Samoyeds, with their striking appearance and friendly demeanor, are renowned for being affectionate companions. Originating from the frigid climates of Siberia, these fluffy Arctic dogs have adapted to harsh conditions and developed unique traits. One question often arises among Samoyed owners and enthusiasts is whether these dogs enjoy being in or around water. In this article, we will delve into the aquatic instincts of Samoyeds and explore their relationship with water.

Do Samoyeds like water?

Yes, Samoyeds generally enjoy water. Their water-loving heritage as Arctic dogs, where they were used for retrieving aquatic games, plays a significant role. However, individual preferences may vary, and early socialization can influence their comfort around water. Supervised water activities can be enjoyable and beneficial to keep these friendly and energetic dogs engaged and physically stimulated.

The Water-Loving Heritage of Samoyeds

The water-loving heritage of Samoyeds can be traced back to their ancestral roots in Siberia. Hailing from the frigid Arctic regions, Samoyeds were primarily bred and raised by the nomadic Samoyedic people, who relied heavily on these dogs for their versatile skills and unwavering loyalty. Samoyeds were indispensable in the daily lives of the Samoyedic tribe, aiding them in various tasks, including herding reindeer, pulling sleds, and even hunting for food.

However, one of the most critical roles these remarkable dogs played in their native environment was as water dogs. Living near frozen lakes, rivers, and coastal regions, the Samoyedic people heavily relied on Samoyeds to retrieve fish, seals, and other aquatic game from icy waters. The breed’s ability to fearlessly dive into freezing water, strong swimming instincts, and a thick, water-resistant double coat made them exceptionally skilled.

Throughout generations, Samoyeds honed their swimming and water-retrieving abilities, passed down through selective breeding. The breed’s natural affinity for water has become deeply ingrained in their DNA, making many Samoyeds inherently attracted to aquatic environments.

Additionally, their water-resistant coat, comprising a dense, soft undercoat and a longer, coarse outer coat, acts as a protective layer against moisture and cold temperatures. This unique coat not only keeps them warm in harsh Arctic climates but also enables them to remain relatively dry even when immersed in water. The coat’s insulating properties have helped Samoyeds withstand the icy waters of their homeland and remain comfortable during water-related tasks.

While their original role as water dogs has diminished in modern times, the water-loving heritage of Samoyeds continues to be evident in their playful behavior around water sources, including ponds, lakes, and even kiddie pools. Many Samoyeds relish the opportunity to splash around, swim, and cool off during hot weather. Their exuberant and friendly nature often translates into a delightful enthusiasm for water-related activities, making them excellent companions for water-loving owners who enjoy outdoor adventures near water bodies.

The water-loving heritage of Samoyeds is deeply rooted in their history as Arctic dogs, where they were prized for their ability to retrieve aquatic games in challenging environments. Their swimming instincts, coupled with their unique double coat, make them naturally inclined to enjoy water-related activities. While individual preferences may differ, many Samoyeds display a playful and enthusiastic attitude towards water, making them delightful companions for water-loving adventures.

Individual Variations in Water Preferences

Just like humans, dogs exhibit individual variations in their preferences, and Samoyeds are no exception regarding their attitudes towards water. While the breed’s water-loving heritage suggests an inherent affinity for aquatic environments, several factors can influence their inclinations.


Samoyeds have a friendly, gentle, and affectionate nature. Some individuals may possess a more adventurous and outgoing personality, making them naturally curious and eager to explore the water. On the other hand, some Samoyeds may be more reserved or cautious, requiring gentle encouragement and positive reinforcement to warm up to water-related activities.

Early Experiences:

Early socialization and exposure to water during puppyhood can significantly impact a Samoyed’s comfort level around water. Positive encounters with water, such as playful interactions or supervised introductions to shallow pools, can shape their perceptions and lead to a more favorable disposition towards water activities in the future.

Previous Traumas:

Negative experiences related to water, such as accidental falls into deep water or overwhelming encounters with strong currents, can leave a lasting impact on Samoyed’s confidence around water. These traumas might result in reluctance or fear of water-related activities, even in dogs with a water-loving heritage.

Health and Physical Limitations:

Some Samoyeds may have certain health conditions or physical limitations that deter them from water-based activities. For instance, joint or mobility problems may make swimming challenging or uncomfortable, leading to a preference for dry land-based activities.

Climate and Temperature:

Samoyeds boast a thick, insulating coat for colder climates. During hot summer months or in warm regions, they may display less enthusiasm for water-related activities as they try to avoid overheating. In such cases, providing alternative ways to cool down, like playing in shaded areas or providing cooling mats, can be more appealing to these fluffy companions.

Bond with the Owner:

The bond between a Samoyed and its owner can also influence their water preferences. If their human companion enjoys water-based activities and encourages their Samoyed to participate, the dog may develop a positive association with water, enhancing their likelihood of enjoying such experiences.

Samoyeds Exercise and Fun in Water

Samoyeds are a highly energetic and playful breed, making water activities a fantastic way to provide them with exercise and enjoyment. While their water-loving heritage may encourage many Samoyeds to engage in water-based play, it’s important to introduce them to water gradually and ensure they feel safe and comfortable.


Many Samoyeds are natural swimmers, thanks to their water-resistant double coat and strong swimming instincts. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on their joints, making it an ideal activity for Samoyeds, especially those with mobility concerns or older dogs. Swimming not only helps them stay physically fit but also offers mental stimulation and can be a great bonding experience with their owners.

Water Fetch:

Playing fetch in the water is an enjoyable and engaging activity for Samoyeds. With their friendly and sociable nature, they often love retrieving toys or balls from the water. Throwing a toy into a calm body of water and encouraging your Samoyed to fetch it can be a fun and interactive way to keep them entertained while also providing a good workout.

Kiddie Pools:

Setting up a shallow kiddie pool in the backyard can be a delightful way for Samoyeds to cool off and have fun during hot weather. Many Samoyeds enjoy splashing around in the water, especially when their owners join in the fun. Supervised play in a kiddie pool not only provides entertainment but also helps prevent overheating on scorching days.

Water Hiking:

If you live near lakes or rivers with hiking trails, taking your Samoyed on water hikes can be an exciting adventure. These dogs love exploring nature, and water hikes allow them to combine their love for water with their adventurous spirit. Keep them on a leash during hikes, especially near fast-flowing rivers or unfamiliar terrain.

Water Games:

Samoyeds are playful and enjoy interactive games. Tug-of-war with a water-resistant toy or tossing a floating toy into the water for them to catch can be a great way to stimulate their minds while keeping them physically active.

Agility and Obstacle Courses:

Designing water-themed agility and obstacle courses can challenge and entertain Samoyeds. Water elements like shallow pools or small water crossings can excite their regular exercise routine.


Do Samoyeds need a life jacket for swimming?

Answer: While many Samoyeds are strong swimmers, using a canine life jacket is a wise precaution, especially in deep waters or unfamiliar environments. A life jacket can provide added safety and confidence, ensuring a positive water experience for your Samoyed.

How much exercise do Samoyeds need in the water?

Answer:  The amount of exercise in water depends on your Samoyed’s age, fitness level, and individual preferences. As a highly energetic breed, they benefit from regular exercise, including water-based activities, but be mindful of not overexerting them, especially in warm weather.

Can Samoyeds participate in water sports or competitions?

Answer: Yes, some Samoyeds excel in water sports and competitions, such as dock diving and water retrieving trials. With proper training and guidance, they can showcase their swimming abilities and enthusiasm for water-related activities.

About the Author

Raising Samoyeds

Raising Samoyeds serves as a go-to resource for Samoyed owners and prospective owners. Our blog shares insights, stories and tips relevant to both new and experienced owners alike in raising these magnificent dogs.

Our content covers everything from finding Samoyed puppies for sale, to training and grooming guides, health and nutrition advice and even heartwarming stories about life with Samoyeds. exists to assist readers on their journey with these wonderful dogs, encouraging responsible ownership, and celebrating the unique charm and companionship they bring into our lives. Through expert knowledge and personal experiences shared here on Raising Samoyeds' blog, Raising Samoyeds provides a supportive community for Samoyed fans worldwide.

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