Rosslyn and her Samoyed Squad
Tell us a bit about yourself; how did you get involved with Samoyeds?
I was 16 when I got my first Samoyed. I had a crossbred Samoyed/Chow at the time that I was training and wanted a dog that could compete in obedience competitions. In those days, crossbreeds couldn’t take part in ANKC sports.
What do you love about the breed?
Samoyeds do have a sense of humour and are a fun breed. I have always found them easy to train. They are very intelligent and very loving dogs. They love to cuddle and be with you; as I type this, several of them are sleeping under my desk to be close to me.
What does your current pack look like?
I have six dogs at the moment 5 of them I bred, Amy was bought from another breeder. One dog and five bitches. Ages range from 7 months to 11 ½ years.
Tell us about your special girl Amy. What health struggles have you had with her?
Amy has not been an easy dog to own. I bought her as a puppy, and she was always coming down with odd little health issues, things like high temperatures. The vets weren’t ever able to work out what was wrong until eventually, she ended up in ARH emergency hospital having collapsed one night. Turned out she was born with a Liver Shunt. At that time she had been also seeing a dermatologist at ARH trying to sort out her allergies.
Luckily we were able to have the Liver Shunt repaired which was done at Sydney University as she had an intrahepatic shunt (inside the liver), and the surgeon there was very experienced with these types of shunts. Since the surgery, her health has been great and she is just like every other dog except she still had her allergies to deal with. Poor Amy is allergic to lots of different plants.
How has Antinol helped Amy’s condition and skin?
Because I do different dog sports mainly agility I have always had my dogs on joint formulas but switched to Antinol it is a very popular product in the Agility world. One day I noticed Amy was not scratching as much as she use to. She has lived most of her life on Antihistamines, special skin shampoos and even a special injection that was made up for her by the Dermatologist. These days she doesn’t have anything else just the Antinol and her skin looks great she hardly ever scratches.
Do you participate in dog sports?
I do lots of different sports mainly Agility, but also Obedience, Rally and Tricks and have also done Herding with some of my dogs. I have one dog at the moment training in scent work and go to the very occasional dog conformation show.
What do you feed your squad?
At the moment they are on Vets All Natural with different meat proteins. Except for Amy who because of the Liver Shunt, it was advised to feed her on dog biscuits with a moderate protein level. She does have meaty bones with the other dogs occasionally. And all of the dogs of course get Antinol.
With the Samoyed Nationals fast approaching, tell us a bit about how you prepare for such an event:
Nothing different really, my dogs are always kept fit with lots of free running and walks. And because they are house dogs they are kept clean and groomed. I do have 2 young pups entered they will be 8 months old by the National so they need some extra show training mainly learning to stand still for examination. They are both going to obedience classes as well as learning tricks and rally moves at home.
How long does it take to groom a Samoyed?
Mine get a quick brush once a week unless they are dropping coat then that has to be combed out and takes longer. Otherwise, I just give them a bath and always brush them while they are being blow-dried before any competitions. For the show ring, they are line combed the night before a show, but for the sports, just a wash and blow dry is sufficient.
Anyone interested in sharing their life with a Samoyed, what advice can you give them, and what should they consider?
Samoyeds love to be with you. They are a good family dogs and great with children. But like all dogs, they need training, and this starts the day you bring your puppy home and continues throughout their life. Samoyeds do very well with reward-based training methods and learn quickly. They are active but also will switch off and be happy to sleep on the lounge with you while you watch TV. They can be destructive if not given enough mental stimulation. They will also dig, which seems to be part of the DNA of the northern breeds. They do love their food, and most pets I see are overweight, so you need to be strict with what you feed them.
Samoyeds are overall a healthy breed, but when buying a puppy, make sure the parents have had health tests done. At the bare minimum, the parents should have Hip and Elbow scoring and a current Eye Check, including Gonioscopy. Make sure you see those certificates for both parents, and also do not buy a puppy that hasn’t had a Bile Acid Test done which checks the liver function. Then you won’t end up with a dog like Amy; liver shunts are not fun for the dog or the owner and are a very expensive thing to treat.