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American Eskimo DOG

The American Eskimo DOG

The American Eskimo Dog combines striking good looks with a quick and clever mind in a total brains-and-beauty package. Neither shy nor aggressive, Eskies are always alert and friendly, though a bit conservative when making new friends. The American Eskimo Dog comes in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy, standing as tall as 19 inches at the shoulder or as short as 9 inches. Distinctive traits include a dense, sparkling white coat with a lion-like ruff around the chest and shoulders; a smiling face, with black nose, lips, and eye-rims that convey a keen, intelligent expression; and a plumed tail carried over the back. Some Eskies have markings with the delicious color name ‘biscuit cream.’ They move with a bold and agile gait. Eskies are social animals and can develop problem behaviors when neglected or undertrained’they insist on being part of family life. Among the most trainable of breeds, the clever, kid-friendly Eskie practically invented the phrase ‘eager to please.’

The name American Eskimo Dog is a misnomer: Eskimos had nothing to do with the founding of the breed.

The successive waves of German immigrants that reached American shores beginning in the early 1800s had a profound impact on the development of the Midwest. German farmers who sought opportunity in America brought their Old World ways to such states as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio’ and the German influence can still be felt in the upper Midwest to this day. Lutheranism, the brewing industry, and the region’s mania for German-style foods are cultural touchstones these immigrants transplanted to their corner of the New World. Another was a Nordic breed called the German Spitz, used as all-around farm dogs. These little white dogs were ancestors of the modern Eskie. By the latter years of the 19th century, it was becoming difficult to keep these beautiful, highly trainable dogs down on the farm. Show business was beckoning.

Back when traveling circuses, vaudeville troupes, and Wild West shows crisscrossed pre-electronic America, German Spitz’ thanks to their intelligence, agility, and showy looks became mainstays of trained-dog acts. (This held true well into the 20th century. Perhaps America’s most famous performing dog of the 1930s was Pierre, an Eskie tightrope walker with the Barnum & Bailey Circus.)

Upon America’s entry into World War I in 1917, the country was gripped by a prejudice against all things Teutonic. The breed’s German name was changed to ‘American Eskimo’ Dog, after the name used by a Spitz breeding kennel in Ohio. Though the breed has a long and fascinating U.S. history, it was not until 1995 that the AKC registered its first American Eskimo Dog.

The little white wonder dogs who performed various chores around Midwestern farms, and later charmed audiences under the circus big top, are today sought out by pet owners looking for versatile, fun-loving companions.

Aside from its stunning looks which endear the American Eskimo to many people, they also have a very infectious personality. They are active, playful, loyal, and love having a lot of exercises. They are also very wary and protective of their environment and this makes them really great watchdogs. They love family time and don’t like being left alone for long periods. Due to their active personality, they need an outlet for all the pent-up energy and this is why they always have to have a medium to play around the house. They crave and offer a lot of companionships and tend to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods.

An active dog with lots of energy, the Eskie is also quick and curious, requiring lots of exercise and mental challenges. An Eskie who is left alone or who doesn’t get enough exercise can quickly become destructive. A securely fenced yard and an assortment of toys will help provide good exercise and stimulation to keep an Eskie out of trouble. He shouldn’t just be left out in the yard by himself all day, however. Despite his warm coat, the Eskie is an indoor dog, and he forms strong bonds with his people and is happiest interacting with them. Once they pass middle age, Eskies often become more sedate.

The American Eskimo Dog’s fluffy, white double coat ‘ a short, dense undercoat below the longer outer coat ‘ is surprisingly easy to keep clean. However, Eskies shed almost constantly. A thorough brushing two or three times a week will remove dead hairs before they can be shed, as well as help to prevent matting. The oil on an Eskie’s fur prevents dirt from adhering, so a good brushing is usually enough to remove it. It is OK to bathe  an Eskie occasionally, but doing so more than once every few months can make his skin dry and irritated. As with all breeds, the Eskie’s nails should be trimmed regularly.

As with all breeds, early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Fortunately, the American Eskimo Dog is among the most trainable of all breeds. Back when traveling circuses, vaudeville troupes, and Wild West shows crisscrossed the map, Eskies were mainstays of trained-dog acts. They are highly intelligent and eager to please. They learn new commands quickly ‘ sometimes just by watching other dogs. An Eskie craves companionship and interaction with his owners and will tend to develop problem behaviors if left alone too often for long periods of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

The American Eskimo Dog’s fluffy, white double coat ‘ a short, dense undercoat below the longer outer coat ‘ is surprisingly easy to keep clean. However, Eskies shed almost constantly. A thorough brushing two or three times a week will remove dead hairs before they can be shed, as well as help to prevent matting. The oil on an Eskie’s fur prevents dirt from adhering, so a good brushing is usually enough to remove it. It is OK to bathe  an Eskie occasionally, but doing so more than once every few months can make his skin dry and irritated and could actually increase shedding!

Their loyalty and love for people makes them great family dogs. They tend to be overprotective of their territories and are great as watchdogs as well.

As with all breeds, early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Fortunately, the American Eskimo Dog is among the most trainable of all breeds. Back when traveling circuses, vaudeville troupes, and Wild West shows crisscrossed the map, Eskies were mainstays of trained-dog acts. They are highly intelligent and eager to please. They learn new commands quickly ‘ sometimes just by watching other dogs. An Eskie craves companionship and interaction with his owners and will tend to develop problem behaviors if left alone too often for long periods of time.

Most eskie owners have never shaved their dogs. However, in cases where their fur gets too thick and begin to cause discomfort, it is advised that you take your eskie to the groomers for proper shaving.

The average lifespan of an American Eskimo is 13-15 years.

American Eskimos come in three sizes:

Toy: 6-10 pounds

Miniature: 10-20 pounds

Standard: 25-35 pounds

Since they are pretty active dogs, they need at least 45 minutes of exercise daily

An active dog with lots of energy, the Eskie is also quick and curious, requiring lots of exercise and mental challenges. An Eskie who is left alone or who doesn’t get enough exercise can quickly become destructive. A securely fenced yard and an assortment of toys will help provide good exercise and stimulation to keep an Eskie out of trouble. He shouldn’t just be left out in the yard by himself all day, however. Despite his warm coat, the Eskie is an indoor dog, and he forms strong bonds with his people and is happiest interacting with them. Once they pass middle age, Eskies often become more sedate.

 

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