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American Eskimo Dog… Your Guide to Best Care.

The American Eskimo Dog aka the “Eskie” is right up there with being one of the cutest little dogs you’ll ever see, but don’t let their looks or name fool you because neither of which says much about what the breed is all about.

To get a better idea…

About the true nature of the breed, you should 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 other European breeds such as the Pomeranian, the White Keeshound and the Volpino Italiano.

So, as you can see…

The American Eskimo Dog doesn’t have any link to the Eskimo people.  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 initially 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 “showmen”!

As a result…

American Eskimo dogs quickly became a favorite with any traveling circus (circus dogs) simply because they were super cute, loved the attention, and were naturally very “trainable.”

These traveling circuses initially contributed significantly 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!

The Personality of the American Eskimo Dog

As we’ve already hinted, these playful puppies never fully grow out of their youthfulness! This is why you’ll find that most Eskies will enjoy playing and giving their owners 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 relatively 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 your Eskie will 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 we can see with this breed is that they tend to have more separation anxiety than others. So, if you plan on leaving your Eskie at home for long periods, don’t be surprised if they decide 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 need to get an American Eskimo puppy for this to be true.  This is great because unlike other dog breeds, where it may be difficult to introduce them to children later in their adult lives, American Eskimo dogs tend to do well around children at any age.

This means that if you decide that an American Eskimo dog is right for you, you don’t have to get an 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 worry 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.

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…

The American Eskimo Dog because its 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 going to want to brush it—and often (like every 2 or 3 days).

The good news is that…

Unlike some dog breeds, you 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? You can check out the Rat Terrier breed; they may suit your look better.

The American Eskimo Dog Club of America

The American Eskimo Dog Club of America is another excellent 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 its unique breed that is included in the “non-sporting group”.

It should be noted…

The Federation Cynologique Internationale doesn’t recognize the American Eskimo Dog breed so to participate in international competition, your Eskie must be registered as a German Spitz (even though 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 essential to consider purchasing your dog from a reputable dog breeder.  These dogs are prone to specific health problems like all purebreds.

So… knowing that the breeder you’re working with is aware of these issues and actively tries to prevent them or minimize them in their 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 pretty common, but many dogs go their whole lives without a problem. If, however, it happens, it will set you back about $3000-6000.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): this isn’t a significant 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 hip disease and will likely require surgery around $3000-6000.

Luxating Patella: If your dog’s kneecap pops out, it is called luxating patella. You’ll need to get surgery – possibly without warning – which could cost around $1200-3000.

Thyroid Problems: This may require ongoing treatment for your skin or a one-time solution. Depending on the diagnosis, the cost will vary. Left untreated, it will lead to various 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 many 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 their life because we want to drive home just how serious of a commitment it is to decide to adopt a new pet!

Plus, we can tell you firsthand that there are 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 purchasing a pet insurance policy might be a good fit for you.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Dwight March 9, 2023, 8:31 pm

    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.

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