About the American Eskimo

The American Eskimo can probably trace its beginnings back to the Peat Bog Dog of the New Stone Age, approximately 6,000 years ago. Remains of this dog, one of the first dog breeds, later known as a Spitz, have been found in Scandinavian countries as well as Russia, Finland and Germany. The Eskimo is a handsome snow-white dog that is believed to have descended from the European Spitz breed. All Spitz breeds share certain characteristics, such as posture, upright ears, the curl of the tail. The predecessors may have been the white German Spitz, Keeshond, white Pomeranian and the Volpino Italiano (Italian Spitz).

The breed first appeared on this continent during the 1800s and arrived here in the company of German immigrants. Eventually they became known as the American Spitz and were popular in the trick dog acts of traveling circuses. The breed was first registered in the United States in 1913 by the United Kennel Club. The name of American Eskimo was adopted in 1917; this was during WW1, when there was great antipathy toward Germany. In 1995, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in three different size divisions: the toy (9" to 12" tall at the shoulder), the miniature (12" to 15"), the standard (15" to 19").

The American Eskimo is noted for being extremely smart and being easy to train. They love to run and play, and are eager to please. It is a very good watchdog, sounding off at the approach of strangers, but it is not normally a vicious dog. The breed is noted for being gentle and playful with children. In recent years they have become successful competitors in obedience and flyball as well as other agility activities.

The American Eskimo has a beautiful white coat that has a natural oil that helps keep it clean, but that doesn't mean that it cannot have a bath; every other month is fine, you don't want to remove all the natural oils. Although pure sparkling white is the preferred coat colour, white with biscuit or biscuit-cream is acceptable. Biscuit and biscuit-cream are terms used to describe a light tan or light brown colour. Eskimos shed or "blow" their coats usually once a year, in spring to early summer. Breeding females will also shed most, if not all, of their undercoat two to four months after whelping. At this time it is a good idea to brush the dog daily to prevent matting of the loose hair. As a house dog, the dog will benefit greatly from a light brushing on a weekly basis; it also means less loose hair floating around the house.

Since the Eskimo is such an active breed, it needs to receive daily exercise. Ideally, you should have a fenced yard. Invisible fences can work, but they don't keep other dogs from coming into your yard, dogs which may pose a threat to your dog. It is not recommended that Eskimos be "tied out"; this could lead to the dog becoming aggressive, especially if another person decides to start teasing the dog. It is recommended that all puppies or dogs attend obedience classes with their "new owners" so they, and their humans can become familiar with each other and learn who sets the rules.

On a more personal note, I recommend watching Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, on the National Geographic channel. You might also read his book on training your dog; he also has DVDs that would prove useful.



Copyright © White Phantom Kennels. All Rights Reserved. Canada Web Design by Vital Effect Inc.