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If you’re searching for the next member of your family, choosing between a bichon frise or a Samoyed should not be a very difficult task. These two purebred pups are quite different regarding their looks, temperament, and needs.
Below, we’ll have a look at their main characteristics, so you know which one is a better fit for you and your family.
Bichon Frise vs. Samoyed: A Detailed Comparison
Let’s start by comparing the two breeds around a few different criteria.
Dating back to the 14th century, the bichon frise has a mysterious origin. What is for sure is that this small pup belongs to the same family as the Bolognese, the Havanese, and the Maltese, all believed to come from the Mediterranean. As soon as the bichon frise came to the European continent, it found its way to the heart of nobility, becoming commonly chosen as the favorite pet of many royal families around the world.
Unlike the Mediterranean origins of bichons, Samoyeds originated further north, as they were bred and loved by the Samoyedic people in Siberia. Sammies were bred with very specific purposes: to hunt, protect people, and help with work by pulling sleds.
The bichon frise is a small and sensitive pooch with a fluffy, white coat and can reach up to 11.5 inches in height and about 18 pounds in adulthood. It is velvety and soft to the touch, and the large, dark, and intelligent round eyes are a trademark of this breed.
Just like a fluffy bichon, a Samoyed has a white double coat with a puffy look. One distinguishable aspect of its looks is the friendly smile. The upturned mouth corners prevent Samoyeds from drooling, as this could easily turn into icicles in the cold tundra weather that may even reach -60 degrees in many Siberian towns. This breed reaches 19 to 23 inches in height when mature, and may weigh up to around 50 to 65 pounds.
Bichons frises tend to grow until about 6 months of age, but they are fully mature at 1 year old. Samoyeds are larger dogs that grow until 12 or even 18 months of age.
Both breeds have a life expectancy of approximately 13-15 years.
Samoyeds and bichons frises are similar in that both breeds require your love and attention. On the one hand, bichons love to be around you, so it’s not recommended to leave them at home by themselves for long periods of time since they may suffer from separation anxiety and adopt bad behaviors.
Bichons frises require daily exercise, such as walking or playing indoor games. These pups are perfect for people who live in any type of accommodation – from a small apartment to a large country house.
On the other hand, Sammies are large dogs, so they’re best suited for people who have enough space to fulfill their physical exercise needs. They are devoted to their families, although may be quite stubborn at times. They are affectionate and loving and, just like a bichon, a Samoyed does not enjoy being alone. You need to keep it busy at all times to avoid behaviors like chewing your belongings around the house, digging, and others.
It’s a hunting dog, so a Samoyed is highly likely to go off on a chase after rabbits or squirrels, but other pets, too, including cats.
Although both breeds tend to be quite stubborn, it’s important to understand that Samoyeds require very firm training. They are bred to lead the pack, and you need to turn into the alpha dog for them. Once successfully trained, this pup is extremely intelligent and gentle, ready to protect your family.
The apartment-friendly bichon frise is also intelligent and, just like with any dog, training using positive reinforcements is recommended to have a well-behaved adult pooch. While Sammies are bred as sled dogs ready to protect your family and hunt, the small bichon has the ability to cheer up your household with numerous tricks.
One important aspect you should consider before becoming a dog owner is how much time you want to spend on the pup’s grooming needs. Both of these breeds have coats prone to matting and tangling unless they are properly cared for. Samoyeds’ long, white coat is double, just like a bichon’s, which means less shedding than many other breeds.
However, you will need to brush your dog daily to avoid matting, which can affect their skin health and can be extremely painful for the pup.
In addition to this, all pups should be introduced to other family members and pets as early as possible. This will impact how friendly they will be when they grow up, so opting for professional training and introducing the new pup to many new experiences will be key to having a well-behaved family member.
Finally, it’s important to consider that there are many factors at play if you want a happy and healthy dog. Both breeds may be susceptible to different diseases or illnesses. For instance, your Samoyed pup should not be allowed to play excessively or pull heavy loads until about 2 years of age because its joints are not fully developed, so it may suffer injuries. Also, bichons are quite fragile, so you need to avoid rough play and you need to choose a responsible breeder to avoid genetic diseases.
Bichon Frise vs. Samoyed: Which Should You Get as a Pet?
Perhaps one of the most important characteristics when choosing one of these breeds is how much space you have available.
Samoyeds are larger dogs who need their own space and activity, so it may be a good choice for people who live in a larger house and have access to a generous yard. Bichons, on the other hand, make for great pups for seniors or people who live in smaller dwellings. Both breeds are great with children, but bichons are more sensitive and can be injured easily.
If you suffer from allergies or you prefer to avoid massive shedding, a bichon may be a better choice. Sammies tend to shed twice a year, so you’ll have to vacuum your house almost daily to keep it clean during these periods.
For people with other pets, Sammies can be quite difficult to adapt to a new environment. This is because this dog is essentially a hunter, so it will surely chase other animals. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to keep your Samoyed on a leash when not at home.
Finally, if you are an active person, a Samoyed may be the best choice for you. This pup must be kept entertained at all times to avoid digging or chasing small animals. Also, it’s a great choice if you live in a cold climate since Samoyeds love playing in the snow. Bichons are best suited to warmer climates, but you can adapt to their needs by keeping the Samoyed indoors during hot weather (ideally with air conditioning on), and keep your bichon inside when it’s very cold outside.
All in all, there are a few significant differences between Samoyeds and bichons frises. Perhaps the most important one is that bichons were bred as companion or lap dogs, while Samoyeds were bred to hunt, work, and protect the family.
We’ve discussed many other aspects of these two magnificent breeds, but it is important to keep in mind that temperament is usually affected by many other factors. Choosing a responsible breeder is key to making sure your pooch will be healthy, happy, and well-behaved, and it’s always a good idea to meet one of its parents before making a decision.
Also, if you are not sure which of the two to get, make sure to read about the bichon frise x samoyed mix which combines the best of both worlds.
Considering Other Breeds Too?
See how bichon frise compares with: Beagle | Bolognese | Boston Terrier | Brussels Griffon | Cavachon | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel | Cavapoo | Chihuahua | Cockapoo | Coton de Tulear | French Bulldog | German Shepherd | Golden Retriever | Goldendoodle | Havanese | Labrador Retriever | Lhasa Apso | Maltese | Maltipoo | Papillon | Pomeranian | Poochon | Poodle | Pug | Schnauzer | Scottish Terrier | Shetland Sheepdog | Shichon | Shih Tzu | West Highland Terrier | Yorkshire Terrier