The American Eskimo Dog is loving, alert, beautiful, agile, highly intelligent, friendly, social, curious and strong. She makes an excellent protective watch dog but is not threatening or aggressive. It has a white or cream straight outer coat, with dense undercoat. There is a lion appearance as the coat is longer and thicker around the chest and neck. It has a thick tail carried on the back. Blue eyes in this breed is considered a defect and a problem of ill health or bad breeding.
She will do well in an apartment as long as she can get frequent long walks. A properly fenced yard is always preferable. She was bred to be a family dog and they need plenty of family attention. She is excellent with children. Of course, never leave very young children alone with any dog for any length of time, long or short, without adult supervision.
The American Eskimo Dog is often called a Spitz in America. The Spitz refers to a group of breeds, not an individual breed. He is also nicknamed the Spitz, which again is not a breed but a group of breeds including the Pomeranian, Samoyed, Shiba Inu, Siberian Husky and Finnish Spitz.
Approximate Adult Size
There are three sizes of the American Eskimo Dog, Toy, Miniature and Standard. The Toy runs from 9 to 12 inches to the withers (tallest point of the back), the Miniature runs 12 to 15 inches to the withers and the Standard runs 15 inches to19 inches to the withers.
Special Health Considerations
The American Eskimo Dog, like many large dogs, are prone to hip dysplasia, flea allergies, hot spots, cataracts, epilepsy, patellar luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease. They have no tolerance for fleas and can develop severe flea allergies which can result in painful skin lesions. Their skin is naturally dry so they should not be bathed more than one every two or three months. All dogs should have their teeth brushed once a week.
The thick coat is easy to groom, brush twice a week with firm bristle. They are a medium shedder, one in May or June and then again in November and December. Many owners use an undercoat rake to groom which is available online or at better stocked pet stores.
They can live 12 to 14 years with proper nutrition and care, although there are cases of 20 year life spans.
The American Eskimo Dog derives from the ancient Spitz family. Hailing from the coastal regions Germany, these dogs were traded throughout Europe. This family dogs probably came to America with German immigrants. They were used as family pets, watch dogs and circus animals. Circuses would sell puppies after performances and this the breed was spread throughout the US. They became popular during the 1930s and 1940s. They are known as the German Spitz in Germany. They were renamed during World War I to remove their national origin since we were at war with Germany. They were recognized as a breed in 1913.
SPECIAL GOOD POINTS
Good with children. Highly intelligent. Very obedient. Good watchdog. Can be protective but rarely will bite. Do not smell like a dog. They groom themselves. Easily trained, especially early.
SPECIAL BAD POINTS
They love to bark. Can be willful. Prone to weight gain. Responds very poorly to harsh treatment. Can take long to mature, up to two years. Must be trained early as a puppy. Can develop bad habits if not stimulated.