The American Eskimo is a beautiful, small to medium-size Nordic-type dog that looks like a miniature Samoyed. There are three varieties: toy, miniature and standard. That means there is an Eskie for all interests and house sizes. The American Eskimo has a wedge-shaped head with muzzle and skull about the same length. It has erect, triangular-shaped ears, and a heavily plumed tail curled over the back. Its neck is well carried and the topline good and level. Good legs and feet allow the Eskie to trot with bold, energetic action. The profuse coat is always white, or white with biscuit or cream markings. Its skin is pink or gray. Black is the preferred color of its eyelids, gums, nose and pads. The coat is heavy around the neck, creating a ruff or mane, especially in males. The breed is slightly longer than it is tall. The coat of the American Eskimo should not curl or wave; the undercoat should be thick and plush with the harsher outer coat growing up through it. No colors other than those described above are allowed. The eyes must not be blue and no Eskie may be shown if it is under 9 inches (23 cm) or over 19 inches (48 cm).
The American Eskimo is an affectionate, loving dog. Hardy and playful, they are excellent with children. Charming and alert. Because of the dog’s high intelligence and its willingness to please, it is easy to train and often ranks among the top scorers in obedience trials. American Eskimos like to work. They are naturally wary of strangers, but once introduced they become instant friends. Eskimos need to be part of the family with a firm, consistent, confident pack leader. If you allow the dog to believe he is the ruler of your home, many varying degrees of behavior issues will arise, Including but not limited to, separation anxiety, obsessive barking, dog aggressiveness, willfulness and guarding. Without enough mental and physical exercise, they can become hyperactive and high strung, spinning in circles. Small dogs have a higher tendency to become the pack leader over humans, because they are small and cute, and oftentimes the humans are oblivious as to what has happened. Read Small Dog Syndrome to find out more.
Although white was not the preferred color in Europe, it became the preferred color in the US and, after the end of the First World War, Americans changed the name of the breed and started to refer to it as “American Eskimo Dog” as a result of popular disliking of everything of German origin.
General Features Of American Eskimo Dogs
The American Eskimo dog, or “Eskie” as the fans of this cheerful, enigmatic dog fondly call him, has a long and ancient history. Although relatively recent to the American Kennel Club, these dogs appeared in the United States in the 19th century. They were often found with German immigrants and were probably descendants of the German spitz, the white Pomeranian, the white Italian spitz, and the white keeshond. These dogs quickly became known as the American spitz.
In the late 19th century and into the early 20th century, these dogs were popular in circuses and other forms of entertainment doing tricks. The beautiful coat, alert expression, and trainability made these dogs crowd-pleasers. These performing dogs increased the breed’s popularity as family after family fell in love with them at the circus. Early pedigrees often boasted the particular tricks that each dog in them could perform, and by 1913 the United Kennel Club recognized the breed
- The most famous circus-performing Eskie is most likely a dog named Pierre, who traveled with the Barnum & Bailey Circus as a tightrope walker. Talk about agility!
- Despite their confusing name, American Eskimo dogs are not meant to be sled dogs. In fact, the German spitz (the breed they originated from) were utilized for herding, hunting, and guarding livestock.
- Four different American Eskimo dogs played the hilariously named Kevin in the 2009 romantic comedy The Proposal. You might remember the scene where Sandra Bullock’s character tries to feed poor Kevin to an eagle who steals her cell phone. Don’t worry—no Eskies were harmed in the making of this movie!
Diet And Nutritional Needs: Feeding Your American Eskimo Dog
Eskies should be fed high-quality food, either commercially manufactured or home-made with natural ingredients (and always under the strict supervision of a veterinarian or a pet-nutrition specialist). The nutrient content must be balanced according to the dogs’ age and energy expenditure level. Ensure that your Eskimo dog does not go hungry by setting a regular schedule for mealtime.
Size Of American Eskimo Dogs
There are three different recognized sizes for the American Eskimo Dog according to the AKC (all measured at the withers):
- Toy: 9 to 12 inches
- Miniature: 12 to 15 inches
- Standard: 15 to 19 inches
There is no ideal size within each division. However, dogs that are under 9 inches or over 19 inches are not included in the breed standard set by the AKC.
American Eskimos Dogs Come In A Variety Of Sizes.
The United Kennel Club recognizes two sizes: miniature and standard. Miniature here indicates males 12 inches up to and including 15 inches, and females 11 inches up to and including 14 inches. Standard size indicates males over 15 to 19 inches and females over 14 to 18 inches. The American Kennel Club recognizes three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. Toy is from nine inches to 12 inches; miniature from 12 inches to 15 inches, and standard from 15 to 19 inches.
The Eskie is a Nordic or northern breed, with a thick white or buff double coat. They have erect triangular shaped ears, a wedge shaped head and a tail that curls over the back. The coat is thick but not wavy.
Personality Of American Eskimo Dogs
The American Eskimo is a family dog. Eskies are very loyal and need to be around their owners. They are highly intelligent, but can be stubborn. They make good watchdogs, but are prone to excessive barking. They must be socialized with people or they can become overly wary of strangers. With proper socialization along with a proper introduction, Eskies warm up to strangers and accept them good-naturedly.
An Eskie only needs a moderate amount of exercise, but needs plenty of things to do, or it will find something to do. Like all intelligent dogs, they can become bored and may dig or chew in an effort to entertain themselves. These dogs are smart and capable of Houdini-like escapes if not properly confined.
Health Of American Eskimo Dogs
With access to a veterinarian and quality nutrition, American Eskimo dogs can enjoy a long, healthy, and happy life. They often reach 15 years without any serious health problems; however, owners should be aware of some genetic health problems that Eskies can inherit.
Two of the most common health risks associated with American Eskimo dogs are hip dysplasia, which can cause your dog’s thigh bone not to fit properly in their hip joint, and progressive retinal atrophy, which is the deterioration of the retina over time. Because both of these conditions are genetic, make sure your breeder presents health clearances from both of your Eskie puppy’s parents. If you adopt your Eskie and don’t have past health records, make sure your vet runs the standard knee, blood, and eye exams to screen for any potential health problems.