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American Eskimo Dog – Everything You Need To Know

American Eskimo Dog is a loyal, intelligent, and versatile dog with exquisite looks. Fondly called Eskies, they are a perfect package of beauty with brains and are great companion dogs. American Eskimo Dogs are purebred and come in three sizes- Toy, Miniature, and Standard. They are affectionate, cheerful, independent, and excellent problem solvers. Eskies are brilliant and are at the top of the game when using their brains.

Interestingly, Eskies were once circus performers. Their stunning looks and ability to learn quickly added to their performance and thus was everyone’s favorite in the show. They have high energy, are alert, and make a lovable family companion. They are very vocal by nature, and many dog owners have claimed that their Eskies speak with them. This cuddly snowball pooch never stops talking, and one never is alone when there is an American Eskimo Dog nearby.

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American Eskimo Dog Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Active and alertSeparation anxiety
Friendly and socialBarking
HealthyDestructive Behavior

American Eskimo Dog Basic Information

  • Name: American Eskimo Dog
  • Origin: United States, Germany
  • Group: Non-sporting
  • Size: Toy, Miniature, and Standard
  • Height: 9 to 12 inches (toy); 12 to 15 inches (miniature); 15 to 19 inches (standard)
  • Weight: 6 to 10 pounds (toy); 10 to 20 pounds (miniature); 25 to 35 pounds (standard)
  • Coat: Soft and dense
  • Color: White
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Agility training, jump rope, advanced obedience.
  • Barking Level: High
  • Shedding Level: Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 1-5 puppies
  • Life Span: 13-15 years
  • Other Names: Cloud Spitz, American Spitz, German Spitz, Cloud, Eskie
  • Original Pastime: Walking, canine games

History of American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog is a white-coated fluffy dog that belongs to the Spitz family. The Spitz dogs are nordic dogs with fox faces and soft coats; tails are carried over the back and small ears. 

American Eskimo dogs are the direct descendants of the white German Spitz, White Keeshonden, or large white Pomeranians and came to America with their German Immigrants during the 1800s. The German communities settled in the Mid-Western United States and developed this breed as farm dogs. But later on, they were used in circuses and roadshows. By the late 19th century, these white Eskies were the show stoppers at the American circus shows. They were quick-witted, clever with attractive white coats, and awed the audience by their beautiful looks and performance. As a result, Eskies soon became popular among American families and children in the 1900s. 

It is to be noted that American Eskimo dogs have no connection with the Eskimos. Though they were famous and people’s favorite, AKC recognized this breed only in 1995. 

Types of American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo dogs have been classified into three varieties based on their size. However, except for the size, other characteristics remain the same.

  • Toy: Height9 to 12 inches 

       Weight –  6 to 10 pounds

  • Miniature: Height – 12 to 15 inches

      Weight – 10 to 20 pounds

  • Standard: Height15 to 19 inches

                  Weight – 25 to 35 pounds

American Eskimo Dog Highlights

  • Eskies are happy, alert, and intelligent dogs. If they have no activities and get bored, they are prone to destructive behavior like excessive barking and chewing inappropriately.
  • They love to be around their families and suffer from separation anxiety when left alone.
  • The pet owners ought to be intelligent people when they own an Eskie. Else their lives will be led by their dogs.
  • Eskies have a high prey drive and will fall for their instincts to chase when they see a bird, hamster, or gerbil. 

American Eskimo Dog Personality

American Eskimo dogs are in three different sizes. They all grow approximately 9-19 inches and weigh around 6-35 pounds. They are double-coated with a dense undercoat and longer outer coat. The hair is glossy, soft, straight, with a thick ruff around the neck. The front and rear legs are finely feathered. The tail is carried up over the back and covered profusely with fur. They are not hypoallergenic and shed a lot. The coat color primarily comes in white or white and cream. The ears are small and pricked, nose, lips, and eyes are all black in contrast with the white fur. They carry a fox-like face and black eyes with a sweet expression. They are lovely dogs who will add a perfect picture frame to your home.

Friendliness Overview

Affection levelHigh
Family-friendlyHigh
Kid-friendlyHigh
Dog-friendlyHigh
Stranger-friendlyHigh 

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment livingHigh
Good for new ownersHigh
Sensitivity levelHigh
Tolerates being aloneLow 
Cold toleranceHigh
Heat toleranceMedium

American Eskimo Dog Physical Features

  • Head: The skull is slightly crowned and wedge-shaped. The broad muzzle doesn’t exceed the skull’s length, the nose is black to dark brown, and the lips are thin and tight with black to dark brown color. The ears are small, fur-tufted, upright, and blend softly with the head. The eyes are oval and have black or dark brown color with a keen, alert, and intelligent look. The jaw is robust with close-fitting teeth.
  • Neck: The neck is strong, erect, medium in length with a graceful arch.
  • Topline: The topline is level and firm. They have a deep and muscular chest.
  • Body: The body is compact and robust. The chest is broad and deep; the ribs are well-sprung. The back is wide, muscular, straight, and level. The loin is firm.
  • Tail: The tail is moderately high and carried up over the back. 
  • Forequarters: The forelegs are well angulated with a firm shoulder. The shoulders are muscular and strong. The legs are parallel, firm, and proportionate to the body. The declaws can be removed.
  • Hindquarters: The hindquarters are well balanced and angulated. The thighs are strong and well developed, the legs are parallel and firm. The dewclaws are not present in the hindquarters.
  • Feet: The feet are oval, compact, and tightly knit. They are well padded with hair.
  • Coat: They are double-coated with a dense undercoat and longer outer coat. It is soft and straight. There is a thick ruff around the neck. The outer part of the ear is well covered with fur. The muzzle hair is short and smooth. The legs are well feathered. 
  • Color: White or white and Biscuit cream
  • Gait: The gait is well balanced, agile, bold, and frictionless. 

American Eskimo Dog  Temperament

American Eskimo Dog is a lively, affectionate, and happy-go-around dog. They are intelligent, active, energetic, and great problem solvers. They love to entertain people and are quick learners. American Eskimo dogs were initially bred as farm dogs, making good companion dogs. They love to be around their families and aren’t great when left around. Eskies understand human lip movement and are very vocal with their owners. When the Eskies are not talking, they are chewing. They love to chew toys, keeping their teeth clean and healthy. 

Though Eskies are wary of strangers, they are unaggressive and friendly with anyone. They are polite and friendly with children and have immense energy to play. They are good with other dogs and cats. However, they have a high prey drive and get led by their instinct to chase. Hence, it would help if you kept small pets like rodents and rabbits away from your Eskies. American Eskimo Dogs are good watchdogs and warn their owners about strangers. They are protective of their families but are not guard dogs. They love to be busy and constantly move around the place. With an Eskie puppy, one is assured of a cuddly polar bear running, walking, and talking around, making them forget their “me time.”

American Eskimo Dog  Training

American Eskimo Dogs are intelligent dogs who love to use their brains. They are highly energetic and easy to train. American Eskimo puppies need to be socialized early, and puppy training is necessary. Back in their circus days, they were trained dog acts. They are eager to please and learn new commands quickly. Eskies crave attention and companionship with their humans and develop destructive behavior when left alone.

Trainability Overview

Easy to trainHigh
IntelligenceHigh
Prey driveHigh to medium
Mouthiness tendenciesHigh
Barking and Howling tendenciesHigh
Wanderlust tendenciesMedium

American Eskimo Dog Exercise Needs

American Eskimo Dogs are intelligent and active dogs. They need a lot of activities to keep them mentally and physically active and busy. They have a lot of energy and require a high amount of exercise. An Eskie left alone or lacking enough exercise will develop destructive behaviors. They love chewing and need proper toys to play with to provide  suitable training and mental stimulation. They have a high prey drive and should be in leashes while walking or playing. They excel in activities such as agility, tricks, and dog games. They love to be indoors with their owners and can be engaged with indoor games. However, a daily exercise of 60 minutes will keep the Eskies healthy and happy.

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy levelHigh
Exercise needsHigh
IntensityMedium
PlayfulnessHigh

American Eskimo Dog Grooming

American Eskimo Dogs are double-coated and are easy to clean. The coat is soft and straight, with a high level of shedding. Brushing the coat 2-3 times a week will remove the dead hairs and prevent matting. You can bathe them occasionally as the skin gets dry and develops irritation. The ears need to be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections. Nails need to be trimmed to avoid overgrowth and any injury. Brush their teeth periodically for good oral health. Trimming the whiskers and coat is not allowed, and it will be penalized if done.

Grooming Overview

Easy to groomHigh
Drooling tendenciesLow 
Amount of sheddingHigh

American Eskimo Dog Health

American Eskimo Dog is a healthy and active dog. Yet, it’s always wise to be aware of the health conditions they are prone to.

Health Overview

General healthHigh
Weight gain tendenciesHigh
SizeLow

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative eye disorder that causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eyes. It can be detected earlier. A very later stage is blindness. Dogs with this condition can survive for several years since they have other senses to compensate.

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is outwardly a painful disease that occurs when the bones of the back legs do not fit properly in the joints. While some dogs will exhibit symptoms, the majority of canines will not. Hip dysplasia is primarily genetic, although other causes such as accidents, excessive weight gain, and inappropriate training can also cause it. Even though this disease is fatal, therapies range from medicine to hip replacement surgery. 

Hip Dysplasia causes defects or damage to the hip bones and joints and worsens without treatment. To avoid this problem, avoid breeding dogs with hip dysplasia parentage and get annual examinations.

Other Causes of Hip Dysplasia: 

  • Injuries 
  • Excessive weight gain 
  • Wrong exercises 

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include:

  • Reduced activity and movements
  • Reluctance to rise, jump, run or climb
  • Lameness in the hind limbs
  • Reducing thigh muscle mass
  • Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
  • Grating in the joint during movement
  • Enlarging shoulders
  • Pain
  • Stiffness

Cataracts: It is a common cause of blindness in older Dogs. The lens of the eyes becomes cloudy and opaque. Treatment might require surgery for good results.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This condition affects the hip joint. The blood supply to the head of the femur is decreased, and thus it gets disintegrated. It affects puppies at the age of 4-6 months old, and the symptoms include limping. You can treat this with surgery.

  • Hip Evaluation
  • PRA Optigen DNA Test
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

American Eskimo Dog  Diet and Nutrition

American Eskimo Dogs require a daily amount of 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food divided into two meals. They are active dogs and need the right amount of nourishment. Therefore, you can feed them a well-balanced protein diet along with calorie-rich food. However, every dog’s diet depends upon the size, age, metabolism, and activity level. They love to eat and are prone to obesity. Nothing makes them happier than a treat and a cuddle. However, they can be kept healthy and in shape with the nourishing and right amount of meals. At regular intervals, provide your dog with clean and fresh water.

American Eskimo Dog Living condition

American Eskimo Dogs are well being anywhere and are adaptable. They love cold climates and it is fun to watch them playing in the snow for hours. American Eskimo dogs are indoor dogs and can live in any kind of home, from apartments to houses with big yards. They love to be around their family and don’t suit the backyard. They also suffer separation anxiety when left alone. They have high energy levels and do well in busy households.

Did you know?

  • The American Eskimo Dog is always white or Biscuit Cream.
  • American Eskimo Dogs are intelligent and were famous for doing dog tricks in the circuses during the 19th century.
  • They became a popular breed after dancing to music and interacting with clowns at the Barnum and BaileyCircus.
  • Perrie the Eskie was the most popular dog as a tightrope walker performing at the  Barnum and BaileyCircus.
  • Previously known as the American Spitz, the name changed to American Eskimo Dog in 1917.
  • American Eskimo Dogs or their name has no traceable origin or connection with the Eskimos.

American Eskimo Dog Club Recognition

  • AKC-Recognized Breed
  • Canadian Kennel Club 

Rescue Groups

  • Heart Bandits, the American Eskimo Dog Rescue

Adding an American Eskimo Dog to Your Family

Things to remember before adding an American Eskimo Dog to your family.

It is best to get an American Eskimo Dog from a reputable breeder to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health and vaccination. In addition, it is best to check with the puppy’s parents to cross-check its health and happiness. Following health clearance certificates are essential:

  • Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease.
  • Auburn University for thrombopathia.
  • The Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) for eye conditions. 

The cost of an American Eskimo is between $300 and $1000, exclusive of the miscellaneous costs.

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