Samoyeds and Polar Expeditions

 

 

The Samoyed breed's strength, work ethic and temperament made them a choice for Polar expeditions (which were approved and largely funded by royalty).  Norwegian explorer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Fridtjof Nansen (1861 -1930) is credited for bringing the Samoyed dog into the civilized world. Ironically, he did this by using "bjelkiers" (Samoyed dogs) in his expeditions throughout the largely uncivilized Arctic regions, and in his several attempts to reach the North Pole.  Despite brutal conditions, Nansen's 1895 expedition, which as lead by a team of bjelkiers was a success that was made headline news worldwide.  Although he didn't reach the North Pole, he traveled further north than any other human had at that time. And the glowing reports he sent to other explorers about the "bjelkier's" heroic performance made them the dog of choice for several of the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions that followed.  One of the most famous of these expeditions was Roald Amundsen 1911 expedition to the South Pole. Amundsen used Samoyeds as his lead dogs. While Amundsen is credited for being the first to reach the South Pole, surely his Samoyeds reached it before he did!  Samoyeds were also the favored dogs of famous explorers Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevnik (1864-1934), Duke Hertog van Abruzzi (1873 - 1933) (the brother of the King of Italy), and Frederick Jackson (1860 - 1938).