American Eskimo

American Eskimo

American Eskimo

American Eskimo
Date of Origin: 

early 1900s

Original Function: 

companion, performer


Spitz, Northern (companion)

Modern Function: 


Other Name: 


Area of Origin: 

United States


Believed to have descended from the Spitz variety of Germany, the American Eskimo Dog may have also been influenced by other breeds like the keeshond, the Pomeranian, and the white Italian Spitz (Volpino Italiano). But experts feel that the success of other breeds resulted in less success for the Eskie.

American Eskimo Breed Health

Average Size of Male: 

Height: 15 - 19 inches, Weight: 20 - 40 pounds

Average Size of Female: 

Height: 15 - 19 inches, Weight: 20 - 40 pounds


12 - 14 years

Occasionally seen: 

PDA, open fontanel, some eye defects

Major concerns: 



sensitive to anesthesia, prone to laceration

Suggested tests: 

knee, (cardiac)

Minor concerns: 

patellar luxation, Legg – Perthes

American Eskimo Breed History

Originally, the keeshond came in a variety of colors, but eventually only grey keeshonds were accepted, and the white ones were excluded from the breed standard. Then the Pomeranian standard excluded larger dogs weighing more than eight pounds. So, in the early part of the 20th century, there were two purebred white dogs of medium size that had been excluded from their original breeds. While the true fate of the dogs is unknown, most experts believe that they were kept as pets by European workers, who brought what we now know as the American Eskimo dog to America. Then, in the 1920s, the dog became known as the American Spitz, and it was popular with circus performers. People became infatuated with the pretty dog that could do tricks, and many people left the circus with a puppy to add to their household. In fact, many current American Eskimo dogs are descendents of those entertaining ancestors. It was after World War I, that the breed became known as the American Eskimo, most likely to make it sound less German. In 1985, the American Eskimo Dog Club of America was organized, and it started registration in 1986. The AKC took over the registry in 1993. It wasn't until July 1, 1995 that the American Eskimo breed was fully recognized by the AKC, and the dogs were then classified for competition in the Non-Sporting Group. Even though the breed has been accepted as a show dog, many Eskies are kept simply as family pets.

American Eskimo Breed Appearance

Slightly longer than it is tall, the American Eskimo dog is a compactly built breed. The front legs are parallel, and the length of leg is in proportion to the body of the dog. The compact front and back feet are oval in shape, and well padded with hair. The feet feature well arched toes, and dark, cushioned pads. The hindquarters feature well developed upper thighs, and again, the legs are parallel. The slightly oval eyes are generally dark to medium brown, and convey an expression of intelligence and alertness. The ears are triangular in shape with blunt tips. The broad muzzle features a dark nose, a strong jaw, and teeth that meet in a scissors or pincer bite. The neck arches gracefully into the body, and the tail is set on moderately high. The double coat of this breed consists of a dense undercoat, and a straight, longer outer coat. A ruff of longer hair can be found around the neck, and the backs of the front legs are feathered. The tail is covered with long hair. While the preferred color for the American Eskimo breed is pure white, it can also be found in biscuit cream. The normal skin tone of this breed is pink or gray. The gait is usually described as agile and bold.

American Eskimo Breed Temperament

Lively and full of fun, the American Eskimo is usually considered to be obedient. A good companion for the entire family, it is friendly with children and other animals alike. Most are not bothered by strangers once they have been introduced. This is an independent breed that loves to run. It enjoys the cold weather. This breed is thought to be very intelligent, as well as willing to please, so training is often quick and effective. This breed has been known to rank high in obedience trials. The American Eskimo needs human attention and companionship. As with many breeds, it should be socialized at an early age to avoid aggression. This breed likes to bark.

American Eskimo Breed Maintenance

The double coat of the American Eskimo breed requires regular brushing with a firm bristle brush - at least twice a week. Grooming must be done more often during heavy shedding times. Bathing should be done about once and month, and be sure to check the teeth and nails on a regular basis. This breed is considered to be an average shedder. Daily mental and physical exercise is important for the health and happiness of this breed. This can be obtained by going for walks or playing games in the yard. This breed will usually do fine in an apartment dwelling as long as it is provided with enough exercise. It is usually a very active dog when it is indoors, and at least a small yard is suggested.

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