When you first see an American Eskimo dog, you may not believe your eyes as there are three distinct breeds, which include the toy, miniature, and standard. When most people think of an Eskimo dog, their minds visualize the husky or malamute, which guides us in the wrong direction when thinking of the American Eskimo dog.
You may have heard this breed called the German Spitz or American Eskimo Spitz, which was the popular name during the 19th century. The official name was finally changed to American Eskimo in 1917. They are also commonly referred to as Eskie.
These dogs were quite often in circus acts throughout the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. The dogs became very popular, as people would see them perform all kinds of dog tricks while touring with the circus. As a matter of fact, the American Eskimo Dog was the first dog to walk a tightrope.
The American Eskimo dog is not related to any Eskimo dog even though they are in the Nordic breed. These dogs were bred to be companion dogs. This means they are not the type of dog you put in the back yard and visit when you wish. The American Eskimo dog needs to be a part of their human family. They tend to make great watchdogs and will bark at any unannounced visitor or even while strangers are around. They tend to be very protective over their home and family, but are not prone to attacking or biting unless they are provoked.
The overall color of the American Eskimo dog is white or biscuit cream. The skin tone of this breed is pink or gray.
Since the American Eskimo Dog has three distinct breeds, we will look at the height first. The toy is 9 to 11 inches measured at the withers, the miniature is 12 to 15 inches, and the standard is over 15 inches up to 19 inches but not over.
This breed is considered to be a small to medium size dog with a white or white with biscuit cream coat. The double coat has a short, dense undercoat with a longer coat as the outer coat. The outer coat is straight without the presence of a waves or curls. The coat near the neck and chest is longer and thicker resembling that of a lion, which is more prominent in males.
The Alaskan Eskimo dog has eyes that are not really round, but more of an oval shape. They are dark to medium brown with rims from black to dark brown and white eyelashes. The ears are triangular with an almost blunt tip, which they hold erect. Their lips are also black to dark brown that are tight and thin.
Their back is straight and muscular with a wide and deep chest. Their tail is situated fairly high which reaches around the point of the hock. This breed normally carries their tail loosely on the back but can be dropped while at rest.
Both forequarters and hindquarters are well angulated. Dewclaws may be present on the forefeet but are not seen on the back. The American Eskimo feet are oval, solid, and well padded with hair. Toes are arched with white toenails. Pads are black to dark brown, sturdy and cushioned well.
The American Eskimo is known to be quite the charmer. He is loving, playful and superb with children. They are very intelligent and love pleasing their masters. They do expect to be included in the family and need the attention. As guard dogs they will bark loudly when a stranger approaches, however, they do not tend to attack or bit without provocation.
It is best to learn about the dogs parents prior to buying one, since they can take on bad personality traits such as nervousness, hyper-activity, or even an aggressive behavior.
They are very social dogs and love everyone once they are introduced and had the chance to get to know them. The American Eskimo can at times be strong willed and independent.
When it comes to caring for your American Eskimo dog there are a few things you need to aware of in order to have a happy and healthy pet. The number one rule is to never spank this breed, you will more than likely get into a growling match with you fussing and your American Eskimo growling.
The American Eskimo dog takes longer to mature than most other dogs with the puppy type behavior lasting up to age two.
They are intelligent, however, they need to be stimulated. This means you cannot leave this dog alone for long periods of time. This can lead to severe behavior problems. Obedience training or dog sports can really help the American Eskimo dog shine.
The American Eskimo dog is a bit needy. They need to feel like they belong or they can become quite naughty.
The fur beneath their eyes needs to be cleaned on a regular basis or the fur will become stained. Fleas are a major problem for this breed of dog with many of them being severely allergy. Only one flea on their body can put them into frenzy of scratching and biting.
Their coats will need to be brushed at least once per week. They blow their coats twice per year. It is not recommended to shave your American Eskimo dog as the fur actually aids in keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer and to keep them from sun burning.
They do tend to have dry skin and should be bathed every two to three months. They are considered a clean breed and do clean themselves often.
Their teeth should also be brushed once per week.
The American Eskimo dog is in the Spitz family of Nordic breeds. They are related to the white German Spitz, the Finnish Spitz, the Pomeranian, and the Keeshond. The true ancestry of the American Eskimo Dog may never be discovered, it can only be speculated.
It is believed that German immigrants brought the German Spitz to America. During World War I, anti-German feelings were widespread through the US and it is believed the name of the dog was changed to the American Eskimo Dog. Today, the German Spitz and the American Eskimo Dog are two separate breeds.
In 1913, a couple with the last name of Hall registered the first American Eskimo Dog and the kennel name became from that day forward as the American Eskimo.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the Barnum and Bailey circus used American Eskimo dogs for performing dog tricks. The very first dog to walk a tight rope was in fact an American Eskimo dog by the name of Stouts Pal Pierre. During this time, the circus would sell the puppies to the audience that attended the circus. People everywhere had the desire to own one of these talented and loving pups.
In 1969, the North American Eskimo Dog Association was formed. At the same time, the studbook was closed. In 1985, The American Eskimo Dog Club of America was formed for the reason of attaining AKC recognition. In 1994, the American Kennel club recognized the American Eskimo dog. On July 1, 1995, the American Eskimo dogs were recognized by the AKC. The United Kennel Club recognized the dog long before any other dog clubs and do not distinguish between the breed standards. The American Kennel Club does allow the toy size while the United Kennel Club does not.
As far as anyone can tell, the American Eskimo dog originated in the United States and was bred to be a companion dog.