Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog: 5 Differences

Written by August Buck
Published: April 1, 2022
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While they may look extremely similar upon first glance, there are a great deal of differences between the Samoyed vs American Eskimo dog. But what might some of these differences be, and how can you learn how to tell these two dogs apart? 

In this article, we will address all of the similarities and differences between the American Eskimo dog and the Samoyed, including their size differences and physical appearances. We will also address what they were originally bred for as well as their current behavior in the average family home or environment. Let’s get started and talk about these two amazing dog breeds now! 

Comparing Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog

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SamoyedAmerican Eskimo Dog
Size21-23 inches tall; 35-65 pounds9-19 inches tall; 6-35 pounds
AppearanceOnly comes in a solid white or cream color; huge and fluffy coat that truly impresses everyone who sees it. Small triangular ears and huge fluffy tailOnly comes in white, with small ears and curled tail. Fluffy coat but not as thick as the samoyed, and has a more slender face
Originally Bred ForHunting and herding reindeer in Siberia; also pulled sledsFarming and herding, though also used for performing in circuses
BehaviorAlert, friendly, and ideal for families with young children. Often extremely stubborn and difficult to train, and can show destructive tendencies if not exercised adequatelyExtremely active and energetic; requires ample stimulation and attention or can have serious anxiety or separation issues
Lifespan12-14 years13-15 years

Key Differences Between Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog
Samoyeds are pack animals.

Ilya Barmin/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between the Samoyed and the American Eskimo dog. The Samoyed is larger than the American Eskimo dog, in both height and weight. While both of these dogs have beautiful white coats, the coat of the Samoyed is thicker than the coat of the American Eskimo dog. Finally, the American Eskimo dog lives a longer life compared to the Samoyed overall.

Let’s discuss all of these differences in more detail.

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog: Size

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo dogs weigh anywhere from 6 to 35 pounds, while Samoyeds weigh an average of 35 to 65 pounds.

Hendrickson Photography/Shutterstock.com

You can easily tell a Samoyed from an American Eskimo dog when you look at them side-by-side. For example, the Samoyed is much larger than the American Eskimo dog, in both height and weight. Most American Eskimo dogs are considered small to medium dogs, while Samoyeds are typically a large breed. Let’s take a closer look at those figures now. 

The American Eskimo dog reaches 9 to 19 inches tall, while the Samoyed reaches 21 to 23 inches tall on average. But that isn’t where their differences end. Given the Samoyed’s taller frame, they also weigh more than the average American Eskimo dog. For example, American Eskimo dogs weigh anywhere from 6 to 35 pounds, while Samoyeds weigh an average of 35 to 65 pounds

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog: Appearance

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog
The average head size of the Samoyed is larger and more round compared to the pointed face of the American Eskimo dog.

iStock.com/photobac

It can be extremely difficult to tell an American Eskimo dog from a Samoyed, given that they both have fluffy white coats. Both of these dogs only come in white, no other colors or markings are typically present. However, there are some differences in their physical appearance other than their obvious size differences. Let’s take a look now. 

The main difference in the physical appearances of these two dogs have to do with the thickness of their coats. For example, Samoyeds have an extremely thick double coat, made for working in freezing environments, while American Eskimo dogs have a single layer fluffy coat. This means that American Eskimo dogs still enjoy cooler climates, but their fur isn’t nearly as thick as Samoyed fur. 

However, both dogs have small triangular ears and long snouts. The average head size of the Samoyed is larger and more round compared to the pointed face of the American Eskimo dog. Overall though, it can be extremely difficult to tell these two dogs apart! 

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog: Original Reason for Breeding

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog
Samoyeds have an extremely thick double coat, made for working in freezing environments, while American Eskimo dogs have a single layer fluffy coat.

Did you know that the Samoyed and the American Eskimo dog were bred for different reasons originally? Just like the Siberian Husky, the Samoyed was originally bred to pull sleds, while the American Eskimo dog was bred to herd animals and perform farm work. However, the American Eskimo dog was quickly recognized as a natural performer and was used in circus work! Additionally, Samoyeds were used to hunt and herd reindeer, something that American Eskimo dogs were not used for.

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog: Behavior

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog
Just like the Siberian Husky, the Samoyed was originally bred to pull sleds, while the American Eskimo dog was bred to herd animals and perform farm work.

iStock.com/Abramova_Kseniya

There are some behavioral differences between the Samoyed and the American Eskimo dog. For example, Samoyeds are fantastic dogs to have around your family and children, while the American Eskimo dog may be a bit too high energy for a situation like this. Both of these dogs are extremely intelligent and prone to bouts of stubbornness as well as separation anxiety, so their energy levels need to be addressed at all times. 

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog: Lifespan

Samoyed vs American Eskimo Dog
Given that the American Eskimo dog is a smaller dog compared to the Samoyed, it has a longer lifespan.

Bikenbark/Shutterstock.com

The final difference between the American Eskimo dog and the Samoyed has to do with their lifespans. Given that the American Eskimo dog is a smaller dog compared to the Samoyed, it has a longer lifespan. But by how much? Let’s take a closer look at their average lifespans now.

The Samoyed lives anywhere from 12 to 14 years on average, while the American Eskimo dog lives anywhere from 13 to 15 years. However, it all depends on the care and health of the individual dog that you have. Making sure that your Samoyed or American Eskimo dog gets plenty of exercise and a well-balanced diet is key to a long and happy life!

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.