American Eskimo Dog


American Eskimo Dog

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Breed Notes

Another of the Nordic or spitz family, the American Eskimo Dog ("Eskie") is likely descended from such European spitzes as the white Keeshond, white Pomeranian, white Italian and German Spitz. He was popular in traveling circus acts in the late 1800s in the United States, but the breed was not recognized by AKC until 1995, when it joined the Non-Sporting Group.
The American Eskimo Dog is intelligent, trainable and a superb agility dog. He is beautiful in his sparkling white coat, but daily or twice weekly grooming is required to keep him like that. A compact, balanced and alert dog, he is not overly shy or aggressive and he makes a good pet for active families or individuals.
The Eskie is always white or white and cream/biscuit in color, with a standoff double coat that has a dense undercoat with longer guardhairs growng through. The coat is not curly or wavy. It forms a thick mane around the neck and shoulders, and the tail is plumed, and carried loosely over the back or down when relaxed. The breed comes in 3 distinct sizes: Toy (9-12 inches), Miniature (over 12 to 15 inches) and Standard (over 15inches up to and including 19 inches). The head is wedge-shaped, the ears triangular, slightly blunt tipped and carried high yet well apart on the skull. Eyes are slightly oval and should be dark; blue eyes are a disqualification in the show ring.


Name withheld by request of the U.S. writes:

Happy, affectionate, hyper dogs with mats.
We have owned two different Eskies. Our first dog was fun but very independent. He would run away constantly. The dog we currently own is easy to teach if you can get her to calm down enough. She has housetraining problems and is always getting mats despite our grooming efforts. She is however a gentle loving companion who also doubles as a watchdog. For people who like to groom and play and cuddle.


ebeavers@heidrick.com of Chicago, IL writes:

A delight, eager to please, good with kids.
I have had my Eskie for four months now, I adopted him when he was four months old. He is a great dog. He is eager to please, the star of our obedience class and a real snuggle bug. He is a standard, I have heard the toys can be a little more yappy. He is definitely a barker but only barks when there is reason. He is totally accepting of strangers in our house, but I have been socializing him since I got him by taking him to doggy daycare and inviting as many people into the house as possible. He is a joy and I wouldn't give him up for the world!


meddyn2000@aol.com of South Carolina writes:

A true friend that can actually laugh at you.
I had an Eskie as a child (called a Spitz then). Great dog. My children gave me another one for Christmas sixteen years ago. The dog has been a never-ending delight. She loved to ride, boat, walk and just sit and talk (watched us with a big smile). You think they are bred with a smile but they really do smile when they enjoy something. Very intelligent and protective. They do not suffer fools well. The guard dog comes with the package. Any stranger or perceived threat will incite them to let you know about it. When barking they look to where they last saw you. They shed some but well worth the pleasure of their soft white coat. Ours just passed away and we are getting another one right away. Can't bear to be without that playful, beautiful breed. Two years ago we lost power for four days in a rare driving snowstorm (live in SC). We slept in front of an old fireplace in the cold. We would lay down under double sleeping bags and she would crawl in and keep us warm (always slept by herself when things were okay). They just have to take care of you. Did no training with her and she was fine. Plan to train the next one and see if it's better with strangers. Doesn't really matter though, they are exquisite with their masters.


dennisgayla@msn.com of Chunky, MS writes:

The best dog you will ever own.
Never have I had a dog take "watchdog responsibility" more seriously. This dog is wonderful with children, smart, obedient, and just a bundle of energy and fun!


Name withheld by request of Chicago, IL writes on 8./10/01:

Fiercely loyal, great pet IF training is provided.
Our Eskie is our first dog. I mean that in every sense. Even though our younger dog is a Rottweiler, our little Eskie is boss. From talking with other Eskie owners both on and off-line, I've come to realize that dominance is quite a part of this breed's inherent qualities.
My Eskie is FIERCELY LOYAL to both of us. Unfortunately, we didn't know as much about raising a dog as we do now, and did not provide her professional training from the time she was a puppy. She's extremely protective of her home and pack, and is not friendly AT ALL to people she's never met before. Usually it takes regular weekly visits into our home before she accepts anyone as a friend rather than a foe.
Admittedly, she wasn't properly bred either. Before we got her, we didn't know too much about owning dogs, and we bought Amanda from a pet shop (we I DO NOT recommend... you should always buy from a reputable breeder). That could explain for her extreme unfriendliness towards strangers.
It could also stem from an American Eskimo's protective and loyal nature. I have no doubt that this little dog of mine would fight to the last if she ever had to try to "protect" me. She definitely doesn't realize that she's only 15 pounds soaking wet. When we bring her to a doggie park, she doesn't go beyond about 6 feet away from us. It's almost like she feels like it's her duty to protect us from all the strange people and dogs there. If any other dog that's not part of the pack tries to come up to us, Amanda gets pretty mad and chases them away. Strangely enough, no other dog has tried to challenge her "authority". Alpha bitch, maybe?
I would recommend EARLY SOCIALIZATION and training for this breed. If you want a really loyal, affectionate family pet, go for an Eskie. They are EXCELLENT watchdogs. No one can even lurk outside our apartment door without her notifying us of it.
My Eskie may not be the perfect example of her breed (as far as temperament goes), but she has completely stolen our hearts. We wouldn't trade her for all the riches in the world.


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