American Eskimo Dogs’ use as circus performers is a testament to their intelligence and their easy trainability.
Other Names: Eskie
Country Of Origin: USA
Dog Group: Non-sporting
Size: Small-medium (depending on the type)
Recommended For: Families, couples, single owners
Maintenance Level: Medium
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Temperament: Intelligent, stubborn, loyal
Good For the First-Time Owner: Yes
Good With Children: Yes
Good With Other Animals: Yes
Good With Strangers: No
Good For Apartments: Yes
Exercise Requirements: Daily walks
Can Live In Hot Weather: No
Can Live In Cold Weather: Yes
Can Tolerate Being Left Alone: No
Grooming: Daily brushing
The American Eskimo Dog was originally known as the German Spitz, but its name was changed during World War 1 to avoid anti-German sentiments.
However, since then, the two breeds have changed due to breeding patterns and are now distinctly separate breeds.
During the 1930s and 40s, the breed became very popular as a circus performer but is now mainly kept as a companion pet. Their size and loyalty make them excellent family pets.
Coat length: Medium, double-layered
- Male – toy: 10-12”, miniature: 12-15”, standard: 15-19”;
- female – toy: 9-12”, miniature: 12-14”, standard: 14-18.”
- Male – toy: 8-11lbs, miniature: 12-21lbs, standard: 22-40lbs;
- female – toy: 6-9lbs, miniature: 10-19lbs, standard: 20-35lbs
Personality and Temperament:
American Eskimo Dogs are known to be very loyal family companions and are very intelligent creatures.
They can learn very complex commands, but training should begin from a young age to improve chances of success.
If nothing else, they should be given standard obedience training, but they are capable of learning much more.
The breed is absolutely fine around other dogs, and pets such as cats, but owners should be wary about keeping them around other pets, such as small rodents and reptiles.
The breed isn’t known for their hunting ability, but they can go after small animals if they’re looking to play.
Any socialization with other animals should be done from a young age to ensure the dog doesn’t develop an aggressive temperament.
Similarly, American Eskimo Dogs get on very well with children, and their loyalty to people make them excellent family pets.
Owners should be wary of keeping a toy or miniature dogs around small children, simply because they are less able to withstand accidentally dangerous behavior than bigger dogs.
However, if the children are old enough to know how to behave around dogs, and you’re on hand to keep an eye on things, there should be very little chance of problems.
Eskies aren’t a particularly energetic breed, but they should be walked daily to keep them healthy and provide stimulation.
Unlike some other breeds, these walks don’t need to be particularly long, and the breed can be content with a short walk and a game of fetch.
This also makes them suitable for apartment living, because they’re just as happy to spend their time curled up on the sofa with their owners.
Although the breed is suitable for apartment living, owners should avoid leaving them alone for too long, regardless of the type of house you live in.
The breed is very friendly, particularly with people, and so they can become bored or depressed quite easily.
A bored Eskie is a barking Eskie, which can be unpleasant for both owners and neighbors. Don’t leave them alone for too long, and provide plenty of mental stimulation to keep them entertained.
American Eskimo Dogs have quite a thick coat, and although it’s not particularly long, it’s very good at keeping the dog warm.
For this reason, you should avoid keeping one in hot climates, as they can overheat easily.
Their coat makes them much more suitable for cold climates, and even if the coating is trimmed short, it’ll still insulate heat well.
It’s also worth noting that because they’re sociable animals, they shouldn’t be kept exclusively outside, as they will become depressed very quickly.
As a general rule, the breed is quite wary around strangers, but this behavior can be trained out of them.
They also make excellent watchdogs, due to their sharp eyes and wary temperament, but their size excludes them from being seen as a threat.
Strangers should ideally be introduced in the presence of the dog’s owner, particularly if the stranger is coming into the dog’s home.
If it’s done properly, you should have a little problem.
You should aim to brush you American Eskimo Dog once a week, as their thick coat is prone to tangles, and can hold dirt and debris quite easily.
Use a pin brush or similar design because this will be most effective at removing the hair. Ideally, you should look to comb out both the dense undercoat and the wiry topcoat.
Brushing both with and against the direction of the hair is the most effective way to dislodge hairs. You should also spray the dog lightly with water first; as this will help loose hairs stick together, making clean up easier.
When it comes to bathing, aim for a bath once every month or two, as it can be a beneficial way of conditioning their coat and putting some much-needed oil back into it.
Because the breed is white, their coat shows up dirt very quickly, but you should always try to brush it out before bathing them, as too many baths can cause the hair to dry out, and it’ll become stiff and brittle. Always come an Eskie’s fur after a shower to remove any knots.
Nails should be clipped every few months, or whenever necessary. Dogs that get plenty of exercises, particularly on hard surfaces, won’t need their claws trimming as much, but always keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get too long.
Using a pair of nail clippers will do the job fine; just don’t trim them too short. As with all other breeds, it’s important to brush their teeth several times a week to reduce the chance of oral diseases.
Common Diseases And Conditions:
Although American Eskimo Dogs are generally a healthy breed, one of their biggest problems is obesity.
Unfortunately, this is mostly genetic, but their weight can be controlled with a proper diet and regular exercise.
Your vet will be able to advise the correct weight for your dog’s height, and will also be able to recommend the best ways of controlling it.
If you’ve kept dogs before, you probably have some experience of weight control, but you’ll probably have to be much stricter with an American Eskimo Dog.
Other than that, the breed is also affected by “standard” dog conditions, such as hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, and luxating patella.
However, none of these are common within the breed, but you should always keep an eye out for any symptoms.
Responsible breeders should perform health checks on all puppies and will share the results with you.
The American Eskimo Dog originated as the German Spitz in Germany and was brought over to America in the early 20th century by European settlers.
However, during World War 1, owners started calling their dogs American Eskimo Dogs, mainly as a way to remove associations with Germany (similar to how the German Shepherd was renamed).
American Eskimo Dogs were originally bred as guard dogs, less so for their size, but more as an alert dog.
For this reason, they are quite vocal and wary, and so owners should be aware of this before committing to buying one.
However, with the right training, it can be easy to remove these behaviors, although this will never happen completely.
During the early 20th century, the breed became popularized as a circus performer, and this drastically increased their popularity among the general public.
The breed continued to be popular throughout the 20th century, and due to post-war relations with Japan, may have been cross-bred with the Japanese Spitz at some point, but this was after the breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club, in 1913.
The Canadian Kennel Club also recognized the American Eskimo Dog in 2006, but these are the only countries the breed is known in.
The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1994.
In Europe in particular, any owners looking to compete with their Eskie have to register it as a German Spitz.
Although the breeds are different, many countries recognize them as being similar enough not to need breed distinctions.
American Eskimo Dog Facts & Figures:
Did You Know?
- In the 1930s, an Eskie named Stout’s Pal Pierre was famous for walking the tightrope.
- The original German Spitz was bred for herding livestock and hunting, but the American Eskimo Dog was never used for these purposes and was bred mainly as a companion pet.
- All three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard) are accepted by the kennel clubs that recognize the breed.
- Although white is the recognized standard color, they also come in “biscuit cream,” but this coloration is ideally kept to a minimum.
- American Eskimo Dogs are perfect for agility competitions, as their size and athleticism make them excellent contenders.
- The breed loves to chew, so should always be given plenty of toys to keep them entertained.
- American Eskimo Dogs for sale price:
Anywhere from $1,600 – $4,500 or even more for an American Eskimo Dog with top breed lines and a superior pedigree. – Nextdaypets.com
You can find more United States Dog Breeds in the links below: