The American Eskimo dog originated in Germany is a great companion and watchdog. Despite its appearance it did not descend from the Husky, but is a member of the Spitz family.
The American Eskimo dog has a white or biscuit cream straight double coat and a compact body. There should be a ruff around the neck, short smooth hair on the outer ears, and the hair on the back of the legs should be feathered. The length and height of the dog are approximately the same. The Eskie has a long muzzle, erect ears and a feathered tail which loosely curls onto the dog’s back. The American Eskimo dog comes in three sizes, toy, miniature and standard. The toy is from 9 to 12 inches, the miniature from 12 to 15 inches and the standard from 15 to 19 inches.
The Eskie is alert, with brown, slightly oval eyes set well apart. The rims of the eyes are black to dark brown and the eyelashes white. The widest breadth of the skull of the American Eskimo is between the ears. The breed has a broad, straight body and well angulated forequarters and hindquarters. The feet of the Eskie are oval, compact and well padded with hair; the pads are dark and the toenails are white.
The American Eskimo typically lives for 12 to 14 years. They are prone to some health problems, including: elbow and knee degeneration, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, allergies, and epilepsy.
The American Eskimo dog was bred to be a companion, and is usually protective and loving toward its human family. Some American Eskimos are prone to separation anxiety. The Eskimo is easily trained, but should be trained early in age. They take up to two years to mature, which is a good deal longer than most breeds. The dogs need to be active and stimulated, both socially and intellectually. If they are not, they might develop behavioral issues.
The breed has been known to be used in circus acts, such as tightrope walking, and the breed’s popularity is partially due to the circuses selling the puppies as they traveled the nation.
The coat of the American Eskimo is long, dense, and requires regular grooming (at least once a week). The breed sheds completely twice a year, but this can be maintained with regular brushing. Eskies should not be shaved, as their coat protects their skin and helps them to maintain their body temperature, but if one is shaved it should be kept mostly indoors to prevent sunburn. Eskies have dry skin, and because of this they should only be bathed every few months. They tend to groom themselves and are a very clean breed.
Photo Credit: Ben Lunsford