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Samoyed
History
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Dog of the ages, with a history and tradition as fascinating as the breed itself! The legend runs that, from the plateau of Iran, man's first earthly habitat, as the sons of man multiplied, the mightier tribes drove the lesser ones, with their families, their herds, and their dogs, farther and farther away in order that the natural food found there might be ample for those remaining. Onward and still farther northward through Mongolia, then the center of the world's culture, on and on, went the lesser tribes, until eventually the Samoyed peoples, primitives of the family of Sayantsi, reliably described as a race in the "transition stages between the Mongol pure and the Finn," found themselves safely entrenched behind bulwarks of snow and ice in the vast stretches of tundra reaching from the White Sea to the Yenisei River. Here for generations they have lived a nomadic life, dependent upon their reindeer herds and upon their dogs as reindeer shepherds, sledge dogs, and household companions.

Here, through the centuries, the Samoyed has bred true. Of all modern breeds, the Samoyed is most nearly akin to the primitive dog-no admixture of wolf or fox runs in the Samoyed strain. The Arctic suns and snows have bleached the harsh stand-off coat and tipped the hairs with an icy sheen. The constant companionship with man through the years has given an almost uncanny "human" understanding, while generations of guarding reindeer, requiring always a protector, never a killer, has developed through the ages in the breed a disposition unique in the canine world. Something of the happy, childlike air of these primitive peoples is found as well in every Samoyed.

Nor has the long human association made the stalwart Samoyed a pampered pet. As work dogs, Samoyeds of the great Arctic and Antarctic expeditions have a record of achievement unexcelled in the canine world. The sledge dogs of early polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen (Nineteen males averaging 58.7 pounds each, and nine bitches averaging 50.5 pounds), working day after day under conditions of utmost hardship, drew one and a half times their own weight of supplies, and worked with the joyous abandon and carefree air typical of the breed. Each new expedition-Jackson-Harmsworth, the Duc d'Abruzzi, Borchgrevink, Shackleton, Scott, and, most notably, Roald Amundsen in his successful reach of the South Pole in 1911-added new luster to the breed's history.

Introduced in England less than a hundred years ago, practically every show sees the Samoyeds in the forefront. Queen Alexandra was an ardent fancier, and the descendants of her dogs are found today in many English and American kennels. The dog is found in every region - Samoyeds born in northern Siberia have safely crossed the equator and remained in healthy condition to work in Antarctic snows. Dogs from Antarctic expeditions have survived the suns of Australia to return to England and start great kennels there.





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