American Eskimo

Type: Northern Breeds

Height: Toy: 9 - 12 inches. Miniature: 12 - 15 inches Standard: 15 - 19 inches.

Weight: Toy: 6 - 10 lbs. Miniature: 10 - 20 lbs. Standard: 18 - 35 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 15 years.

Litter Size: 5 puppies is average

Country of Origin: USA

Activity: High. This is an active, bouncy breed.

Watch-dog: High. The Eskie will bark to alert owner to strangers.

Guard-dog: High


Description: The American Eskimo is in the Spitz family (Nordic Breed), descending from European breeds like the German Spitz, the White Keeshond, the White Pomeranian, and the Volpino Italiano. They are bred as companions. Their face, coat and lush tail are Spitz-type and they have a pointed muzzle and erect ears. Nicknamed the "Eskie" they have been bred to be a house dog, companion and watch dog. American Eskimos are wonderful with their human family including children, as long as they are near their family they will be content. They enjoy cold weather better than warm. Known to clean their faces like cats they are easier to maintain than you may think, as their coat easily repels dirt and they have no doggie odor when clean. They have been used as a watchdog, as well as a circus performer. American Eskies come in three sizes: toy miniature, and standard.

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Other Names: Eskie, American Spitz

Colors: All white or biscuit cream.

Coat: Stand off straight, double coat with a dense undercoat and a longer coat of guard hairs. It has a pronounced ruff around the neck and longer hair on the rump and hind legs.

Temperament: American Eskimos are affectionate, fun-loving, bright, obedient, alert, energetic, and intelligent but can also be independent and tenacious. They are loyal, outgoing, and eager to please with its friends and family but wary with strangers. The American Eskimo can be very clever and sometimes mischievous. They make excellent watchdogs, and are even quite good at guarding. They get along well with children and other animals. They are lively dogs that love the cold weather. They are the most biddable of the spitz breeds. They are also very clean, as they clean themselves like cats. Eskies are hardy and sturdy, and often long-lived.

With Children: Yes, good if properly socialized to children.

With Pets: Yes, especially with other American Eskimos

Care and Training: American Eskimos need to be brushed twice weekly and even more when shedding, they will also need to be bathed once a month. You will need to pay special attention to their teeth and nails. Larger American Eskimos will need a good jog or long walk daily. Miniature and Toy Eskies need only a short walk or lively romp.

Learning Rate: This breed is highly social. They are adaptable to apartment life but need regular exercise and attention. American Eskimos need long daily walks or free reign in a fenced backyard. They enjoy active exercise and roughhousing. They are relatively easy to train.

Special Needs: Attention, grooming, socialization, and training

Living Environment: This breed is highly social. They are adaptable to apartment life but need regular exercise and attention. American Eskimos need long daily walks or free reign in a fenced backyard. They enjoy active exercise and roughhousing. They are relatively easy to train.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), elbow and knee degeneration and seizures.

History: The American Eskimo can be traced to the Peat Dog, a breed that lived among the New Stone Age lake dwellers. They are one of the oldest breeds. Belonging to the "Spitz" group, they are descendants of the White German Spitz dogs. They are thought to be made of Keeshond, Pomeranian, and Volpino Italiano. It is speculated they arrived in the United States in the 1600s. Early on they were known as the American Spitz, but changed their name in 1917 to the American Eskimo Dog, or "Eskie". The reason for changing from the name American Spitz was to disassociate the name with anything German, the word "spitz" being from Germany. Thus the name was changed in order to attribute their old home with the Eskimos with the new home, America. These dogs often performed in circuses, and customers would bring home puppy Eskies at the end of the shows. The American Eskimo started out much larger, as in the Standard version. Now, it is divided into three categories: Toy, Miniature and Standard. In 1985 the American Eskimo Dog Club of America was formed.

First Registered by the AKC: 1995

AKC Group: Non-Sporting

Registries: AKC, UKC