Affectionately named “Eskie”, this is a strikingly beautiful breed blessed with a furry white coat and expressive black eyes. As a member of the Spitz family, this is a Nordic breed that loves winter weather.
As a member of the Spitz family, the American Eskimo boasts a fox-like face, a heavy, straight coat, a plumed tail carried over the back and pricked ears. This breed comes in 3 different sizes: toy, miniature and standard. Toy measures 9 inches to 12 inches; Miniature measures over 12 inches to 15 inches; and Standard measures over 15 inches up to 19 inches. Any dog under 9 inches or over 19 inches is disqualified. Its bright white fur contrasts with its jet black lips, nose and eye rims. This breed’s coat color is always white, or white with biscuit cream. The eyes are always medium brown or dark brown. The lion ruff is more noticeable in male dogs than females. The rump and hind legs are covered with longer hair forming the breeches.
This breed originates in Germany. Despite the name Eskimo, this breed’s heritage has nothing to do with Alaska; rather, this breed traces back to Northern Europe. There’s belief that it’s name was changed from German Spitz to American Eskimo dog because of the strong anti-German prejudice that was present during the First World War. Unlike other spitz dogs, this breed was selectively bred for providing companionship. Many specimens of these dogs were found among German immigrant communities in the United States, especially in New York,during the early 1900s. Between the 1930s and 1940s, they were used as circus performers entertaining crowds throughout the United States. The Cooper Brothers’ Railroad Circus featured several of these dogs. And in the Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1930s, an American Eskimo dog going by the name of Stout’s Pal Pierre became famous for walking a tightrope. This breed was recognized by AKC in 1994 and categorized under the non-sporting group.
This is a cheerful, affectionate breed that thrives when around family. This breed is highly intelligent, curious and entertaining. This can be a very vocal breed that will entertain his family with his talkative yowls, mumbles and barks. When they explore something and find something interesting or concerning, they may want to involve their owners as well. They’re known for trying to grab an adult’s attention when a child is crying.
As mentioned, this is a highly intelligent breed that loves to learn new things. Not surprisingly, in the past these dogs were also utilized as circus performers in the late 19th centuries stunning crowds with their tricks. As such, these dogs excel in trick training. Obedience training and socialization should start from an early age. Make sure to expose your dog to as many people and unusual sights and sounds during early puppy-hood. This is a smart, sometimes willful breed, that can try to outsmart you if you aren’t consistent. When rules aren’t properly in place, this breed may use its intelligence to suit his own purposes.
The ideal household
This dog makes a good watchdog, announcing unwanted presences with his barking, this behavior though shouldn’t progress to threatening to bite or attack people unless they have been poorly socialized. If you leave him alone in the yard too long, he may resort to problem barking, and not many people are fond of hearing their high-pitched voices.
Fail to keep this breed occupied and it may become bored and resort to barking and chewing to fill the void. Make sure your Eskie has a nice supply of safe chew toys to prevent him from selecting his own, including your slippers. Especially when young, this breed likes to always have something to do.
This breed tends to get along well with other dogs and cats; however, they may see hamsters, gerbils and birds as prey . Like chocolates, many owners say you can’t stop at just one, so they’ll keep 2 or 3 of them so they can entertain each other. At times, though they may become jealous if another pet gets attention. With children, this breeds gets along very well, however, as with any breed big or small, supervision is always a must.
This breed can adapt well in apartments as long as they’re taken on walks and kept entertained. However, keep in mind that they tend to do better in homes where they’re part of the family. If you work long hours, this people-oriented breed may not be for you as it tends to develop separation anxiety. If you must leave, keep him safely crated or in a dog-proof room where he can’t get into any trouble. Leave him with a sturdy toy that he cannot break apart. This dog isn’t meant to be kept outdoors alone.
Overall, this is a hardy breed. In the health department, this breed may be prone to hip dysplasia, luxating patella, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and cataracts. Tear stains, allergies and dental problems are not unheard of. This breed can easily become overweight so make sure to keep an eye on calories. This breed matures slowly and can act like a puppy until 2 years. The average lifespan is 16 years.
Coat care grooming
This fluffy breed is blessed with a double coat boasting a dense undercoat and a long top coat. They tend to shed a lot, but you can reduce it by frequently brushing the coat. Make sure no mats form, especially in the area behind the ears. Expect to brush him about 2 to 3 times a week. Despite the light color, these dogs are quite easy to keep clean. Their coats produce oil that prevents dirt from sticking. Don’t bath them often as this will strip those oils and make their coat dry. When you brush them, the dirt will simply fall out. Also, don’t shave them in the summer, their under coat allows air flow to keep them cooler.
Where to find one:
Heart Bandits, the American Eskimo Dog Rescue
American Eskimo Dog Club of America