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The American Eskimo Dog is a spitz type breed which originated from Germany in the 20th century. Spitz type dogs usually have curled tails, pointed muzzles, and pointed ears. There are many spitz breeds all over the world, and one of them is the American Eskimo Dog. It was officially renamed from German Spitz during World War I, due to anti-German sentiments. Later it was officially welcomed to the United Kennel Club, and on July 1, 1995, it became American Kennel Club’s (AKC) 138th breed, having two national clubs dedicated to them: American Eskimo Dogs of America and National American Eskimo Dog Association.
These dogs are usually double-coated, with small eyes, rounded tips, smooth gait, and triangle-shaped pointy ears. The Eskie is a breed built specifically for cold temperatures and may also look like a sled dog, hence their name, “Eskimo Dog”.
Colors range from white to cream and biscuit-colored, although white is preferred by many. They have a strong body with a deep chest, and well-sprung ribs. Eskies also have a straight loin and muscular back. They have thick pads on their feet, designed for the winter. Much like Akitas, their tail is curled with long hair.
Male Eskies have thicker and more lavish coats than female ones. They have a thick mane or coat around the neck, and they also have a thick and soft undercoat. When they shed, many white particles are released from their coat, landing on rugs and furniture everywhere they go. Their top coat is much thicker because its purpose is to protect their skin from the harsh cold weather.
Their standard sizes are: 15 to 19 inches for male Eskies, and 14 to 18 inches for female Eskies. For miniatures, we have 12 to 15 inches for males and 11 to 14 for females. Puppy classes usually have a minimum of 11 inches for males and 10 inches for females. AKC has these standards: 9 to 12 inches (toys), 12 to 15 inches (miniatures), and 15 to 19 (standards).
There are certain breed disqualifications, such as having blue eyes, because having them for a white dog means a bigger chance of hearing disabilities.
As for their temperament, they are a fun and loving breed for the family. They are very intelligence and loyal in guarding your home. Eskies are high in energy levels, this is why one should train them with a firm method and keep them busy, otherwise they will become bored, annoying and destructive in the house. They can also work out well for city dwellers, provided that they walk every day. They enjoy being around people and learning new tricks, which makes them a good companion at home. They are known to be good with children. However, there are some who were raised in puppy farms without proper breeding, and thus need to be thoroughly socialized.
Their coat needs brushing a few times per week to remove mats. A recommended tool to use would be the pin brush with blunt pins. They shed once per year, but may be more or less frequent for females.
Health problems among the breed include hip dysplasia, urinary tract and flea allergies. Also, they must be trained in a consistent manner, since they are hyperactive dogs.