American Eskimo Breed Standards
The American Eskimo Dog, or “Eskie,” is not actually connected to American Eskimos in any way, and is in fact a product of Germany. The American Eskimo Dog descends from a number of German spitz breeds, including the Keeshond and Pomeranian. As standards for these breeds were developed in the 19th century, dogs that did not match the standard fell out of favor with the rich and became the companions of the working class.
Existing documentation indicates that the American Eskimo Dog was brought to the United States by German immigrants during the 19th century, and as time passed the breed became known as the American Spitz. Around the turn of the 20th century the American Spitz became a popular circus performer, and propagation of the breed at that time largely rested on families buying puppies from circus performers after shows.
Following World War I, anti-German sentiment led dog fanciers to drop the word “Spitz” in favor of the name American Eskimo Dog. Though the breed is no more tied to the Eskimos than a Labrador Retriever, Yorkshire or any other breed, the dog’s appearance is redolent of that of large, Northern spitz dogs, and the Eskimo moniker was deemed appropriate. The American Eskimo Dog was recognized by the AKC as a member of the Non-Sporting Group in 1994.
SKILLS: The American Eskimo is a beautiful, snowy white Spitz-type dog. There are three varieties: the toy, miniature, and standard. That means there is an Eskie for all interests and house sizes.
SIZE: Toy: 9-12 inches (23-30cm) 6-10 pounds (2.4-4.5kg) Miniature: over 12 (30cm) up to 15 inches (38cm) 10-20 pounds (4.5-9kg) Standard: over 15 inches (38cm) up to 19 inches (48cm) 18-35 pounds (8kg-16kg)
The American Eskimo has a wedge-shaped head with muzzle and skull about the same length. It has erect triangular-shaped ears, and a heavily plumed tail curled over the back. Its neck is well carried and the topline good and level. Good legs and feet allow the Eskie to trot with bold energetic action. The profuse coat is always white, or white with biscuit or cream markings. Their skin is pink or gray. Black is the preferred color of their eyelids, gums, nose, and pads.
COAT: It may be necessary to pluck the American Eskimo Dog’s coat. This is usually done by a dog trimming specialist but it is possible to learn how to do it yourself. The hair should never be clipped because this ruins the coat for many years. Hairs sometimes grow in the corners of the eyes, causing irritation; these should be dealt with promptly.
CHARACTER: The American Eskimo is a charming, affectionate and loving dog. Hardy and playful, they are excellent with children. Highly intelligent and willing to please. Alert and easy to train, the American Eskimo often ranks among the top scorers in obedience trials. Some individuals have a willful streak, but most like to work. Dogs whose ancestry displays nervousness, hyperactivity or viciousness should not be bred.
EXERCISE: The American Eskimo loves to walk and should be well exercised either on a leash or in a safely enclosed yard.
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR: American Eskimos will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is very active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.
TRAINING: American Eskimo Dogs get on well with children, and can also be fine with their own sort, and other household pets. If you have visitors who are not known to your dog, the American Eskimo Dog may refuse to let them in without a great deal of reassurance.