The American Eskimo is a strikingly beautiful dog both for it’s appearance and lively personality. Made popular as a circus dog in the 1930s and 40s, this dog excels as a performer in a family setting or in agility training.
Let’s see if the American Eskimo Dog, also known as the Eskie, is right for you.
- Height/Weight: Toy: 9-12 inches and 6-10 lbs. Miniature: 12-15 inches and 10-20 lbs. Standard: 15-20 inches and 18-3.
- Historical Function: watchdog, working, herding
- Modern Function: companion
Physical Characteristics: The American Eskimo is a beautiful, small to medium-size companion dog that looks like a miniature Samoyed. There are three varieties: toy, miniature and standard.
History of Breed: The history of the American Eskimo Dog is somewhat vague, but their ancestors came from northern Europe. Evidence suggests that they are related to the Keeshond, the white Pomeranian, and other Spitz breeds. White Spitz dogs were first brought to the United States by German settlers. Due to anti-German sentiment during World War I, the German White Spitz was renamed the American Eskimo, after a kennel of the same title that first registered the breed. The breed has nothing to do with the Eskimo culture, however. American Eskimo dogs became very popular in the 1930s and 40s as they were featured as circus performers, and puppies were sold after performances. One such performing dog was famous for walking a tightrope in the Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1930s.
Temperament: Bred solely to be companions, the American Eskimo Dog thrives on being part of the family. This charming and playful breed is excellent with children, and loves to be lavished with attention. The Eskie ranks as one of the most intelligent of dogs. Because of this and its willingness to please, it is easy to train and excels in obedience trials. They are suspicious and wary of strangers and make good guardians of their family and home. They love to bark and will sound the alarm whenever they deem it necessary. This breed does not do well if left alone for extended periods of time as they may find destructive methods of entertaining themselves.
- Best Suited for: Families with children, apartment dwellers if exercised adequately, agility dog trainers.
- Preferred living conditions: American Eskimo Dogs are very people oriented, so as long as they can be with their human family, given adequate mental and physical exercise, they will be content.
Care and Health:
- Grooming requirements: Eskies have a profuse double-coat that sheds, and requires brushing a few times a week to prevent mats. They need rare baths and trimming of the nails. They have a seasonal shed twice yearly where the shedding is heavy.
- Exercise needs: A daily walk is helpful for behavioral enhancement. Enjoys playing in a fenced yard.
- Life expectancy: 16 years.
- Health concerns: The American Eskimo is a hearty breed, but consult with a responsible breeder that is screening for hip dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and luxating patella.
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