American Eskimo Puppies
Information, Behavior and Training

Affectionately known as Eskies, American Eskimo puppies are admired for their fluffy coats, sweet expressions and typical Northern looks, courtesy of their Spitz heritage.

While you may find it difficult to resist this breed's striking appearance, consider that this breed's jaunty personality has also captivated the hearts of many.

With a past as a circus dog, you will certainly fall in love with this breed's entertaining antics.

Whether you are thinking about buying a puppy or adopting an adult dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you or just want to learn more about this breed, I hope this article will help you find the answers to your questions.

Breed History

Also known as Eskimo Spitz, American Eskimo Spitz and Eskie, the breed was introduced to this country by a group of German immigrants and is closely related to the German Spitz. Other breeds the American Eskimo is thought to be related to include the Samoyed, the white Pomeranian and the white Keeshond.

In the United States, in late 19th and early 20th centuries, American Eskimo puppies and adult dogs were often found in German immigrant communities.

This breed greatly increased in popularity courtesy of its ability to perform tricks; indeed, it wasn't unusual to see these dogs perform in numerous circuses traveling throughout the country.

Despite its name, the breed's history is not tied to Eskimo Indians and their culture. So, then, how did the word "Eskimo" got attached to the breed's name? There were two reasons...

In 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Hall registered the breed with the United Kennel Club. Their kennel name was "American Eskimo". Later, due to the widespread anti-German sentiment after the start of the World War I, it was decided to rename the breed and use the name of Mr. and Mrs. Hall's kennel as part of a the new breed name - the American Eskimo Dog.

American Eskimo dogs were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 and categorized under the non-sporting group.

Today, the breed still perform in circuses around the world. It's also used to sniff out narcotics and for guard duty. And, in case you are wondering, the answer is yes, they are used for companionship too!

American Eskimo Dog Laying on Grass

Physical Characteristics

This breed comes in 3 different sizes: toy, miniature and standard. As other Spitz-type dogs, American Eskimos feature distinct Nordic looks and thick coats.

This loving companion dog has an overall compact, well-balanced body that portrays strength, agility and beauty. The neck is medium in length and carried proudly in an arch. The deep chest features well-sprung ribs and a tucked-up belly. The muscular, straight back leads to a tail set moderately high and carried loosely over the back.

The front legs are muscular and well-angulated, with strong and flexible pasterns. The hind legs are parallel when viewed from the rear and boast well-developed upper thighs and firm hock joints. The oval feet have well-arched toes and tough dark pads that are covered with hair.

The overall expression of this breed is intelligent, with expressive oval eyes that are dark-to-medium brown in color. Tear stains, unless excessive, are not faulted. The ears are erect, triangular in shape and distinctly set apart. The nose may range from black to dark brown. The teeth meet in a scissor or pincer bite.

As other Northern breeds, American Eskimo dogs have a double coat featuring a dense undercoat and a longer top coat. The hairs are straight with no signs of curls or waves. Male dogs have a distinct ruff that is more noticeable than in females. Pure white is the preferred coat color even though biscuit cream is permitted.

    Height Weight
  Male 9 to 12 inches (Toy) 6 to 10 pounds
    12 to 15 inches (Miniature) 10 to 20 pound
    15 to 19 inches (Standard) 18 to 35 pounds
  Female 9 to 12 inches (Toy) 6 to 10 pounds
    12 to 15 inches (Miniature) 10 to 20 pound
    15 to 19 inches (Standard) 18 to 35 pounds


American Eskimo puppies are quite entertaining to watch and love being around their family. If you are looking for a happy, spirited dog that is always in a good mood, you can't go wrong with this breed.

American Eskimo Puppy

While generally very people-oriented, American Eskimo dogs can be aloof and suspicious of strangers. For this reason, American Eskimo puppies require loads of early and frequent socialization training so to prevent suspicious tendencies.

This breed generally does well with other dogs and other pets; however, small pets may stimulate its prey drive. The chances for getting along with other pets increase if you allow American Eskimo puppies to grow up with them.

American Eskimos get along well with children, including small ones. However, always monitor any interactions between child and dog and don't allow any rough handling.

American Eskimo training is pretty easy. This breed's past as a circus dog makes it quite adept at learning tricks and being an excellent crowd pleaser. While Eskies won't make you a cup of coffee, they are overall quite clever fellows. However, keep in mind that this intelligence may backfire when this breed tries to use it to suit his own purposes.

Some American Eskimo puppies are predisposed to excessive barking and separation anxiety.

Best Owner and Living Conditions

The best owners of American Eskimo puppies are those capable of providing them with firm, consistent rules and gentle guidance. This breed craves lots of companionship, so it makes a great choice for families that spend a lot of time at home and have the time for outdoor adventures and excursions.

This is a breed that loves cold weather. A place where it snows heavily is pure bliss for this dog.

Activity and Exercise

Couch potatoes should stay away from this dog. Failure to provide it with sufficient exercise and mental stimulation may lead to high-strung behaviors and destructiveness. Daily walks are a great way to provide exercise and ongoing socialization.

The sky is the limit when it comes to ways to keep this breed entertained. Dog agility, flyball and trick training are a few of the many activities you can do with your clever Eskie.


Get your vacuum, lint rollers and broom ready: Eskies tend to shed a lot. Frequent brushing will help cut down the amount of stray hairs left behind and prevent matting.

Don't be intimidated by this breed's immaculate coat. While this candid coat color seems vulnerable to stains, the fur of this breed contains special oils that prevent dirt from sticking to the hairs. Most stains you may see are tear stains under the eyes which can be easily cleaned using a veterinarian approved cleaner.

Health Concerns

The American Eskimo breed is overall a healthy, hardy type of dog. Health disorders this breed may be prone to include progressive retinal atrophy, luxating patellas, and hip dysplasia.

Visit dog health problems to learn more about dog diseases and health care.

If you are interested in American Eskimo puppies, make sure you purchase from responsible American Eskimo breeders who are well aware of these genetic problems.

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems from becoming big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for healthy American Eskimo puppies is around 15 years. Some specimens live up to their late teens.

Final Thoughts...

If you are looking for a breed that has a wolfish appearance, comes in several sizes, loves playing and is bright and clever, then you can't go wrong with an American Eskimo dog. Just make sure you fully understand this breed's needs; too many impulse buyers acquire Eskies without having a real understanding of what goes into owning these dogs, with the end result of many American Eskimo puppies ending up in rescue groups and shelters.

Finally, if you like the pure white appearance of the Samoyed but are constrained by space, you may consider purchasing a toy American Eskimo puppy from reputable toy American Eskimo breeders. These puppies are expected to grow no more than 9 to 12 inches tall once adult (the Miniature American Eskimo dog, on the other hand, measures 12 to 15 inches; whereas the standard American Eskimo is between 15 and 19 inches).

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local American Eskimo rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

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Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this American Eskimo Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.


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American Eskimo Puppies » Dog Breeds

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