American Eskimo Dog
|American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog has a trademark white coat and
triangular, pointed ears.
American Eskimo Spitz
|Country of origin
|Eskie, Eskimo, Spitz
|Classification and breed standards
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
|This breed achieved recognition by the CKC in 2006
The American Eskimo Dog is a
companion dog originating in the
United States of America (probably in
New York City) in the twentieth century. The breed was formerly called a
Spitz or an "American Eskimo Spitz". It is a member of the
Spitz family of
dogs. It achieved a high degree of popularity in the
1940s in the U.S. as a circus performer. The American Kennel Club recognized the
breed in 1994 and set the current standard for the breed. The United Kennel Club had recognized the breed long before 1994, and there is
no difference between the two breed standards.
American Eskimo Dogs are always ready to play.
The standard for the American Eskimo Dog calls for them to be white or white
& cream, with brown eyes (blue eyes, such as those found on the
Siberian Husky, are a disqualification and a sign of poor health or
breeding), and a compact body. The dog's length should be only slightly greater
than its height at the shoulder. The muzzle is long and lupine (in contrast to
the muzzles of
Pomeranians). The ears are held erect and alert, and the tail should be
feathered and curled on the dog's back. These dogs look very much like smaller
versions of the
Samoyed, to which they are related, and come in three standard sizes. The
toy is from 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30 cm) at the
miniature is from 12 to 15 inches (33 to 38 cm); the standard is from fifteen
inches up to and including nineteen inches (39 to 48 cm).
The Eskie, as with all Nordic breeds, has erect, triangular ears ("prick
ears"), a tail that flips onto the dog's back in a spiral, and two coats of fur:
an inner, downy coat, and an outer coat of guard hairs
that act as weather protection.
American Eskimos were bred to be companion dogs, not just the family dog to
put outside when they bother their owners. They thrive on being a part of their
human family. Eskies love their families, and a well-socialized dog is more of a
pleasure to own. Eskies are easily trained and very intelligent, as well as
being strong-willed and independent. At home, Eskies make excellent watchdogs,
barking to announce the presence of strangers. The Eskie can be protective of
its home and family, but it shouldn't threaten to attack or bite a person.
Many people find the puppies of American Eskimo Dogs to be very cute and
purchase this breed as a puppy without doing sufficient research, such as
discovering the longevity and needs of this breed. This breed can take longer to
mature than other breeds, and Eskies can behave more like puppies than like
adults for up to two years, when they finally start to mature and grow their
adult coats. They are also an extremely intelligent dog and need to be
stimulated. When their intelligence is not stimulated or they are ignored, they
can develop behavior issues. Owners can avoid this problem by socializing their
obedience training or participating in
The breed lives on average between 12 and 13 years, although some individuals
might as long as 20 years or longer.
The American Eskimo Dog, or "Eskie" as it is often called, is most
likely derived from the
Finnish Spitz, the
and possibly the
Samoyed, although the latter is not universally accepted. The
Spitz family of
Nordic dogs is
one of the least altered by human
and reflects most nearly the prototypical
dog, from which stock
all others have been derived. Archeology suggests that
dogs living with humans would today pass for spitzes.
Like many light-colored dogs, the fur beneath the eyes can become stained if not
Eskies have a long, dense coat and need regular grooming. This means brushing
them once a week, or more often if necessary. They shed, but it can be
maintained with regular brushing. They "blow" their
twice a year, once in May or June to shed their winter
undercoat and once in November or December to shed their summer coat. Many Eskie
owners use an undercoat rake, a tool available at most pet stores,
Eskies have drier skin than most other dogs and do not usually smell doggy.
Because of their dry skin, they need to be bathed only every two or three
months, unless they soil their coat with large amounts of dirt or substances
with strong odors. Regular brushing maintains a clean coat in most cases. Eskies
are very clean about themselves and constantly groom themselves.
All dogs' teeth should be brushed once a week. Pet stores carry a variety of
dog toothbrushes, from fingertop to electric.
Because so many people purchase "cute" puppies and then discover that they do
not want an active, intelligent dog with a heavily shedding coat, many of this
breed end up at the
animal shelter or otherwise up for adoption. There are many breed-specific
groups that are more than willing to give advice on training or curbing
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