About the Breed
The American Eskimo Dog is the adorable white dog that has nothing to do with Eskimos, Alaska, or even America in its creation! This breed was developed in Europe, primarily Germany, from various Spitz breeds, including the German Spitz, Italian Spitz, Pomeranian, and Keeshond.
The breed’s name came about during World War I and was meant to be a patriotic ode to the country and a resistance to those things perceived as German. He is not a recognized breed internationally, and instead, similar-looking dogs are known as the German Spitz in Europe.
He found his favor in the United States and was particularly popular as a highly trainable circus dog in the early half of the 1900s. Many people had their introduction to the breed through those dogs that could do tricks as complicated as walking a tightrope.
The first thing that people notice about the American Eskimo Dog is his lush and full white coat. The breed only comes in snow white coloration or white with a light creamish coloration known as biscuit. Solid white is the preferred coloration.
The coat is thick and perfect for cool weather. It is a double-coated breed with a short, very thick undercoat with longer guard hairs on top.
He is a compact dog that comes in three different sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. The toy size is 9-12 inches tall; the miniature is 12-15 inches tall; the standard is 15-19 inches tall. The weight varies accordingly.
The American Eskimo Dog is a perfect little watchdog. Although today he is primarily known as a companion dog, he originally was purposed for helping to protect his property and home by alerting the family.
He is not an aggressive dog, but he can be territorial. This nature as a watchdog does mean he barks more frequently than some other breeds as he will alert you to sights and sounds near the property.
He is a friendly little dog that is highly intelligent. He desires to please his family and is generally considered quite loyal to them. If properly socialized and raised with children, he can make a nice companion. He can also get along with other animals and dogs.
Although very friendly with the family, he may initially be cautious or reserved with strangers until he has gotten the chance to know them.
The American Eskimo dog is a lot of fun to have around and can excel at whatever he puts his mind to. He can be a good companion and buddy and a nice dog to do performance sports with.
The American Eskimo Dog is generally quite easy to train. They tend to want to please their person and want to learn new tasks. His history as a circus performer tells us that he can learn quite complicated skills as well. He is also agile by nature which makes him a natural for agility.
The breed does best with motivation and positive reinforcement rather than harsher training methods. This allows them to shine.
Proper socialization is necessary to avoid any issues with strangers. As a general rule, it is not an aggressive breed, but due to its territorial and protective nature, socialization is key. Additionally, he does require daily exercise and activity with his family. Otherwise, he may develop nuisance behaviors like excessive barking or destructive behavior.
Shedding & Grooming
The American Eskimo Dog is a beautiful dog to look at, but it does require grooming to maintain its look. Although no trimming at all is required, he does have a thick coat that does shed.
Investing in a brush and de-shedding tool for the heavier periods of shedding will be important. Weekly brushing should help to catch loose hairs.
The breed’s coat doesn’t catch dirt, so it is fairly clean, and he isn’t a dog with noticeable odors about him. This means bathing doesn’t need to be done frequently. The use of a white enhancer shampoo will help maintain his white color.
You may find an issue with tear staining around his eyes. If this occurs, you will need to regularly clean the hair around his eyes with warm water and use a tear staining removal product.
Regular toenail trims and toothbrushing rounds out the grooming routine.
Health & Life Expectancy
The American Eskimo Dog enjoys a fairly long lifespan at 14-16 years, but some individuals can live longer than that. The breed has very few health issues in comparison with other breeds. There are a few issues that might be encountered:
• Eye disorders like Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration
• Luxating patellas
• Hip dysplasia