The American Eskimo Dog aka the “Eskie” is right up there with being one of the cutest little dogs you’re ever going to see, but don’t let their looks or name fool you because neither of which really say much about what the breed is really all about.
To get a better idea…
About the true nature of the breed, you might want to refer back to its previous name used by the United Kennel Club (UKC) which referred to this dog breed by its true lineage when it called them the American Spitz.
This is because…
The American “Eskimo Dog” actually descends from a variety of “Spitz” dog breeds (or spitz family) originating in Germany.
Some also call the American Eskimo Dog a “Nordic breed”, meaning it likely shares some blood with some other European breeds such as the Pomeranian, the White Keeshound and the Volpino Italiano.
So, as you can see…
The American Eskimo Dog really doesn’t have any link to the Eskimo people at all. Instead, after World War I, when it was no longer “vouge” to have a German sounding name, these little dogs received a “name change” to remove any hit of being “German”.
American Eskimo Dog Fast Facts
Area of Origin: United States/Germany
Life Expectancy: 12-14 years.
Also referred to as: The “Circus” Dog.
The American Eskimo dogs…
Were originally bred to ward as a watchdog that could also work around the farm hunting small animals. What was discovered, however, was that these dogs were natural “performers” and/or “showman”!
As a result…
American Eskimo dogs quickly became a favorite to have with any traveling circus (circus dogs) simply because they were super cute, they loved the attention and because they are naturally very “trainable”.
It was these traveling circuses which originally contributed greatly to the disbursement of the American Eskimo dog across the country simply because many folks who visited the circus couldn’t resist leaving without a puppy (puppies) when the show ended!
Personality of the American Eskimo Dog
As we’ve already hinted, these playful puppies never fully grow out of their youthfulness! Which is why, you’re going to find that most Eskies will enjoy playing, and giving their owner lots of love. And while this “youthful” and “rambunctious” behavior can sometimes be challenging with other breeds, this isn’t the case with the Eskie because they’re also quite easy to train.
At their core…
American Eskimo dogs are people “pleasers”. So… as long as you start obedience training early, you’re going to find that you’re Eskie is going to be a treat to own. After all they used to work as circus dogs, and who doesn’t love a good circus!
The only downside is…
That this breed has more separation anxiety than others.
So… If you’re planning on leaving your Eskie at home for long periods of time, don’t’ be surprised if he/she decides to sit by the door the whole time, waiting for your return.
Now, did we mention Eskies are great with kids too!
You don’t even need to get an American Eskimo puppy for this to be true. Which is great because unlike other dog breeds, where it may be difficult to introduce them to children later on in their adult lives, American Eskimo dogs tend to do well around children at any age.
Which means that…
If you do decide that an American Eskimo dog is right for you, you don’t have to get a American Eskimo dog puppy! Instead, you could choose to rescue an adult American Eskimo dog from an American Eskimo breed rescue center! (Can you tell that we love folks who rescue dogs from rescue centers?)
And don’t be worried…
If you already have a few pets at home, Eskies are a great companion not just for humans but also for cats and other dogs as well.
American Eskimo Dog Physical Characteristics.
American Eskimo Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. To start, you can get an American Eskimo in three sizes: toy, miniature and standard! Though some are white and biscuit in color, they are mostly known for those beautiful white fur coats; and yes, just like anything with long hair, it will need to be maintained.
This is particularly the case…
With the American Eskimo Dog because it’s coat is a double coat (an inner and outer coat) and sheds all the time! So, unless you want to have a house full of hair, you’re definitely going to want to brush it—and often (like every 2 or 3 days).
The good news is that…
Unlike some other dog breeds, you really don’t need to bathe an American Eskimo all that often. With Eskie’s a bath every other month is usually enough so that does make up for some of the time you will spend brushing them.
(Not sure you can handle all that brushing? Check out the Rat Terrier breed, he or she may be more suited for what you’re looking for.)
The American Eskimo Dog Club of America
The American Eskimo Dog Club of America is another great source of information where one can learn more about the American Eskimo Dog, as well as the American Kennel Club which officially recognizes the American Eskimo Dog as it’s own unique breed that is included in the “non-sporting group”.
It should be noted…
That thee American Eskimo Dog breed isn’t recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale so to participate in international competition, your Eskie will have to be registered as a German Spitz (even though, in fact, it is not a German Spitz!).
Health Concerns for American Eskimo Dogs
Whenever you decide to purchase an Eskie for yourself or your family, it’s important to consider purchasing your dog from a reputable dog breeder. This is because just like all purebreds, these dogs are prone to certain health problems.
So… knowing that the breeder that you’re working with is aware of these issues and actively tries to prevent them or minimize them in his or her litters will go a long way to ensuring that you are ultimately happy with your new family member.
That said, however, here are some common issues that you’ll want to be on the lookout for:
American Eskimo Dog Common Health Issues
Hip Dysplasia: this is fairly common, but a lot of dogs go their whole lives without a problem. If, however, it happens, it’s going to set you back about $3000-6000.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): this isn’t a major issue, but if your dog gets it you will want to fix it. The cost will vary but could be a few thousand dollars.
Legg-Calve-Perthes-Disease: This is another disease of the hip and will likely require surgery around $3000-6000.
Luxating Patella: If your dog’s kneecap pops out, it is called luxating patella. You’ll definitely need to get a surgery – and possibly without warning – which could cost around $1200-3000.
Thyroid Problems: This may require ongoing treatment for your eskie or a one-time solution. Depending on the diagnosis, the cost will vary. Left untreated, it will lead to a whole range of health problems such as weight fluctuation, behavioral issues, and skin diseases.
Now at this point…You may be saying to yourself:
“Wow, American Eskimo Dogs can suffer from a lot of health issues!”
And to be honest with you, you’re right!
But the fact is that just like every other dog breed, your pet will run the risk of getting sick or injured.
This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet like to discuss what potential issues your new loved one may have later on in his or her life because we want to drive home just how serious of a commitment it is to decide to adopt a new pet!
We can tell you first hand that there are literally thousands of people each day who receive a vet bill from their local veterinarian for 100’s if not 1000’s of dollars who would have gladly purchased a pet insurance policy when they first adopted their pet had they known one was available and at what cost.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet encourage all of our readers to take a moment and visit our Best Pet insurance companies article and see if purchase a pet insurance policy might be a good fit for you.
I had an AE and he was one of the smartest animals I ever met sadly he passed away at 15 years old. I miss him but definitely a great breed.