Samoyeds are descended from the Nenets herding laika, a spitz-type dog from Siberia used for sledding, herding, guarding, and keeping their owners warm.
Fridtjof Nansen believed that the use of sled dogs was the only effective way to explore the north and used Samoyeds on his polar expeditions. His plan to feed the weaker dogs to the stronger ones as the former died during the expedition ultimately consumed nearly all of his dogs.
The Samoyed has been identified as a basal breed that predates the emergence of the modern breeds in the 19th Century.

The Samoyed is a medium-sized dog with a height ranging from 19 to 23 1/2 inches and weight from 50 to 65 pounds (23 to 29 kilograms).
Samoyeds are squarely built, sturdy dogs, with a fluffy plumed tail curled over the back and draped to one side.
The ears are prick and the head is broad. The corners of the lips curl up to give the characteristic "Sammie smile." Samoyeds should have nice dark pigment around the eyes, nose, and lips despite the white coat color.
The sparkling white coat is the glory of the Samoyed breed. As would be expected for a breed of northern origin, this is a thick, harsh, straight coat with a very full undercoat. The color is a striking white though biscuit or cream coloration is allowed. The coat stands out from the body giving a fluffy appearance to the Samoyed.

The Samoyed is a friendly, personable dog. These are intelligent dogs, with a touch of independence. Bred to live in a tent in very close quarters with their families, they thrive on human company. Samoyeds will alarm bark and, if left alone for long periods of time, will often develop into nuisance barkers. Digging can be a problem because they dig to reach a cool resting place.
Samoyeds tend to get along well with other dogs as well as people and with other pets they are raised with. They are herding dogs and may show some tendency to chase or nip. In general, they get along well with children, although they can be a little boisterous for small toddlers.

Living With:
Samoyeds are another of the truly easy-to-keep breeds, thriving on fairly small amounts of top quality food. Too many treats or not enough exercise can easily lead to obesity. Samoyeds tend to be hardy, long-lived dogs, often reaching 12 or 14 years of age.
These are active dogs and need daily exercise. Since Samoyeds are so attuned to people, they enjoy training and will happily compete in obedience, agility, herding, sledding, and weight pulls. They do not do well if left alone for long periods of time. Samoyeds usually alarm bark but then greet the stranger with a wagging tail and tongue. The characteristic "Sammie smile" with the curved lips is not in any way an expression of aggression.
Samoyeds can be a bit independent and do best with early training and socialization with a firm but gentle hand. They are happiest when given chores to do, even if just pulling a cart in a parade. Grooming must be done daily or nearly so, especially during shedding time.