Enjoy an active lifestyle and looking for a dog to match it? Want a breed that is quick to learn new tricks?; Friendly with kids and other animals is a priority for your next dog? An American Eskimo could be your breed!
American Eskimo Country of Origin
Although the name American Eskimo would make one think Alaska, Germany is where this small to medium breed originated. Originally called the German Spitz, the breed's name was changed during the World War I era in the United States to American Eskimo to display support for Americans, and not the Germans. However, the name German Spitz is still recognized outside of the United States.
As a northern breed, they are not descendants of the Husky like many people think. The American Eskimo is known for their watchdog skills, and in the 1930's and 40's they were very popular to use in circus acts. This adorable, all-white breed can do it all!
No Stranger of Mine
With their watchdog skills being impeccable, the American Eskimo is wary of strangers. They are not an aggressive breed, in fact, they are the extreme opposite, and given a moment they will quickly warm up to strangers, and want to be best friends.
The American Eskimo will alert you to anyone and everyone walking by your home. They are considered a breed that barks a lot. Although considered perfect for apartment and condo living, if an American Eskimo is barking all the time, your close-knit neighbors may not appreciate this vocal breed.
In Overdrive All the Time
The American Eskimo is a highly active dog. If they are not exercised properly both mentally and physically, this breed is known to become neurotic in their behavior. Spinning in circles, barking relentlessly, and being destructive is not desired behavior. Without the proper training and exercise, an American Eskimo will be an out of control dog.
A twice daily walk of 45 minutes each will be very beneficial to this breeds overall well-being. They also make great agility and running partners.
If left alone or isolated for long periods they can develop separation anxiety, a serious behavioral problem, that can be difficult to modify. If you work all day, consider Doggy Daycare as the alternative for your American Eskimo. They will have the opportunity to burn their energy while you are at work.
Kids + American Eskimo = LOTS OF FUN!
American Eskimo are the perfect playmates for children. They have the energy to keep up, they are a hardy, good size breed, and they have a playful attitude. This breed LOVES children. Kids can teach their American Eskimo fun tricks, take them on long walks, and enjoy being outside with their best fur friend.
As with all dogs, early socialization with a positive and gentle experience will help keep these strong traits active in the American Eskimo.
The American Eskimo does not fair well being left outside alone, away from their family. This is not an outdoor dog. As a trainer, leaving a dog outside alone hinders development and bonding with their family.
Colder Climates Are Best
An American Eskimo does best in colder climates. This doesn't mean they can't live in warmer areas, just take special care by providing them with air conditioned areas to cool off, exercise in early morning or late evenings, and don't even think about shaving their fur. Their thick double-coat also helps to keep them cool, shaving it will hinder this effect.
Their beautiful coat will require weekly brushing and, during the shedding season, a daily brushing.
If you live in the colder climates, going sledding, taking wintery walks, and playing with the kids in the snow will make the American Eskimo a happy dog!
Well-Rounded and Smart Dog
The American Eskimo is friendly, happy, loyal, and loves children and other animals. They get along, pretty much, with everyone.
This breed is very intelligent and can quickly learn tricks and commands. They thrive in a learning environment. Lack of obedience training, setting rules, and boundaries for your American Eskimo will result in many unwanted behaviors such as digging, escaping or being hyperactive.
The American Eskimo needs an active partner or family to keep up with them. They will be a loyal friend for life, always looking to please you.
Generally a very healthy breed, they can become overweight easily, so proper diet and exercise will help maintain a healthy lifestyle for an American Eskimo.
The average life span is 15-16 years.
As you begin looking for an American Eskimo, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe