Information on the American Eskimo Dog Breed


American Eskimo Dog Figurine

The American Eskimo dog, also known as and Eskie or Spitz, is an American dog breed with German descent.  He is bred from German spitz breeds such as the Pomeranian, Samoyed, and Keeshond.  In fact, the American Eskimo dog breed was once called the American Spitz.  His name was changed to the American Eskimo dog after World War I in order to remove any negative association that the spitz name carried in regards to the Germans.

The American Eskimo dog breed is in the Non-Sporting Group of the American Kennel Club.  He was originally bred as a watchdog and farm worker.  He later gained in popularity due to his spectacular performances at the circus.  The liveliness and intelligence of the American Eskimo dog made him relatively easy to train and his adorable tricks and cute face made him fun to watch.  Of the many spitz-breed dogs, the American Eskimo dog tends to be the most responsive to training and agreeable in nature.  However, he can still be independent and stubborn at times.  Using primarily positively reinforced training will bring out his more favorable attributes.  Negative reinforcement, on the other hand, is likely to make the American Eskimo’s nature even more obstinate.

The American Eskimo dog breed is a playful dog and is fairly affectionate.  He is generally good with all human members of the family, including children, but may not get along well with other pets and is normally wary of strangers.  The American Eskimo dog needs moderate daily exercise.  If he is the larger variety of Eskie, he will be great on a jog or long walks.  The smaller variety also needs daily walks, but his walks do not need to be as long.

The American Eskimo dog breed is white in color, or sometimes a very light cream.  He has black eye rims, a black nose, and black lips.  Like his Pomeranian cousin, the ears of the American Eskimo dog breed are small and triangular and stand erect.  His tail is fluffy and carried over his back.  The American Eskimo dog breed has straight medium-length hair.  He needs to be brushed twice a week – or more during shedding season.  While shedding may be an issue, his double-coat makes him an ideal dog in cold-weather regions.

The American Eskimo dog breed can be found in three sizes as recognized by the American Kennel Club.  The larger size is the standard size and he should weigh 20-40 pounds and stand 15-19 inches tall.  The miniature size should weigh 11-20 pounds and stand 12-15 inches tall.  And the smallest size, called the toy size, should weigh only 6-10 pounds and stand 9-12 inches tall.

Like most purebred dogs, the American Eskimo dog breed has a genetic tendency to specific health issues.  If you are going to purchase an American Eskimo dog breed, research your breeders thoroughly.  Look for a history of patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).  Patellar luxation and hip dysplasia are skeletal diseases which may not be evident in a young pup but can develop into something more serious and painful as the dog gets older.  Patellar luxation affects the dog’s knee cap whereas hip dysplasia affects the hips.  Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is where the retina of the dog’s eye deteriorates.  Depending on the rate of deterioration, a dog with PRA could end up totally blind even at a young age.  Purchasing an American Eskimo dog breed without doing thorough research on these hereditary issues not only leads to potential heart-ache, but it also encourages these unscrupulous dog breeders to breed more unhealthy dogs.

The American Eskimo dog breed is a fun-loving dog with a playful and bright personality.  If you are looking for a dog who is both affectionate and entertaining, then the American Eskimo dog may be for you.  Be ready to be a firm yet positive pack leader in order to avoid any behavior problems such as aggression, excessive barking, or otherwise willful behavior.  Take the time to train your Eskie basic commands as well as cute tricks and you are on your way to having a great dog.

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