What is an American Eskimo Dog?


The American Eskimo Dog commonly referred to as Eskies come in three Kennel Club sizes, Standard, Miniature and Toy. These days the breed is better known as a bright lively family dog . Originally it was a working dog with its history as a Germanic Spitz, then an American Spitz. Contrary to popular belief and some online searches, these dogs are NOT Hypoallergenic. They are a double coated breed of which the top coats sheds very little hair, but the undercoat sheds a considerable amount often with the change of seasons and can leave tufts of hair lying around, not good if you are allergic to pet hair.

Quick Facts about the American Eskimo Dog

Lifespan of an Eskie

12 to 14 Years

Eskies Height at the Withers

Standard                           15 to 19 inches                or          38 to 48 cms
Miniature                         12 to 15 inches                or          30 to 38 cms
Toy                                     9 to 12 inches                  or          23 to 30 cms

Weight of an Eskimo Dog

Standard                           20 to 40 lbs        or           9 to 18 kgs
Miniature                         11 to 20 lbs        or           5 to 9 kgs
Toy                                     6 to 10 lbs          or           2.5 to 5 kgs

Average Price of an Eskimo Dog

In the USA prices range from $600 to $4500 dependant upon breeding history and pedigree.
In the UK these dogs are about £1000 to £2000.

What Breed is the American Eskimo Dog

Placed in the Kennel Clubs Utility Group it is listed as a Companion Dog.

Are Eskies Hypoallergenic?

No. This breed is double coated with an undercoat that moults, sometimes heavily and will require brushing.

What does the American Eskimo Dog look like?

This dog has a white coat of double fur which looks puffy and soft when groomed. A medium slightly angular snout leads to a high forehead into a round shaped head with low erect ears generally facing forward.
The eyes nose and lips tend to be black.

Note the black lips

The neck is strong and looks wide but this is an illusion of thick hair. The neck is of average size and leads to a square chest and a back that has a slight downward curve, lifting at the tail which is a medium length, fluffy and usually facing toward the head over the back.

A pair of American Eskimo Dogs

The feet are oval at the end of short legs under a compact body structure. Despite its genteel appearance this is a tough little dog.

A Samoyed Dog – Not an American Eskimo Dog

It should be noted here that many people mistake Samoyed dogs for American Eskimo Dogs and it is easy to see why in the picture above. The easy way to tell full grown breeds apart is simply from the size. The three sizes as shown above give you a maximum height of 19 inches, Samoyeds are larger than this, the smallestSamoyed can be is 19 inches.

Characteristics of the American Eskimo Dog

Eskies are lively, bright, intelligent dogs. They love company and are usually eager to please their trainers. Happy with their own company when left alone they also make good guard dogs as they are usually very alert to their surroundings.

They enjoy play and affection which makes them good family dogs and are very good when growing with children making them very loyal to the family and mindful of strangers that may approach.

Health and Exercise for an Eskie

This dog needs plenty of exercise, a daily walk or run is a must or they may become destructive or mischievous when bored.

They make good kennel dogs as they are very happy outside, they prefer cold weather to hot weather.

History of the American Eskimo Dog

Eskies are generally descended from a line of Spitz dogs emanating from Germany with various influences from Keeshond, Pomeranian and possibly Volpino Italiano. Originally bought to the USA by Europeans who were trading and working as well as immigrants.

By 1920 the Spitz was performing in circuses and was given the name American Spitz. Breeders at the circuses would sell the puppies as they travelled making the breed widespread across the USA.

Between WW1 and WW2 the name was changed to American Eskimo, removing any trace of the Germanic sounding names and thus the breed survived and multiplied.

Although the breed was registered with the United Kennel Club the AKC did not fully recognise the breed until as late as 1994.

Health Concerns of the Eskie

Generally this breed is very fit but occasionally pups have been known to have Patellar Luxation  and older dogs having hip dysplasia and PRA (progressive retinal atrophy).

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