Samoyed Colors: Are There Other Shades Aside From White?

White color Samoyeds in sled dog racing

Samoyeds are one of the 14 ancient breeds that are almost genetically comparable to wolves. However, they are more known for their stunning white coat which glistens with a shin of silver.

If you frequently visit canine online forums, you may have already seen threads focusing on the Samoyed colors. Most Sammie fanciers believe that there is only one coloration for the breed, but seasoned breeders and pet owners argue that this is not the case.

Of course, as a pet enthusiast who aims to educate another, I had to make this guide featuring the breed’s coat colors. All of the information included in this article is based on kennel club data and from my 17 years of immersion in the sphere of dogdom.

Are All Samoyeds White?

It is generally thought that all Samoyeds are pure white. But aside from this basic color, there are actually three other shades that exist, and they are all recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). This includes biscuit, cream, and white and biscuit.

If you want to own a specific color, your best option is to ask the breeder regarding the litter’s parents and study how coat color genetics work.

In case the breeder you have business with claims that he can accurately predict the dog’s coat color or identify it right after birth, do me a favor and ask what magic hat he is using.

This is because the Samoyed’s coat may still develop as they age and exhibit spots, patches, and other color patterns.

What Are the Standard Samoyed Colors According to Different Kennel Clubs?

I figured that the best way to make you believe the Samoyed color facts I’m spewing is through presenting the standards set by top kennel clubs. So below is a detailed list of acceptable colors in table form.

Kennel ClubsAcceptable Coat Colors
American Kennel Club (AKC)Pure White, Cream, Biscuit, and White & Biscuit
United Kennel Club (UKC)Pure White, White & Biscuit, Cream, and All Biscuit
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)White, White & Biscuit, White Cream, Cream, and All Biscuit
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)Pure White, Cream, and White & Biscuit

Interested to see how these color variations look like in action? Watch the breed judging video below:

Samoyeds | Breed Judging 2020

Samoyed Standard Coat Colors Description and Pictures

In this section, you’ll be familiarized with the four widely acknowledged Samoyed colors through their detailed descriptions and sample pictures.

White Samoyed

A white Samoyed is the most common variety of this breed. They have an all-white coat which was purposefully developed by their very first breeders so they can blend on the snow and serve as better guard and companion dogs.

Unfortunately, no one can say for sure if a Samoyed that is born white will remain the same color as they grow. They may have biscuit spots, or they may also completely turn into a biscuit Samoyed when they reach maturity.

Biscuit Samoyed

The biscuit coat color is exclusively used to describe Samoyeds and Pekingese. Biscuit Sammies combine yellow and brown with medium saturation and brilliance.

I know a good lot of people who are weirded out by this color because some puppies are born with a white coat but eventually turn into a biscuit. Similarly, some biscuit Samoyeds lighten as they age and turn completely white.

If this is your preferred coat color, I recommend that you search for lines that were able to produce biscuit pups consistently. If this doesn’t work, choose the darkest dog from the litter to increase your chances of owning a biscuit.

Cream Samoyed

A cream Samoyed has a lowly saturated coat that appears light yellow. Often, they only have a bit more color than the whites; that’s why they are always mistaken for the same variety. In the photo above, you’ll notice how much the light tone of the cream Samoyed contrasts that of a biscuit puppy.

White & Biscuit Samoyed

A white and biscuit Samoyed has a white base coat and spots which are medium saturated brownish-yellow in color. Just like the all white and all biscuit Samoyed, it is a challenge to immediately identify their color because the biscuit spots may lighten and turn them into a pure white pup.

Do Black Samoyeds Exist?

I know it’s pretty obvious that the Samoyeds in the photo rolled over in the mud, but believe me, a lot of novice dog owners were fooled by this thinking that black Samoyeds exist.

Black Sammies are actually nonexistent since this breed is genetically wired to be white and light-colored. Don’t fall into the schemes of profit-hungry breeders because they aren’t miracle workers who can produce black litters out of white, cream, and biscuit dogs.

What Are the Rarest and Most Common Colors of Samoyeds?

The most common Samoyed color is white. This is the reason why many people think that it is the only color that exists.

Meanwhile, the rarest is the biscuit Samoyed. Some owners think that they own one, but in a matter of months, their dogs turn into a combination of white and biscuit or all white.

Given that the biscuit Samoyed is the rarest, it is also the most expensive among the bunch.

Samoyed Coat Genetics: Why Do They Only Have Four Coat Colors?

Unlike other coat colors, the genetics of white and cream dogs like the Samoyeds has been puzzling many pet owners since time immemorial.

However, Sammie breeders are also quick to point out that their color is not accidental but rather intended by the semi-nomadic Asians who migrated to Siberia so they can easily blend in on the snowy surroundings.

In a study published in Oxford Academic focusing on the white and cream coat in dogs including the Samoyeds, it is discovered that there is an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance with dogs who have an e/e MC1R genotype.

But despite this discovery, the researchers conclude that this is not the only cause of the white and cream coloration in dogs. Some other gene is believed to interact with the e/e genotype, which causes the Samoyeds to be light-colored.

As for the biscuit coat, breeders claim that it is a combination of dilution and recessive genes. The exact genetics of this coat is still yet to be identified, but I’m sure canine scholars are already working on them.

The Effect of Coat Color on Samoyed’s Health and Behavior

The color of Sammie’s coat does not have any documented impact on their behavior. Similarly, they do not have any health issues tied to their coat.

They are only often mistaken as problematic because they were thought to be albinos when clearly, they are not. Their genetic pattern is way different from them.

RECOMMENDED READING: Male vs. Female Samoyed: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Do Samoyeds Change Color When They Grow?

White Samoyed puppies on the grass

Samoyed’s color unpredictability is something that I’m not really a fan of. They tend to go through several bodily changes as they hit the double-digit age, and this involves having their coat lighten or exhibit biscuit spots.

There are also cases where a complete biscuit puppy turns into white and biscuit or fully white when they reach maturity.

If you are a pet owner who has a particular taste for your dog’s coat color, this breed is probably not suitable for you. I cannot vouch that they will remain the same color when you bought them when they were a few weeks old because that’s just not the way they are bred.

How to Maintain Your Samoyed’s White Coat Color?

While you cannot prevent your white Samoyed’s coat from developing biscuit spots, you can keep them royal looking by ensuring that you give their coat the proper care.

Here are some ways to take care of their white coat:

  • Avoid too much sun exposure. Make sure that your Sammie has access to shade.
  • Use whitening shampoo to brighten the yellowish tint on their coat.
  • Use baking soda to compliment whitening shampoos.
  • Apply tear stain remover to remove brown spots or marks around their eyes.
  • Regulate their diet so they can grow healthy coats that are stain-resistant.

Samoyed Eyes and Nose Colors

Let’s take a look at the Samoyed’s recognized eye colors according to various kennel organizations:

Kennel ClubsAcceptable Eye Colors
American Kennel Club (AKC)Dark iris and rims preferred. Blue eyes are considered a fault.
United Kennel Club (UKC)Dark brown preferred. Blue eyes are faulty.
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)Eye rims and eye colors are dark. Blue eyes are unacceptable.
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)Eyes should be dark brown, and rims should be black. Yellow eyes are considered faulty.

Meanwhile, here are the nose colors which are recognized:

Kennel ClubsAcceptable Nose Colors
American Kennel Club (AKC)Black is preferred. Liver, brown, and Dudley may exist, but they are not penalized.
United Kennel Club (UKC)Black is preferred. Liver, brown, and Dudley may exist, but they are not penalized.
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)Black is preferred. But brown, liver, and snow-nosed exist and they are also acceptable.
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)Dark color is preferred but during winter, it may fade and turn into a winter nose.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Bad Do Samoyeds Shed?

Samoyeds are heavy shedding dogs because they have a thick double coat. During the spring and fall, they even shed heavier, which lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. To reduce this coat-blowing tendency, they should be brushed daily.

What Kind of Coat Do Samoyeds Have?

Samoyeds are double-coated. Their outer coat is straight and soft, while their undercoat is often called wool because of its thickness.

That’s why they aren’t the best pet for those who have allergies. Their seasonal coat-blowing is rated 5/5 by many pet owners, and this is not exactly a positive rating.

How Often Do Samoyeds Need a Bath?

You can bathe your Samoyed weekly depending on the cleanliness of their coat. But I would suggest that you give them regular bathing every six weeks because they have a thick white coat which is stain prone. Also, these goofies love mud.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have a lot of color options for the Samoyed, but who would want another if their four recognized coats are already stunning.

Just make sure that you maintain them properly because they may acquire stains that you will find hard to remove if you aren’t careful.

One more reminder, do not go ballistic like other owners did when their Samoyed changes coat color. That’s just really the way they are, and if you are a true fan of the breed, it shouldn’t matter, aye?

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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