The pet of the week this week is Jefferson Veterinary Hospital veterinarian, Dr. Ahalt's dog, Chug! Chug is a samoyed, which is a high energy breed, intelligent breed of dog and a member of the spitz family. Samoyeds were bred to pull sleds, but had to have a good temperament and were often considered extended members of the family. Samoyeds are famous not only for their beautiful full white coats of fur, but the sammy smile, a natural expression that looks like the dog is sat happily smiling.
As this is a high energy breed, they require a lot of exercise, and their intelligence means that they also need to have things to stay occupied. As with most breeds, a bored samoyed is a destructive samoyed, and they will entertain themselves by chewing up whatever might be nearby. Negative aspects of the breed include a penchant for landscaping, which verges on borderline excavation. Their coat requires constant maintenance and "blows" out twice yearly, leaving enough fur behind to easily make two more dogs. This undercoat can be spun into yarn, but Mrs. Dr. A puts some of it outside and the birds find it and use it to line their nests. They are good alert dogs and will bark when someone comes onto what they perceive to be their territory, which isn't so good if you live in a house with a sidewalk that is used in front.
Overall, samoyeds are a loving breed, and Mrs. Dr. A is very taken by them.