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American Eskimo Dog

 

 

 

 

The American Eskimo Dog is a breed of sled dog originating from Europe. Despite its appearance the American Eskimo dog is not a descendant of theHusky. Even though it was bred for sled work, it is a rare sight to see it in the harness anywhere, and the Miniature and Toy Eskies were the bred down version to serve as a companion. In addition to serving as a companion, it has been used as a watchdog, and also achieved a high degree of popularity in the 1930s and 1940s United States as acircus  performer even as early as 1917 at the Cooper Brother’s Railroad Circus. One of many American Eskimo Dogs to walk a tightrope was an American Eskimo by the name of Stout’s Pal Pierre in the Barnum & Bailey Circus. "PR" Stout's Pal Pierre was from a long line of American Eskimos used in Barnum and Bailey's Circus acts. Pierre's grandfather was the first known dog in the world to walk a tight rope. The breed became popular as circuses would sell the puppies during their travels across the nation. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1994 and set the current standard for the breed. The United Kennel Club had recognized the breed long before 1994, and there is no difference between the two breed standards except that the AKC allows the toy size and the UKC does not. The American Eskimo Dog was accepted into the Canadian Kennel Club CKC Recognition Of The American Eskimo Dog as of March 2006. CKD (Canadian Kennel Club).

Description

Appearance

Other Names: Eskie, American Spitz

Type: Northern Breeds

Height: Toy: 9 - 12 inches.
Miniature: 12 - 15 inches
Standard: 15 - 19 inches.
Weight: Toy: 6 - 10 lbs.
Miniature: 10 - 20 lbs.
Standard: 18 - 35 lbs.

Colors: All white or biscuit cream.
Coat: Stand off straight, double coat with a dense undercoat and a longer coat of guard hairs. It has a pronounced ruff around the neck and longer hair on the rump and hind legs.

Temperament

American Eskimo Dogs along with other Spitzen were bred to be companion dogs, and thrive on being a part of a human family. They are easily trained and very intelligent, although like many Nordic breeds, are conservative. At home, they make excellent watchdogs, barking to announce the presence of strangers. The Eskie can be protective of its home and family, and are known to threaten to attack or bite a person when provoked. Eskies must be trained early in age. As with all dogs, temperament may be partially inherited and partially trained. Some dogs are prone to excessive barking and separation anxiety. It is important to research the dog's parents as their temperament may vary due to inheritance.

Many people find the puppies of American Eskimo Dogs to be very "cute" and purchase this breed as a puppy without doing sufficient research, such as discovering the longevity and needs of this breed. This breed can take longer to mature than other breeds, and Eskies can behave more like puppies than like adults for up to two years, when they finally start to mature and grow their adult coats. They are also a very intelligent dog and need to be stimulated. When their intelligence is not stimulated or they are ignored, they can develop behavior issues. Owners can avoid this problem by socializing their Eskie through obedience training or participating in dog sports , such as dog agility, flyball, dancing, and Schutzhund. These dogs are quite athletic and are very able jumpers.

Health

The breed lives on average between 12 and 14 years, although some individuals might live as long as 20 years or longer. The Eskie is a fairly healthy breed, although close attention should be paid to its eyes and tear ducts. They are prone to hip dysplasia, Elbow and Knee degeneration, patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, progressive retinal altrophy, cataracts, epilepsy, urinary stones and allergies, especially flea allergies, that can lead to acute moist dermatitis or "hot spots".

Flea allergies and "hot spots"

The American Eskimo has a tendency to develop severe allergies to fleas. One flea on an Eskie can result in frantic scratching and gnawing on its skin, which results in painful "hot spots" and skin lesions.

Care

Grooming

Eskies have a long, dense coat and need regular grooming. This means brushing them once a week, or more often if necessary. They shed, but it can be maintained with regular brushing. They "blow" their coats twice a year, once in May or June to shed their winter undercoat and once in November or December to shed their summer coat. Many Eskie owners use an undercoat rake, a tool available at most pet stores, for grooming. Some owners in hot climates do shave their Eskies, but if this is done, the dogs should be kept indoors as much as possible to prevent sunburn. Some people believe that once a dog is shaved, the coat will grow in with a coarser, woollier texture than it would have had it been left alone, but reporting of this by people who have clipped or shaved their dogs varies.

Eskies have drier skin than most other dogs, and because of their dry skin, they need to be bathed only every two or three months, unless they soil their coat with large amounts of dirt or substances with strong odors. Regular brushing maintains a clean coat in most cases. Eskies are a very clean breed and constantly groom themselves.


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