Great Pyrenees vs Samoyed: What are the key differences and similarities between these impressive breeds, and which one might be the best fit for you? Both are two beloved dog breeds known for their distinctive characters and striking physical appearance. While Great Pyrenees hails from France and are revered as guardian breeds with guardian instincts and loyalty, Samoyeds are medium-sized breeds from Siberia that boast friendly natures with high energy levels – both breeds have distinctive traits which make them great pets for different types of owners.

In this article we compare both in terms of history, physical appearance, temperament training needs grooming needs health concerns living environments etc. to help make an informed decision regarding which breed best suits you and your environment!

History of Great Pyrenees and Samoyed

Great Pyrenees and Samoyed have unique histories that have played a part in shaping their evolution as breeds over time.

Great Pyrenees:

  • This ancient breed has existed for millennia.
  • While its exact roots remain uncertain, it is believed to have originated in France and Spain’s Pyrenean Mountains where it served as livestock guardian dog.
  • First recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1933, this breed has since become popular as a family pet.


  • Samoyeds have been domesticated for over three millennia in Siberian regions of Russia.
  • Samoyed people developed them as a versatile sled dog and reindeer herder as well as guardian of their tents.
  • This breed was introduced into England during the late 1800s and first recognized by the AKC in 1906.
  • Samoyeds have become beloved family pets and can also be found participating in dog sports such as sledding and agility competitions.
  • Both Great Pyrenees and Samoyeds boast long and distinguished histories that have helped form them into what they are today.

Temperament and Personality Traits for Great Pyrenees vs Samoyed Dogs

Great Pyrenees

1. Loyal: Great Pyrenees are known for their fierce loyalty, always being there when their families need protection.

2. Independent: Great Pyrenees have an independent streak and may not always follow commands or directives from their owners.

3. Protective: Great Pyrenees were originally bred as livestock guardian dogs and have an instinctual desire to guard both their family and territory with fierce fervor.

4. Calm: Great Pyrenees can often be described as laid back and relaxed dogs, yet when threatened they can quickly become protective and assertive.


1. Friendly: Samoyeds are known for their friendly, outgoing personalities and enjoy spending time around people and other animals.

2. Playful: Samoyeds have high energy and love to play, making them excellent companions for active families.

3. Energy Level: Samoyeds require daily exercise and mental stimulation in order to avoid boredom and destructive behaviors.

4. Alert: Samoyeds have an acute sense of awareness, always on guard against potential danger or threats.

Differences Between Great Pyrenees vs Samoyeds

Here is a table comparing Great Pyrenees and Samoyed breeds:

 Great PyreneesSamoyed
Weight Range85-160 lbs35-65 lbs
Height Range25-32 inches19-23.5 inches
Coat TypeLong and thickLong and thick
Coat ColorWhiteWhite, biscuit, cream
TemperamentLoyal, protective, independentFriendly, playful, energetic
TrainabilityModerately difficultModerately easy
Exercise NeedsModerate to highHigh
Grooming NeedsHighHigh
Health ConcernsHip dysplasia, bloat, eye problemsHip dysplasia, skin allergies, eye problems
Living EnvironmentRural with a lot of space to roam and protectSuburban or urban with plenty of opportunities for exercise

Similarities between Great Pyrenees and Samoyed Breeds

Below is a table comparing Great Pyrenees and Samoyed breeds:

 Great PyreneesSamoyed
Coat TypeLong and thickLong and thick
Coat CareRequire regular brushing and groomingRequire regular brushing and grooming
SheddingHeavy shedding seasonallyHeavy shedding seasonally
Health ConcernsBoth breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems 
Energy LevelBoth breeds are moderately active 
TrainabilityBoth breeds can be independent and stubborn 
SocializationBoth breeds benefit from early socialization and training 
Living EnvironmentBoth breeds do well in a home with a yard 

Comparison Between Great Pyrenees and Samoyed

Here is a comparison between Great Pyrenees and Samoyed breeds on various criteria, as follows.

Physical Appearance

  • Great Pyrenees are large dogs with thick white fur while Samoyeds are medium-sized breeds featuring white, biscuit or cream colored coats. 
  • Both breeds feature double coats which require frequent grooming sessions in order to prevent matting or tangling of fur.
  • Great Pyrenees tend to be larger and taller than Samoyeds.

Temperament and Personality

  • Great Pyrenees and Samoyeds both tend to be highly loyal and independent dogs that take great pride in guarding their family and territory, respectively.
  • Both breeds can also be stubborn at times, requiring early socialization and training.

Trainer Capability and Exercise Needs

  • Great Pyrenees can be more challenging to train and require consistent, patient methods of instruction. 
  • Samoyeds tend to be eager and responsive to positive reinforcement training methods.
  • Both breeds require moderate to high exercise needs, with Samoyeds needing an increased daily workout and mental stimulation.

Grooming and Maintenance

  • Both breeds feature thick double coats that require regular grooming to avoid matting and shedding.
  • Great Pyrenees tend to shed heavily seasonally while Samoyeds only shed moderately year-round.
  • Both breeds need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care in order to stay in good health.

Health Concerns

  • Both breeds can suffer from hip dysplasia, eye problems and skin allergies. 
  • Great Pyrenees can become susceptible to bloat – an emergency condition which necessitates immediate veterinary assistance – which requires immediate veterinary attention for treatment.

Living Environment

  • Great Pyrenees typically thrive best in rural homes with plenty of open space for them to roam freely and protect.
  • Samoyeds thrive in both suburban and urban homes by having access to plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation.

Great Pyrenees vs Samoyed Conclusion

Great Pyrenees and Samoyeds are both wonderful breeds with distinct traits and personalities. While both share similar characteristics, there are certain aspects that make one breed better-suited than the other for certain owners and living environments – with Great Pyrenees providing loyal protection with modest exercise needs while Samoyeds have greater mental stimulation needs that require daily stimulation through playtime, making them better-suited to suburban or urban homes with access to plenty of activity opportunities.

When considering which breed to adopt, it’s essential to keep certain factors in mind, including size, exercise needs, grooming needs and health considerations. Furthermore, researching the temperament and personality of each breed is crucial in selecting one suited to your lifestyle and needs. Both breeds make wonderful additions to a loving home environment, providing years of loyal companionship and affection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Great Pyrenees powerful breeds?

Answer: Great Pyrenees are considered a powerful breed due to their size, strength and protective instinct. Bred originally as livestock guardian dogs for protecting flocks against predators such as wolves and bears, they possess strong protective instincts when threatened. Due to their large size and strength they are also capable of pulling heavy loads or serving as sled dogs in colder climates.

Are Great Pyrenees larger than wolves? 

Answer: Great Pyrenees typically don’t outshout adult wolves when it comes to size. Male wolves can weigh up to 175 pounds at their shoulders and stand more than 3 feet high; females weigh 120 pounds with 2.5 feet height at shoulder level. Conversely, Great Pyrenees typically range between 85-160 pounds at their shoulders with between 25-32.5 inch shoulder height; these dogs possessing strong bodies but often aren’t bigger than adult wolves.

Are Samoyeds loyal dogs? 

Answer: Samoyeds are beloved family pets with strong bonds to their owners. These playful, social dogs thrive off attention from humans, often having strong ties to family members. Samoyeds possess strong protective instincts which will warn their owners if any threat emerges; making for great family companions!

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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