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American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo has a Nordic type face. They are bright, eager to please, lively — in short, an enjoyable and generally obedient companion.

Overall Status

Height 15 to 19 inches (Standard)
Temperament Playful, Perky, Smart
Weight 25 to 35 pounds (Standard)
Life Expectancy 13 to 15 years
Coat Color Cream, White
Barking Level Frequent

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips Exercise Tips Feeding Tips Health Tips Trainability

Brush the Eskie’s straight, thick coat a couple of times a week to prevent or remove mats and tangles. Plan to brush it more often when he’s shedding to keep loose hair off your clothes and furniture. You’ll need a slicker brush, pin brush, and metal Greyhound comb. Bathe the Eskie about every three months.

This breed only requires bathing a few times per year – frequent bathing can strip the natural oils from the body and cause their skin to become very dry and irritated. Eskies have sensitive skin, and if owners opt to shave their dogs in the summer months, care is required to prevent sunburn. Eskimos do not require trimming or stripping of the coat.

The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks, and brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

An active dog with lots of energy, the Eskie is also quick and curious, requiring lots ofexerciseandmental challenges. An Eskie who are left alone or who don’t get enough exercise can quickly become destructive.

A securely fenced yard and an assortment of toys will help provide good exercise and stimulation to keep an Eskie out of trouble. He shouldn't just be left out in the yard by himself all day, however. Despite his warm coat, the Eskie is an indoor dog, and he forms strong bonds with his people and is happiest interacting with them. Once they pass middle age, Eskies often become more sedate.

Despite being naturally athletic, the American Eskimo Dog gains weight rather easily. This might be due to genetic factors or because their thick fur makes it hard to tell if they’re putting on the pounds. Rubbing your dog along the ribs can help you feel for his true size.

Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Aresponsible breederwill test his or her breeding stock for health issues such aship dysplasiaand progressive retinal atrophy. As with all breeds, anEskie’s earsshould be checked weekly to remove debris and avoid a buildup of wax, and thedog’s teethshould be brushed regularly.

As with all breeds,early socializationandpuppy training classesare recommended. Fortunately, the American Eskimo Dog is among the most trainable of all breeds. Back when traveling circuses, vaudeville troupes, and Wild West shows crisscrossed the map, Eskies were mainstays of trained-dog acts.

They are highly intelligent and eager to please. They learn new commands quickly — sometimes just by watching other dogs. An Eskie craves companionship and interaction with his owners and will tend to develop problem behaviors if left alone too often for long periods of time.


The American Eskimo Dog (affectionately called ‘Eskie’ or by the German name ‘spitz’) actually descends from several German breeds such as thePomeranianandKeeshond. It is not a close relative of theAlaskan Husky.

TheAmerican Eskimo Dogwas brought to America by German settlers in the early 20th century and became a popular circus performer. One Eskie named ‘Stout’s Pal Pierre’ became famous by walking the tightrope. Circuses popularized the breed by selling Eskie puppies after the show. The American Eskimo Dog was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1994.

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