You can also lengthen your dog’s life by spaying or neutering them to avoid severe illnesses like canine cancer, pyometra, and prostate problems.
Additionally, it helps to stay on top of parasite prevention measures and to take them in for regular vet checkups.
The primary mandate of the American Kennel Club is to maintain the United States’ purebred registry. Because the Samoyed-German Shepherd mix is a cross, it cannot be registered into the AKC nor compete in conformation events.
However, GSD-Samoyeds can enroll in the AKC Canine Partners program where the organization welcomes all mixes of dogs.
How Popular is the German Shepherd Samoyed Mix
Although they are exceptional dogs, German Shepherd-Samoyeds are not very popular. This is because each of these breeds is more valuable as purebred, so breeders don’t have much incentive to cross them.
Once in a while, however, you will come across a litter of Samoyed-GSDs that are the outcome of accidental mating or intentional breeding by the occasional enthusiasts of this cross.
A Samoyed crossed with a German Shepherd will make large, beautiful dogs. With good pedigrees and responsible breeding practices, GSD-Samoyeds are expected to be even-tempered and healthy.
These pups are expected to be energetic, driven, and headstrong. Before buying or adopting one, make sure you have not only space for them to occupy but also the time, patience, and determination to train and exercise them and keep them well-behaved.
If your heart is set on a German Shepherd mix but you aren’t quite sure that the Samoyed GSD cross is for you, check out how the GSD fares when mixed with other large dogs like the Greyhound, Cane Corso, Saint Bernard, and Tibetan Mastiff.