The American Eskimo Dog, lovingly referred to as the Eskie, has a rather outdated name. This little fluff ball has nothing to do with the indigenous peoples of North America. Rather, these cuties functioned as circus performers in the Midwest. Today, they make action-packed companions with hearts of gold. Read on to learn more about the American Eskimo Dog.
Description of the American Eskimo Dog
These dogs look like smaller versions of some more famous breeds like the Husky. Some people even think they resemble miniature white wolves. Their dense coat is beautiful and full, with extra volume around the back of the neck. This gives the Eskie the profile of a lion, especially when riled up!
The American Eskimo Dog is always white, sometimes with a light cream color called “biscuit. Their black points and alert eyes give them a striking look.
These dogs were developed by German immigrants to the U.S., who brought with them their native Spitz, the Eskie’s ancestor, as a farm hand. However, these dogs soon found a calling in the circus, and developed into the trick masters they are today. The breed was rebranded to mask their German heritage during World War I.
Today, the American Eskimo Dog makes a fun-loving family companion.
Life Expectancy and Size
This breed is generally very healthy, and usually lives well into its teens. The Eskie’s life expectancy is between 13 and 15 years.
These dogs also come in a variety of sizes. They can suit many different families’ individual needs. The standard Eskie is between 15 and 19 inches, weighing 25 to 35 pounds. This means that they just barely are classified as a medium-sized dog.
The miniature version stands 12 to 15 inches tall, and weighs 10 to 20 pounds. Finally, the tiny Toy Eskimo Dog is 9 to 12 inches tall, and weighs only 6 to 10 pounds.
This breed is known for its bark but is certainly no one’s first choice as a guard dog. They will gladly alert you to strangers, using their shrill voice to sound the alarm. To be frank, these dogs are so prone to barking that many of their owners simply tune them out – making them useless as guard dogs. Sometimes suspicious of strangers, they are rarely aggressive, especially if well socialized. Of course, the toy version of the Eskie is incapable of striking fear into anyone’s heart at just 6 pounds!
The Eskie was born to be trained. These are circus dogs, and often pick up tricks so fast that it’s scary. After a day at the dog park, they may come home with a new trick that you never even taught them!
That being said, these dogs are trick-oriented, and can become bored with standard obedience training. Try to make sessions fun and varied. Channel this breed’s energy and enthusiasm so that he doesn’t channel it himself.
The American Eskimo dog will feed off of their owners energy. They are very social dogs, and enjoy the interactions they get with their owner during training sessions. However, they will also quickly become sad and listless if yelled at. Maintain positive, rewards-based training.
All sizes of the Eskie are quite energetic. They love games and thrive off of playtime. It is important to give them adequate exercise, or they may become destructive.
Most of these breeds calm down later in life, and begin to love cuddling more and chasing less. At all ages, these are inside dogs that love being with their family no matter what.
What Living with an American Eskimo Dog is Like
This breed is a fun companion dog, for families that enjoy spunky and striking additions to the family. They are great with kids, who can usually keep up with their energy better than their parents!
These dogs are avid talkers and bark a lot. Make sure you live in an area where this won’t annoy the neighbors too much.
When well bred and properly exercised, these dogs have fewer health problems than some other small breeds.
This breed can fit into many families, as long as their owners are willing to commit to spending time with these social dogs. Although exercise is important, it should come in the form of joint play. These dogs are companions through and through.
Care of the American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog’s beautiful coat does not require as much care as you would think. They do shed though, and this dog’s social and exercise needs are significant.
This breed has a full, dense coat. They are perfectly capable of withstanding cold temperatures. However, remember that these are not outside dogs, and should always live indoors with the family. In summer, they may overheat, but their small size makes them less susceptible than many other furry friends.
The best way to exercise an Eskie is to spend plenty of time with him outdoors. Ideally, these dogs have access to a yard where they can romp and play. They should always be supervised by their humans, though. These social creatures do not like being alone. When you can’t join them for playtime, make sure to provide plenty of toys.
Smaller Eskies require less exercise, but all sizes are active dogs.
Besides physical activity, make sure to provide your pup with challenges for his mind. This can come in the form of puzzle toys or simple group play. These dogs were bred to learn tricks, so put their minds to good use!
Shedding and Grooming
The American Eskimo Dog is a heavy shedder. Unfortunately, you’ll be able to see his beautiful white coat everywhere, including on your couch.
To limit the amount of hair on your furniture, make sure to brush this breed regularly. Brushing these dogs at least a couple of times each week will catch some of the loose hairs before they fall. It will also keep them looking healthy and shiny.
This breed has a dense, oily coat that keeps dirt out quite effectively. They can be bathed when they smell, but limit sessions to a few times a year. Otherwise, you may irritate their sensitive skin.
Ideal Home Environment
This breed is a great choice for families, especially those with children. These dogs love playing with well-behaved kids. They also get along well with other pets, as long as you’re sure to provide them with enough individual attention.
The American Eskimo Dog can keep up with all but the most active owners. They prefer variable activity to endurance sports.
This dog is a heavy shedder, and is known to be quite vocal. Only choose and American Eskimo Dog if you do not mind these qualities. For many people, their spunk and sweetness is worth it!
This breed is usually extremely healthy. They have long life expectancies, and few significant health problems.
Eye and hip problems can arise as the Eskie ages. These are real concerns for virtually every dog out there. Make sure to keep these dogs at a healthy weight and visit the veterinarian regularly to maintain their good health into old age.
This breed can be barky, there’s no way around it. Otherwise, this breed is not particularly well known for behavior concerns.
Most behavioral issues that do arise stem from boredom or inadequate socialization. Make sure to provide these dogs with plenty of family time from a young age. Introduce them to new and strange situations as much as possible.