Smile With a Purpose

An exercise: Depending upon how you’re seeing this (are you on a phone, iPad or computer?), cover the mouth of the Samoyed in this photograph with your hand or thumb. Now look at what’s left. Are the dog’s ears pert? And those eyes? Are these the eyes of an angry dog? A dog that’s depressed or anxious?

While many of you already know about the “Sammy Smile,” you might be thinking that it pertains strictly to the corners of the mouth being slightly curved up. Certainly that is 90% of this defining characteristic of the breed, but it helps that there are no drooping flews, the eyes sparkle, and the ears are alert. This smile, we contend, is a “package deal” of other elements of the breed standard, and together they project a pleasing countenance that makes the Samoyed one of the most beautiful breeds in the world.

But it’s not “just for show.”This “smile” has a function. Those upturned corners keep this denizen of Siberia where temperatures of minus-60 degrees are common from drooling. Droplets of drool would freeze as quickly as they’re formed, and soon icicles would be forming on a Samoyed’s face, wholly impractical in a working breed.

Image: Dreamtime


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