The Samoyed name quickly become obsolete after the Russian Revolution (perceived as derogatory, see Nenets article), but by then Arctic explorers (e.g., Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen) had brought enough of the dogs back to Europe to keep the name and to establish the breed both there and in the U.S. The breed is sometimes nicknamed "The Smiley Dog" because they usually have a permanent smiling look that makes them appear pleased to see everyone.
The dogs are still used to pull sleds, but are seldom used for herding anymore.
Their friendly disposition makes them poor guard dogs, but excellent companions, especially for small children or even other dogs, and they remain playful into old age. Samoyeds are also known to be stubborn at times and difficult to train, due to unwillingness rather than lack of intelligence; they must be persuaded to obey commands.