The American Eskimo is bright, eager to please, lively and fun-loving, in short, an enjoyable and generally obedient companion. True to his Spitz heritage, he is independent and tenacious and loves to run, especially in cold weather. But he is among the most biddable of Spitz breeds, and is calm and well-mannered inside. He is good with children, other dogs, and pets and is generally outgoing to everyone.
American Eskimo Dog (Toy) Dog Care
The Eskie is energetic and needs a good workout every day. The extent of the workout depends on the size of the dog, with the larger Eskies needing a good jog or long walk and the smaller ones needing only a vigorous game in the yard or short walk. This breed is so attuned to his family that he does better indoors. The double coat needs brushing and combing twice weekly, more often when shedding.
American Eskimo Dog (Toy) Dog Health
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: patellar luxation
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: (knee)
Life span: 12-14 years
Interested in the history of the American Eskimo Dog (Toy) dog breed?
As the prototypical Spitz, the Eskie (as he is often called) is just as often simply called Spitz by pet parents. In fact, the American Eskimo dog descended from one of the varieties of Spitz developed in Germany, with influences from other Spitz breeds such as the Keeshond, Pomeranian, and Volpino Italiano. Ironically, it was the success of these other breeds that held the Eskie back. Although the Keeshond originally came in several colors, when it was decided to accept only gray specimens, the white Keeshonden were suddenly excluded. When the Pomeranian standard was drawn up to exclude dogs over 8 pounds, larger dogs were excluded as Pomeranians. Thus, by the early 1900s, there was two groups of medium-sized white dogs that, although purebreds, were excluded from their breeds. Their fate is unknown, but it is likely that they became pets of the working people. When European workers came to America, they brought these dogs with them. The turning point came in the 1920s, when the American Spitz (as he had come to be called) became a favorite of circus performers. Spectators often left the circus with a new family member, an offspring of one of the dazzling performers. Many present-day Eskies can be traced back to their circus ancestors. After World War I, the breed's name was changed to American Eskimo, to remove any Germanic sound from it. Most Eskies were kept as pets and farm dogs. A few families registered their dogs with the United Kennel Club, but it wasn't until 1994 that the AKC recognized the breed. Despite his acceptance into the AKC world of show dogs, the Eskie remains a dog of the people, far more popular as a pet than as a competitor.