What Does an American Eskimo Dog Look Like?
When it comes to their build, they’re sturdy and compact, looking more powerful than they are because of their ruff. The American Eskimo Dog comes in three sizes:
- toy – 9 to 12 inches tall and weighing 6 to 10 pounds;
- miniature – 12 to 15 inches tall and weighing 10 to 20 pounds;
- standard – 15 to 19 inches tall and weighing 25 to 35 pounds.
Eskies are members of the Spitz family, so they have that signature pointy nose and small triangular ears. They have black eyes and a sweet expression. Their double coat is medium-length and either straight or slightly wavy. They’re typically white, but can also be white and biscuit colored.
What Is the Temperament of an Eskimo Dog Like?
This dog breed is considered to be one of the most versatile. They’re loving and loyal companions, but they also have a big-dog attitude. They’re outgoing and friendly with people they know, but reserved with strangers. Because of that, they make great watchdogs – they’ll bark to let you know when there’s something going on that they don’t like.
How Easy to Train Are Eskimo Dogs?
Eskies are intelligent and love to please their people, so they’re quick to learn new commands. However, they can also be strong-willed at times, so you’ll need to be consistent with your obedience training starting from their puppyhood.
These dogs excel in agility and obedience competitions, so if you’re looking for a dog that loves to work, the American Eskimo Dog is a great choice. They’re excellent problem-solvers, and you may find that most puzzle toys are too easy for them!
What Are Their Exercise Needs?
Eskies are active dogs and need a good amount of exercise each day. They’ll be happy with a long walk or playing in the yard, but they’ll also enjoy a good game of fetch or going for a run. They’re also fond of playing in the snow and water – they live up to their name by tolerating cold weather very well.
Are They Good With Kids?
Yes, they are! Eskies are good-natured and love being around people – especially kids. They’re active dogs and love to play, so they’ll make a great addition to any family. Having someone that will shower them with attention all the time is very important for their happiness.
Are There Any Health Concerns to Be Aware of?
Although their lineages aren’t known to carry serious defects, some American Eskimo Dogs can be prone to:
- hip dysplasia;
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease;
- progressive retinal atrophy;
- juvenile cataracts.
The first two conditions are joint disorders that cause pain and mobility issues, while the last two are eye problems that can eventually lead to blindness.
All of these health concerns should be screened for by your veterinarian before you bring home your new Eskie. To ensure you’re getting a healthy puppy, always buy from a reputable breeder who can show you proof that the parent dogs have healthy joints and eyes.
How to Groom and Care for Your American Eskimo Dog?
Eskimo Dogs’ fluffy white coats – consisting of an outer coat and a thick undercoat – require less care than you might think, but they do shed year-round. To remove the dead hair and prevent matting, brush your dog thoroughly 2-3 times a week.
They also need their ears cleaned on a regular basis to prevent infection. You can use a cotton ball dampened with water or hydrogen peroxide to clean the inside of their ear flap and the visible part of their ear canal.
Like most dogs, Eskies will need to be bathed occasionally and have their nails trimmed monthly. You can do this yourself, but it’s best to have a professional groomer show you how to do it correctly, so you don’t hurt your dog.
Where Can You Get an Eskie Puppy?
The best way to find a puppy is through a breeder who belongs to the American Eskimo Dog Club of America (AEDCA). You can expect to pay around $1,000-$3,000 for a well-bred Eskie puppy, depending on the breeder’s location and the puppy’s pedigree.
You can also find Eskies for adoption through rescues, but be prepared to pay an adoption fee of $300-$500. Some organizations you could contact are:
- Eskie Rescuers United (ERU);
- Heart Bandits;
- EOL Multibreed Dog Rescue (formerly Eskies Online);
- Chicagoland Eskie Rescue.
No matter where you get your puppy, make sure to have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to screen for any health concerns.
What’s the History of the American Eskimo Dog Breed?
The American Eskimo Dog breed’s ancestors were originally bred in Germany to help herd sheep. They’re thought to be descendants of the Spitz dogs that were brought over to Europe by the Norsemen in the 800s.
In the early 1900s, these ancestors (descended from the German Spitz, the Keeshond, the white Pomeranian, and the Volpino Italiano) began appearing in America. Around World War I, they started being called American Spitzes instead of German Spitzes in a display of patriotism.
Soon, they became popular as circus performers because of their high energy and acrobatic abilities. The Cooper Brothers’ Railroad Circus featured them in 1917, and in the 1930s, a dog named Stout’s Pal Pierre belonging to the Barnum and Bailey Circus became famous for walking a tightrope.
The breed’s popularity rose, and they continued to be kept as pets after World War II. The United Kennel Club printed their history for the first time in 1958. At that point, they were already known as the American Eskimo Dog. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1995.
Is the Eskie the Right Dog Breed for You?
The American Eskimo Dog is a great breed for active people who want a playful, energetic dog to join them in all their activities. They’re also good dogs for families with older children, as they can be protective of their loved ones.
However, because of their high energy level, the Eskie may not be the best choice for people who have little time to spend exercising their dog. They also require regular grooming, so this may not be the best breed for people who are short on time or don’t enjoy brushing their dog’s hair.
Are Eskimo Dogs Good for First-Time Dog Owners?
Yes, this breed is perfect for first-time dog owners. They’re low-maintenance and easy to train, and they love spending time with their people. They’re also great with kids, and adapt well to apartment living as long as they’re given enough opportunities to burn their energy outside.
Fun Facts about American Eskimo Dogs
If you’d like to know even more about these versatile Spitz-type dogs, here are a few more facts you might find interesting.
- After World War II, Japanese Spitzes were imported into the United States and might have been crossed into the American Eskimo Dog breed.
- These dogs have been exported under the name German Spitz Gross (Large German Spitz) in the past, even though the breeds have diverged a lot and don’t share a common standard.
- White was generally the preferred color for Spitzes in the United States, but not always recognized in German breeds. This may have to do with the snowier climate of the northern U.S.
Ready to Add an Eskie to Your Family?
If you think the American Eskimo Dog might be the perfect breed for your family, then be sure to do your research before buying a puppy. When you bring one home, it won’t be hard to keep them happy, as long as you can provide them with plenty of exercise and attention.
Have you ever owned an Eskie? Share your experiences in the comments below!
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