The American Eskimo Dog
The Beautiful "Eskie"

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Dog breed info
American Eskimo Dog
Weight: Standard 20 — 40 lbs
Weight. Miniature 11 — 20 lbs
Weight.:Toy 7 — 10 lbs
Height Standard 15” — 19”
Height Miniature: 12” — 15”
Height Toy: 9’ — 12”
AKC Rank 2008 #106
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs

Dog Breed Info - American Eskimo Dog

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Breed Overview

Origin 1900;s Original Function: Watchdog, performer. Today: Companion. Colors: White. Group: Non Sporting. Origin: USA

American Eskimo Dogs were originally developed in Germany. They come from the spitz group of dogs. It was influenced by other spitz breeds such as the Keeshond, Pomeranian and Volpine Italiano and possibly the Samoyed. When European farm workers came to America, they brought these dogs with them as watchdogs. The dogs soon found work in the circus, touring and performing tricks. The name was changed to “American” partly because of negative feelings against the Germans after World War One. Many present day Eskies can be traced back to their circus-performing ancestors. The breed was named after the kennel that first recognized the dog as a breed in America which was called the American Eskimo. The circus was responsible for spreading these dogs around the country as they traveled and sold offspring to visitors to the circus. Some Eskies found work as farm dogs, some as house pets. The AKC registered the breed in 1995. The dog is most popular as a companion.


Intelligent, alert, generally easy to train and wants to please her human handler. Try this dog with the humane clicker training with positive reinforcement for rapid results. It really does a good job and dogs love the system.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your American Eskimo Dog? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Most American Eskimo Dogs are pretty easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

This Eskimo Dog looks very happy!


This is a bright, fun-loving and eager to please little dog. She’s playful and some say “adorable” all in one package. The “Eskie” as they are affectionately known, makes as great house pet, is good with children, loves to run, jog and play and is a good watchdog too. They make fine, obedient companions. The Eskie is wary of strangers, other dogs and cats, but can get along with them if socialized enough with them and especially if raised with them. Otherwise, supervision is required.. Early socialization starting around 4 to 5 weeks is necessary for this breed and continued on. If the socialization and alpha leadership are not in place, there will be many problems later on with this “spitz’ type dog.

To repeat, because this is a small dog and has spitz background, the Eskie needs a firm owner with pack-leader authority to keep her in tow. As long as your American Eskimo Dog knows she is NOT the boss, everything will be fine. The Eskie loves cold weather and loves to run to work off her energy. She can not tolerate hot, humid climates. By the way, this breed is NOT related to the sled-pulling dogs of Alaska. This is an energetic little dog that needs daily exercise to remain calm and biddable indoors.

If you happen to get a American Eskimo Dog with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Maybe. Will pick here own dog friends. Can be aggressive toward some dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.Maybe. Best if raised with other house pets. I know an Eskie that gets along fine with a house cat, but some don't.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Wary at first but will warm, up quickly once introduced and they become familiar with the person.


Very playful dog. Lots of energy, loves life and likes to show off a bit. Quite lively.


Very affectionate. Not a lapdog, but loves family.

Good with children?

Good with older, respectful children. Loves to run and romp with them. Not too much tolerance for very young kids and their antics of screaming, poking, pulling and rambunctious behavior. Children need to be taught how to behave around, and to respect a dog.

Good with Seniors over 65?

The American Eskimo Dog in Miniature or Toy size is great for a senior citizen. Easy to care for, loving, playful, affectionate, needing lots of attention and companionship, everything a senior has to give so this would be a perfect match as long as the senior can walk a little and maybe toss a ball each day. If longevity or training are issues, find an Eskie Rescue group and adopt a2 or 3 year old dog that is house trained and knows a few commands. This will save some headaches for the seniors.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, farm, ranch all okay. The Standard and Miniature American Eskimo Dogs would like a medium size fenced yard to chase balls and play fetch in, and maybe a doggie door for in-out activity as an ideal situation, but not mandatory. The Toy will do well staying in the house to play.

Must be indoor dogs, except when it is cool, they can stay out for several hours. The Eskie needs human companionship so don't let her stay out too long.

Energy level

Moderately high energy.

Exercise needs, daily

For the Standard and Miniature size American Eskimo Dogs — Jogging PLUS a long walk daily is needed. All dogs need to walk for mental stimulation. The jogging is okay as long as the climate is cool.

The Toy version just needs a short walk and some play time in the house or yard.


Excellent watchdog. Very alert with a loud bark.

Guard dog

No. Falls short here.


Yes, sheds some.


Eskies have a double coat that nerds brushing or combing two to three times a week and daily when shedding to remove dead hair. Do some trimming now and them to clean up and shape the fur so the dog doesn’t look unkempt. Get a metal comb and a stiff bristle brush from a pet store.


Suggested Reading - American Eskimo Dog
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

  • 2nd book from the left is "50 Games To Play With Your Dog." They are easy to teach and to play and are a great way to bond and have a lot of fun doing different things that the Eskie will enjoy and get exercise from.

  • 3rd book from the left is "101 Dog tricks" and the title says it all. This huge variety of things for the dog to learn are mentally challenging and a healthy way for him to spend his time.

  • The book on the far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. This is Vol 2 and includes a DVD.

American Eskimo Dog Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Eskie puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. It isn't often that Eskimo Dog puppies turn up in dog pounds and shelters but you might check anyway.
American Eskimo Dog Breeders with puppies for sale. You might want to look online. Be sure to specify the size you want. (Toy, Mini or Std.)

Eskie Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Eskimo Dog Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder-American Eskimo Dog Rescue At the time of this writing, Petfinder is showing only 466 of this breed for the entire nation which covers all three sizes of the breed. This figure is subject to change. If you do adopt one, try to locate any dog health records and save for possible future reference.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you may need to surf the web for Eskie Rescue or American Eskimo Dog Rescue groups to find more selections. Be sure to specify the size you want to adopt.

Dog Health Issues For American Eskimo Dogs
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the American Eskimo Dog by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness, arthritis and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Renal cortical hypoplasia—Kidney failure coming from a number of causes ranging from hereditary to ingesting automotive antifreeze and also bacterial infections. Once the kidneys become affected, there is no cure. There remains a shortage of functioning tissue in the kidneys to cleanse the body. Waste builds in the blood and the toxins cause vomiting, depression, lack of appetite and death. Same happens if the dog eats a little rat poison, as one of mine did. The American Eskimo Dog is prone to kidney failure.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The dog can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the dog can live a normal life like a human can. If the American Eskimo Dog does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.

  • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that usually appears at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in dogs.

  • Cataracts- Hazy or cloudy vision and can cause total blindness if not treated promptly.

Other health problems could occur with your American Eskimo Dog. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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