“The Dog Beautiful” is the very appropriate nickname for this gorgeous specimen of canine good looks! From it’s lovely thick snow-white coat to it’s perky, erect ears and gloriously plumed tail, the American Eskimo seems to have been created to be admired!
Also referred to as the “Eskie”, this member of the Spitz family descended from the German Spitz, and was recognized and renamed by the United Kennel Club in 1913. Recently recognized by the American Kennel Club (1996), this adorable breed has gained popularity world-wide as an exceptional family pet.Known for his sparkling white coat, happy appearance and triangular, pointed ears, the American Eskimo Dog is a wonderful companion breed that is believed to have developed through the crossbreeding of various dogs brought into the country by European immigrants. Known as the first dog to ever walk a circus tightrope, the American Eskimo is an intelligent and attentive breed of dog.
American Eskimo Dog History
His name is misleading, because the American Eskimo was not bred or raised by Eskimo people. In fact, it is believed that the American Eskimo is the descendant of stock that journeyed over to America with various European immigrants, such as the white Keeshound, German Spitz, Pomeranian, Volpino Italiano, and perhaps even some Japanese Spitz, following World War II. Commonly found with German immigrants, there were numerous small white dogs that strongly resembled the Spitz breed; grouping them together, these little white canines came to be known as the American Spitz.
The American Spitz dog was not known simply as a companion animal to immigrants, however. Late in the 19th century, these intelligent little dogs made a name for themselves in various traveling circuses, where they became extremely popular in various trick-dog routines. Highly intelligent, quick and adaptable, they thrived in this role and the circuses helped in making the breed more popular, introducing them to the general public.
The reasoning for this is unknown and highly debated, but in 1917, the name “American Spitz” was changed to “American Eskimo Dog.” It wasn�t until 1986 that the American Eskimo Dog, affectionately known as the “Eskie,” would be given his own club, and it wouldn�t be until 1995 that he was given full recognition by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
American Eskimo Dog Appearance
The American Eskimo Dog is most easily recognized for his snowy white coat – he is always white or can be white with just a hint of cream accent. Any other color is considered a disqualification. In addition to this, the Eskie must also possess black points (his nose, lips and rims around the eyes), making his features all the more prominent, striking and beautiful.
Covered in a thick double coat of fur, the American Eskimo has a very short, dense undercoat with longer, harsh guard hairs growing through to create the dog�s outer coat. Thicker around the neck and chest of the dog, his ruff is often said to resemble a thick lion’s mane and the American Eskimo�s tail is carried in a proud and relaxed position, loosely draped over his back. Also characteristic of the breed are the large tufts of fur covering the dog’s hindquarters and backs of his legs, making him appear as if he was wearing fluffy breeches.
Classified in three different sizes, the American Eskimo Dog can range in size from 9-19 inches tall at the shoulder, and can weigh anything from 6-35 pounds. There is no size preference between the three categories and the dogs all seem to possess a very intelligent and easy-going nature.
American Eskimo Dog Temperament
“Personality-plus” is a term that best suits these adorable little dogs. Very friendly and loyal to their family, they make excellent companion animals and are good, both with children and with other animals. The American Eskimo Dog is a willing friend and enjoys learning new tasks and tricks, showing a very outgoing and eager-to-please nature. They can, however, be somewhat protective of their family and their possessions, showing a bit of territorial streak. While this makes them excellent watchdogs, who will eagerly sound the alarm if they sense anything strange, it does mean that they should be supervised closely when new pets or family members are introduced to the home – while quick to adapt, it’s best to adjust them slowly and make it a positive experience for all.
American Eskimo Dog Exercise Info
The American Eskimo puppy is a very active and energetic individual though they do tend to calm somewhat, once they mature. Even as adults, however, most Eskies enjoy rousing, romping games of fetch, chase, and do quite well in obstacle courses and events. Additionally, the American Eskimo Dog enjoys learning new tricks and thrives on praise; encouraged to keep going, he loves to perform and will do so until his heart’s content.
While the American Eskimo does best with access to his own back yard, where he can frolic and play, they can adapt well to apartment living, provided they are taken out for daily walks or are allowed the liberty of a run in the dog park. If started early, the American Eskimo Dog does well in a social setting and will learn to enjoy the company of other canines.
American Eskimo Dog Grooming Info
The American Eskimo Dog is relatively simple to groom and maintain. To prevent risk of mats, he should be brushed a couple of times a week with either a wire slicker brush or a comb, paying special attention not to scratch his skin. Be forewarned that the American Eskimo does shed and they are known to “blow their coat” a couple of times per year. Blowing the coat refers to periods when the dogs shed profusely (mainly in the Spring and Fall). The hair will come out in clumps during this time, discouraging many from shedding breeds such as this. To the Eskie lover, however, this shedding is all part of the joy of owning one of these wonderful little dogs.
An American Eskimo Dog shouldn�t need to be bathed too often; once or twice a month is usually a good bet, unless you have an individual who really enjoys getting dirty. Aside from this, the only other major grooming needs that an Eskie requires are keeping his nails clipped, his ears clean and, if he will let you, his teeth brushed. Should tooth-brushing be an issue, however, there are a variety of toys and treats now available, which help to reduce tartar build up and tooth decay.
American Eskimo Dog Training Info
The American Eskimo Dog is a keenly intelligent breed and one that desires to please his owner. For these reasons, he is generally very easy to train and receptive to the praises that he receives for good behavior. Obedience classes are highly recommended, if you are inexperienced with training dogs – not only does it teach your dog basic commands and obedience, but it also teaches you how better to understand your new puppy, and what methods he bests responds to. Positive reinforcement and consistency of routine usually work best.
American Eskimo Dog Health Info
Being an ancient breed, the American Eskimo doesn’t suffer from many health problems as a rule. However, it’s always important to choose your breeder carefully – you want a breeder who thoroughly screens her dogs before breeding to ensure they do not have any health conditions that could be passed on to their puppies. This is not a 100% guarantee against a puppy developing a canine disorder, but certainly will greatly improve your chances of acquiring a healthy, happy and long lived puppy.
American Eskimo dogs can be susceptible to the following genetic disorder:
*Progressive Retinal Atrophy
A responsible Eskie breeder will have her dogs CERF tested and certified prior to breeding to help ensure this disorder does not occur in her puppies.
Other things that can affect your Eskie puppy include:
Legg Calve Perthes disease
American Eskimo Dog Right Breed Info
The American Eskimo Dog is a very friendly, attentive, and outgoing individual. Possessing a very high intelligence and fast learning rate, he is quick to learn the basics and excels at various tricks and challenges. There is also a bonus in that they come in a wide variety of sizes, guaranteeing that there is an Eskie to fit every size requirement. If you don�t mind a shedding down with long white hair and you don�t mind his sometimes protective personality, the wonderful American Eskimo Dog may very well be the perfect breed for you.